Quite frankly I have to say that it was kind of a weird experience. Coming from Malta and in the end organising my own travel to Madrid whilst the organisation did promise to do so for me. Well, that was quite hectic and I will probably be haunted for the rest of my life by the trauma flying with Ryanair caused. But at least we made it there alive and the turbulence didn’t kill us.
As for the Congress; it was an interesting experience as I have never ever participated in an activity that was solemnly based on the topic of Islam and Homosexuality. Therefor I was extremely happy with amount of ‘International’ guest who could speak on behalf of muslim LGBTQ persons. It was refreshing to hear them speak about the problems but also the opportunities they face in their home countries when addressing the topic. But I must also say that I really disliked and even regretted the organisers, nearly ever present, imperialistic and very paternalistic approach of the topic; like the speech the president of Colega gave or the speech one of the spokespersons op the Spanish PP gave. The undertone of their speeches was nearly threatening for me personally as I do not believe that using force is the way to go to emancipate Mulsim LGBTQ persons in their home countries. But it was fortunately only a minor disturbing thingy in regard to the whole congress.
When it comes to the participation of Merhaba and me to the congress, I must say that I’m quite happy as we have now a lot of contacts with other European and International NGO’s working on the topic. This can only strenghten our network. Also our contribution to the round table on Muslim LGBTQ migrants in Europe was quite good as I think that we have made a few points clear. Like the difficult issue of “Coming Out” and the issue of inclusion of the bigger migrant community to come to a true emancipation of migrant LGBTQ’s. And I can say I’m glad for that.
So I’m definatly up for another congress on this topic. Maybe the one during the Outgames in Copenhagen next year?