by Tomás Ojeda
Thank you, Sonia, and hello everyone. Thanks for being here with us at the launch of the English version of these case study reports. I’m happy to be here, in the company of people whose work I have the deepest respect for and have been following for a long time. My research interests and political commitments towards the study of and resistance to anti-gender attacks, are indebted to the affective and intellectual labour of so many people, most of whom are here with us today. Thanks also to the wonderful people who make up Sexuality Policy Watch and to the authors of the regional study, who have made available these timely and much-needed analyses, first in Spanish and now in English.
I am speaking here from London, where I’ve been based since 2015. I’m also speaking as a Chilean queer feminist researcher, whose interests in what we now call ‘anti-gender ideology’, or ‘anti-genderism’ stem from my early involvement as a member of an LGBT Pastoral Catholic Group in Santiago in 2010, and activism against so-called conversion therapies, in an effort to counter both religious and psychological discourses that equate our lives with predatory behaviours, and as a threatening presence to the binary sex/gender system. At that time, most of our efforts consisted in convincing our allies, including, among them, progressive academics and LGBTIQ+ activists, about the seriousness of ‘anti-gender ideology’ campaigns and their real impact on our lives and on politics; that we needed to talk about it and call them out for their actions; to study them, map out their influence and hold them accountable for their heteropatriarchal, restorative agenda. It was difficult, it took us some time, but here we are, in solidarity with other fellow travellers, sharing resources and possible strategies to resist this new wave of attacks in pandemic times.
This piece is a slightly updated version of the intervention I made at the online launch event of the “Anti-gender Politics in Latin America in the Pandemic Context” e-book on November 29, 2022.