In the last couple of years, I have had the growing feeling that the main struggle of the LGBT community in Israel, or to be exact the main struggle done in the name of the LGBT community in Israel, is the Israeli Hasbara diplomatic struggle.
They use us to promote tourism to Israel. We are used to mock the flotilla initiative.
They use us to wash in pink the blood that Israel has been spilling.
They use us as the fig leaf meant to hide the state's shame.
They use us in order to portray the state of Israel as liberal and enlightened, waving around the flag of rights that were never granted to us, the flag of security that we've never felt, the flag of equality and acceptance that we've never experienced.
This is not our struggle!
We are not here to promote gay tourism, we are not here to assist Israel's diplomatic efforts, we are not here to pinkwash war-crimes!
We are here to fight for our rights!
We are here to fight for our right to housing, to jobs, to physical and mental security, to a family of choice, to acknowledgement and acceptance. We are here to promote a society with no oppression, no racism, no discrimination, a society which is diverse as well as equal. A society with no privileges, a society that is just and free. We are here to promote a society in which gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, Palestinians, Mizrachis, migrant workers, and every Other, whoever she may be, enjoys the full rights that they deserve.
One more thing we must keep in mind. When the state of Israel prides itself in its tolerence and acceptance of the LGBT community, we must ask it, which community is it willing to accept? Because just like the TA municipality approves the tent-city in Rothschild blvd, the glory and the attraction, and the beautiful youths, but kicks away the tents in Levinski – the single-mums and the refugees, the work-migrants and the drug addicts – out of the way, so the state of Israel is willing to allow for male gay pride, with the glitter and the disco lights, but not for the butch-femme couple that walks hand in hand down the street, nor the gay Palestinian from Hachshmal garden, nor the FTM who wants to be addressed in male pronouns, yet doesn't want to undergo a surgery, nor the polyamorous bisexual that wants both her male and female partners to be acknowledged.
And some final words: when the LGBT community had only started forming, there were, indeed parties, and there were dances, but above all there was struggle. We haven't won the rights we do have because we asked for them nicely, nor were they presented to us on a silver platter by the Israeli state. Blood, sweat and tears have been spilled in order to allow us to march here today, in Jerusalem, and yes, also in Tel Aviv.
I have a feeling that somewhere along the way a part of this equation got lost. So it's true that if I can't dance to it, it definitely isn't my revolution, but it's about time to bring back the revolution into our dance!