U.N. Secretary General Says: “The Time Has Come”

March 21, 2012. It’s not every day that a major world figure speaks out forcefully in defense of equality. But earlier this month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did just that when he made an incredibly powerful speech at the U.N. in Geneva. But most people didn’t even hear about it.

Why? After the speech, the media focused on a handful of delegates who stormed out of meeting in protest. Their story – that gay people should be denied human rights – is the one that dominated the day’s news. But with your help, we’re going to change that.

The friends of AllOut at the U.N. let us REMIX Ban Ki-moon, so they took his speech and created this video. AllOut hopes you like it! After you watch, please share with your friends and family, helping this inspiring message reach the audience it deserves.

Invitation to the 13th Queer Easter

Hereby we would like to invite you to the upcoming 13th Queer Easter.This non-formal educational seminar will take place from 02.-09.04.2012 in Werftpfuhl/Germany. The seminar is organized by the education centre Kurt Löwenstein of the Socialist Youth of Germany – Die Falken in cooperation with IFM-SEI and ECOSY. Content wise, we’ll be focusing this year at Queer Easter on the effects of capitalism on queer relationships (families, relationships, friendships).

At Queer Easter we strive every year to create a safe environment, where every participant can feel comfortable to talk about their own experiences, and feed into discussions held in an atmosphere of respect and understanding. In talking about such sensitive and personal issues and their relation to the area of politics and society, we are also asking every participant to challenge themselves, and reflect on their own lifestyle and attitudes. For this reason, we ask that every participant comes to the seminar with the willingness to examine themselves, to express their own opinion, and to respect those of others – to question some of those things that are embedded so completely in our societies, those things that perpetuate intolerance and inequality. To change the world, we must first examine, challenge and consciously change ourselves – and for this we ask that everyone remembers the importance of keeping an open mind in relation to this subject, and the process of the seminar.

PROGRAMME

The topic of the seminar will be explored through a variety of workshops, discussion rounds and working groups. Besides this, Queer Easter will also offer the opportunity to learn more about LGBT situations in other countries, and there will be provided a space for exchanging experiences, projects and campaigns that our different organisations are running. And of course we have not forgotten about having fun together e.g. while spending one day in Berlin. A draft program will be available beginning of march. Some 2 weeks before the seminar, we will send a description how to reach the educational centre and a last information email with details of what we would like you to bring, what to prepare beforehand and other useful information.

DATES

This 13th Queer Easter Seminar will take place from 02-09.04.2012.

VENUE

The venue and accommodation will be at the Education Centre Kurt Loewenstein in Werftpfuhl in the northeast suburbs of Berlin. The closest airports are in Berlin, from where the venue can be reached with local transport. Exact travel details will be sent to you after registration.

PARTICIPANTS

Participants are expected to:

  • To be active in an political youth organisation (either a youth organisation of ECOSY or IFM-SEI) or active in an youth organisation dealing with LGBT issues, preferably an LGBT-youth organisation
  • to have interest in working on the issue
  • to be able to follow the seminar and communicate in English
  • to be available for the whole duration of the seminar

We do not ask for sexual orientation identification of the participants but welcome everybody who is interested in the topic of the seminar.

FINANCES

The participation fee depends on the country you are coming from. Please contact Tim Scholz for exact details.

This fee includes participation in the programme and accommodation as well as four meals per day for the duration of the event and a day-trip to Berlin. For members of ECOSY organization, special financial rules apply. For more info, please check the special invitation to Queer Easter sent by the ECOSY secretariat or contact them at office@ecosy.org

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT

Due to the difficult financial situation we are unfortunately in general unable to reimburse your travel expenses, except in case of special agreements (please contact the education officer Tim Scholz on exact details of this).

REGISTRATION

Registration for the Seminar is only possible online via a registration form, which you can find here.

