The world over, LGBT rights are a contentious issue. Countries with poor form are called out by the global community (see: the response to the anti-LGBT laws of Russia and many African nations) and those who are doing right by its LGBT citizens are heralded, praised and patted on the back for offering human rights that really should have been offered from the get-go.
But what happens when the prominence of these LGBT rights out shadows the rest of a country’s dealings? When people are so busy shouting about LGBT rights that they forget about the not-so admirable activities that a country is conducting? That’s called pinkwashing.
Pinkwashing is not an unfamiliar practice; it’s something we’ve seen with the UK’s current government as Prime Minister Cameron shares his positive views on same-sex marriage (and notes that his party helped bring it into law) seemingly in an effort to gloss over their economic and institutional failings.
However, just because it’s common it doesn’t mean that it’s right and as we’re seeing mass pinkwashing with Israel, in an attempt to gloss over the killings of Palestinians, one LGBT group is finally speaking up against it.
One way in which Israel is establishing itself as a progressive LGBT rights thinker is by sponsoring LGBT film festivals and movies, with San Francisco’s Frameline and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival both receiving funding from the Israeli government and/or screening movies funded by Israel. And so in order to challenge this, Queers for Palestine will be hosting Outside the Frame at the San Francisco Brava Theatre in June.
Despite the political leanings of the group behind the film fest, not all of the films shown at Outside the Frame have to be about Palestine.
Having such a broad submission guideline will help Outside the Frame to promote the idea that what’s going on in Palestine is an issue for all LGBT people and not just those who are already concerned with the events in the country.
Given that Israel’s actions are destroying the lives of LGBT Palestinians too, there’s all the more reason for LGBT people who have perhaps not thought about Palestine, to speak out against Israel and its pinkwashing campaign.
In addition, submissions will also have to sign up to the following mission statement:
“As queer activists for social justice, including Palestinian liberation, we recognize that Israel is attempting to co-opt the queer struggle for liberation while the Israeli government continues to kill, exclude and deny rights to Palestinians, including queer Palestinians. This is pinkwashing and Frameline must stop participating in it.”
Find out more about Outside the Frame on the official website.