Jackie Bruckman
Queer Feminist Zionist from Hell

Queer Spaces Are Not Safe

San Francisco’s Dolores Park used to be a Jewish cemetery. The iconic city park is where over a hundred years ago, the government dug up 8,000 Jewish bodies and moved them south of the city for reburial. If you have been at the park at night then you know what I mean when I say there is weird energy there.

The park is a landmark open space where several LGBTQ community events happen on a yearly basis. The very first Dyke March kicked off from the park in an unsanctioned take over of the streets in the Mission District. I was there. On the heels of Take Back the Night marches, dykes took matters into their own hands and took over the streets of San Francisco. Ever since 1993, the SF Dyke March and now SF Trans March hold their annual events during June Pride season in the park with stages, vendors, performances, music, and speeches.

I have performed music at many of these events and performed at benefits throughout the city to fundraise for these events. I lost count how many over the decades. I have done the same for multiple LGBTQ orgs throughout the Bay Area over the years. I have also financially supported several orgs with sponsorships and donations as a local business owner of a worker owner co-operative and later as an executive at the same company when it went private. I have fought for civil rights my entire adult life.

I don’t support any movement or political ideology that justifies mass rape as resistance. Queers for Palestine reminds me of gays supporting Nambla being part of Pride parades. You can pretend you’re revolutionary but in reality, you may have a nefarious agenda of normalizing dehumanization. 

Yesterday was ‘420’ and many cities had their own festivals celebrating cannabis. The demonstration across from the Fairmont hotel in downtown Vancouver was full of Palestinian flags and women in hijabs speaking about community and love. As I drove by, I had to laugh because now the the anti Israel activists have co-opted 420 festivals.

Last time I was in Israel and Palestine, I smoked a joint on the beach in Tel Aviv but no way in hell did I spark up in Ramallah. 

Girl please.

In 2017 called out SF Dyke March, Chicago Dyke March, and Boston Dyke March for perpetuating ancient blood libels and racist anti-semitic tropes, and got apologies from some and saw public apologies from others, not all. 

When Queers for Palestine call themselves anti racist and anti colonial but cheer on one of the most racist and colonizing forces in the Middle East- radical Islamic fundamentalists, it’s beyond absurd given that Palestine is behind Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo when rated on gay rights. Throughout history, Jews have never conquered or forcibly converted anyone. Israel has been conquered and colonized many times. I hear the word apartheid bandied about making it sound like Israel has ‘jews only’ signs up everywhere, given the population is over 50% non-white and over 2 million citizens are not Jewish, this is disturbing and dangerous propaganda.

Do Queers for Palestine want to liberate Palestinian society? Are they demanding that women are treated equally and that children have more rights than being left in harms way near rocket launchers? Are they demanding the hostages be released? 

How many have done anything for peace in the region besides reposting a hashtag? I am beyond disappointed, I am disgusted with some political leaders I worked side by side with on LGBTQ rights. There are leaders in the Democratic Party in California who believe that Israel should be isolated and that another October 7th is probably justified. Some of them post publicly on social media with impunity. 

And people wonder how the Third Reich murdered Jews and how most Germans looked the other way. 

I was at the California Democratic convention in Long Beach several years ago actively working on defeating anti Israel rhetoric from being adopted as official party resolutions. BDS orgs and activists were onsite trying to hijack the conversation on multiple occasions. Their strategy involves dead Palestinians and 300 miles of underground terror tunnels beneath the population. They don’t condemn Hamas, they call Israeli women liars and they cos play thinking they are a modern version of freedom riders while calling for intifada and justifying mass rape as legitimate resistance. The dissonance and disconnect is staggering.  

Women are being beaten in Iranian jails for refusing to wear a head scarf demanded of them by the Supreme Leader while Queers for Palestine gear up for Pride season by wrapping themselves in keffiyehs. Many claim to be a peace activist but end up sounding like a Mullah. 

I am proud of my progressive politics. I believe in decriminalization of sex work, cannabis, and body autonomy. When some of the leaders of Queers for Palestine were in diapers, I was fighting cops in the streets during Rodney King riots and demanding healthcare access for poor people and gay men suffering from AIDS. I don’t have to justify my existence to people I know who don’t have my back.

Why don’t Queers for Palestine invite Yahya Sinwar to Columbia University’s protest site to speak on a panel about LGBTQ rights in Gaza. He can fill you in on how they torture, mutilate and then publicly kill queers for all to see, children included. Their own leaders are not immune, just ask him about Mahmoud Ishtiwi. 

The Ayatollah is no Cyrus the Great, Hamas are not freedom fighters, and there are still hostages in Gaza. Mass rape is not resistance, it’s mass rape and it’s a war crime.

About the Author
Jackie (Jack) Bruckman is a Queer Singer/Songwriter and Performer performing under the pseudonym Jackie Strano. Strano has founded a new doom metal project called The Queer Elder. A longtime activist who has spent decades in Progressive and LGBTQ Politics as well as educating about equal rights, sex positive feminism, and community empowerment. They visited Israel in 2017 as a Mission Leader with A Wider Bridge and visited Israel and the West Bank. They support a two state solution free of terrorists.
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