Queer x Poverty: HinQ (Hinkon o nakusu tame no Kuia [Queer] no kai) launched on April 21, 2013

As previously announced on this blog, a new queer group in Japan has been formed and officially launched on April 21, 2013 in Kuki city. The group’s name is Hinkon o nakusu tame no Kuia [Queer] no kai, literally translated as Queers for Ending Poverty.

The event report is available in English here.

Based on the conversations that took place at the event, HinQ’s Mission Statement has been finalized and uploaded on the group’s website, also available in English. Below is the entire Statement.

Hinkon o nakusu tame no queer no kai (HinQ) is a Gunma/Tochigi/Saitama/Ibaraki-based queer group launched on April 21, 2013 in order to “fight the social structures that drive certain people into poverty” and “make better the lives of the economically disadvantaged,” based on the philosophy that queer issues and the issues of poverty cannot be separated but are two sets of social problems that overlap each other.

The reason why we use the term “queer” instead of “LGBT” is because we recognize the need and importance of acknowledging the existence of queers who do not get represented fully or at all in the mainstream “LGBT” framework that is becoming more and more closely tied to and incorporated into the market mechanisms.

HinQ recognizes that “poverty” is not a given, but a socially constructed situation that is unjustly created and maintained, and labeled as “poverty.” We recognize that in order to “end poverty,” we need to not only strive to make better the lives of the economically disadvantaged but also fight the social structures that create and maintain “poverty,” and undermine the advantages of those who benefit from such social structures. We also recognize the impossibility of explaining the complex, rich lives of those in “poverty” by only talking about their poverty, and refuse the idea that such people’s lives are always full of difficulties. In this understanding, HinQ not only aims to shed light on the diversity within the queer community but also on the diverse human experiences of “poverty.”

Based on such understandings, HinQ does not believe in creating “support for poor LGBT individuals.” Instead, we value the humble act of listening to and paying close attention to the diversities of sexuality and sexual lives, of genders and gender experiences, and of poverty and lives affected by it, as well as to the complexities of overlaps and intersections. We make it our objective to create and practice activities that value both practical, specific approaches and ideological, critical interventions. In so doing, we also question the binary of the supporting/helping and the supported/helped; instead, we aim at creating solidarity and coalition among those who face the difficulties based on sexuality, gender, and poverty.

If you are interested, you can subscribe to HinQ’s e-newsletter here.

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