News from the debt crisis in Spain and the rise of a global response
28J: Ruins, bodies and pride
Por DIAGONAL English

Written by Laura Corcuera
Translated by Christine Lewis

In the midst of the current crisis of meaning, we must repoliticise demonstrations calling for sexual and emotional liberation.

What obligation have I to tell the truth about myself? Who needs to know? What do they expect from me? How should I answer? What would the consequences be? Speech is an act and therefore political in itself. Before we put all our eggs in one basket or engage in public processes and spaces, the common starting point could be doubt. Questions. Confusion. Uncertainty in the face of our own limits and frontiers.

The challenge could be more simple and ambitious at the same time: “come to terms with ourselves” in the words of Marina Garcés or Judith Butler’s “Giving an Account of Oneself”. Whatever. Sometimes, what we don’t know is more important that what we do know.

How do our emotions, desires and sexes work? How does our body respond in relation to other bodies? How can we get rid of all the clichés, presumptions, straightjackets and insecurities? Nobody wants to be alone. Nobody leaves their home or country for pleasure. Nobody wants to feel excluded. Nobody wants to be different, but we all are when we blow up the cages of normativity. We all want to ‘feel integrated’, but not at any price and certainly not at the cost of ‘losing’ our identity.

Right now, an adolescent girl is living a love story with another girl for the first time and she is scared of telling her parents. Right now, an intersex person is telling their story in a school. Right now, an old man in Aranjuez desires a young Bangladeshi boy selling beers. Right now, three adult people are forming a family and will raise their children together.

Right now, a supermarket checker is thinking about her hair and prominent clitoris, and the enjoyment they will bring to her and her lovers, despite how ashamed they have made her feel all her life. Right now, a trans person will be hating their endocrine specialist for ‘being treated’ in the gender identity unit and tweets their indignation.

Right now, two Moroccan homosexuals will be reaching the Spanish coast following persecution in their country to start a new life. Right now, a young man is leaving his village to go to the capital because he is not allowed to show his love for men. Right now, the Spanish Prime Minister is regretting having considered a black lesbian’s asylum case.

Somewhere, someone will be living a traumatic experience which will be kept secret for years, converting their beautiful difference into something negative. Right now, thousands of people are rediscovering their bodies, making them vibrate.

This is what the 28th of June is about. Pride Day is not a party for glamorous and depoliticized youths, encouraged and sponsored by multinationals and corporations and being gawped at by a silent multitude. This is not Pride. At least it shouldn’t be.

Pride is about daily, organised, creative challenge of people who want to be loved as they are. Pride is about questioning attitudes of people from all walks of life in a collective expression of sexual diversity to politically celebrate the multiplicity and irrepressibility of our bodies, all of them beautiful. We need to think about ourselves in relation to others and recover the personification of theory and social struggle. We need to trust in the collectivity, to feel we are interdependent and that the issue of our bodies affects us all.

June 28th is not a ball of social monsters, diabolical creatures, witches, radical bohemians, rebel artists or indomitable lovers. Or is it? We must all blur the lines of normativity. This is what it’s about. Nudity and corporality. It’s about exposing the vulnerability and fallibility inherent to the human condition, placing the body at the political frontline, lowering emotions and ideas from the attic of the mind to the rest of the body.

It’s about emerging from the “incomparable framework” of dual thinking and giving a new meaning to the multicoloured flag within a new political cycle. It’s urgent. What are our reasons for attending the Pride parties where we live? And, of course, celebrate our lives, transform tragedies into moving stories related with humour and proclaim the Principles of Yogyakarta (2007).

What are we doing in our collectives, neighbourhoods and towns? Are our environments living communities of resistance to neoliberalism, violence and colonialism? Initiatives such as the Orgullos Indignados de Madrid or the Reggaeton stand in Barcelona draw on the history of the LGTBIQ movements in a dissident dance in association with other social movements.

The important thing is to accuse and protest, to demand feminist and indignant creativity. It’s all about creating community with the experience acquired from a changing diversity. The challenge lies in our capacity to be in collective control, to live and fearlessly express our sexual and emotional identities on an ever-changing daily basis.

How can the 28J demos contribute to this as a political exercise within the current crisis of values? How do we feel questioned? There are still lots of unresolved questions and struggles in the context of a country like Spain with progressive sexual and reproductive rights.

Pride should be a collective and creative demonstration of social discontent, a process of permanent construction of an open and inclusive community, negotiating tensions and resolving conflicts. It should be a flow of sexual and emotional ethnographies that shout, challenge and dance their rejection of a capitalist economic model which pierces our identities, destroying liberties and rights achieved by our predecessors. Pride today is a debt with ourselves, a legitimate one in this case.

Laura Corcuera is a journalist, writer and performer.

Original text in Spanish, 28th June 2015




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