Palestinian Queer Activists Talk Politics

Palestinian queer activists Haneen Maikey and Abeer Mansour will be touring 6 US cities for a series of open conversations hosted by locally and nationally known US activists. Their New York host is CLAGS—please join us for this exciting expansion of the Global LGBT.

What does the Palestinian queer movement have in common with other LGBTQ movements worldwide? How can we understand and work with issues of visibility and the notion of “coming out” within the Palestinian context? What are the questions, goals, beliefs and dreams of the Palestinian queer movement? Come, listen, learn, ask, connect. In the last ten years, new Palestinian LGBT organizations have been created and are flourishing. Representatives of two of these groups: ASWAT: Palestinian Gay Women and alQaws: For Sexual and Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society are coming to America to talk to a wide range of LGBT groups about their lives, goals, dreams, joys and visions.

ASWAT (Voice):
Who we are ?
We are a group of Arab gay women and home to all lesbians, inter-sex, queers, transsexual, transgender, questioning and bisexual women.
Why us ?
Together we unearthed the common grounds between us and were determined to provide an opportunity for all Arab gay women to promote self-empowerment, provide support, influence social upbringing and change public opinion about the concepts of sexuality, sexual orientation, gender and homosexuality and our sociopolitical rights as a minority group.
Our mission
isto raise our voices to echo in the corridors of our society, promote our existence to raise public awareness, and create a safe environment for gay Arab women within our Arab and Palestinian society.
What we want
Our vision is to reach and build a network for all Arab gay women, and spread awareness within society to create a culture of acceptance and tolerance towards the issue of homosexuality.
What we do
We promote Arab gay women, support them on all personal and social levels, thus creating dialogue and change within our Arab Palestinian society towards homosexuality. In addition to the provision of moral support, we also conduct monthly meetings, offer support groups, provide a support and consultation line, implement empowerment sessions and awareness raising workshops, provide informational publications in Arabic and English, as well as an effective website and discussion forums.

ALQAWS (Rainbow)
Who are we ?

Over the last few years, we have grown in strength and numbers, evolving from a local and service-oriented organization into a national, community-based and grassroots organization that works with LGBTQ Palestinians throughout Israel and the Palestinian occupied territories. Today more than ever, a growing number of Palestinians claim their sexual orientation and gender identity and identify themselves as LGBTQ persons. Although it is growing fast, the LGBTQ Palestinian community is still in its early stages. Our understanding of this crucial stage in the development of our community shapes our daily work, our long-term planning and our overall vision.

Our constituency includes people of all ages, with regular participants ranging from 16 to 50 years old. Palestinians of all religions (Muslim, Christian and Druze), classes, educational and social backgrounds and from different geographical areas attend our activities and meetings and are active in our organization. Al-Qaws works with—not for—the LQBTQ community and promotes an open structured dialogue in the community, providing a forum for all our members to express their ideas and concerns, have their voices heard, and most importantly, have their needs met. This event will be moderated by Katherin Acey, founding Executive Director of The Astraea Lesbian Fund for Justice. Join us.