feature image photo by NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images
Did you know you can fax your representatives to demand an immediate ceasefire? It is free and easy to do.
Queer as in F*ck You
Witnessing Gaza Through Instagram. Zaina Arafat, the queer Palestinian American author who wrote my favorite novel of 2020, has penned an essay about following various Palestinian journalists and writers on Instagram who are on the ground in Gaza, bearing witness to Israel’s genocidal violence and making sure the world sees and hears. Arafat writes on the complexities of being a Palestinian American living in the States:
Since the assault began, I’ve spent my days yelling, crying, sharing, fundraising, and continuing on as normal. Bouts of activism interspersed with the daily life of a working mother in Brooklyn. I’ve taught my writing classes as usual without once mentioning Palestine. I’ve walked by the doxing vans and tried to shake off my disgust before entering the classroom. I’ve read at fundraisers and found my voice shaking, eyes burning, even though I’d chosen to read something with levity. Pain in writing can be hilarious, the author Geoff Dyer once told me. As a Palestinian, I’ve held on to that. I’ve gone to action-oriented meetings to organize. I’ve also gone to a dog Halloween-costume contest with my wife and our 1-year-old daughter. I’ve taken her to Tunes for Tykes. That I can grieve and protest, attend vigils and fundraisers, and still plan a birthday party for my daughter is a duality that is impossible to sit with. “Everything normal right now is obscene,” I heard Israeli journalist Amira Hass say early on in the war, and it’s true. Even sitting down to articulate this moment feels obscene.
And here is a piece written by a journalist on the ground for Al Jazeera in Gaza: “The Only Thing Keeping Me Standing Is the Suffering I’m Seeing”: Being a Journalist in Gaza.
Why Queer and Trans People Need To Resist Pinkwashing. Queer and trans author Kai Cheng Thom wrote this piece for Xtra:
The deceptive logic of pinkwashing argues that queer and trans people, and all of our allies, ought to support Israel’s actions as a matter of our own self-preservation, an argument entrenched in Islamophobic and anti-Arab propaganda that claims Arabs and Muslims are inherently homophobic and violent. This style of propaganda that has been intensely present in the cultural sphere of the Global North since the so-called “War On Terrorism” began in 2001. Notably, this argument seems increasingly popular even among individuals who themselves are no great supporters of LGBTQ+ rights.
LGBTQ authors K-Ming Chang, Torrey Peters, and Fatimah Asghar are among the signatories of this statement of solidarity from One World authors calling on President Biden to demand the release of arrested activist Ahed Tamimi:
Saw This, Thought of You
Also about Mosab’s abduction: Celebrated Palestinian Poet Mosab Abu Toha Reportedly Seized in Gaza. “One may wonder why Israel would kidnap a poet. The answer, though painful, is simple. In its genocidal war against Palestinians, Israel seeks to erase not only Palestinian lives but also their culture and heritage.”
This Palestinian Group Has an Urgent Request for Theater Companies Around the World. The group is asking people to perform The Gaza Monologues on November 29, 2023.
Another journalist has been killed by Israeli forces. Belal Jadallah, the “Godfather of Palestinian Journalism,” Has Been Killed in Gaza. At least 53 journalists and media workers have been killed.
One More Thing
And as a bonus, another poem: