LGBTQ ROMA WILL BE REMEMBERED?
On this Memorial Day of August 2, how many LGBTQ Roma will be remembered? How does one go about commissioning research on the subject? Is there anything we can say about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we might never know, while remembering?
For example, among the LGBTQ prisoners in the death camps, how many were Roma or Sinti? Do we know? How do we know? I think we can assume among the middle class and well integrated Roma and Sinti in Berlin between the wars, there must have been some who frequented LGBTQ establishments and might have been imprisoned for that. Do we know anything about such instances? Why not?
Among the Roma and Sinti prisoners, how many were in the closet? Afraid to come out? or perhaps were ostracised and easily sacrificed as the first victims? or perhaps not sacrificed, as such things were secondary to family relationships? How do we know, will we ever know?
Is it important to find out, or is it just a distraction from doing what is important today, for the living?
LGBTQ Roma exist. Today as throughout all of history, we have existed. We may have a harder time than the rest, if living today under marginalized conditions of poverty. What can Roma do to help their LGBTQ brothers and sisters? What can mainstrean LGBTQ people do to help their LGBTQ Roma brothers and sisters?……LGBTQ Roma are building bridges across intersectional identities every day, creating alliances for both movements. We have much to offer. And those who are invisible will be able to offer much more, when they know that they are supported and safe, when we celebrate our differences as well as our contributions to living together in harmony.