Yesterday some 500 people joined the strong and lively Queer Pride March in Leiden. The protest began with three speeches. Here’s the one by Marty, who spoke on behalf of the Leiden Queer Coalition that organized the march.
Our name is Queer Power, Queer Liberation, Queer Revolution (they/them, she/her, he/his).
Our name is Queer Power, and this letter is our pledge to make our city and our community a truly revolutionary, intersectional, and safe space.
Our name is Queer Power. But Queer Power is your name too, because you decided to show up for your community today.
Welcome to the first pride in Leiden in almost 40 years!
You wonder why there hasn’t been a queer march for quite some time?
In 1983, here in Leiden, at the Roze Zaterdag, the first gay Pride in Leiden, people chanted “Tussen droom en daad staan gezin en staat” (“Between dream and action stand the nuclear family and the state”). That chant resonates with us, it resonates with Queer Power.
Yet there hasn’t been a Pride protest march of any kind since the 80’s. We have grown to believe we’re isolated in our experiences. Everything in Leiden screams at us that the people here are conservative, from the government to the university. People in Leiden aren’t the rebellious types, they tell us. People in Leiden are elite and are only here to study, they tell us. People in Leiden are poor, and should only work hard for themselves, they tell us. We’ve let ourselves believe the things they tell us about ourselves.
But aren’t we all here, now? Does this not prove that what they say is false? We have grown complacent. No longer! It’s time to burst their bubble together and march for queer liberation! It’s time to burst our own bubble together and organize our people for queer liberation.
Do you think it’s normal for queer people to walk in fear on the streets of their own city? Do you think it’s normal for trans folk to have the autonomy of their body taken away by cisgender people? Do you think it’s normal for our community to have the city cutting us up in pieces of ethnicity and class?
In order for us to achieve queer liberation we must stop listening to that abusive so-called normality forced upon us.
Forget about the many Pride Parades and parties which are corporate-led, inclusive to cops, inclusive even to far right groups, and then exclusionary towards its own people. Forget about inclusivity and gay-friendliness alltogether.
Do you think it’s normal that employers lure us with useless anti-discrimination policies to then police our identity over and over again?
We don’t want to be included in a queerphobic society. We don’t want their tolerance, or their friendliness. We don’t want to become part of neoliberal capitalism, the profit-making machine that this country holds so dear. We’ve got to recognize that workplace inclusivity isn’t queer liberation. It is gay commodification.
Do you think it’s normal for queer students at Leiden University to have to settle for merely one gender-neutral toilet, tucked away in a basement, while openly fascist professors have marked their territory all over the campus?
We’ve got to recognize that the University’s gibberish about diversity isn’t queer liberation. It is gay tokenism.
Do you think it’s normal that we do nothing about all this?
Instead, let Queer Power speak the truth of our people. We gotta make it clear that we’re ready to fight. That we are ready to bring us together again.
Queer liberation is fighting united for all our different struggles, because, as Marsha P. Johnson said, “You never completely have your rights, one person, until you all have your rights”.
Queer liberation is empowerment and reclaiming our space, instead of being included in theirs.
Queer liberation is free housing for everyone.
Queer liberation is total control over your workplace, against shareholders and bosses.
Queer liberation is free education and public research.
Queer liberation is fighting back segregation and gentrification.
Queer liberation is anti-fascism.
Queer liberation is anti-racism, anti-racism WITHIN the community.
Queer liberation is anti-ableism, for visible and invisible disabilities.
Queer liberation is women’s liberation.
Queer liberation is decolonization, the end of the Dutch Kindgdom, the end of the Dutch monarchy.
Queer liberation is public healthcare for everyone.
Queer liberation is free Palestine, is free Afghanistan, is free Lebanon, free Kurdistan, Chile desperto, land back to indigenous people.
Queer liberation is prison abolition, and transformative justice.
Queer liberation is a cultural uprising– an incredible history that doesn’t need to be televised to straight eyes to be deemed acceptable.
Our name is Queer Power, Queer Liberation, Queer Revolution (they/them, she/her, he/his). We have pride yes, but that’s not enough. We can’t only have pride, for society still abuses us. Today we have pride, but tomorrow we start the hard work of resisting their abuse.
But we’re ready for it all.
Because we have plenty of love and rage. Because we dedicate everyday to become queer revolutionaries. Because it is our duty to fight for our freedom,
And it is our duty to win.
Queer power is your name too.
Come start the queer revolution.
Alles over de Leidse Queer Pride March / Everything about the Leiden Queer Pride March
- Terugkijken naar de Leidse Queer Pride March
- Mila bij the Queer Pride March: “Queer cultuur moet inclusief zijn” (video)
- Toespraak bij de Queer Pride March: “Plots was ik homo en bruin” (video)
- Leiden Queer Coalition: “Tussen droom en daad staan gezin en staat” (video)
- Looking back at the Leiden Queer Pride March
- Mila at the Queer Pride March: “Queer culture must be inclusive” (video)
- Speech at the Queer Pride March: “Suddenly I was gay and brown” (video)
- Leiden Queer Coalition: “Between dream and action stand the nuclear family and the state” (video)