I’m Monika, I’m Anna, and we’re speaking for Judeobolschewiener*innen today. We are a collective of left-wing Jews from Vienna with various backgrounds. When we formed, it was clear to us that Solidarishkeyt, Yiddish for solidarity, should be one of our basic principles. It was clear to us that Jewish activism had to be just as diverse as lived Jewish realities, our lived realities.
We’re Jewish, many of us are queer, and we won’t choose one over the other. We will not allow one to exclude the other. Because queer people are everywhere. In every country, in every culture and on every corner. This is not going to change, no LGBT + free zone, no law and no government can change this! We stand in solidarity with the Hungarian LGBT + community and condemn the actions of the Hungarian government in the strongest possible terms!
It cannot be that in a Europe that invokes human rights, a Europe in which the Holocaust took place less than a hundred years ago, queer people have to be afraid of showing themselves and that their visibility is being criminalized. We must not have any illusions: Europe has not learned from its history. When we talk about Europe, we are talking about a community. A self-imagined community that represents nothing more than a fortress. A fortress that not only drowns people in the Mediterranean, but also oppresses its own inhabitants: where minorities and marginalized groups still cannot live without fear, while Europe boasts that human rights are held so very high.
And Austria is watching, we are watching. The news that reach us from Hungary happen not so many kilometers away. They come from the other side of the Neusiedlersee. We can’t afford to look the other way and pretend this doesn’t affect us. We must show solidarity with those who resist and show solidarity with those who are too afraid to resist. For those who don’t dare to come out. We have to shout for precisely these people, for those who cannot shout. Queer rights are not negotiable, they are not a plaything of politics. When right-wing extremist politicians talk about the fact that queer people represent the collapse of a society, a danger for children and families, then we have to sit up and take notice.
As Jews, we know how important community is. But community means more than just rainbow capitalism once a year. Community means that we are there for each other. That we take care of those who are most vulnerable right now. Community means that we have to be loud until our community is safe – always and everywhere. Community also means that you choose your family. If we are part of a community, then we are a family, a family beyond heteropatriarchal ideas, then we are a family that stands up for itself, that supports itself.
The attack on the Hungarian LGBT + community is an attack on us all, we must not forget that. We must not forget that when the Austrian government hesitates whether to speak out against the Hungarian law with other EU countries. We cannot wait, we cannot give up, we cannot rely on governments to protect us. We have to make sure that our voices are heard, we have to make sure that the voices of the queer people in Hungary are heard, we have to protest with them. Because in the end it is only our pressure, our protest that makes a difference. And while we stand up for our siblings in Hungary, we must not forget one thing: Repressions against queer people take place not only in Hungary. No one is free until all are free! Our solidarity must remain intersectional and uncompromising. It must last until the community in Hungary and all queer people are liberated!