Pride parade in Vancouver rejects Iranian over veil float

Date Written:  31/08/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22118

Iranian Shawn Shirazi and his group Cirque de So Gay were denied entry to the Pride Parade in Vancouver, Canada this year because their float criticising the veil was deemed to be 'culturally [in]sensitive'.



Everyone except the Vancouver Pride Society knows the veil has been imposed by brute force in Iran and for that matter in many places. But throw enough acid in women’s faces, beat enough unveiled or “improperly-veiled” women or imprison enough of them over decades as has been done in Iran and you will always find collaborators like those at VancouverPride Society saying “it’s your culture, shut up and enjoy the oppression.”

Of course, there are some women who like wearing the veil just as there are some gay men who willingly go to conversion sessions and exorcisms to become straight, but you don’t stop defending LGBT or women’s rights because there are those who have bought into the religious-right’s narrative and culture.

After all, culture isn’t homogenous. For every person defending the veil or therapies for “curing” LGBT, there are plenty of people opposing them and the Iranian regime’s “culture” imposed by brute force.

It’s a good thing the Vancouver Pride Society wasn’t around to tell the suffragettes demanding women’s right to vote or the black civil rights activists entering white only diners to end segregation to shut up and go home and be more “culturally sensitive”.

There were some whose culture it was to consider women and LGBT sub-human and others whose culture it was to demand equal rights. Unfortunately for Vancouver Pride Society, it has decided to firmly stand with the defenders of the veil (which implies that women’s bodies are so dangerous causing fitnah and chaos in society, thereby the need to conceal them), rather than those criticising and opposing the veil.

If the Society was around in the 1970s, what would they have told those organising Pride Vancouver? It’s people’s culture to be homophobic – “stop being culturally insensitive”, “shut up and go home and enjoy the oppression.”

If everyone listened to the likes of the Society, where would any of us be?

Yes, racism exists– and by the way, we refugees and migrants from Iran and the Middle East know that better than those sitting on the “Parade Working Group”. We all live it as we do sexism and homophobia and xenophobia but you can’t fight racism by ignoring misogyny and homophobia.

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