Breaking the Silence: Lesbian Activism in Macedonia
This chapter argues that lesbian women in Macedonia, their everyday practices, experiences of violence and discrimination as well as their struggles for human rights are unheard, marked as socially unimportant or unworthy. The lesbian political voice has in recent history become more of a silent ornament in the two major political and social discourses, the one of the gay rights movement and the other of the women’s movement. These practices of silencing the lesbian voice in the name of “the bigger picture” make possible the construction and framing of hegemonic political space marked as commonsensical, privileged, and patriarchal. Silence, I argue, is a core political strategy that marginalises lesbians and lesbian voices not only in the general public sphere, but also within the two domains where lesbian activism belongs: gay rights and feminism. Silence becomes a performative gesture that perpetuates the public’s lack of knowledge regarding female homosexuality.
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