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Want to be an ally to trans folks? Here are some things you can do – Gee Semmalar

Trans Day of Remembrance and Resilience (TDOR) 20th November 2019

History

Rita Hester, a black transgender woman was stabbed 20 times in her own apartment and later died at a hospital in Boston in 1998. The murderer who was alleged to be a cis, white male was never caught. The transgender day of remembrance emerged as an outpouring of grief and rage of black trans communities against the hate crimes and murders of trans people in general and black and Latino trans women in particular. November 20th came to be observed globally as Transgender Day of Remembrance in various countries.

Why it is important

Trans people compounded by our race, caste, religious and class locations routinely face disproportionate amounts of violence and hate crimes to this day.1 The violence continues even after death when we are misgendered in news reports about our death or dead named or buried according to rituals specific to a gender we rejected while we are alive.

TDOR is a day when we remember and memorialize the people we lost. TDOR is a day that we come together because nobody else remembers the people we lost, not even the families we were born into.

What can you do?

The NGO industrial complex, especially the non-trans led non-profits scramble at this time of the year to get the names of trans people murdered in the past year for their TDOR programmes. What can you do, as an ally to move beyond these tokenistic, performative solidarity gestures?

  • Push for employing trans people in your workplaces. Pass on freelance paid work to trans people.
  • Fight in your families for trans kids to be accepted and not disowned
  •  Pressurise the govt to pass and implement laws that actually empower trans people.
  • Push for cases to be registered when trans folks face sexual/physical/verbal/police/public/familial violence. Join protest actions. Pressurise local administrations to ensure justice.
  • Support housing projects for trans folks.
  • Call out transphobic jokes. Have a zero tolerance policy for trans misogyny.
  • Reach out to support trans folks in any way possible when we are depressed or need help.
  • Work on your own prejudices relentlessly. Educate yourselves and others on trans issues.
  •  Make healthcare accessible for us. Push for an anti-discrimination policy in your health centres/ hospitals /clinics
  • Lend spaces to trans people at subsidised rates/free for the purpose of shelter/creative arts practices/ running our independent collectives for social change.
  • If you are making a film on trans people, involve us in your script writing, enable us to decide how we are represented. Do not cast us as objects of ridicule or as mere victims.
  •  If you see a trans person being misgendered in media, write to the editors, tag the newspaper on social media, demand a rectification and public apology.
  •  If you see a trans person being harassed in public or private spaces, intervene. Don’t look away. Stop the harassment. Make sure you let the perpetrator and onlookers know it’s not okay
  • If you are a teacher, talk about trans issues in your class. Prescribe readings to sensitise your students. Have open discussions in class about non-normative genders and sexualities.
  • Support trans issues as a cis person. But be sure to step back from spaces that belong to trans folks who want to share experiences and strategies internally. Allyship is as much about stepping back as it is about stepping forward. Be self critical in your solidarity.
  • It doesn’t matter how long you have known a person or in what capacity. Always use the person’s chosen name and gender. Familiarity or a long term relationship is no excuse for dead naming or misgendering.
  • Do not place the burden of breaking the binary on trans folks are oppressed by it. Do not shame binarian trans expressions. The binary is often self-affirming and a place of safety from harassment for some trans people.
  • Accept gender diversity and expressions. Do not impose your notions of who is an “authentic” trans person based on physiological/medicalised pre-requisites or understandings.
  • Figure out more ways to keep us alive.

1. For further information please refer to the essay by Joao Gabriell, “In Defense of a Radical Trans Perspective in the French Context.” Decolonizing Sexualities eds. Bakshi, Jivraj and Posocco, Counterpress, 2016, pp. 60-70.

Art work – © Sabari, Kerala

Sabari. Disabled Individual. Freelance artist. Postgraduate in English language and literature.

Gee Semmalar. Trans individual. Activist /artist. PhD student in Law at the University of Kent, UK.

Letter published in The Independent, 5 Sep 2019

The government is hijacking LGBT+ sex education to bolster its counterterrorism strategy – it must stop now

Letter in The Independent, 5 Sep 2019 – Signed by the DSN

As LGBT+ individuals, and organisations that support LGBT+ communities, we are concerned by the way that Muslim communities have been framed by both government and media in relation to the teaching of LGBT+-inclusive Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) in primary schools.

We support the inclusion of LGBT+ identities within RSE at both primary- and secondary-school level. However, we reject the ways in which LGBT+ issues are being deployed in the government’s discourse about the requirement to teach “Fundamental British Values” as part of their “Prevent” counter-extremism and counterterrorism strategies.

