LONDON TRANS PRIDE: THE MARCH @Voices4Ldn “On September 14th, history will be made as thousands of trans+ people and allies line the streets of London for the first time, in the name of trans visibility and equality. The event is being organised by trans-activist group @wearetransmissions and you can follow @londontranspride for any updates." Swipe ⏩ to check all the details and see you then, we will be there🦞 📸: @poppythewitch
Today, @Voices4Ldn attended a Kiss-In and Vigil in Parliament Square. Protesting the 150% increase in LGBTQI+ hate crimes in the UK between 2014 and 2018, the action was called by Queer Power, the Gay Liberation Front, and other London-based queer activist groups. Visit Voices4 London and @HelloMyNameIsWednesday’s Instagram Stories to hear a recap of the action and view more photos. REPOST from @Voices4Ldn: @ellen__jones writes "There was a time that I couldn’t hold a girls hand when out in public out of fear of abuse. I would like to say that I don’t have to live in fear anymore, but given that anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime has risen 150% in recent years, it is hard to be anything but terrified. Our current prime minister is known to be homophobic, sexist, racist and yet still he leads this country, still he grows and grows in power whilst more and more people are threatened by his governance and the rule of the Conservative party. But the rise in anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is far from new and far from being specific to this country. Across the world right now LGBTQ+ are facing persecution from both their own governments as well as from individuals and organised groups. Despite all of this, I still have some hope left. Maybe it’s because I know that battles have been fought and won in the past that mean I can acknowledge my queerness in public without fear of being arrested, that when I am older any children I have won’t be taken from me by the state because I am gay, that I will able to be myself at work, in education, when at the hospital. We cannot forget that these were not so within my parents lifetime. LGBTQ+ faced all of these things in living memory and continue to face discrimination, particularly if they are trans, a person of colour, a person of faith or an immigrant. Right now I am somehow more scared than I have ever been and more hopeful than I have ever been. Bigots want us to be scared, to hide away and if I can guarantee one thing, it is that we are not going anyways. We are here, we are queer, we are fabulous, don’t fuck with us. Queer love & strength, always 🌈🌈🌈 " . 📸: @hellomynameiswednesday
Join our British chapter @Voices4Ldn and stand up against Queerphobia and anti-Queer violence THIS FRIDAY at a Kiss-In and Vigil in Westminster. Queer lives are under attack, and now is the time to act. For more information, see below or follow @Voices4Ldn. Photo by @mattxiv From @Voices4Ldn: WHEN – Friday 16th August 2019 5.30-7PM WHERE – Parliament Square, London WHY – There has been a nearly 150% increase in anti-LGBT hate crime in the UK between 2014 and 2018. Reports have been growing of LGBT-phobic attacks all over the UK, including London. Two thirds of LGBT+ people are wary of showing affection to their same-sex partners in public. Protests against diversity in education have been seen outside schools in Birmingham, and this is spreading. These attacks are legitimised by the attitudes and actions of mainstream politicians. We have an unelected prime minister who calls gay men bum-boys and appoints a cabinet full of homophobes and racists. Boris Johnson is not a lone bigot leading a nation. Trump’s first action as US president was to ban trans people from the military. Bolsonaro’s thugs murder LGBT people in Brazil as he declares he would rather have a dead son than a gay son. Putin’s death camps for LGBT people are an international horror. Italy, Hungary, Turkey and Poland are also seeing rising state and street attacks on LGBT people. Speakers so far, more TBC: @ejel_khan n, Muslim LGBT Network Jaroslaw Kubiak Polish Rainbow in th UK, Polish LGBT Network Michael Dance, National Educaiton Union LGBT+ National Organising Forum Officer (personal capacity) Sean Dewey, organising committee, @waltham.forest.pride @ashley_joiner – film-maker ACCESS: Parliament Square Gardens are an open area adjacent to Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. The surfaces are level and provide for easy wheelchair access. Westminster is a step free station and is 50 metres away. St James park is 1/2 mile away. We are operating in an area opposite parliament that is usually heavily policed.
