The announcement that the US government will henceforth push the achievement of “gay rights” internationally, as a key element of its foreign policy, gives new meaning to the phrase “blowback” – and cut out the snickering! Because the self-righteousness and narcissism of American policymakers, in this instance, will have very real consequences for gay people throughout the world, and it isn’t going to be pretty.
The “gay issue” is becoming an increasingly hot topic in Western media coverage of the Arab world. In fact, beginning with the spate of gay killings in US occupied Iraq, the status of non-normative sexualities has perhaps been enfolded within a discourse that highlights the plight of “women” in Arab/Muslim countries, and the ideological, material, and military mobilization that such a discourse licenses.
This is not to say that homophobia does not exist in the Middle East. It does. It exists in every country in the world. However, the question here is: Are these groups/governments legitimately and honestly concerned about LGBTQs in the Middle East, or are they simply using them and their struggles for their own ends, whether it is to show how much more advanced they are or to deflect attention away from their own homophobia/political problems? Does the Israeli government, for example, honestly want to help Palestinian LGBTQs, or is it simply using them to make a point about Israeli society being more advanced, and to whitewash its occupation? Indeed, if the Israeli government wanted to help Palestinian LGBTQs, wouldn’t removing an occupation be the first step?
Imperialistic states like USA and Israel have not only appropriated women’s rights to instigate more war but they have also invaded and appropriated the space of LGBTQ communities by using their identity as an excuse to wage more war. The phenomenon is called Pinkwashing. Make sure you read about it.