17th of May for me is a day of solidarity and memory of those that fell victim to hatred. We only have this one day, in which we can be who we truly are – all the days in the year should be for that, but sadly that is not the case.

Queer community needs 17th of May, a day against homophobia and transphobia, to support others. Those that are still questioning, who feel alone, are plagued by uncertainty and don’t know how to defend themselves. To show them that they’re not alone. That we’re fighting for them when we walk outside.

Mostly negative attitudes toward us are the result of propaganda addressed against us and the spread of misinformation. Replacement of 17th of May, a day against transphobia and homophobia, with a “Family day” is also a part of this propaganda. Political actors who rule the propaganda machines are rich and powerful. They don’t care about the sanctity of Family, it is only a weapon to cast us out.

17th May of 2013 was also a lesson for us, that we shouldn’t put lives in danger even in the purest of causes. At the same time, the fact that we were dispersed and the government did not protect us does not mean that we should give up on fighting. We should not give up on our goals and look for other less painful ways to defend our rights.

Just marches are not enough. It is important to utilize the time in between. In contrast, we can use it to our advantage: we can also say that the sanctity of family is important to us, that we also have families, and we also love our family members and whatever they say, we are neither perverted nor sinful. We are normal people. On the contrary, bullying and taking away rights from other people is the perverted and unfair thing to do.

Fear comes from ignorance and we need to provide accurate information about us. The way we are victims of hatred, so are the people that were duped by misinformation and hatred campaigns. Including our family members and friends, those who fear LGBTQ people and want to destroy us.

If we don’t conquer our fears our whole society will be defeated and those hatred groups and political actors that use propaganda against us. Bullying and hatred toward us are political actors’ way to manipulate people, become more powerful and rich, gain more support and divert attention from real issues.

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