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Supplement: We Have Turned Desire Into An Autonomous Space

Leonardo Tlahui
Date Published: 
January 01, 0001

“Stories from The Other Campaign” - Supplement 1 of 2

    [I’ve including this piece as I wanted to share the unedited speech of at least one adherent to The Other Campaign to give a flavor for what Delegate Zero’s meetings with adherents are like. Also, in this case, Tlahui was an especially fabulous member of the Oaxacan organizing community and definitely deserves a wide audience. –RJ]

Leonardo Tlahui’s Speech at the University of the Land (UniTierra) in Dialogue with Delegate Zero on February 10th, 2006

Welcome Sup [Marcos],

Welcome to dignity, justice and freedom.

Our snail's heart (corazon de caracol) is ready to receive the dignitary fire from the center of the earth. Here we are, sexual diversity, to walk together the road of justice. To denounce cowards and traitors for the years of forgetting us. Against intolerance, our presence, brothers and sisters!

Sexual diversity has been analyzed under different disciplines like psychology or social sciences. However, very little has been discussed with regard to the biological realm and of the possible links between this and the great variety of modalities that human sexuality adopts. The freedom of sexual preference must be respected and defended with full force because it represents the essence of all the freedoms that a person in an allegedly democratic society has a right to. Intolerance is one of the burdens that have dragged humanity to an inescapable abyss. The sexual (liberation) movement was one ... against the forms of discrimination that exist in contemporary societies. A political struggle in the first person arises with the homosexual critique of societies, as one assumes the body as a place for struggle in defense of rights and dignity. We have turned desire into an autonomous space.

Looking back on the history of struggle of homosexuals, on the 10-year commemoration of the Tlatelolco massacre, attention was focused on a nucleus of homosexual people that, for the first time, showed their face in defense of their rights. The reaction of the moralistic left was one of shock, of disbelief, of mock, of refusal as it is now. With this act, the budding movement affirms its character as a revolutionary proposal linked to other social struggles. The generation that opened the breech came from the unions of 68 and from communist groups. The ideological and political foundation of our struggle was in the left. Organizations such as the Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action [FHAR] arose from the homosexuality debate in the left.

The first half of the 80's saw the wearing down of the groups, confrontations among different groups that had nothing to offer to the gay community. It created ghettoes that hit our community progressively harder and isolated us from society. Big business began to see the lesbian-gay community, even the gay man and the lesbian, as merchandise. This generation was affected by sexual consumerism in bars and fashion, while others began to die of AIDS. The appearance of AIDS during the crisis of the movement...

We realize that there are very few people who use a condom, that is why AIDS keeps flirting with our community. On the other hand, the social echo of our demands is less thatnbefore. We have seen it now in the badly named homosexual pride march. The media has sought to make the gay issue banal... [TV] Azteca, with surveys and talk shows makes fun of the rights of the lesbian and gay community. The left now also continues with its homophobia, and from this place we ask for clarification on our compañero Octavio Acuña, murdered in the city of Querétaro, activist, psychologist and gay.

And also here before Sup-delegado Zero, we want him to be inclusive every time that he talks about struggles. You have forgotten us a bit in your travels. Here we are, and we are also the rebel movement.

Thank you.

* Thanks to Lopex for the translation to English and to Mark Swier and Michi Kummler for the original recording and transcription of the speech.