The government’s claim that teaching LGBT+-inclusive RSE constitutes the promotion of “Fundamental British Values” is highly hypocritical. Let us not forget that it was Britain that implemented anti-sodomy laws across its empire, and it is Britain that continues to deport LGBT+ people seeking asylum from those very laws. It is worth remembering that the 21 MPs who voted against the new LGBT+-inclusive guidance on compulsory RSE earlier this year were predominantly white British men from the Conservative Party and the DUP. Our (unelected) prime minister Boris Johnson has a history of making homophobic remarks, including attacking Labour for encouraging the teaching of homosexuality in schools and describing gay men as “bumboys”.   

The “No Outsiders” LGBT+ inclusion programme, as a brand adopted by teacher Andrew Moffat, has become highly problematic in its association with the government’s counter-extremism strategy. It was described in a PowerPoint presented by headteacher Hazel Pulley as part of the school’s strategy to “reduce radicalisation”.

The way that “No Outsiders” has been implemented and the wider embrace of LGBT+-inclusive RSE as the poster-child for the implementation of “Fundamental British Values” suggests a colonial “civilising” attitude towards Muslim communities, and contributes to a harmful and inaccurate stereotype of an uncivilised and intolerant Muslim culture.

Prevent is widely acknowledged to place excessive scrutiny and surveillance on Muslim children. The strategy has been widely denounced by human and civil rights organisations, with Rights Watch referring to it as “the systematic breach of children’s human rights in the school setting”. 

Homophobia exists in Muslim communities – as it does in every community. Yet the spotlight on Muslim communities and the moral panic that has ensued demonstrates that Muslims are an easy target for accusations of homophobia which can be used to demonise entire communities. Mainstream media coverage of the events in Birmingham has encouraged the spectacle of the protests, inaccurately singled out one specific community as universally homophobic, and excluded more critical LGBT+ voices. As LGBT+ people, we condemn the cynical use of our identities as a form of dog-whistle racism, which is being mobilised to justify harmful policies of state surveillance and the criminalisation of Muslim communities. 

More than ever, young people of all faiths and none need safe spaces to discuss and learn about consent, healthy relationships, gender, sexuality and identity. As LGBT+ people, we must resist efforts to coopt these urgent issues. We must connect our struggles against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to the fight against racism.

Our demands:

  • The Department for Education (DfE) must offer clear guidance for the delivery of LGBT+ inclusive education in schools serving all our communities, produced in dialogue with LGBT+ groups, and including LGBT+ faith organisations.
  • DfE guidance must stress that schools should teach LGBT+-inclusive RSE as part of the usual RSE curriculum and not as specific to the promotion of “Fundamental British Values.”
  • There cannot be honest and trusting relationships between schools and communities while the Prevent policy is in place – we recommend that Prevent is abolished immediately. 

Inclusive Mosque Initiative  
Maslaha 
Purple Rain Collective  
Pride of Arabia  
Femmes of Colour  
Level Up
Madaniya Sudan Diaspora Global
Devil’s Dyke Network
East End Sisters Uncut  
Dr Sita Balani, King’s College London 
Professor Judith Butler, University of California Berkeley 
Desiree Akhavan (director, producer, screenwriter, actress)
Nazmia Jamal (teacher)
Frankie Muggleton (teacher)
Neil Hart (teacher)
Malak Obaidi (teacher) 
Kiren Mirza (teacher) 
Jay Bernard (writer)     
Dr Humaira Saeed   
Dr Nadine El-Enany, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Sarah Keenan, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Rahul Rao, SOAS University of London
Dr Suhraiya Jivraj, Director of the Centre for Sexuality, Race & Gender Justice, Kent Law School, University of Kent
Dr Jen Slater, Sheffield Hallam University
Professor Donatella Alessandrini, SeRGJ, Kent Law School
Dr Sinead Ring, SerGJ, Maynooth University Department of Law
Somak Biswas, University of Warwick
Sara Bamdad, University of Warwick 
Ajamu X (artist)  
Tobi Adebajo (artist)
Dr Dzifa Afonu (clinical psychologist)
Dr Navtej Purewal, SOAS University of London   
Dr Deborah Grayson   
Dr Caoimhe Mader McGuiness, Kingston University   
Dr Alyosxa Tudor, School of African and Oriental Studies,
Sarah Golightley, University of Edinburgh
Dr Nat Raha   
Dr Sam Solomon, University of Sussex 
Katharine Terrell, Sheffield Hallam University
Dr Tanya Serisier, Birkbeck College, University of London   
Dr Başak Ertür, Birkbeck, University of London   
Dr Eddie Bruce-Jones, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Gail Lewis
Decolonizing Sexualities Network 
Anisa De Jong, University of Kent 
Dr Sandeep Bakhshi, University of Paris Diderot
Dr Silvia Posocco, Birkbeck, University of London
Zinzi Minott (dancer/artist)    
Lola Olufemi (writer/activist) 
Sara Sassanelli, Institute of Contemporary Arts 
Ifeanyi Awachie, Institute of Contemporary Arts
Len Lukowski (writer)
Emily Nunn (librarian)
Dr Ros Murray, King’s College London
Ochi Reyes, Westminster University, Adult Learning Lewisham and Brampton College
Dr Kyoung Kim, Feminist Review Journal 
Dr Daniel Luther, SOAS University of London
Syma Tariq, CRiSAP, University of the Arts London  
Irene Revell, CRiSAP, University of the Arts London
Ceylan Begüm Yıldız, Birkbeck, University of London 
Timothy Smith, CRiSAP, University of the Arts London  
Dr Terese Jonsson
Lani Parker, Sideways Times
Dr Vanja Hamzić, SOAS University of London
Zia Álmos Joshua
Mumbi Nkonde (community activist)
Sanah Ahsan (Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Poet, journalist)  
Aisha Mirza (writer/ DJ)  
Sabah Choudrey (youth worker/writer)
Sharan Dhaliwal (editor Burnt Roti)
Molly Ackhurst (community organiser/activist)
Imani Robinson (artist/curator)  
Dr Serkan Delice, London College of Fashion

