Saturday, December 8, 2018

De-criminilazing Homosexuality in Botswana

They have pushed, Queer Batswana,

they have pushed to the point that now they believe there is a great chance of getting to the point when they are NOT criminal in their own country.

You are brave. Beautiful, and brave. And worse, you are FABULOUS!

LM is challenging sections 164(a), 164(c) and 167 of the Penal Code, which criminalise same-sex activities in Botswana.

Section 164 outlaws ‘carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature’. Those convicted face a punishment of up to seven years in prison.

Section 167 prohibits ‘indecent practices between persons’ with up to two years in jail.



Friday, December 7, 2018

Acts of Love vs Words of Hate

Every once in a while, I have to boldly affirm that am Gay. I am a Queer African.
The affirmation is a reminder to myself, defiance in the face of increadible hate. And, yes, it is hate.

A site that I will not link to quotes
"Cardinal Polycarp Pengo of Tanzania has refused to welcome international aid programs that are linked with the promotion of homosexuality, insisting that “it is better to die of hunger than to receive aid and be compelled to do things that are contrary to God’s desire.”
I have no reason not to believe that Pengo of Tanzania uttered those words. From his pic on the site, it is highly likely that he has never gone hungry a day in his life. But, I might be wrong.

Staunch "Christians" in Africa believe that they have rights, 'freedom of religion' and 'freedom of speech' to say things like that. Those same holy men and women are not the ones who would suffer the hunger in the name of piety, of course.

And, of whats in their mind is demonising Queer Africans. We are such evils that we cannot be, and people should rather die than 'accept' us.

Contrast that state of mind with this other article, and story quote
"There’s no word for transgender in the local Lumasaaba language. But JoJo’s mom, “she knew,” says JoJo, who identifies today as a woman.
“What can I do?” JoJo remembers her saying. “It is my child.”

At age 22, JoJo, a committed church member, confessed to her pastor that she had feelings for boys. To her relief, he didn’t rebuke her. He said he would pray for her, to help her become “normal.”
But when the pastor’s wife got wind, she outed JoJo in front of the congregation. She said “I am demonic – possessed,” recalls JoJo, who ran from the pews."

The words, especially of these powerful religious leaders matter. They influence hearts and minds. They inform policy. They turn family against themselves.

Who shall we be?

The article above concludes with another anecdote

Medi, a bisexual man in Mbale, remembers the imam of the mosque up his street calling for the death of LGBT people. One day, after a workshop with LGBT activists, the imam approached Medi and asked him outright: Was he gay?
Medi told him the truth. To his surprise, the imam told him to be himself – “but quietly.”
Not surprisingly, this is advice that many in our families give us, queer Africans. They know, and understand in part, the pressures we  live under,  on a daily basis.

Somehow, they believe that we can find a tentative, thread thin 'compromise', between their very loud condemnation, and quiet embraces of love.

Do they?

Queer African, how safe do you feel?


qa

Monday, November 26, 2018

The lies they tell about us: We "recruit" ; Police in Mombasa, Kenya arrest NGO staff on rumours of “recruiting”

Of all the despicable things that are told about us queer human beings, there is nothing that is meant to make us hated by the public like that we 'recruit'.

What does 'recruiting' mean?

I think they mean that we make straight people gay. Thats what I understand. Am (very) open to correction.

Anyway, big question. Do we, queer people, make straight people queer? Can we make a person queer?

We have our own super powers. We are gay. We are fabulous. We trend. We..., are..., beautiful. Hey, we cant help being beautiful.
But, one thing the Creator denied us is being gods. In as much as the Creator granted us the gift of being gay, we were not given the ability to make other people gay.

LOLEST. We cant. Because we are plain human beings. We are not gods!

Back in the days when I was not sure that I wanted to be fabulous gay, I tried my best to be straight. I even had sex with women....! Fortunately, those beautiful women didnt make me straight. They were just normal human beings. They couldnt "recruit me" into heterosexuality.

Same thing. We cannot recruit straight people into homosexuality.

Of course you, a queer human being, can have sex with a straight person. They might like it. I bet you they wont fall in love with you, or do it again because they are attracted to you...! Even young people. They may 'experiment' as they grow up. It doesnt make them gay. Tying labels on them is really bad. But, ignorance makes people start pointing fingers and whispering.

Its boring to say that we are just normal human beings who cant turn others gay.


