(Un)Occupying Territories of Gender and Sexuality in Palestine

Coming Out in the Developing World presents:

(Un)Occupying Territories of Gender and Sexuality in Palestine

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 – 6:30PM – Reception to Follow

The New School – 66 W. 12th St. – Room 510

Over the past few decades, Israel has taken broad action to promote civil rights for LGBTQ people in the country. Legislative reforms have decriminalized homosexuality, brought greater employment protections for LGBTQ people, and awarded same-sex partners benefits and entitlements. Consequently, Israel has heralded its strides towards the inclusion of the queer community by actively marketing Tel Aviv as a global gay tourist destination.

While indicative of an “inclusive” society, Israel’s LGBTQ rights programme remains embedded in a present reality and broader history of occupation. Xenophobia, land appropriation, and Islamophobia are at an all time high, as are Israel’s intricate systems of control and surveillance. As a result, queer Palestinians must renegotiate their identities and relationships with their occupiers while confronting homonationalism and pinkwashing.,

(Un)Occupying Territories of Gender and Sexuality will explore the movements on the ground that are countering the Israeli occupation as well as its political logic. A force of queer Palestinian groups has recently galvanized, pushing not only for greater social inclusion in their own communities but also against the apartheid conditions they face each day. Many of these groups, such as the Palestine Queers for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), alQaws, and ASWAT, have built sizable, broad-based coalitions, and they demonstrate new modes of engaging with multiple layers of oppression and conflict.

Questions we hope hope to tackle include: What are the precise demands of queer Palestinians and how have they been articulated? What types of partnerships have formed between Israeli and Palestinian queer activists, as well as the international community? How have Palestinian communities responded to the voices and strategies of PQBDS, alQaws, Aswat and other queer movements? What are the next steps in organizing locally, regionally, and transnationally?

Panelists include:

  • Pauline Park, co-founder of Queens Pride House and member of the 1st US LGBT Delegation to Palestine
  • Naida Awad, documentary filmmaker, Palestinian-American activist, member of the 1st US LGBT Delegation to Palestine
  • Darnell Moore, Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at New York University, member of the 1st US LGBT Delegation to Palestine
  • Carolyn Klassen, lead organizer with Young, Jewish, Proud

And more to be announced!

The Coming Out in the Developing World lecture and discussion series is dedicated to exploring the various issues that arise for individuals coming out in developing and underdeveloped countries. It aims to highlight the situation of LGBT individuals in these geographies by providing a forum for discussing socio-cultural issues related to identity, activism and coming out. All events are made possible through the generous support of the Global Studies Program at The New School.