Original: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/lgbt-no-outsiders-rse-birmingham-muslim-prevent-values-a9092781.html

June 2019 – Interview of Assistant Professor Asim Siddiqui (Azim Premji University, Bangalore) by Anamika Misra (Phd Student, Kent Law School, University of Kent)

Anamika Misra (PhD Student Kent Law School, University of Kent) interviews Assistant Professor Asim Siddiqui during his visit to the Centre for Sexuality, Race and Gender Justice (SeRGJ) at the University of Kent, June 2019

Nationalist articulation of Decolonizing Universities: Two sides of the same coin​

With the re-election of the Hindutva Nationalist regime in India, the systematic destruction of the Universities with a neoliberal and hyper-nationalist agenda is bound to take an ugly turn. Under the garb of Decolonizing Universities, the nationalist critique perpetuates the Brahminical domination of public Universities in India, a fact that Ambedkar foresaw at the time of independence and setup few constitutional provisions for making a decolonized and debrahminized society, in which higher education played one of the most important roles. Instant of deepening the Ambedkarite project, Hindutva nationalists have systematically worked towards undermining the Constitution and the Universities have been their prime target. In this talk, I would argue that nationalist critique of colonization is merely another side of the same coin and true decolonization in South Asia necessarily includes Debrahminization of the University, by drawing upon the experiences of the Ambedkarite-Feminist Collective in Azim Premji University. ​

 

Asim Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Azim Premji University Bangalore. In his work as a teacher, researcher and socio-cultural worker, he works towards issues of cultural and ecological justice by drawing upon various philosophical traditions from India and outside, in terms of both intellectual and embodied practices. His doctoral research and current educational experiments have been in developing an aesthetic-contemplative pedagogy for engaging with contemporary socio-political issues. Outside University, he does dramaturgy, consultancy and experiential education workshops for various art and developmental organizations. In his previous avatar, he has worked with NGOs and technology start-ups, along with getting an undergraduate degree from IIT Delhi.

Un texte de Michaël

D’un bout à l’autre, les balcons maladroits racontent ce qui se tait, ceux qui se taisent, ceux qui se cachent dans les combles des espaces où s’écoulent les rivières de silence presque oubliées. Je vibre aux enroulements d’écroulements sans écrous. Entends-tu l’éboulement et mes os tourmentés ? Les portes se ferment et les rideaux dansent, frôlés par les pulsations du vent. Alors que les pétales bercent les regards, ces eux descendant les escaliers de l’air, l’éternité est la symétrie des pleurs, dirais-tu. Il suffirait d’un bout d’ongle coupé pour marquer une vie jouant au funambule au square du ru. Au fond de mes pensées saignent ce qui se sèche quand bien même les doléances se renversent et traversent les passages piétons, le corps rampant, serpent glissant hors de ma bouche. Chut ! Ne crie pas. Cela ferait saigner les fissures déjà creuser et troublées. La bougie d’hier brûle tel un hymne dressé contre toutes les peurs nous traversant à contre-courant et nous ne sommes pas étanches dans la tranche. Laisse-moi l’étouffer, s’il te plaît te demandais-je, ce crie suspendu dans un claquement de doigt arrivant, de ma bouche à la tienne. Je crache vert et jaune et mousse végétal tiède ! Les bulles chantent volcan de boue…