Unfortunately, we are very often accused (and condemned) of having the supernatural powers to turn straight people gay.

Here is a very good example.

In Mombasa, Kenya, police raided an NGO, arrested and interrogated 2 staff members. Because there were 'rumors' that the organisation was 'recruiting' into homosexuality...!!!

Continued here.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Pink-washed HIV Programming in Uganda



Definitions:

Pink-washing; Of countries embracing and touting LGBT rights and achievements for ‘liberal credentials’ and to distract from human rights abuses in other spheres. Examples; Cuba. Israel.

Pink-washed HIV programming; Of countries, companies, NGOs and even individuals cosmetically embracing HIV prevention and care programming for (gay men) MSM, transgender women (and Sex workers, Injection drug users; the Key Populations in HIV epidemiology)


They all seem adorable and commendable, no? But, like white wash, it is cosmetic, shallow, for purely, and coldly pragmatic and political reasons. In short, we queer people are being taken for a ride. And, please, do not be so lacking in self-respect and needy of attention to believe that our rights trump all others and intersectionality doesn’t matter. If they can’t respect rights for all, have no doubt. There is no real respect of us queer human beings.
Uganda is shining example.

A truncated history; Knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Uganda broke as ‘slim disease’ in early 1980s.

It spread like wildfire. Our people died. Few families didn’t lose at least one person. Sons, daughters, parents, cousins. Aunties, uncles, grand parents.

At first, with no drugs, HIV programming was by proxy. Fear.
And, then came the moralists. Abstinence from Sex. Being faithful to one partner. Condoms  were problematic; the idea that sex outside marriage could be made ‘safer’ was horrifying. So, condoms were downplayed. Oh, un-officially, people were careful. Officially…., no condom programming. God help us, not to anyone under 18.

By 2008, gay activists were demanding HIV programming. And being arrested and prosecuted for it. Uthman, Pepe Julian Onziema and Val Kalende were there.

Come 2014, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill became law…, and did I say medics had a civic duty to report big bad homosexuals and that the US Army Walter Reeds clinic in Kampala was closed for ‘training youths in homosexuality’? Yeah, it was giving ARV drugs and care and doing research on gay Ugandan men. How horrible and terrible of the US government!

But, Global Fund insisted on need for programming for key populations. Including gay men, transgender women, people who inject drugs, and sex workers. So, programming was done, on the hush. Ugandans are hyper moralists. Mere mention of the existence of stigmatised key populations is not kosher. Little issues like importation of condom-safe, water based lubricants were papered over…. The public was indignant that anal sex could be made safer…., The official refrain, money for HIV programming is going to be held up, if we don’t do any programming for these despised, despicable but vulnerable HIV key populations. Inquiries in parliament dumbed down.

Come 2018, 22nd November.

After the ruling party receives a thumping in by-elections earlier in the year, and opposition MPs are beaten and tortured, and the rise of ‘People Power’ refrain, there is dire need of a distraction.
Parliament scored first (all MPs will be on the ballot). The Uganda parliament delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference spearheads adoption of a moratorium on any debate on LGBT issues at the IPU. Well reported in Uganda, and backslapping and all round congratulations and rounds of applause in Uganda Parliament when the delegates returned, flushed with success on the international scene. This is no joke, or fake news. Nsaba-Buturo, (homophobe fallen out of political grace), and former Minister of Ethics and Integrity, commends the Speaker of Uganda Parliament, Madam Kadaga, for her leadership at the IPU mobilisation. He wants her for President, come 2024. Such stellar anti-gay credentials are all that’s necessary (in his mind) to be President of the Republic.

But, that was parliament. Government needs to do its own thing. Time for a good distraction.

Uganda AIDS Commission convenes a meeting, the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Symposium, 22 November 2018. Minister of Ethics and Integrity the Rt Honourable Lokodo, official homophobe, has oversight in whats said at the meeting. It will stretch your credulity on how he gains such considerable over-sight powers. He couldn’t stop the international Nyege nyege festival (an orgy of homosexuality, nudity and drugs akin to "devil worship"). As a matter of fact, he got a literal slap in the face and was disowned by government. Of his ethics credentials, not a squeak came out his mouth when members of parliament were beaten and tortured. Did he condemn the lies that government spewed forth like a cataract of the mighty Nile? I don’t know. The noise was deafening, of the lies.

