The IPRGF, as an anarchist militia fighting ISIS in Rojava tweeted out this image from Raqqa. It’s marking the formation of ‘The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army’ (TQILA), a subgroup of the IRPGF. They proclaim “Queer Liberation! Death to Rainbow Capitalism! “.
A report from ARA News says that Mustafa Bali, Director of the SDF Media Centre, has said the group is not officially part of the SDF or the People’s Protection Units (YPG). However, he has also made some progressive remarks relating to LGBT rights:
“We in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), while emphasizing our deep respect for human rights, including the rights of homosexuals, we deny the formation of such a battalion within the framework of our forces and we consider this news to be untrue,” Bali said in a statement.
Heval Rojhilat, spokesperson for TQILA, told ARA News in an exclusive interview: “Many of our hevals [comrades in Kurdish] were excited and happy that we brought a rainbow flag. Remember that part of the ideology training of the YPJ/YPG includes Jineolojî, which speaks about gender as a social construct and about sexuality in radical ways. Some of the hevals have even read Judith Butler and Michel Foucault,” he said.
“We cannot say our numbers for security reasons but as part of the IRPGF, we are the 4th major component of the IFB along with MLKP, BÖG and TIKKO. All of which have guerrilla forces in not only Rojava but Bashur, Bakur and Turkey,” he added.
“The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army was formed to advance the struggle of Queers in a region currently undergoing a transformative and inspiring social revolution which includes women’s liberation, ecology and communalism,” the spokesman told ARA News.
“We believe as Queers in the Middle East that one of the most radical acts we can do is to announce our existence to people and governments who have and continue to claim that we do not exist, he concluded.