10/05/2012 | Writer: Kaos GL
Every Pride and here I include any public event where the Rainbow Flag is carried is a revolution that knows no borders, no nationalities, and no religions. We all march under a single flag, a flag that represents peace as well as diversity and freedom.
Every Pride – and here I include any public event where the Rainbow Flag is carried – is a revolution that knows no borders, no nationalities, and no religions. We all march under a single flag, a flag that represents peace as well as diversity and freedom.
Transcending Borders Through Pride
Andrea Gilbert, Athens Pride, Greece
My first encounter with borders was my very first trip by train through Europe as a young American student, before Schengen and the Euro. I loved crossing those borders; I felt like an actor in a noir film. I was enchanted by the whole ritual: uniformed officials coming aboard at all hours of the day and night; the colorful stamps in my passport; the excitement of leaving a specific place, culture, language, and currency and entering a completely different set of circumstances. But I enjoyed all that because I had nothing to fear.
When I moved to Greece, I came to understand the harsh reality of borders, of hostile borders, of being told I had to leave my home because I did not have a Greek father or husband. I realized that borders are created not to protect the diversity of cultures – or even territory in many cases – but to promote fear and hatred and conspiracy lies among similar peoples to mask their real problems of existence
My passion for international movements that support universal human rights, such as the Pride / LGBTQI Movement, is fueled by the fact that they transcend and transgress all borders. Every Pride – and here I include any public event where the Rainbow Flag is carried – is a revolution that knows no borders, no nationalities, and no religions. We all march under a single flag, a flag that represents peace as well as diversity and freedom.
The image I show here is a poster designed by the Greek artist Georgia Sagri for “Occupy Wall Street,” another international social justice movement that has transgressed and transcended borders. She generously donated a special printing of this poster to the Artists for Athens Pride IV auction to benefit Athens Pride 2012.
Who pays for your privilege to live in a Jewish state?
Yossef(a) Mekyton, Israel
- "Is your Jewish state a safe place for you now? Do you not get beaten up at school for your left-wing views? And in what cost is the illusion of this Jewish security is bought? Who pays for your privilege to live in a Jewish state?"
- "Look, Walid, I am against the occupation and all, and you even noticed I get beaten up at school for that" I was a bit proud "but I wouldn’t want to live in an Arab state. I’m gay and I’m afraid of religious governments"
- "I want a secular state, too, this can be our joined struggle, if you’d like" something about him just became softer. Perhaps what I said about me being gay? "Your state is not very tolerant towards you anyway: the military culture here is terribly homophobic, no? Have you thought about the army yet? Will you be drafted? Will you refuse to go? Or go and be in the closet for three years?"
- "I didn’t think about the army yet" I admitted. Thoughts about the army depressed me. "So you’re saying that you’ll join my cause if I’ll stop being afraid?" I tried to earn a clue...
- "This is my cause, too, we’ll be partners" he smiled, slightly embarrassed. I understood him completely and my hart pounded in such noise, it could be heard in Aqaba. I was still scared but I didn’t let the fear narrow the options.
“I grew up in a country isolated from the entire world”
Kristi Pinderi, Albania
First it was a barbed wire, than it was transformed into a visa in the passport, now it remains an obstacle for the free spirit…
I grew up in a country isolated from the entire world. As a child I thought that borders were everything made by barbed wire. If you dared to overpass it, a soldier were right there to shoot you. The border was violence in that period of my life. I read the “World of Yesterday” from Stephan Zweig when I was a teenager. I was surprised reading all those wonderful, romantic and free details from that book when people could travel everywhere. It was the end of ’90s and the beginning of 21st century: The borders were everything that a visa can represent! I graduated when I was 22 and after forgetting the barbed wires and filling my passport with visas I started to consider the border as an obstacle that people might have while they are in a process of thinking. The borders were in that moment, a cultural matter. And it still is… I wonder if our spirit is constructed in that way that it can’t do anything without having borders around. I think of it often when I have to deal with homophobia but then a lightening though comes again and again in my mind and I do believe: No, we are free spirits and we don’t need any border…
Prepared for Kaos GL’s “Border” edition