Over 240 LGBTQ+ Artists Sign Open Letter Calling for Permanent Ceasefire in Gaza

Reading 3 min Published by

More than 240 LGBTQ+ artists have signed an open letter calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and pledging to boycott performing in Israel “until Palestinians are free.”

The Queer Artists for Palestine open letter, published on Wednesday, asserts that the LGBTQ+ community “has a role to play” in speaking out against Israel’s ongoing bombardment and siege of Gaza. The letter notes that since October 7, Israel has killed over 20,000 Palestinians, with nearly 2 million residents of Gaza displaced, according to UN estimates.

“Now more than ever, we must be clear: queer people are no friends to Israeli apartheid,” the letter reads. “We use our voices and our platforms to oppose systemic violence and inequality – against Palestinians, and against all people everywhere.”

The letter has so far been signed by a wide-ranging group of LGBTQ+ artists and cultural workers, including actors Indya Moore, Angelica Ross, and Hari Nef; artist Juliana Huxtable; musicians Kehlani, MUNA, and boygenius; Drag Race winners Willow Pill, Shea Coulée and Sasha Velour; and many others. A press release from the Institute for Middle East Understanding, a California-based non-profit that is helping to publicize the letter, also notes that the majority of the signatories are trans and people of color, which it called “a historically diverse statement of support for Palestinians.”

“Our queer Palestinian siblings have asked us to stand firmly with them in their call for dignity and self-determination,” the letter reads. “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.”

The term “pinkwashing” refers to the idea that Israel projects an image of tolerance and acceptance toward LGBTQ+ people as a way to distract from its ongoing violations of the human rights of Palestinians.

The Queer Artists for Palestine open letter is one of many that that has brought together cultural workers across the world to call for a ceasefire in Gaza since Israel’s siege on the Strip began. A letter titled Artists for Ceasefire was signed by 340 major artists and actors in late October, while a Musicians for Palestine letter released in mid-November now has more than 6,000 signatures.

Get the best of what’s queer. Sign up for Them’s weekly newsletter here.