So, as per the activists who attended, reports Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG),

“Lokodo targeted our Acting Programs Director Richard Lusimbo who after lots of research and preparation was supposed to give a presentation about "Using Rights Evidence and Action to support HIV among Most At Risk Populations" We still have lots of work to do to ensure Lokodo understands HIV and it's connection to most at risk populations including key populations in Uganda. He is clearly not well informed but also defying science which is unfortunate”

And, of those other HIV activists that had apparently made common cause with Key population advocates, here is Dennis Wamala’s scathing assessment;

“players in the civil society have repeatedly failed to stand up to Lokodo. "I have had numerous exchanges with them about this but they seem to be more interested in pleasing him than standing for what they know is right."

Man of the moment. Major Rubaramira Ruhanga. When I knew him, he was a fierce, fearless HIV activist who actually embraced us as gay Ugandans, and the need to have specific HIV prevention and care programming for us. Nope, my memory is not at fault here. But then, at that particular moment in time, he was in the opposition. But now he is toeing the government line. And indeed, he is reported by key population activists who attended the meeting, to have uttered these shame filled words.

“Major Rubaramira Ruranga has today made the HIV Prevention Symposium even worse for Key Populations by saying Government has an oversight role and can decide what to be said in meetings and can also close down the meetings whenever they want.

In fact Major Rubaramira says if he knew that Dr. Kyambade's team (MARPI and MOH KP) was going to talk about KPs, he would have stopped him from presenting!

The major also wondered why government should waste money on drug users who invite a problem to themselves, buy expensive drugs to inject and yet ask for free services like Needle and Syringes.

He said that he regrets having contracted HIV but doesn't feel sorry for those who go and buy sex, inject drugs and eventually contract HIV.”

Now, what a flip of the two faced coin.

That is what it means to have ‘Pink-washed HIV programming’ and the logical conclusion of such a ‘foundation in the sand’ basis. BTW, where were the (toothless) Minister(s) of health? Hard to believe they are more irrelevant than Lokodo!


Aluta continua

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Lies they SHOUT about us (II) Because We scare them.

And, they do love the yelling.

Why?

Because the louder they shout, the more likely it is for the lies to be believed. Literally no one Africa gets to calling out the lies of liars.




And, they are liars.

Take this Hon. Dr Chris Baryomunsi. For a medical doctor to come out stating lies like this, fully against the view of the World Health Organisation....., well. He is using his position as a doctor and an MP, a powerful leader in our communities to actually tell lies about a minority, a part of the community that cannot speak back against the lies.

Yet, as a well read member of the community of Uganda, he can actually READ up on the information. Understand it, and instead of using his power to do right by their health, he is doing worse than do wrong.

Continued.....

qa

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Fighting for Pride; Queer Pride in eSwatini (Swaziland)

"But we have to remember why we started this. (Gay Pride)

‘It’s because we’ve been persecuted, killed, beaten. It’s still happened in Chechnya, Russia, Turkey, Uganda, the list goes on. We may, in a Westernized country, have the right to get married, walk down the street, keep your job. But that doesn’t mean life’s easy for your brothers and sisters. Until we’re 100% equal then Pride must remain a protest.’


Monday, November 12, 2018

The Power of De-criminalisation

This is why we want the laws struck off the books, even when critics tell us, 'Oh, but they are infrequently applied' (as if their very existence is not an insult to us queer human beings!)

Here is the story of an Indian lesbian couple who dared have their dream of living together come true. Their dream, their action, and the roadblocks thrown up by family and community.


  • Both in their majorities, 24 and 40; 2 year relationship
  • Decision to move in together.
  • Mom of younger reports her missing, police take her away, (despite her majority status) to return to her to mom.
  • Partner goes to court. Magistrate hearing 'missing person report' "sets her free" (?) 14 Aug 2018
  • Assault on court steps. Younger kidnapped by family, taken to mental institution.
  • Back to the court for older partner, 24 Sept 2018. Magistrate confirms younger lady wants to live with partner.


Outrages all around, seriously.
Treated like a child whose decisions are questionable. Yet worse than treatment as a child. Police complicit.
Reported 'missing'. Separated for 'missing'. Assault on court steps, and kidnap. Worse, sent to institution for mental illness. Yeah, health practitioners complicit too.
Good thing,..., court married them off...! LOL


Why the hustle, really?

A story and testimony like this is vindication of the fight to decriminalise for all Queer Indians.


This is a win for generations. Congratulations again.

qa