Ten Ten 2013: After Seven Years the Fight Goes On!

IGLHRC believes that a vital part of our mission is supporting the work of activist organizations and allies by disseminating important information on human rights issues affecting LGBT communities worldwide. To this end we are posting this article from Abu Nawas in Algeria.

 

(October 9, 2013)—The annual event – Ten Ten – October 10, 2013 marked the 7th anniversary of the peaceful, activist, and commemorative gesture which was started by the first “revolutionary” moves of the LGBTQI community in Algeria in 2007. A true “anniversary” of what has always been a struggle of solidarity and unity for the rights of Algerian gay men, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people, it is still under the sign of a huge hope and an unshakable faith in our fight and our cause that the members of our community will light their candles on this year for a new tribute.

Seven years… this is dating us !

On a quite ordinary day in October 2007, a lot of us were discovering, on their favorite websites and other online platforms, this surprising and uncommon call to light a candle on October 10 at 8pm, to state our elementary right to exist and to be different. Since then, the importance of the event is such that thousands of candles are lit each year. Ten Ten was at the time a liberating act which took us out of invisibility, out of apathy and despair. It has helped us facing the indifference, the disdain and the silence of our society, which is burdening us with its homophobic and liberty-killing laws. Today, the Ten Ten event still bears the same meaning. This is our national Day, the one when we shout out our thirst for freedom and our will to struggle for our right to fully live our difference.

But seven years made us stronger!

Thanks to the efforts of the Abu Nawas group, the principal representative group of the Algerian LGBTQI community, and of its individual members, our movement has taken its shape and has gained a lot in maturity. It constitutes the major initiative to which we owe the few victories that we have won so far. During all these years, when we have continuously advocated hope, unity, tolerance as well as love, optimism and the faith in a bright future, numerous alliances have been forged and our ranks have been keeping growing and getting stronger; our goals have become clearer; our resources and our means of action have widened; our fame has grown ; we do not let anybody indifferent: the media, politicians, NGOs, and even the Algerian society… We have managed to drag ourselves out of the silence and anonymity in which general intolerance kept us, and we have managed to become a hot topic. We are stronger!

2013 is a turning point !

This is a crucial year for us because homophobia has never shown its face this much before. Although so far we only experienced it in our country, we have been witnessing its cruelty for months beyond our borders, therefore we have observed it with more “distance” and we could realize how much work remains to be done. This is why, in this troubled year all over the world, we are more than ever conscious that there is a necessity to maintain “a continued struggle”. Being conscious of all the courage and all the patience which have always paced our actions in the context of this huge challenge, we will from now on turn toward consistency, perseverance and hard work to get the respect of our rights!

Like we do every year, we invite each and every one of you to light a candle on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 8PM, as a way to pay a tribute to us and remember our past struggles, to express your solidarity and your support to our struggle… The candles will be a symbol to the fire which is burning inside of us, the force which is in us, and we will remind the world the nobility of our cause and the fact that it deserves to be defended with tenacity!