Ma gorge serrée, se contracte et spasme à son corps se faufilant : craquent les cavités et montent la mousse de mes intestins. J’exulte et tes cils ramassent cette pluie fine de tes yeux. J’éternue et le sang tombe chaud, épais, caillots. Alors, j’expulse sec, en un jet ce surplus, demain il fera plus lourd et volera pollen encore, en corps beaux, et montera cette odeur de rouille. Tu l’imagines habitant une partie de tes sphères sourdes, cette eau tranquille où les canards passent. Dans ce décor nous accordons nos cordes et nos sauts raccordent les fils d’électricité à nos cœurs frissonnants. Bouillonnent des secrets, lesquels semblent porter tous les oiseaux du coin. Parfois se demande, comment font nos autres, ces petits machins qui rongent, dentent, croquent, mâchouillent, nos épidermes, nos chairs déchirés, chiqués comme du tabac jaune. Comment colle-t-on des affiches pour que continue de s’espérer peut-être des petits papiers et petits mouchoirs, des petites choses, des petits quelque chose, autre que le désordre, et que s’étoffe et s’érige les déclinaisons de nos réminiscences. Nos sangs ont été que trop versés et j’aimerais pouvoir accéder à une promesse pour nous.

——————————

9e748991-d592-47bc-abc0-7a700a234602Michaël est noirindien, 38 ans, QTLPOC neuroatypique autiste et éducateur, pédagogue auprès des maternelles et primaires, poète et raconteur. Il pratique le yoga des paresseux et la méditation koala. Militant AfroAsianTrans intersectionnel radicale, LGBTQIA + POC pour une éducation populaire, anti-raciste, décoloniale, anti-nucléaire, anti-arme, pro-choix et pro-droit, luttant contre le sexisme, la fétichisation, la transmisogynie et la grossophobie etc…

Il anime un atelier d’écriture pour QTLPOC par mail depuis janvier 2019 et est un lecteur compulsif.

AnaLouise Keating – Cultivating Queer Conocimiento: An Anzaldúan Meditation on Queer Theory

Cultivating Queer Conocimiento: An Anzaldúan Meditation on Queer Theory

AnaLouise Keating

Keating Headshot

 

   Contribute a queer conocimiento, a perspective on life that is different from that of other people.

Gloria Anzaldúa, “Writing Notes I”

 

“Queer” as Gloria Anzaldúa used the word (and make no mistake: she used it a lot, from the 1970s until her death in 2004) connects with but isn’t limited to same-sex desire.  “Queer,” for Anzaldúa, was not just an adjective describing identity, actions, and/or desires; it also includes ethics–radical ways of living and moving through the world.  “Queer,” for Anzaldúa, represents the innovation and transformation that occur when we’re willing to be visible in our differences, when we follow spirit’s guidance. Being queer requires acknowledgment, acceptance, and enactment of our profound differences from the status quo. It requires faith in these differences (as divine). Being queer requires that we have the courage to take the risks that these differences demand and that we nurtureour differences, approaching them as honored, powerful (and very demanding) teachers. When we do so, we create ripple effects that impact both outer and inner dimensions. To again quote Anzaldúa:

 Living with queerness is a choice: Living in a queer way contributes to community, nation, planet. It has the power to change the world. Queer life is political, it is spiritual, it is an intensely conscious way of living. (Writing Notes I)

Although Anzaldúa didn’t flesh out her theory of queer conocimiento, I believe that it merits excavation and further development.

I have several reasons for this belief. First, it addresses one of Anzaldúa’s over-arching concerns: the fact that she was so rarely acknowledged as a founding figure in queer theory. I recall numerous conversations with her about this erasure at her home in Santa Cruz, California; it was one of the few academic slights that deeply troubled her. Building on Anzaldúa’s theory enables me to underscore her foundational contributions to queer theory. Second, the phrase “queer conocimiento” has intrigued me since 2004, when I first encountered it as I organized Anzaldúa’s manuscripts after her untimely death; since that day, queer conocimiento has called out to me, inviting me to explore and enact it. And third, queer conocimiento has its roots partially in Anzaldúa’s pre-Borderlandswork on “divine warriors,” “people of the purple ray,” and clairvoyant “facultades”–making it as foundational to spiritual activism as it is to queer theory.  As Anzaldúa explains in her 1982? conversation with Christine Weiland:

I call us “divine warriors” because we have to fight. But it’s not a physical fighting. It’s fighting with the spirit. To be healthy, you must awaken a sense of who you are and keep it strong and assert that you’re okay, that you’re not sick, that society–religion, political systems, morality, the movies, the media, the newspapers–that they’re all wrong and that you’re right. It takes tremendous energy, courage, and perseverance to keep that awareness awake. So you start tapping into your strength, your source of power. (Interviews/Entrevistas)

In what follows, I draw on Anzaldúa’s own life and writings to offer a preliminary definition and enactment of queer conocimiento. I interweave her views with mine, creating una teoría mestizaje.

