Heroes of Igla – Breaking Records and Barriers

Rantzau has been swimming with the Glamourhead Sharks for the better part of the last two decades. “We work hard with our club to ensure that we can engage with all segments of the LGBTIQ + community. One of the wonderful things about IGLA is that it certainly is an environment where you will be supported and loved.”

That was definitely the case for 34-year-old Hani Ghazi, who swims with the Glamourheads and represented Palestine at IGLA.

“It is important to show visibility of Arab and Muslim countries in LGBTQ events. If you look at the array of flags (at the event), most countries are European, North American, Australian and some are Latin American. It was important for me to have representation of the Arab world.

“People dismiss the Palestinian struggle because they assume that most Arab and Muslim countries are homophobic, and sympathise with their oppressors because they are gay friendly. That is what I call pink washing.

“I am here to shatter that stereotype, resist and show that there is LGBT organizing in our communities. I want more gay Palestinians to come out, I want them to feel encouraged to represent at international events, to build solidarity and acknowledgement for Palestine.”

Ghazi draws similarities between the struggles of the Australian indigenous community and Palestinians, both of whom were dispossessed from their lands.

“This is a form of activism, of defiance and at tying it with queer, indigenous, and Palestinian resistance,” adds Ghazi.

Read the article by Shibu Thomas in the Star Observer.