End the system that perpetuates homophobia, biphobia and transphobia!

A Statement from the LGBTIQ Rights Commission of the International League of People’s Struggles

A system that is founded on exploitation and competition is a system that others. Homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is the fear and hatred of the non-heteronormative other— those who refuse to be circumscribed in the classifications imposed by the capitalist-partriarchal society— that translates to discrimination, marginalization and its most direct form, violence.

Recently, we have seen brutal manifestations of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia that in this day seem out place. Last month, an LGBTIQ activist was hacked to death in Bangladesh amidst the growing atmosphere of intolerance and State repression. In the past six months, anti-LGBT pronouncements by top government officials and institutions catalyzed the spate of harassment and killings of LGBTIQ people in Indonesia. In these and many other countries where violence against LGBTIQ people are prevalent, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are living legacies of their colonial past.

The United States, which trumpets Marriage Equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, has seen the worsening of hate crimes and police violence against LGBTIQ people of color. Transgender people of color make up 67% of the homicide victims in 2013. Its draconian immigration policies caused an increase in the incarceration of undocumented transgender immigrants, most of whom are vulnerable to sexual violence and harassment.

Despite this, the United States continues to tout itself as the defenders of democracy. It is under the same banner of democracy that it launches drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, killing millions of people. In the Philippines, the brutal killing of transgender Jennifer Laude by the US soldier Joseph Pemberton is a testament to the violence of predatory wars and how vulnerable LGBTIQ people are to it.

Similarly, the apartheid state of Israel advertises itself as the only place in the Middle East where LGBT people are safe and welcome to shroud its occupation of Palestinian land and its massive human rights violations and war crimes against the Palestinian people. More than a ploy to conceal their atrocities, they use it to position themselves as the antithesis of its neighboring Islamic countries and hence, turn the tides of international criticism against the occupation to their favor.

This is a tactic that is well known to us oppressed peoples. We recognize it as the same tactic employed by the “civilized subjects” against the “barbaric other” that defined our history— our history of conquests, genocide, slavery and rapes. It is in the pretext of civilizing barbaric societies that empires were built, and our sovereignty was trampled on, our lands and resources usurped, our peoples enslaved.

We from Bahaghari National LGBT Organization and the LGBT Rights Commission of the International League of People’s Struggles refuse to buy the democratic-versus-backward dichotomy wherein the only gauge for democracy are liberal LGBT rights. We believe that this ideology is used to justify imperialist interventions and is bereft of a historical analysis that situates LGBTIQ bodies as subjects of regulation in order to facilitate the free flow of capital.

The crisis brought about by the unfettered accumulation of wealth has dispossessed peoples on a massive scale. The pervading feeling of insecurity—of jobs, livelihood, has further divided peoples along the lines of race, class, sex, gender and sexual orientation and gender identity. Lack of jobs and access to social services have bloated the reserve army of labor and intensified competition, aggravating the hatred of the LGBTIQ other.

We call on LGBTIQ people to organize and struggle against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia and the system that enables and perpetuates it. We likewise call on existing LGBTIQ organizations to broaden their strategies and to draw a clear line against the co-optation and simplification of our struggle by the imperialist agenda.

We urge people across countries and sectors to stand with LGBTIQ against the evils of the imperialist forces that does everything in its power to divide us and turn us against each other in order to distract us from its plundering and pillaging of our rights, resources, dignity and environment. We need to up the ante of solidarity among people against our common enemy and reclaim the power to create a world where there is genuine equality and freedom.