Happy May17

Dear Wikimedians, today is the 20th celebration of May17th the International Day Against Homophobia, Lesbophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Intersexphobia.

It is celebrated in the months that Wiki for Human Rights is happening yet almost no activity was registered by biggest affiliates and social media channels.

In fact LGBTIQ+ communities and individuals have been experiencing backlashing on home wikies (increasing number of queer and feminist editors have been blocked), funds have been reduced/denied and numerous Wikimedia Foundation or Affiliate employees/contractors have been doing less work in the community if not fully reverted to their private strategic safety of a closet/selectively visible identities…All of this is happening in the context where we are half way through to our Wikimedia 2030 Strategy period and while we are constantly requested to celebrate openness of content with joy if not euforia of pioneers.

Our issues are much more than fixing Wikipedias and its LGBTIQ+ content gaps. Our issues are also basic safety that enables participation gap work and basic equity in self-allocation of funds to close the resource gaps to which officials turn the blind eye (aged metaphors of regional distributions still dominate Wikimedia core conceptual frameworks). Hetero (and Homo) normativity has been blocking change both actively and as passive aggressive behaviour of those in power.

To quote Robbert Dijkgraaf, Minister for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands: “Stop talking about inclusion. Talk about expansion. Because it’s not about whether you fit into our society. It’s about whether society expands to provide space for you. When society grows, it creates a broader and richer environment for everyone to enjoy.” This is an invitation to consider is Wikimedia doing too little by advocating tolerance and acceptance if no new models of work and structures of organizing are encouraged to accommodate the spectra of differences.

Following the last Signpost mention of No_queerphobia Wikipedia:No queerphobia - Wikipedia we would encourage individuals in all language communities to consider, with safety in mind and in solidarity with others, doing actions of translating, localizing or writing own essays that address their experiences and needs (not naively expecting they are same for all and everywhere), so that at least our bottom up efforts on our platforms could not be ignored.

Today we should all be in solidarity with those who have less chances to live and act safely and openly, get heard, counted for and appreciated, be supported, informed and empowered, as the motto of May17 for this year is “No one left behind: equality, freedom, and justice for all”…


Z. Blace for QueeringW organization team