How to be an ally to your straight friends

This is a translation of a post in Hebrew, written by my friend/lover Dan Veg (who can be found and followed on tumblr: anarchapansexual).

This post on Tumblr.

The ever increasing trend of oppression against straight people in LGBT and queer communities has been worrying any person with a fragment of a conscious left unharmed by extreme heterophobic propaganda. It’s time for us to stop it! It’s time that we learn how to stop insulting straight people, how not to question their heterosexuality, how to learn to love their privileges (Because hating is bad! And it gives you ulcers!), and in short: how to be their allies.

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Credit: superqueerartsyblog.tumblr.com

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The myth of myth-busting – YouTube video

This is a lecture that I gave in the annual queer studies conference in Tel Aviv University, “An Other Sex”, in May 2012. In this lecture I talk about how, rather than trying to refute “biphobic myths”, we should try and use them to create a radical bisexual politics. It is based on, but is not identical, to this post. It is also one of the best talks I ever gave.

Language is Hebrew, with ENGLISH and HEBREW SUBTITLES. (To view the subtitles, make sure you have them on by pressing on the leftmost button on the lower right hand corner of the video).

Enjoy! :)

Fuck marriage, fuck equality

This is a excerpt from my book Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. If you like this text, please consider buying a copy.

Fuck marriage, fuck equality

For about a decade, same sex marriage has been the flagship issue of the GGGG movement*. Marketed as the single-issue battle which would bring equality and solve GGGG-phobia for all, it has been the main focus of GGGG activist and political effort. The struggle for same sex marriage has been presented to us as a struggle for full equality and citizenship. We are told that the one step separating between us – “the gays” – and perfect rainbow utopia is the ability to register our same sex relationships with the state**. As soon as this right is won, apparently, we’ll be all able to walk away into the sunset.

But before we start with the walking away, we first need to examine what it is that we are asking. Marriage, as an institution, has been a tool of patriarchy, capitalism, and government for about as long as it’s existed. It’s been used to control women, divide and consolidate money and resources, and to strengthen the power of states over their subjects. All in all, for most of history and to this day, it has been one of the most dangerous institutions created by society.

Fuck queer assimilation. Credit: Night Terror//Art Terror

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Love, Rage and the Occupation, Part 3: the JOH protest vigil (2006)

Remember I posted about my article Love, Rage and the Occupation, which got published on Journal of Bisexuality? So, I discovered that I can put the text on my blog without breaching copyrights. Now everyone can read it for free. Hooray!

Since this article is very long, I’m going to be posting it in parts over the next few weeks. This is part 2 out of maybe 8-9, so stay tuned for further updates.

Previous:
Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine – Part 1
Love, Rage and the Occupation, Part 2: Queeruption (2006)

Second story (2006): the JOH protest vigil

In that summer, the Jerusalem pride march was canceled.

Jerusalem Pride became a hotly contested territory three years after its inception. From 2002 and until 2004, it ran annually, relatively smoothly and with few negative side effects. However, the parade came to national attention in 2005, when a single terrorist (an orthodox Jew) stabbed three of the attendants with a knife, with intent to kill. (Interestingly enough, the person who jumped the perpetrator and caused his arrest, was one of the Jerusalem bisexual activists). When, one year later, the Jerusalem Open House1 had started organizing an international pride parade in Jerusalem (under the ironic title of “Love Without Borders2), a city dominated by religious populations sprouted a hitherto-unforeseen coalition between the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities not to let us dirty perverts march in “their” city. The police’s official reason for denying permission to march was… the Lebanon war, deciding it was “unsafe” to march at such a time.

Previous years: The pink black block in Jerusalem Pride. Credit: Oren Ziv

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Love, Rage and the Occupation, Part 2: Queeruption (2006)

Remember I posted about my article Love, Rage and the Occupation, which got published on Journal of Bisexuality? So, I discovered that I can put the text on my blog without breaching copyrights. Now everyone can read it for free. Hooray!

Since this article is very long, I’m going to be posting it in parts over the next few weeks. This is part 2 out of maybe 8-9, so stay tuned for further updates.

Previous:
Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine – Part 1


First story (2006): Queeruption

My story begins in one of the critical moments in the history of queer anti-occupation activism in Israel1, one that many of us now recall as a seminal moment in our personal histories as activists. This was the summer of 2006. Black Laundry, the first queer group decidedly working against the occupation, had just finished dying out only a year beforehand, and I never got to be a member. (By the time I had heard of their existence – thinking, for the first time in my life: “Oh my god! There are others who think like me!” – they had already begun to disperse. Later on I heard that even had I known of their existence on time, I couldn’t have joined – they refused to accept bisexuals [a policy which some claim later changed]). Continue reading

Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine – Part 1

Remember I posted about my article Love, Rage and the Occupation, which got published on Journal of Bisexuality? So, I discovered that I can put the text on my blog without breaching copyrights. Now everyone can read it for free. Hooray!

Since this article is very long, I’m going to be posting it in parts over the next few weeks. This is part 1 out of maybe 8-9, so stay tuned for further updates.

Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine

Introduction: who I am and why I’m writing

My name is Shiri. I’m 28 years old at the time of this writing [I wrote this last year], I live in Israel/Occupied Palestine, and have been an activist on feminist, queer, anti-occupation and animal rights issues for nearly seven years now. I’ve been a bisexual activist for almost three years. This text tells my story as a bisexual activist, and through it, I hope, also the story of the bisexual movement in Israel so far. In addition, I hope to show my readers the strands of Israeli militarism and its culture of violent and racist occupation of Palestine and the Palestinian people, which weave through all of our lives and all of our experiences here. With this I hope to achieve two things: firstly, to deconstruct the false separation between the two fields of “LGBT rights”1 and anti-war activism, emphasizing connections between oppressed groups and their struggles; secondly, to promote the principles of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, encouraging actions of solidarity with the Palestinian people and non-violent struggle against the Israeli occupation.2 Continue reading

Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine

Update 15.4.2012: You can now read this here on my blog for free: Click here

I just got a new article published on Journal of Bisexuality, how exciting ^_^

Click to download: Love, Rage and the Occupation: Bisexual Politics in Israel/Palestine

Abstract

This text narrates the writer’s story as a bisexual activist and, through it, also the story of the bisexual movement in Israel so far. In addition, the text endeavors to highlight the strands of militarism, violence and racism in Israeli culture, with a focus on the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Palestinian people. This is meant to achieve two things: first, to deconstruct the false separation between the two fields of ‘LGBT rights’ and antiwar activism; and second, to promote the principles of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, encouraging solidarity with the Palestinian people and nonviolent struggle against the Israeli occupation.

* If you have any problems with downloading the file, don’t hesitate to email me and ask me for a copy (or leave a comment below).

Snippet# 2: Bisexuality and Love

*** The snippets are taken from my book in writing, Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. For more, check out the notes for a bisexual revolution tag. ***

Note: do excuse my lack of hyperlinking/citations. All the claims I make are backed up by written sources. However, books made of paper don’t work well with hyperlinks :( If you’re curious about anything in particular, however, feel free to ask me in the comments section.

Through a language of coupled love, people are pushed into the government-privileged financial agreement called “marriage”, forming docile units where women and children are controlled by men, and men are controlled by capitalism. Through a language of love and caring, governments embed their rule, a system protecting the big and the strong, the white and the powerful, from the weakened, the marginalized, the oppressed and the raging. A system criminalizing poverty, criminalizing color, criminalizing resistance, criminalizing women, criminalizing survivors, criminalizing queers, controlling our lives and protecting none of us. Through a language of love for the country we are sent to die, to kill, to take over, to rape, to poison, to destroy and to imprison. Through a language of love, rape and violence against women are justified, when “he did it out of love”, when “all is fair in love and war”, when love means you “can’t resist”. Through a language of love for the white race, for white values, white culture and white forms of family and union, the structure of racism is facilitated. A language of love is used against bisexuals and other queers in order to delegitimize our lives, our desires and our very existence. Love is a tool that keeps us down.

But love is also a tool of resistance. Love can help us transgress boundaries, it can help us forge alliances and solidarity, and break through the walls of the system and oppression. Love can help us erupt the borders of isolation formed around us by a biphobic society keeping us apart and keeping us down. We can break the rules of love, find new ways to love each other and ourselves, resist the ways that love is used against us, reclaim love and make it our own. As bisexuals, love is our tool with which we break the master’s house. Our tool to resist boundaries, our tool to break the system. Our tool to kick and scream and love and play, our tool to imagine and create the impossible. Our tool for the revolution.

The monosexual privilege checklist

This text also appears in my book Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. If you like it, please consider buying a copy.

En Español: La lista del privilegio monosexual, and thanks to the people at La Radical Bi!

Before you continue: One huge clarification!

I was translating/editing the male privilege checklist (link in Hebrew) a couple of days ago, when it occurred to me that I have never seen a monosexual privilege checklist. Indeed, I’ve never heard the term spoken or referred to before. Despite the fact that many privilege lists exist for many groups, it appears that the idea that monosexuals enjoy privilege is relatively new as well as foreign to queer and bisexual political thought. More often than not, when the word “privilege” arises in relation to bisexuality or bisexual people, it is coupled with “heterosexual” and with the claim that bisexuals “enjoy heterosexual privilege” (here’s a helpful hint with that: we’re not, in fact, heterosexual). And so I thought it might be time to try to unpack some of these notions and compile a monosexual privilege checklist. Continue reading

BDS, LGBT, and Why You Should Care about Pinkwashing

X-posted from my article in P U L S E.

The latest video hoax produced by the Israeli government and released unto YouTube has recently drawn wide attention to a phenomenon that many radical LGBT groups have been trying to combat for quite a while now: pinkwashing.

For those unaware of the hoax story so far, the gist of it goes thus: a mysterious video goes on YouTube in which a ‘disillusioned’ gay activist by the name of “Marc” tells his viewers about his attempt to join the Gaza Flotilla, only to be rebuked by the organizers on account of his being gay. “Marc” then goes on to tell us, that after being rejected in such a homophobic manner, he went on to find pictures of Palestine solidarity and human rights organizers embracing Hammas leaders. The shocked “Marc” then warns his fellow gay activists from believing the “lies” of these terrible human rights groups and, indeed, from joining or supporting either the flotilla or the Palestinian solidarity movement. However, all’s well that ends well: the video was quickly exposed as a hoax, tracking it back to a minor Tel Aviv gay celebrity by the name of Omer Gershon, by and by proving that the Israeli government has no fear of spreading outright lies in attempts to achieve its propaganda goals (for example, it’s worth noting that out bisexual author Alice Walker will be joining the flotilla).

Image: PrettyQueer.com

So, What’s This “Pinkwashing” Anyway?

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