By Kemal Süt: And here I christen the establishment of Londra Gazete’s new monthly column dedicated to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer)-related news and issues!
And here I christen the establishment of Londra Gazete’s new monthly column dedicated to LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer)-related news and issues!
Allow me to introduce myself – I am from Nar UK, a social and support network for LGBTQ members of Britain’s Kurdish, Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot communities, and shall be writing this column under the name Kemal Süt.
Let us kick things off by talking about pride. On 28th June 1969 riots were triggered following a police raid on New York City’s Stonewall Inn, a clandestine bar frequented by LGBTQ people.
These events have since come to be known as the Stonewall riots and mark the first occasion in which queers went out into the streets to fight back against an oppressive establishment. Several windows broken, policemen knocked out with handbags, and closet doors smashed open.
Thus the gay rights movement, then timid and esoteric, gained a voice and went roaring into the public consciousness.
A year later a march was held in New York City to commemorate the riots, marking the world’s first gay pride march, and such pride events have been held annually in hundreds of cities across the world ever since.
A lot has changed since 1969. This year homosexuality was finally decriminalised in Northern Cyprus and in May Lefkoşa held its first pride parade.
Pride marches have also taken place across Turkey; Istanbul has had its own pride event since 1993 and witnessed by far its biggest turnout last year in the midst of the Gezi uprisings, in which LGBTQ people formed a large contingent among the demonstrators. However, there is still much to be achieved, and LGBTQ people continue to face great difficulties both in the UK and back in our respective memlekets, as we remain subject to social rejection, institutional discrimination, aggression and even murders.
We thus send our solidarity to our kardeşler in Turkey and Cyprus, particularly to Istanbul Pride, who will be marching this Sunday.
This Saturday, 28th June 2014, we as Nar UK shall be participating in London’s pride march. We will be meeting on Baker Street at 12:30pm; our assigned ID is GF12, so be sure to ask one of the many official Pride volunteers on hand if you need help finding us. It will be a great opportunity to meet and get to know us.
It is also an opportunity to assert your presence within this patriarchal, heterosexual-dominated world where those who do not fit the mould continue to face marginalisation, harassment and violence.
Whether as a queer or as a member of an ethnic/cultural/religious minority, come and make your voice heard to the world. This is your day.