TenTen2010 National Day for LGBT People in Algeria

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.


The Birth of The Movement

We do not want to hide anymore behind the walls. We do not want to stay idle. We do not want to suffer silently and we do not want to suffer in any case. We do not want Articles 333 and 338 of the Algerian Penal Code. We do not want to give up, but we want to act.

A date was born-again, 10th October self-proclaimed as national day for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people (L.G.B.T) in Algeria. The Selim I, alias Selim the terrible, who was born on October 10, 1470, and who is also referred to as Selim the grim, and Selim the courageous. Although he was known as Salim the grim to Western ambassadors at the time, he respected and revered scientists and writers, and was keen for their presence on the boards. His name properly the first Bin Bayezid II Bin Mohammed the Conqueror, (October 10, 1470 / September 22, 1520), Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and the successor of the Muslims and the first dubbed the Commander of the Faithful of the Ottoman Caliphs, known in the West as Selim the grim and nicknamed as well as (Yavuz) which means brave in Turkish, was the Caliph for eight years from 1512 until his death 1520.

The Sultan Selim was brave, intelligent ambitious, with great prestige, steadfast, and passionate about military and jihad (invasion); the historians recognized his military genius in the history of the cunning and military achievements. He had fiery temper and full blooded personality but in the closeness of his lover he turned into a poet, He said: "I, who shake under my feet the lions of Europe, become a lamb a depositary near the beardless youth with the onyx eyes".

Thus, we chose the October 10 for its historical and religious symbolism, to maintain our Arab Muslim identity. We do not follow a particular wave, not a Western model. We do not believe in the logic of mimicry and dependency, in which our opponents accuse us of in many cases. They are ashamed of this subject which is taboo, so completely degrade its value to the level of worthless phenomenon; a minority which no need to talk about.

We are determined to fight for our rights to repeal laws that criminalize homosexuality, and not to be stigmatized. To be able to complain when we are exposed to violence without fear of being criminalized. Not to be justified for the police to harass us in the street for no lawful reason but only for being who we are, LGBT.

For all these reasons we decide to fight, and say No!

The TenTen 2010 aims to light candles at 8:00 pm on October 10 no matter what the participant’s gender or sexual orientations are. The event may appear simple but it is a symbol of solidarity with Algerian LGBT who through lighting candles at the same time in different cities in Algeria and around the world, break their sense of isolation and give themselves a glimpse of hope for their community.

October 10 2010: One slogan “Hope!”

The National Day of Algerian LGBT in its four years life takes for the first time the slogan “Hope”. Abu Nawas group supervises the event, and last September launched 2 competitions to design poster and video for the event TenTen 2010 (in reference to 10/10/2010) under the banner of “hope”. The competitions are for Algerian online LGBT forum members. Abu Nawas only plays the role of coordination and supervision of the competition while the forum members will design and vote for the best poster and best video of the official event.

New this year: the Album represents 10 in Arabic which also means sociability. The concept involves the direct participation of internet users from Algerian LGBT to design photo album of TenTen 2010. The participants take pictures of candles in well-known or historical places in cities where they are. Participation is open to Algerian citizens and their friends outside the country. Abu Nawas Group seeks through this album of candles (Ten) TenTen in the streets of Algeria to put an end of celebrating "in secrecy" to this day...