“The excitement of so many young, queer, politically-minded people in one space was real joy, like coming home... Shaved heads, contour, chains, mesh, glitter, glasses, no make-up. The group was made up of all kinds of people, with all kinds of ways of expressing themselves. Far from homogenous, these were kids who needed to do something, needed to show up for others and had finally been given the opportunity by Voices4.” Words and photos by @antonioperricone , our brilliant summer intern for @Wonderland. In July 2019, @Voices4Ldn launched at London Pride, protesting the increasing commercialisation of the parade. Visit the link in our bio to read the full article, and visit @Voices4Ldn to keep up on upcoming meetings and events. Also thank you Antonio for your incredible work this summer. We’ll see you soon!
“My body was blue, purple. My heart was broken. My life was broken. I lost family, friends, career. Everything.” Amin Dzhabrailov in Time on being detained in the 2017 purge of Gay Chechnians. ————————————————————— Amin Dzhabrailov was one of an unknown number of queer people rounded up by Chechen law enforcement officers in 2017 in a strong crackdown that was condemned internationally. He is also the first of the victims to describe in detail the conditions of his persecution in a recent conversation with Time. Reports have estimated that more than 100 queer people were arrested, held without trial, and tortured, with at least three dying from their injuries. Condemnation by European agencies and international human rights organisations quickly followed initial reports of arrests, but the purges have never been acknowledged by Chechen or Russian government officials. Purges continued throughout 2017, and again in 2018 and early 2019. Dzhabrailov was working as a hair stylist in Chechnya when he was arrested on suspicions of homosexuality. Police brought him to his house and forced him to reveal passwords to his laptop and phone, trying to find evidence of homosexual interactions or intentions to meet other men for sex. Dzhabrailov was then tortured and imprisoned with 25 other men in a small room. He was frequently beaten and electrically shocked by authorities, who demanded he give them the name of other gay men. When he refused, he was forced to hard labour, tortured, and held for two weeks without trial contact with his family. At the end of the two weeks, he was forcibly outed to his family, where they were encouraged to execute him as an honour killing, minimising any shame his homosexuality would bring to the family. After being released, Dzhabrailov moved to Moscow, but found the Chechen community too close knit to feel safe. He then moved to St. Petersburg, where he faced similar problems. With the help of the Russian LGBT Network, who were helping victims of the purge, and Rainbow Railroad, a Canadian organisation which helps queer people in dangerous political climates emigrate to safer countries, Dzhabrailov emigrated to Canada.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced,” James Baldwin, who was born on this day in 1924, reflecting on racial inequality and the future of Black people in America. James Baldwin, author, activist, songwriter, poet, and gay man, was born on August 2, 1924 in Harlem, where he spent much of his youth. Born into a poor family and raised by his mother and stepfather, whom he considered his father, Baldwin spent much of his time in libraries reading, writing, and escaping his stepfather’s abuse. He published his first piece of writing when he was 13, reflecting on the change Harlem had undergone in the years he had lived there. Starting when he was 10, Baldwin was frequently the subject of torment and abuse at the hands of the NYPD, which continued throughout his teenage and adolescent years. Around the same time, Baldwin began to write plays for his elementary school, which his teachers took notice of. Baldwin was taken to stage productions around New York City by his elementary school teacher, to the annoyance of his father who disapproved of his son spending time with a white teacher. When Bandwin was 24, he emigrated to Paris to escape the racism he encountered in America, as well as being motivated by his realisation of his identity as a gay man. Baldwin lived in France for most of his adult life, maintaining a wide circle of friends, including Nall, Sidney Poitier, Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and Ray Charles. Baldwin wrote several songs for Charles throughout their friendship. Perhaps his best known work, Giovanni’s Room made Baldwin the centre of much controversy regarding the novel’s explicitly homoerotic content. Many of Baldwin’s other works also included queer and Black characters. Baldwin was a fierce advocate for desegregation and racial equality for Black people in the American South, and returned to America in the summer of 1957 to interview activists in the South, including Martin Luther King Jr., leading to two published essays.
