The first pride was not just a riot, it was a queer uprising against police brutality and state violence led by trans women of color, working class queers, sex workers, and young people. What is pride then? It is a collective celebration of queer and trans resistance and rebellion in all its forms. This is the pride we choose to honor and celebrate.
This year, we take the streets in solidarity with our queer and trans kin living in limbo, in the asylum system, locked up in refugee camps.
The rise of the far right, their increase in power and platform to spew hate and homonationalistic rhetoric, has been streamlining hateful agendas in the public debates. We will not stand for the use of queer liberation politics to uphold the idea that Europe’s safety is on the line, demonizing migrants and refugees, where they are scapegoated under an image of the dangerous “other”.
Our liberation will not be co-opted by far right nationalism. We don’t buy into the narrative of progress, it is old and it has been killing us for hundreds of years.
The European Union is investing billions of euros in the name of safety, to keep people away, to let them drown, and to let them suffocate in containers. In addition, the EU also invests in abusive regimes that imprison, enslave, and torture people at the periphery of their colonial and imperial sites of despair. Europe is constructed on the dying bodies of people trying to cross its borders.
Due to the Dutch reputation of being a liberal state, safe haven for gay and queer people, many queer people apply for asylum here. For the ones that are lucky enough to survive impossible conditions and make it here, they will be facing inhumane conditions in the refugee camps, brutal mistreatment from the IND asylum procedures, and violence from COA and their straight, cis peers with whom they have to live in close quarters once they arrive.
For whom is this place really safe?
When it comes to LGBTQI+ rights, the Netherlands promotes itself as being progressive. Consecutive Dutch governments have been using this “tolerance” politic promoting pinkwashing images doing soft diplomacy and business on behalf of big corporations in many places around the world for decades.
They wrap their neocolonial structures and exploitation in rainbow flags, structures that have left lands uninhabitable and render lives impossible all over the world, forcing people to flee their countries in search of a better life.
We call on our communities to come out and join in solidarity to the fight of abolishing all the structures that exploit and dehumanize our migrant and refugee kin.
Refugees’ and migrants’ lives are a queer issue!
Dignity is a queer issue!
Happiness is a queer issue!
Resisting the binary is a queer issue!
Anti-colonization is a queer issue!
Mental health is a queer issue!
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