Queer Conocimiento: Defined, Enacted

I define queer conocimiento as a fully embodied approach to living–to knowledge production and social change–that exposes, challenges, and transforms our status-quo stories about the world. Queer conocimiento emerges when difference meets resilience, occurs in dialogue with spirit, is situated in a completely ensouled world, includes psychic and other ‘nonordinary’ powers, and can be nurtured through specific strategies. Anzaldúa’s first use of the term illustrates many of these traits:

A queer conocimiento and a queer facultad are other ways of perceiving “normal” reality as well as other world realities . . . . I believe in the practice power and ability to communicate with spirits, that organic and inorganic life has an aware consciousness (“Spiritual Mestisaje”)

Anzaldúa anchors queer conocimiento in our everyday material reality while, simultaneously, challenging conventional perceptions of this reality by replacing Cartesian metaphysics with a mystical worldview.

We activate queer conocimiento by defying restrictive social scripts and nurturing our difference(s)–regardless of the rejection we might experience. As Anzaldúa asserts in “Queers of Color,” a 1999 lecture given at the University of California, Santa Cruz:

we have to turn away from: security, fitting in, [and] the orthodox way of doing things. We’re not just one of the guys, different only in who we have sex with.Knowing your difference will cost you. The consequences of living a queer life. Living with queerness is a choice. Living in a queer way contributes to community, nation, planet. Such a way of life has the power to change the world. Living queerly is political, it is spiritual, it is an immensely conscious way of life.

Queer conocimiento does not mindlessly celebrate being different/being queer but occurs knowingly, aware of the great costs involved. While Anzaldúa views our queer differencs as sacred gifts, she knows form her own experience that honoring and unfolding these gifts can be incredibly painful–on multiple levels. Yet for those of us queer folk who aspire to change the world, “[l]iving queerly” by heeding these differences is extremely worthwhile.

Queer conocimiento is embodied and accessed through the physical which can open us to the psychic. Thus in her 2001 manuscript, “Queer Conocimiento,” Anzaldúa associates it with “staying in your skin”–remaining present to our physical-material surroundings. She suggests that meditation “improves and increases body awareness” which, in turn, facilitates our recognition of the world’s ensouled nature, or what she describes as “the soul in everything.” And much earlier, in her 1981 unpublished manuscript, Esperando la serpiente con plumas/Waitng for the Feathered Serpent, Anzaldúa writes that the divine warrior develops this “new faculty of listening to the body” as a form of resistance to the overlapping forms of oppression she experiences “because she’s colored [sic], because she’s female and because she queer [sic]–all those multiple oppressions have put her thru [sic] hell’s fireand [sic] dark nights.”

            Queer conocimiento is dialogic in multiple ways and on multiple levels. As we enact queer conocimiento, we move through an ensouled world, in conversation with our surroundings–open and attentive to possible messages: When something calls out to us, we answer its call and trust the messages generated through our encounters. We do so because we know that reality is composed of multiple overlapping dimensions all created by and infused with spirit (energy/consciousness/force/the divine–call it what you will).

 When we perceive the world with queer conocimiento, the boundaries between worlds become porous. Anzaldúa explores this boundary blurring in many short stories, like “El paisano is a bird of good omen.” This 1982 short story beautifully illustrates queer conocimiento in both content and form. Set in south Texas, “El paisano” focuses on Andrea de la Cruz, a queer woman on the eve of her marriage to another queer, Zenobio. Andrea is queer in many ways: She defies conventional gender roles by speaking her mind and following her will, expressing her attraction to another woman, and doing a “man’s work” better than men; she has wild hennaed hair and a serpent companion, Víbora, who sleeps next to her. More importantly for my argument, Andrea has nonordinary, psychic powers (or what we could call magic); she can “tam[e] wild bulls and mad dogs,” choke a person simply by looking directly at their throat and causing them to gag; make thunder and lightning; communicate with reptiles and other nonhuman people; bilocate; merge with the trees, blur boundaries between herself and the land. Andrea’s magic keeps her safe from her neighbors’ suspicion and fears and gives her self-confidence.

 Although Andrea is a semi-fictional character, her powers are not. From its earliest pre-conceptualization, Anzaldúa associates queer conocimiento with clairvoyance and other psychic skills. Look for instance at Esperando la serpiente con plumas/Waiting for the Feathered Serpent, where Anzaldúa associates queers of color with (r)evolutionary development. In order to survive, she explains, marginally oppressed people sometimes develop additional skills that give us psychic powers, enabling us to read our surroundings more effectively:

We need to learn to read the meaning and significance of every event in our lives. We must see the hidden meaning or signature of every occurrence [sic]. Our survival is at stake. . . . What I’m talking about is political and personal CLAIRVOYANCE: the capacity to see in surface events, the meaning of deeper realities. (Dane Rudhyar, Cap. 29) We have developed an extra faculty, a sense that spots danger and ill winds in our streets and in our bedrooms.  We need to cultivate this “faculty.”

