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Cork Queer Pride 2005: What are we Proud of? & who can we rely on?

category ireland / britain | gender | press release author Wednesday August 03, 2005 00:38author by CorkQueer - WSM Report this post to the editors

the text of a leaflet written by a queer anarchist and produced by Cork WSM

So what are exactly are we proud of? Is it just that we are attracted to a particular gender or genders? Or, are we proud of our courageous history of struggles as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/ LGBT/ Queer people for our rights, and against bigotry, oppression and hatred?

Cork Queer Pride 2005:
What are we Proud of?
& who can we rely on?


So what are exactly are we proud of? Is it just that we are attracted to a particular gender or genders? Or, are we proud of our courageous history of struggles as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/ LGBT/ Queer people for our rights, and against bigotry, oppression and hatred?

The original Pride marches were held to commemorate the Stonewall riots in New York which began on June 28, 1969, and which were led mainly by Black and Puerto Rican butch dykes and drag queens sick of being beaten up and arrested by the police. The following year, in commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, the Gay Liberation Front organized a march from Greenwich Village to Central Park. Almost 10,000 women and men attended the march. Today, many major cities all over the world hold LGBT/Queer Pride Marches on the last Sunday of June, in honor of Stonewall.

The international wave of Lesbian & Gay Liberation which spread out from Stonewall was closely based on the Black Civil Rights movement and couldn't have happened without the work the women's movement had already done in challenging fixed roles for women and for men.

In Ireland, we won legal protection via equality legislation, in combined struggle with other oppressed groups, and that is where our true strength still lies. The current wave of Irish LGBT Liberation started with feminists trade unionists and peace activists marching with us through Dublin, 1983 in outrage at the killing of a gay man cruising Phoenix Park

We're celebrating Queer Pride in Cork 2005, We've won a lot of battles and these days it seems we're feeling smug and respectable enough to ally ourselves with the forces of bigotry and intolerance, thinking it will strengthen our grip on our own rights. Some of our 'community leaders' seem to think that licking the ass of right&endash;wing politicians like Michael McDowell is the best way of securing our future. Michael McDowell is famous for trampling on the rights of immigrants and people with disabilities, and this year he's opening the Lesbian and Gay film Festival in Dublin. But if we can rely on right-wing politicians where was Deirdre Clune Lord Mayor of Cork on Monday, when she was supposed to be launching Cork Pride 2005 and raising the Rainbow flag over city hall?

The prejudice that politicians whip up, whether its against single mums, Travellers or immigrants is a way of distracting attention from the greed, incompetence and megalomania of those same politicians, -and it can soon be turned back on us if it becomes useful again The forces of power and big money won't hesitate to take away our rights or help whip up hatred against us again next time it suits their interests.

Since medieval times Queer communities have been making progress in economic good times, only to get stomped on again as soon as the going gets tough. In Western Europe there have always been periodic economic crises which were accompanied by moral panics and waves of persecution of queer communities. Late medieval transvestite subcultures were driven deep underground by persecutions that were part of the general 14th to 17th C witch hunts. More recently the long depression of the last quarter of the 19th C saw persecutions that included the trial of Oscar Wilde. The powerful homosexual, feminist and sex reform movements of the early 20thC were mostly crushed by fascism, Stalinism and the conservative climate of the Fifties. During the depression in Britain in the Eighties Thatcher introduced anti &endash;gay laws.

So do we rely on the rich and powerful continuing to be nice to us? While we say nothing about how they treat immigrants, Travellers and people with disabilities? Or worse, do we join in the hate fest?

Or do we strengthen our alliances with other oppressed groups, with feminists trade unionists, environmentalists, and other ordinary working people and fight for a just and peaceful world for everyone in the revolutionary spirit of Stonewall 1969 …………Then we could really hold our heads up in Pride


This leaflet was written by a queer anarchist living in Cork, and produced and paid for by a Cork Anarchist group, the Workers Solidarity Movement

"...freedom without Socialism is privilege and injustice
... Socialism without freedom is slavery and brutality"

Email:corkwsm@eircom.net
Visit our web site at http://struggle.ws/wsm/cork.html

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