Thursday, 28 November 2013

Israel/Palestine: Eight Questions Palestinian Queers Are Tired Of Hearing

You might think that the main goal of a group of queer activists in Palestine like us in Al-Qaws should be the seemingly endless task of dismantling sexual and gender hierarchy in one’s own society.

It is. But you might think otherwise, judging from the repetitive questions we get during our lectures and events, or from inquiries we receive from media and other international organizations.

We intend to end this once and for all. Educating people about their own privilege is not our burden. But before we announce our formal retirement from this task, here are the eight most frequent questions we get, and their definitive answers...

Ghaith Hilal, The Electronic Intifada.

Here are the questions...

1. Doesn’t Israel provide Palestinian queers with a safe haven?

2. Aren’t all Palestinians homophobic?

3. How do you deal with your main enemy, Islam?

4. Are there any out Palestinians?

5. Why are there no Israelis in al-Qaws?

6. I saw this film about gay Palestinians (Invisible Men/Bubble/

Out In The Dark, etc.) and I feel I learned a lot about your struggle

7. Isn’t fighting for gay rights a more pressing issue than pinkwashing?

8. Why do you use terms from “the West” like LGBT or queer to describe your struggle? How do you answer that critique?

• Photo: Graffiti in Ramallah reads “Queers passed through here.” (Image courtesy of Al-Qaws).

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