Speech for the International Day against Patriarchal Violence

Dear attendants of the demonstration, dear people,

Since the beginning of this year, the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany has registered 113 acts of queer-hostile criminal violence, most of them during the Pride Month June and July. And this is only the number that has been reported on or brought to the attention of authorities. There has barely been a week without a queer-hostile act of violence this year. And the amount of cases is rising every year. Those sad numbers mirror the reality of life for many queers. They show that the LGBTQIA+ community is especially affected when it comes to gender specific violence.

Particularly here in Saxony, we have a particular threat level for queer people. Queer people often fear showing themselves in public. Right-wing and conservative parties such as the AfD, CDU and FDP engage in anti-queer propaganda on a daily basis. Their followers harass us on the street, attack CSDs and Pride-demonstrations and their participants. Their hatred and their violence range from dirty looks in restaurants, to physical attacks and even murder. Just on Monday this week we had the vigil on occasion of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. There, we commemorated the 320 victims of transgender violence worldwide last year with a minute of silence. But no amount of silence will be ever enough. Every single person is one too many. And even if the perpetrators were convicted in some cases, it is not enough. We will continue to remember the people we have lost to patriarchal violence. We will continue to say their names. We will continue to fight for justice!

But patriarchal violence does not only take the form of physical violence. It happens on a daily basis. Systematically, obstacles are placed in our way. Every time trans, inter and non-binary people are legally discriminated because they do not fit into a binary gender system. Every time a disabled person has to literally beg the tram driver to build up the ramp, so they can enter the vehicle. Every time a queer couple is harassed for expressing affection in public. When a rainbow flag is torn down and burned somewhere. When use of gender inclusive language is banned in Saxon educational institutions. But are asterisks, walking aids and rainbow flags really the enemy here, or is it merely the fear of stepping beyond a narrow horizon?

To say it bluntly: This is dehumanising. The fact that the queer community still needs to fight the patriarchal suppression all by themselves is unacceptable. Do not look away! We demand full solidarity with all victims of patriarchal violence. We demand justice for all victims. We need support, we need allies. Because we cannot take on the patriarchy just on our own – but together we can! So get together, connect and support one another! Listen to those affected and believe the victims! No one should be treated badly because they are different.

When I take a good look around, I see so many wonderful people. You are colourful, you are loud, and you are beautiful. Let us strengthen our non-conformity to the norm, because we will not be bent! We stay proud, perverse and provocative! Our diversity is our strength. And this strenght, our strength should not be fought, but celebrated!