Queer conocimiento invites us to cultivate this nonordinary faculty and assures us that doing so awakens new knowledges and skills with which we can change the world.

An increasing number of queer folx are involved in this work: We access and activate queer conocimiento by embracing our differences (as divine messengers) and nurturing their wisdom.

A longer version of this piece was presented at the Anzaldúa Colloque in Paris, May 2019.

 

References

Anzaldúa, Gloria. “Esperando la Serpiente con Plumas (Waiting for the Feathered Serpent),” 1981-82. Box 78, Folder 9. Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers. Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin.

—. Interviews/Entrevistas, edited by AnaLouise Keating, Routledge, 2000.

—. “El paisano is a bird of good omen.” 1983. The Gloria Anzaldúa Reader, edited by AnaLouise Keating, Duke University Press, 2009.

—. “Queers of Color,” 1999. Box 112, Folder 26. Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers. Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin.

—. “Spiritual Mestisaje, An Other Way,” 1996, Box 64, Folder 27. Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers. Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin.

—. “Writing Notes I,” 1999. Box 102, Folder 3. Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa Papers. Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas, Austin.

Rudhyar, Dane. An Astrological Mandala: The Cycle of Transformations and its 360 Symbolic Phases, Vintage Books, 1973.

AnaLouise Keating is a bi qpoc womanist spiritual activist, yin yoga instructor, and professor and Ph.D. program director of multicultural women’s & gender studies at Texas Woman’s University. She worked extensively with Gloria Anzaldúa during her life and has edited several of Anzaldúa’s books, most recently, Light in the Dark/Luz en lo oscuro: Rewriting Identity, Spirituality, Reality.AnaLouise’s most recent book is Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change. Her lifework focuses on radical transformation, women-of-color theories, and transformational pedagogies. She can be reached at: analouisekeating@gmail.com

LOCs – Une fierté pour qui ? Une fierté pour quoi ?

Lesbiennes of color (LOCs) statement on the organisation of Pride in the French banlieues on 9 June 2019

Statement issued on 6 June 2019

Une fierté pour qui ? Une fierté pour quoi ? De l’opportunisme des alliances et de la visibilité

En réponse à l’appel pour une première « marche des Fiertés en banlieue », le 9 juin 2019, à Saint-Denis

Nous LOCs – Lesbiennes of color avons pour certaines grandi en banlieue, y vivons actuellement, y travaillons, y luttons, ou nous y réfugions, notamment à Saint-Denis où aura lieu la première marche des Fiertés en banlieue. Cette marche proposée par une association dont le but est, entre autres, de donner « une meilleure image de la ville de Saint-Denis » nous interroge.

Pourquoi et comment mener des alliances avec des associations institutionnalisées, telles que l’inter- LGBT ou SOS homophobie, qui n’ont aucune connaissance de nos vies, de nos enjeux, de nos manières de vivre ? Nous ne pouvons accepter que Saint-Denis soit la vitrine d’un pinkwashing à la française qui derrière une pseudo-visibilité laisse intactes les conséquences des politiques racistes, sexistes et capitalistes, qui broient la vie de nos familles, de nos communautés, de nos ami.e.s et camarades, ici et ailleurs. Dans cette façon d’investir Saint-Denis et LA banlieue, nous ne pouvons voir autre chose qu’un désir de s’acheter une bonne conscience et, par la même occasion, l’histoire de nos luttes. Nous sommes actrices de nos espaces et de nos stratégies, nous accordons une grande importance à l’héritage et à la transmission de nos luttes et analyses, c’est pourquoi nous n’oublions pas le coq français fièrement représenté sur la première affiche de la Marche parisienne de 2011, proposé par l’inter-LGBT. Depuis cette proposition aux relents racistes, sexistes, nationalistes voire pétainistes, nous n’avons pas vu l’inter-LGBT s’élever publiquement contre un racisme décomplexé, ni même le combattre activement en son propre sein. Alors pourquoi venir nous donner des leçons d’intersectionnalité à Saint-Denis ?

