“Queers are Awake and, United with Feminists We Stand”

A poster that reads “Kuirlər Oyaqdır, Feminist Hərəkata Dayaqdır” was hung over a bridge located in Baku’s Central Park. The poster, which translates to “Queers are Awake and, United with Feminists We Stand,” has garnered attention and pointed out a necessary conversation about LGBTQ+ rights and feminism in Azerbaijan.

The poster was hung in the lead-up to International Women’s Day on March 8th, which has become a day of activism and protests for feminist movements around the world. In Azerbaijan, feminist groups have been organising demonstrations and marches for the past several years to draw attention to the systemic violence and discrimination that women face in the country.

The poster’s message is especially significant in Azerbaijan, where the LGBTQ+ community faces significant social stigma and legal discrimination. 

Queers are Awake
Photo: Ulviyya Ali/Femkulis

LGBTQ+s face an epidemic level of harassment and discrimination in various aspects of their lives, including in employment, housing, and healthcare. The country does not have any legal recognition or protection for LGBTI+s, and there have been reports of violence and abuse against LGBTQ+ community.

The poster has sparked both support and opposition from the public. Some have praised the message for its advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights and feminism, while others have criticised it as promoting “immorality” and “deviance.”

The poster’s placement in Central Park, a popular public space in the heart of Baku, has made it highly visible. The message serves as a reminder that the fight for gender and sexuality equality is ongoing and that marginalised groups deserve to have their voices heard.

As Azerbaijan prepares for International Women’s Day, the poster serves as a call to action for activists and supporters of feminist and LGBTQ+ rights to continue pushing for progress and advocating for marginalised communities.

Vahid Aliyev
Vahid Aliyev
Vahid Aliyev is an LGBTIQ+ rights defender and an expert on Azerbaijan for ILGA-Europe. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in Queer History at Goldsmiths University in London. He is a freelance translator and researcher who collaborates with organisations such as IMAGINE, OC Media, Caucasus Edition, Minority Azerbaijan, and many others. His main focus is on conflicts and sexuality, queer theory and history, queer feminism, and the role of capitalism in the formation of LGBTIQ+ communities and globalisation. He is the founder of the "Blue" idea association, which is engaged in various types of research related to sexuality and gender, queer history and theories, sociology, and politics.

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