Just a few days after the Luxembourg Pride Week, a week dedicated to the queer community where attention is drawn to the experiences and demands of the LGBTIQ+ community and access to queer culture is provided, we are deeply saddened to witness organized hatred directed towards members of the LGBTIQ+ community on various occasions.
As part of the Pride Week, the Chambre des Députés has joined Rosa Lëtzebuerg’s call since 2019 to show their solidarity by displaying the rainbow flag. This year, the Luxembourg Parliament has taken a step further by coloring their profile picture on social media in rainbow colors. In response, two members of parliament and numerous members of the ADR have publicly rejected this sign of solidarity, using unacceptable language that contributes to the posting of further, even more hateful messages. Rosa Lëtzebuerg asbl strongly condemns the repeated portrayal of LGBTIQ+ as a political ideology, as it suggests, strategically, that fundamental human rights are merely a political campaign, implying that sexual and affective orientation or gender identity is a choice and that protection against discrimination and hate is unjustified.
Another, far more dramatic example is an event organized by the public library of the city of Esch, which has planned a reading with Luxembourgish drag artist Tatta Tom this year. Tatta Tom’s readings aim to inspire younger audiences to treat others with respect and tolerance and to embrace diversity. The comments that have emerged, including those in response to calls from a municipal councilor from the ADR, lack any form of constructive and respectful argumentation and may, in many cases, be of criminal relevance. Some comments and personal messages to the artist contain calls for hatred, and some even constitute threats of violence and murder.
The extent and content of these reactions illustrate a certain part of the public’s susceptibility to the opinions and messages of right-wing conservative politicians. It is evident that they have adopted the narratives of Germany’s AfD or the US alt-right movement to fuel the notion that drag readings could lead to the premature sexualization of children. Not only the circumstances and facts of the reading itself, but also empirical research prove that there is no such thing as premature sexualization. Ultimately, such events involve the reading of child-friendly literature. The deliberate connection or conflation of drag readings with events of supposedly questionable sexual nature demonstrates malicious intent.
We demand the consistent prosecution of hate messages and threats of violence that constitute criminal offenses, as well as effective measures to protect, recognize, and ensure equal rights for queer artistic performances and their participants.
Rosa Lëtzebuerg asbl condemns the instrumentalization of the LGBTIQ+ community and their legitimate demands for protection, recognition, and equal rights for political gain by a political party that aims to capitalize on the queer minority. Furthermore, we condemn all commentators who contribute to the harm that members of the queer community may face with their provocative statements. Hereby we do not stigmatize those who choose not to take advantage of offerings such as those provided by the Esch library in a respectful manner or those who have not engaged with the topic and therefore hold a different attitude, as long as it does not escalate into hate speech.
In the third decade of the 21st century, we should be capable of treating each other with respect and be striving to dismantle prejudices through constructive dialogue. We invite everyone who has questions about queer topics and wishes to broaden their horizons to engage in a constructive dialogue with us or other actors in the LGBTIQ+ field.
At this point, we would also like to thank all signatories of the front against right-wing hatred and queerphobia initiated by the Centre LGBTIQ+ CIGALE and Rosa Lëtzebuerg for their support.