“If any member of our community is being oppressed then so are all of us. None of us are free until we’re all free. Voices4 is a way of tackling that.” - @queerasfxck Click the link in our bio to read our feature in @dazed following the launch of @voices4ldn with words by @antonioperricone and photos by @poppythewitch !!! 🌈
At the #RadicalQueerMarch we took part in a die-in staged by @voices4berlin Die-ins have historically been used as a form of peaceful protest wherein participants simulate being dead. They’ve been used by a variety of protest groups for issues ranging from animal rights, anti-war, human rights, gun control, climate change and most notably AIDS. Thirty years ago, at the height of the AIDS crisis, Act Up staged a die-in during Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Manhattan. Participants lay in the aisle, on the church steps, chained themselves to pews, disrupting the ritual to draw attention to an issue that was, for them, literally a case of life and death. Follow @voices4berlin for more! Photography by @coraefhamilton
@voices4berlin have begun ✊🏼✊🏾✊🏿 We had an AMAZING time marching at #RadicalQueerMarch this weekend alongside our family @voices4berlin It’s so inspiring to meet other members of the queer community around the world who care about making change and fighting violence against queer and trans* people! Follow @voices4berlin for updates on our newest chapter and to see how you can get involved. Brilliant photography by @coraefhamilton #CSDBERLIN #Voices4 #Voices4Berlin
”4 days have passed. The killer is currently among us, the police is inactive. No defendants. Still no suspects.” - @ssvetski This week, Russian LGBTQ+ activist Yelena Grigoryeva was murdered outside her apartment in St. Petersburg. Grigoryeva had been singled out by the Russian anti-LGBTQ website “SAW”, which, inspired by the horror film franchise of the same name, encourages people to “hunt” and torture people who they suspect to be members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Grigoryeva had sounded the alarm to law enforcement following multiple death threats but was met with little response. Only a few days later, Russian social media star Zhenya Svetski @ssvetski has gone public about a number of threats sent to him and ten other people, including beauty youtuber @andrewpetrov1 , claiming to be inspired by the information shared on the ‘SAW’ website. The site was shut down by the government this week - a move which has happened before only for it to be reinstated days later. They threats have promised to kill him in the same time frame that saw Grigoryeva murdered. The police, to whom Svetski has reported the incident, are yet to take things seriously, leaving Svetski and his fellow out LGBTQ+ folk with no option but to encourage one another and their followers to write to the government in the UK, the FSB, and the prosecutor's office in the hope of some kind of action. At the time of writing, no one has been prosecuted and the investigative commitee dealing with Grigoryeva’s murder are trying to claim that it was the result of a domestic conflict as opposed to having any connection to the “SAW” website nor the multiple death threats made against her. #ZhenyaSvetsky #YelenaGrigoryeva #russialgbt #lgbtrussia #StopSAW #ОстановитьПилу
J’glam from our Madrid meet up!!
One of our Berlin meetups will be at the Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism in the Tiergarten. We are thrilled to say that we will be joined by Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset @elmgreenanddragsetstudio who designed the memorial. They will talk to us about their experience with the project. See you there 5:30PM this Friday - bring blankets and snacks. Big thank you to @jobpiston ____________ The memorial is a concrete structure in the shape of a Cuboid, with a small recessed viewing area which shows rotating videos of men kissing men and women kissing women. ____________ Homosexual victims under Nazi rule were not acknowledged for 40 years. After the fall of the Third Reich, Section 175 remained in effect, without modification, in West Germany until 1969. Homosexual men also continued to be persecuted and punished in East Germany. Germany did not acknowledge that gay men had been victims of the Holocaust until the 1980s, and did not issue a formal apology to the queer community until 2002. In 1992, calls for a memorial to gay victims of the Holocaust arose in Germany, with activists feeling that the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe only perpetuated the erasure of queer victims. In 2002, the Bundestag voted to allow those who were persecuted for being gay in the Holocaust to claim reparations, and in 2003 plans to build a memorial to the gay male victims of the Holocaust commenced. The memorial was unveiled in 2008, and subsequently vandalised several times that year.