Nous Lesbiennes of color refusons que cette marche soit un signe de plus envoyé par la Mairie aux gentrifieurs de tous bords faisant de nos quartiers des opportunités pour familles homoparentales blanches et aisées au détriment des lesbiennes précaires qui ne se sentent pas moins en sécurité ici que dans Paris où elles sont contrôlées, agressées, harcelées, mais aussi exotisées, dépolitisées, ignorées ou invisibilisées. La Mairie finance cet événement, mais où se trouve donc l’argent quand il s’agit de nous loger dans des appartements décents ou simplement de ne pas nous y laisser mourir et de nous reloger quand nos immeubles s’effondrent ou brûlent ? Nos vies lesbiennes devraient être fières d’avoir des lits confortables pour accueillir dignement nos compagnes, nos familles et nos ami.e.s réfugié.e.s.

Être visibles le samedi 9 juin, mais avec quels objectifs et quelles conséquences pour nos luttes, nos communautés et nos sœurs qui ne sont pas protégées tout le reste de l’année ? Nos expériences de vie sont celles de lesbiennes issues des migrations post-coloniales, exilées, réfugiées, prises dans des réseaux communautaires et familiaux de solidarités complexes qui ne sauraient être réduites à la seule rhétorique du coming-out et de la visibilité publique. Nous luttons pour accompagner des lesbiennes réfugiées et contre les fascismes qui restreignent nos vies. Nous savons comment et quand être visibles, nous n’avons attendu aucune autorisation pour nous organiser, pour bâtir des espaces safe et construire des solidarités internationales. Depuis des années nous résistons et prouvons nos richesses, nos forces dans les combats que nous menons, dans un réseau alliant de nombreux collectifs dionysiens et au-delà, bien loin du désintérêt total que ces associations ont à l’égard de nos vies en dehors de leurs codes et de leurs espaces. À qui une parade apporte-t-elle de la valeur, in fine ? Toujours aux mêmes. Ceux qui savent la valoriser dans des dossiers de financement dont l’argent ne sert en rien nos intérêts.

Organiser une fête au 6B dans la foulée de cette marche, lieu gentrifié repéré comme n’ayant aucun lien avec le reste de la ville, où la plupart des personnes dites racisé.e.s sont à la sécurité ou à la cuisine et où les personnes LGBTQI racisées dionysiennes ne sont pas accueillies, dans la mesure où les évènements sont pensés la plupart du temps pour des fêtard.e.s et consommateurs de culture qui ne connaissent de Saint-Denis que sa gare, sa basilique et ses quartiers malfamés, nous semble révélateur. La Mairie, qui finance cette marche, et les associations qui l’appuient ne se soucient guère de l’absence totale d’espaces pour les communautés LGBTQI des banlieues ségréguées. Les LGBTQI racisé.e.s, notamment celles et ceux vivant dans ces banlieues, n’échappent pas au racisme, à l’islamophobie, aux violences policières et à la chasse aux migrant.e.s. Nous ne pouvons pas lutter sans prendre en compte ce contexte. Aucun mot non plus dans l’appel diffusé par les organisateurs de cette marche sur le sexisme qui traverse tous les lieux où nous sommes, que les associations de lutte contre l’homophobie devraient pourtant, à force, prendre en compte, ni sur le capitalisme sauvage qui nous oppresse et nous empêche de nous épanouir quand il ne nous empêche pas tout simplement de vivre. Nous regrettons sincèrement ces alliances hasardeuses dont nous savons que les maigres fruits seront volés.

Nous n’y voyons qu’une logique de kit pinkwashing clé en main – comment le voir autrement ? Nos corps lesbiens sont peut-être invisibles et inaudibles pour beaucoup, mais nous continuerons à nous battre en cohérence avec nos vécus et les quartiers dans lesquels nous vivons, car comme le dit bell hooks « les marges sont à la fois un lieu imposé par les structures oppressives mais aussi un espace de radicale possibilité et de résistance ».

Soyons radicales et ne soyons pas dupes : tout ce qui est fait sans nous ne peut être fait pour nous !

Le 6 juin 2019
Groupe LOCs – Lesbiennes of colorespace.locs@gmail.com


Présentation du groupe LOCs

 

Créé en 2009, LOCs (Lesbiennes Of Color) est un groupe non mixte dans une lutte intersectionnelle : racisme, lesbophobie et sexisme. Composé de lesbiennes politiques exilées, réfugiées, issues des migrations post coloniales, qui ont en commun l’histoire des colonisations, la mémoire de l’esclavage et les luttes contre les politiques migratoires gouvernementales et le néolibéralisme, le groupe LOCs est autonome, féministe et solidaire.

