feature image photo by NurPhoto / Contributor via Getty Images
It is 50 degrees today or as we call it in central Florida…SWEATER WEATHER.
Queer as in F*ck You
Why Queer Solidarity With Palestine Is Not “Chickens for KFC.” There are truly so many great pull-quotes from this Them interview with queer Palestinian professor Dr. Sa’ed Atshan — who is a professor of Anthropology and Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College — that it’s impossible to pick just one. But I actually wanted to highlight this lovely opening from Dr. Atshan:
I spent [my] childhood years in the West Bank, in Ramallah, and growing up under Israeli military occupation. On one hand, there’s a tremendous amount of beauty and joy in living in Palestine: the people, the landscape, the generosity of spirit, the food, the love, the community, the sense of solidarity, the traditions being really held in a collectivist society and space. There was just a lot of beauty. Picking olives during the olive harvest season. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the experience of picking a fresh fig off the tree; it’s just amazing.
“I want to be clear, I’m not arguing that we want to focus less on anti-imperialism,” Atshan goes on to say in the interview, which I recommend reading in full. “I agree completely that it is paramount as a priority. But what I’m arguing is that the queer liberation struggle cannot be disentangled from the anti-imperialist struggle. They are fundamentally connected, and the existence of the queer Palestinian body is a testament to that. Because I’m simultaneously queer and Palestinian, I can’t sever parts of my body and self. I am both of these things at once… So I argue that the attempt to actually try to privilege one over the other is a fallacy because they are inextricably linked to begin with. They cannot be separated.”
Gretchen Felker-Martin and Carmen Maria Machado on the Healing Power of Queer Horror. As part of Them‘s Trans Futures package, authors Carmen Maria Machado and Gretchen Felker-Martin had a video conversation about finding healing in horror.
Nearly Two Years After “Don’t Say Gay,” Classroom Censorship Is Still on the Rise. I also wrote today about how the Florida legislature is trying to expand Don’t Say Gay to the workplace.
TDOR was over a week ago, but this was an important read: On Trans Day of Remembrance, Some Advocates Are Honoring Lives Lost to More Than Homicide. “TDOR was formed to honor lives lost to murder. But everyday discrimination leads to transgender deaths that should be honored too, some advocates say.”
Saw This, Thought of You
The Shootings in Vermont Cannot Be Separated From Dehumanization of Palestinians Globally. “The attack on Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed comes as Palestinians are silenced and oppressed across the Global North.” The three Palestinian college students — Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ahmed — were shot while speaking Arabic and wearing keffiyehs. The shooting took place in Burlington, Vermont, “near the Friends Meeting house, where Vermonters for Justice in Palestine regularly gather to plan how to stop the carnage in Gaza.” These attacks are horrifying and, as the piece reflects, impossible to disentangle from the ways Palestinians are dehumanized in the media and at a massive global scale.
The Right to Speak for Ourselves: “For far too long, Palestinians have been denied the freedom to tell our own story.”
One More Thing
I tried to link to an Instagram post of this great Chen Chen poem, but it wasn’t embedding properly, so I’ll link to it in poets.org: i love you to the moon & by Chen Chen.