Now more than ever we must support @lgbtnetru The Russian Lgbt Network ________ FROM NBC OUT: “Yelena Grigoryeva sounded the alarm after her name appeared on a website that offered prizes for attacking gays. Days later, she was dead.” _________ Yelena Grigoryeva, a queer Russian activist, was murdered in St. Petersburg on Sunday night. Grigoryeva had been the target of numerous death threats, and last week found her name on a Russian snuff website that encouraged the killings of queer people in exchange for money. Grigoryeva was an active member of the Russia queer rights group Alliance of Heterosexuals and LGBT for Equality in Moscow. Grigoryeva reported the website to law enforcement last week, but no efforts were made to protect her. St. Petersburg authorities deemed the threat and the post on the snuff website to not be credible threats, thus not posing a risk to Grigoryeva’s life. Authorities also failed to take down the snuff site or protect others listed on the hit lists.
As @joao_konst prepares for the Voices meeting in Berlin TONIGHT we are thinking of Audre Lorde and their frequent trips to Germany. Our Voices intern explains “This is a picture of Audre Lorde giving a reading in Munich, 1987, by Daniela Tourkazi. Years after the Stonewall riots and the first CSD March in Berlin, Audre Lorde travelled to Germany every year for weeks and months at a time, to give readings and to gain inspiration. For Lorde, the personal was political, and she was acutely aware of her outsider status in the hetero/white dominant Western culture of America and Europe. Known for being one of the first theorists and writers to really analyse the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, and class, Lorde was adamant about the necessity of confrontation and action against injustice as opposed to contentedly holding a mere disapproval of it. As CSD month approaches we want to share this image with you and remember one of the foremost players in queer history and progression, who also had personal ties with Germany and Berlin especially. Check out Lorde’s “Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference” (1980) to get a closer look at the game-changing thinking that laid foundations for much of the intersectional approach to oppresion that so many of us value today. #audrelorde #christopherstreetday #intersectionality #sisteroutsider
VOICES4 BERLIN MEETING THURSDAY!! In 1979, 10 years after Stonewall, the Christopher Street Day Parade was held in Berlin to commemorate the efforts of queer rioters in New York. Now, 50 years later, Voices 4 are launching in Berlin! JOIN US for our first meeting as we create a new direct action activism group fighting for queer liberation. We’ll see you at 8pm on Thursday 18th July in the ‘New York’ room for emancipatory projects at Kunstraum Bethanien. Marianneplatz 2a, Kreuzberg. If you’re fed up with global violence against and the oppression of queer people, come and take part! Photograph: The Inaugural CSD Berlin Parade (Berlin Pride), 1979 by Vedant Anke-Rixa Hansen. Hit up @joao_konst with any and all questions!
@voices4london LONDON MEETING THURSDAY!! After our first beautiful meet up at London Pride two weeks ago, Voices 4 London are having one of our first meetings in two days! Come along to The Outside Project, 42-44 Roseberry Avenue, Farringdon, London, EC1R 4RX, at 7pm, Thursday 18th July to get involved. MASSIVE love to our wonderful friends @lgbtiqoutside for letting us share their space and for setting such a great example for community work in London. We can’t wait to see you all there! Photo and graphic by @antonioperricone
Folks! The @voices4london account has officially opened😍 If you’re UK based and want to get involved in our next actions and be part of this amazing movement make sure to follow the LDN account. More instructions will be on there on how to get involved! Anyhow our next meeting will be on the 18th of July, 7pm at the Outside Project @lgbtiqoutside ✊🏻✊🏽✊🏿 📸 by @queerasfxck