 

Avec ce texte, nous voulons apporter un point de vue lesbien politique of color qui nous représente, dans une volonté de bâtir des luttes communes qui ne soient pas sous l’ombre de ce qui nous paraît être une énième forme de tutelle, de main mise ou de récupération. L’autonomie politique de nos luttes est un combat éreintant et nous avons un rapport de force à créer. Nous interrogeons la stratégie mise en place à Saint- Denis mais nous soutenons clairement la visibilité de nos sœurs, frères, camarades et ami.e.s of color LGBTQI. A aucun moment nous ne remettons en question les stratégies individuelles légitimes mais le fait que l’organisation d’une marche des fiertés relève d’une stratégie politique institutionnelle. Contre les attaques subies par les camarades qui organisent la marche, nous serons évidemment toujours solidaires. Loin de nous l’idée de se désolidariser de luttes que nous avons en commun.

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Karim Benbélache – SOS Homophobie hors de nos cités !

SOS Homophobie hors de nos cités !

Intervention de Karim Benbélache lors du premier Decolonial Café de DSN à Paris, le 19 mai 2019.

En 2010 Marine Le Pen déclarait, dans sa parole logiquement raciste ” Dans certains quartiers, j’entends de plus en plus souvent qu’il il ne fait pas bon être femme, ni homosexuel, ni juif, ni même français ou blanc… “, stigmatisant une fois de plus les habitant.e.s des quartiers populaires non blanc.he.s d’être notamment plus sexiste et homophobe qu’ailleurs. Depuis l’idée a germé. En décembre 2018 l’association SOS homophobie annonce sa volonté de s’implanter dans ces mêmes quartiers se justifiant de statistiques floues de la dilcrah de cas d’agressions et donc se faisant le relais de la parole raciste du plus important mouvement de l’extrême droite française.

SOS Homophobie, moi pédé arabe je ne veux pas de vous dans mon quartier populaire racisé, je ne veux pas de votre universalisme blanc, de vos leçons paternalistes et donc colonialistes sur nos droits, sur nos sexualités et nos identités ni que tout cela serve à gonfler vos rapports, vos chiffres et donne de bons points à vos dirigeants blancs pour qu’ils trouvent de bonnes places dans les institutions telle que la DILCRAH soi-disant antiraciste mais qui consent aux politiques racistes islamophobes, aux lois cyniques telle que la loi dite “asile et immigration” qui dramatise la situation des réfugié.e.s des pays postcoloniaux et dans lesquels la France intervient militairement, des politiques de préférence nationale imposées aux étudiants étrangers, du passage de l’état d’urgence dans le droit commun, du refus de mettre fin aux politiques de répression, des contrôles au faciès, de violences policières dans nos cités et de l’impunité de ces mêmes policiers.

Ce ne sont pas vos “token” vos personnes racisées LGBT centrés sur une homophobie soi-disant plus importante “en banlieue pauvre” dont on ne peut prouver une réelle existence mais dont le sport favori semble être de cracher sur les minorités fragilisées auxquelles ils appartiennent. Voici donc que ces tokens là jamais ne dénoncent les politiques racistes, les inégalités, sociales et ne développent aucune analyse pertinente de l’homophobie dont ils font aussi l’objet pas plus que SOS Homphobie apparemment. Au final jamais les LGBTI racisées des quartiers populaires ne seront convaincus de la légitimité de ces vendus et des associations LGBT dites républicaines à faire accepter l’instrumentalisation de nos identités et de nos sexualités à des fins stigmatisantes et donc discriminantes.

Nous queer racisé.e.s sommes aussi des héritiers des luttes décoloniales et antiracistes, de la guerre d’Algérie jusqu’aux collectifs queer antiracistes et décoloniaux autonomes en passant par la marche de l’égalité de 1983, nous savons nous auto-organiser et nous auto-gérer pour lutter ensemble contre les LGBTphobies que nous vivons au quotidien et pour l’essentiel loin de nos cités mais d’abord dans nos emplois : de l’entretien d’embauche aux journées de travail, face à la police, face à la justice, dans les prisons, face au corps médical, face aux institutions scolaires de l’école républicaine à la fac, face aux agents de pôle emploi, face aux assistantes sociales de secteur, face à l’OFPRA et enfin dans les beaux quartiers, terrain et terreau de l’extrême droite et de la manif pour tous, où il ne fait pas bon y être pauvre, noir.e, arabe, pédé, gouine ou trans.

Nous considérerons toujours qu’au coté de la résistance contre les LGBTQIphobies il y a dans nos priorités les luttes antiracistes, féministes, écologiques et sociales. Ne nous libérez pas, on s’en charge.

SOS homophobie hors de nos cités !

 

Karim Benbélache, 41 ans, bisexuel, militant Queer et Antiraciste. Il habite le Kremlin Bicêtre et a passé toute sa vie en banlieue sud de Paris. De formation école de commerce mais discriminé à l’emploi il a passé sa vie active à survivre avec le RSA.