Registration Deadline is 10.03.2012

We are asking every participant from your organisation to register separately in order to let them fill in the motivation questions by themselves. If you are coming with a delegation from an organisation, we ask that you pay attention to the biological sex balance of your group, so that we have a balance at the seminar. In case participants need Visa to enter Germany the deadline is the 01.03.2012. Please register online as soon as possible since the original personal invitation letters are going to be sent out on the 02.03.12. The originals will be sent to the nearest German consulate. You will get scanned copies of this letters to apply for the visa.

FURTHER QUESTIONS

In case of further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Tim Scholz . Looking forward to welcome you at Queer Easter 2012 in Werftpfuhl!

UN Human Rights Council resolution affirming equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity

The UN Human Rights Council passed a historic resolution affirming equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This is a really big deal — it’s the first time that an official UN resolution has focused exclusively on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution also commissions an official UN study on how LGBT people around the world are impacted by discriminatory laws and violence.

This victory was a long time in the making. Advocates and activists in South Africa worked closely with the South African government to introduce this resolution. A coalition of civil society advocates, including our friends at ARC International, pushed until the last minute for this unprecedented vote.

From social networks to the streets, from court houses to the corridors of the United Nations, LGBT people around the world are fighting, and winning, the simple right to live and love freely. This global movement for LGBT equality is gathering speed.

(from AllOut.org)

SOURCES:

U.N. Gay Rights Protection Resolution Passes, Hailed As ‘Historic Moment’
www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/17/un-gay-rights-protection-resolution-passes-_n_879032.html

Historic decision at the UN
www.iglhrc.org/cgi-bin/iowa/article/pressroom/pressrelease/1417.html

La ONU pide tolerancia cero ante la discriminación homosexual
www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/ONU/pide/tolerancia/cero/discriminacion/homosexual/elpepuint/20110617elpepuint_6/Tes

L’ONU adopte une résolution “historique” sur les droits des homosexuels
www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2011/06/17/l-onu-adopte-une-resolution-historique-sur-les-droits-des-homosexuels_1537356_3224.html

Creative Working Groups at QE 2011

This year we have a huge number of different creative working groups (CWG). They all deal with the topic of Queer Easter 2011 – “Know Queer, No Fear: Educating today for a socialist tomorrow”, but on different medias, methods and levels.

First step to resist homophobia

Julia and Lukasz / Level *

Legal gay marriage, adoption children by gay people, open gays and lesbians in politics, LGBTQ-places everywhere… It’s not about the reality you living in? So, that’s a problem but not a disaster 🙂 In Julia and Lukasz’s creative working group we will discuss and analyze how to resist homophobia in the countries with right wing nationalism, post soviet/communist heritage, strong influence of conservative orthodox religion and other exertions of discrimination. We would like to listen to your personal stories to think out and develop our common resistance altogether.

Creative means: video/documentary film

Political correctness alias F**k you very very much

Karmen and Kris / Level **

Are you also interested to know what is the role of words in our life and how to they influence the way we see things? We want to examine how the meaning of words changes depending on the context and audience. We’ll also talk the role stereotypes and taboos play in the language and see how we can change the meaning of the words by reclaiming them. To do that we’ll talk a lot, read texts, analyze clips, play games and focus on the words and their meanings. So if you love words and language Saphir Whorf’s Theory of linguistic relativism doesn’t sounds too scary for you then this the group to choose :-).

Women & Sexual Identity

Lisa & Rinske / level **

For this creative working group we planned three parts:

  • The first part is about answering the questions What is sexual identity? How did it develop? What does it mean to us? We will also connect being a woman and sexual identity.
  • In the second part we will explore different stories of women & sexuality in history and the broad world.
  • The last part will be about womens struggles against heteronormativity in the here & now.

Dismantling society

Carmen and Zahra / Level **

What will we talk about:

Understanding and dismantling the structure of discrimination we face in daily life. Exploring how propaganda can be used agaiinst us, with a special focus on HIV/AIDS campaigns.

What will we do:

Propaganda, use your power for the „good“ side of the world.

What we want?

YOU!

