Last year more than 60 million people across the world were forcibly displaced, constituting the largest movement of refugees since the Second World War. With the number crossing the Mediterranean hitting almost 530,000 in the first nine months of 2015, migrants are facing not only the dangers of crossing (almost 3,000 are dead or missing already this year) but a massive right-wing backlash from politicians and the European media upon arrival. LGBTQ people in Europe are being pitted against migrants, who we’re told are homophobic and pose a threat to gay rights.
We refuse to allow our sexualities to be used as weapons of border enforcement. As a community with a history of oppression by the UK state and media, we must stand in unqualified solidarity with those migrants currently facing persecution.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants* is a movement to challenge the racism, xenophobia, islamophobia and homophobia that we see from the media and many politicians. We want to disrupt the prevailing right-wing narrative around migrants through creative discourse intervention, and to provide practical solidarity and support to self-organised migrant groups. We will be planning mass actions to protest UK border enforcement and fundraising to support migrants.
Why the name?
The name is a deliberate reference to Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, a group of queer activists in the 80’s who formed in support of the striking miners. The work done by the original LGSM in the 80s is a direct inspiration for setting up this group. Our intention is to use the name as a way to build on this part of our shared history as queer people extending solidarity and standing with other marginalised people.
This group is inclusive of all sexualities and gender identities. The re-formed Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners of 2014-2015 has included people who did not identify as lesbian or gay, but also come from across the queer spectrum. In a similar vein, this group wants to utilise the recognisable and historical message in the name, while remaining inclusive of the diversity of the queer community in our actions and statements. All LGBTQ+ people are encouraged to get involved.