Keep it Radical
…fighting for a Pride event made
for all of us
by all of us.
Speaking of normativity, it stinks of human flesh.
Keep it radical, against attempts to impose constructed, normative role models.
Keep it radical, when they try to squeeze your sexuality into pre-conceived molds.
Keep it radical, against toxic masculinity lest rape culture take over.
Keep it radical in the face of disability. Disabled people deserve respect, not mercy!
Keep it radical, when immigrants and refugees are presented as “an issue”. They are people oppressed by the same system as you and me.
Keep it radical, when the state and the majority of society discriminates in favor of the white citizen, the male, the native, the wealthy, the christian, the able-bodied, the straight, the cisgender*. We demand a society without prejudice, privilege, patriarchy and oppression.
This is not a fight from scratch. There has been much ground gained in asserting human rights and much public debate on lgbtqia+ issues. Yet, patriarchy still prevails in our everyday lives and a large part of society seems to be taking a step backwards. The gender binary, heterosexuality and all forms of normativity are enforced and anyone non-conforming is condemned and marginalized.
Stereotypes concerning identity, gender expression and sexuality are becoming the norm.
Widely promoted beauty standards are limited to cisgender people of (mostly) white color with specific features and proportions.
To us, altering the public conscience to accept diversity is key to a society of free people. After all, a painting is only made valuable by each unique stroke. We oppose all that is constructed and imposed, while debating issues that bring us out of our comfort zone, but allow us to move past a demand for institutional rights and envision human relationships as the epicenter of society.
*Cisgender: term for someone who identifies as their sex assigned at birth.
RADical Pride under harsh conditions
The world is in turmoil. Donald Trump elected US president, Marine Le Pen getting a lot of support in the recent French elections, far-right parties gaining ground all across Europe, increasing fascist attacks against minority groups are the reality. The clock is ticking. The time to act is now!
In Greece, despite the lgbtqia+ movement’s many achievements, there is no shortage of homophobic and transphobic incidents. Not a day goes by without a woman falling victim to sexism or being sexually abused –verbally or physically. The financial crisis deteriorates and the memorandums signed by the Greek government put an extra burden on our shoulders. We might be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual but at the same time we are, at best, working under precarious conditions or, at worst, we are unemployed. Meanwhile, refugees in Greece remain “imprisoned” in camps under inhumane conditions, faced with aggression from fascists and exploitation.
The recent bill -still under revision- proposed by the Greek administration concerning trans people looks, at first glance, like a step forward in simplifying the current legal status concerning gender expression and transitioning, without prior demand for medical intervention and psychiatric evaluation. However, according to the same proposal, a court order is required in each case, in opposition to trans activist demands for a simple request at the registry office, as is the case in several other countries. It also puts in effect a precondition of adulthood, thus excluding underage trans people, and puts married trans people in a dilemma of choosing between either their married life or their desired identity. Not surprisingly, intersex people remain invisible, not mentioned anywhere in the bill.
Under these conditions, the RADical Pride is more relevant than ever. It is the moment where we pull ourselves together. We have taken small steps, we have conquered many rights, but none of it should be taken for granted. It is about time we realize that change will not come by someone else, that there are no “experts” to help with what concerns all of us. The power lies within us, lgbtqia+ individuals, to overturn the system and shape our future.
Under these conditions, it is vital that the community take part in organizing the event in every city. Why should our Pride be put together by closed committees and corporations? Why should the community be almost entirely excluded from the process? Why should companies, corporations, embassies and consulates have more say in our Pride than ourselves?
As members of the community, but as individuals as well, we need to fight for our very existence. Under the current state of affairs, you and I need to step forward! We need to take part in open meetings, utilizing democratic processes where everyone can freely express themselves, independent from institutions, funds and sponsorships. It may be challenging, but we need to be bold and speak up.
Normativity stinks of the human flesh and blood of those who feel left out of society, of the community, of even from Pride. Our Pride, RADical Pride, is for all those who feel left out, who feel the need to express their true selves. It is for all those whose multiple identities result in multiple forms of oppression. Women, people with disabilities, bisexuals, transsexuals, polyamorous, refugees, atheists, the elderly. Some of these topics we will discuss in an attempt to look behind “the veil”. Workshops on feminism, the migrant crisis and lgbtqia+ refugees, screenings regarding disability, discussions on prohibiting homosexuals from donating blood, photography exhibitions and many more events will take place during the two days of the first alternative pride event in Thessaloniki.
The price of being different
Turkish trans activist Hande Kader paid the highest price for daring to question the normative system. In August 2016, after many long months of protests by trans people in Turkey, she was raped and burned alive. The system judged her voice too loud to be heard.
RADical Pride, the 1st community-organized event in Thessaloniki, is dedicated to Hande Kader’s memory.
We will march on the streets where she was denied.
We will shout in the voice of which she was deprived.
We are confident that our steps and our voices will mix with hers.
From Thessaloniki to Turkey, a cry for freedom and equality
1st community-organized Thessaloniki Pride
for LGBTQIA+ rights and Gender/Sexuality liberation