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300+ LGBTQ Artists Join Call For Ceasefire in Gaza, Boycott of Israel

LGBTQ Artists Call Ceasefire Gaza Open Letter Angelica Ross Joel Kim Booster Hari Nef Adrienne Maree Brown
Shutterstock; Monica Schipper/Getty Images; facebook @adriennemaree

Over 300 LGBTQ+ artists are demanding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, vowing "not to perform or participate in public events in Israel until Palestinians are free."

More than 330 LGBTQ+ artists and counting have signed an open letter calling for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

The letter, entitled Queer Artists for Palestine, stated that the LGBTQ+ community "has a role to play" in opposing human rights violations. It was signed by actors and musicians such as Phoebe Bridgers, Kehlani, Lauren Jauregui, MUNA, boygenius, Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, and Hari Nef; as well as famous drag queens like Sasha Velour, Shea Coulée, Kandy Muse, and Denali.

"We were devastated to witness the loss of innocent Israeli lives on October 7th, and we have been devastated, and called to action, watching Israel carry out its assault on innocent civilians in Gaza every single day since," the letter reads, referring to the attack by Hamas that killed about 1,200 Israelis.

Since then, the Israeli military has killed over 20,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the latest reports, including nearly 8,000 children. More than 85 percent of the approximately two million residents have been displaced, and over half a million people — 25 percent of the population — are starving, according to the United Nations.

"Our queer Palestinian siblings have asked us to stand firmly with them in their call for dignity and self-determination," the letter continues. "This includes challenging Israel's whitewashing, or 'pinkwashing,' of its brutal military occupation, by exploiting queer performers and voices to cover up decades of right-wing, violent, and racist policies against Palestinians."

"Pinkwashing" is a term that refers to the strategy of governments who promote LGBTQ+ rights as a way to distract from violence against other communities. The term is often applied to Israel by activists, as its government frequently promotes the country as a safe-haven for LGBTQ+ people in the Middle East, despite same-sex marriage not being legal. Interfaith marriage is also not legal in Israel.

The artists' letter adds that they are boycotting performances in the country, pledging "not to perform or participate in public events in Israel until Palestinians are free."

"We believe that showing our work in Israel would dishonor the radical histories of queer activism and self-expression, which stand opposed to violent systems like apartheid and military occupation," the letter states. "Palestinians remind us that none of us are free until we are all free."

Pictured above: Angelica Ross, Joel Kim Booster, Hari Nef, Adrienne Maree Brown

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.