„Kids Education Theory“

Bine & Lloyd / Level **

The working group will conside the status of child development, their sexuality and the education we provide them. Through discussions, role plays and text reading we aim to create activities and guidelines to frame our education work. We are part of the three groups who are starting to create a ressource for working with children ( 6-13 years old) on sexuality education. Our group will contribute to the introducation of that ressource.

Boys don’t cry! – Masculinity, Sexuality, Capitalism and work with young people and kids

Sandra and Evan / Level **

In a capitalist society masculinity serves the purpose of dividing and opressing, reproducing sexist homophopic and violent norms. Men who don’t fit in the picture of a hegemonial masculinity face difficulties, but still women are the social group who experiences structural opression by the gender binary system. As we can’t abolish the gender binary tomorrow (we would) it remains incredibly important to work, not only with girls and young women to empower them, but also with young boys and men, to make them aware of a privilege that they have simply by being termed a man. After building up a creative and respectful atmosphere in the group, we will exchange persoanl and political experience of our key subjects, afterwards moving on to examine R.W. Connell’s theories of ‘hegemonial masculinity’ and the ‘patriarchichal dividend’. After dicussing theory we will critically examine education as it is now, and suggest alternative practices to both raise awareness of, and decrease male dominance, in concrete work with young people and kids.

IT MIGHT SOUND COMPLICATED, BUT WE ARE A 2* WORKING GROUP, DEALING WITH A LOT OF PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, AND A VARIED MIX OF THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE, DON’T WORRY ABOUT UNFAMILIARITY WITH CERTAIN TERMS AND CONCEPTS!

THIS IS NOT A BOY ONLY GROUP, A MIX IS VITAL TO CRITICALLY EXAMINE THE SUBJECT OF MASCULINITY!

Training for Queer Trainers – how to empower people to work in schools, institutions and organisations

Simona and Simona / Level **

In this CWG we are looking on ways how to train people for working as queer educators. It is not a the training itself but the reflection how to design such trainings, how to provide the participants of such a training a good mixture between experiencing and theoretical knowledge. For this we will define what sexual and queer education means. We are going to discuss how to adress identity issues, family as structure which reproduces the present system, homophobia and sexism as some of the most important but also quite challenging points which you are facing within the work of a queer educator. Another important topic in this CWG will be the question how to start such a work and how to set up a framework where you can offer such educational activities, e.g. how to work with and within schools? How to create spaces for queer education within organisations? How do we work with parents?, etc.

Structural homophobia

Yael and Boki / Level ***

How to explain the irrational fear of homosexuality? What is it that threatens people so much about diversity of sexual practises? In our CWG, we will be exploring the deep psychological reasons for homophobia, together with the “rational” arguments of the heteronormative society.

Can we change the situation without deconstructing the society? We will be trying to find answers to these questions, through reading, discussing and creating a campaign against homophobia.

Rainbow kids: creating educational methods for under 10s on sexuality

Christine and Carly / Level ***

Do children have a platform to discuss sexuality? What knowledge of LGBTQ issues do children actually have? To tackle homophobia and heteronormativity we need to break down the taboo associated with sexuality from a young age! Are up for a challenge and want to explore, play and create together? Join us to be part of the creation of the first handbook of its kind about sexuality and gender education with kids in cooperation with IFM-SEI and the Council of Europe.

Working with young people (10-13) on LGBTQ and gender issues

Birute and Laurie / Level ***

This group is one of the three working on the Compasito companion. How to work with 10-13 year olds using non-formal education techniques to tackle LGBT, queer and gender issues. Together we will work using games, personal experiences, theoretical discussion, other exercises, as well as some text reading. Experience of working with young people necessary and/or motivation to do it.

We don’t stop to play because we grow up, but we grow up because we stop to play!

The Dialectics of Sexual Liberation

Amit and Nadja / Level ***

It is not as scary as it sounds. The group will discuss the origins of LGBT identity politics and its modern-day usage.
We will examine its link to capitalism and think why it is important to have an identity at all. At the end, we will try to develop a socialist response to identity politics together.

And it really is not as scary as it sounds.