What struck me the most about that reportage I saw yesterday on Iraqi gays was the fact that many minorities were actually safer in many aspects under Saddam Hussein Iraq than in today’s American ‘Free Iraq’. Also it was said that homophobia in Iraq is closely tied up to misogyny. Hence trans women and gay men are raped in mass by the same people oppressing them and condamning their sexuality and identity. Yet these rapists are seen as heroes despite the fact that they do take part in same-sex sex because they represent ‘masculinity’ and masculinity is upheld and glorified while feminity is oppressed and despised. So gay men are oppressed in many ways like women ‘misbehaving’, they are raped and killed in honor killings.
Because of the restrictions and sensitivities very few groups have been able to help gays and lesbians in Iraq. One of them is New York based IRAP (Iraqi Refugees Assistance Project), another is London based Iraqi LGBT. Here the co-founder of IRAP Becca Heller and founder of Iraqi LGBT Ali Hilli discuss challenges of providing the gay community in Iraq with the much needed help.
Becca Heller, Iraqi Refugees Assistance Project
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In post-Saddam Iraq, gay men and women have been systematically targeted for death by extra-judicial militias - with the co-operation of the democratically elected government, says Ali Hilli, founder of the London-based group, Iraqi LGBT.
Ali Hilli, Iraqi LGBT
Iraq society has always been a melting pot of ethnic, religious and other groups, a place where difference was often not only tolerated but celebrated.
Even through the worst years of Saddam Hussein, sexual minorities in Iraq enjoyed a fair degree of freedom.
The US-led invasion of 2003 brought to power the Islamic Dawa party, which was established in Iran in the 1980s and backed Iran in its war with Iraq.
The fact that Dawa’s core beliefs were inspired by Iranian Shia clerics did not stop the US and UK from supporting the party after Saddam Hussein’s fall.
In the years after the invasion, the security situation deteriorated for everyone in the country. But for sexual minorities, Iraq became hell on earth.
By 2007, political and religious groups backed by militiamen launched what we believe was an organised, co-ordinated campaign to hunt, arrest, torture and kill everyone they perceived as gay.
These radical groups deny sexual minorities the right to life. They target everyone who does not conform to their religious description of family.
We believe the Ministry of the Interior tracks sexual minorities with the aim of eliminating them”
That is why killings of gays are similar to so-called honour killings of women said to bring shame on to the family by having extra-marital sex, even in cases when women are raped.
In the same way, gay men and women who do not adhere to traditional sexual practices within an accepted marriage framework are seen as dangerous to society.
Instead of protecting sexual minorities, the Iraqi government facilitates their murder by arresting the victims and handing them over to militias who kill them.
Iraqi LGBT sources working inside Iraq have found the militias are also getting intelligence about the identities of sexual minorities from the Ministry of the Interior.
'Aim is elimination'
Members of our organisation and the gay men and women we interviewed have said consistently that, under arrest, they have been forced to give names and addresses of other homosexuals or suspected homosexuals.
Taken together, this is why we believe the Ministry of the Interior tracks sexual minorities with the aim of eliminating them.
Iraq LGBT is based in London, and it has become increasingly dangerous for us to operate inside Iraq. But we have been trying.
Since its founding in London in September 2005, Iraqi LGBT has operated in total secrecy, providing gays inside the country with contacts, psychological counselling, financial aid, shelter and accommodation, and assistance escaping Iraq.
We have watched as the situation in the country has deteriorated, as lists of targets began to appear in the streets first in Baghdad, then in Najaf, Basra, Kufa and other towns across Iraq.
Among the names on these lists were many of our activists and members, and many of them are no longer alive.
In the face of the increasing danger we carried on working in Iraq, but recently our funds ran out.
Our safe houses inside Iraq have been raided and shut down and we can no longer afford to open new ones.
Our activists continue to be targeted and killed. On top of all that, many Iraqi gays whom we helped to find refuge in neighbouring Syria have now been forced to flee the violence there and return to Iraq. There, they are likely again to be targeted by both the militias and the government.
Given the open hostility of the Iraqi government to homosexuals, for now we must remain underground if we are to survive.
If this is ever to change, Iraq’s gay men and women also need international attention and support.
Hundreds of gay men and women in Iraq are living under enormous stress and are in constant danger simply because of the way they were born.
This unprecedented brutal violence against our community must stop, criminals must be brought to justice, and gays and lesbians, just like any other community in Iraq, must be protected by law enforcement agencies and the constitution.
Unless the international community steps in to help and to put pressure on the Iraqi government, many more men and women will die.
Queer identifying women and trans women from the African Diaspora negotiate a complicated range of identities. Often negotiating themselves both as women, queer, POC and immigrants their experience is the epitome of intersectionality.
Already part of a marginal community, as immigrants or the children of immigrants, we as individuals most negotiate an even more marginalized identity.
Too often, African queers find themselves placing their identity as African separate from their identities as queer. This community seeks to reconcile this challenge by celebrating and connecting proud queer Africans who now reside outside of the continent.
This group will seek to facilitate the meeting of Queer Africans, and the discussions that will ensue both offline and online
While we many have many differences, our identities as female identified Queer Africans in the Diaspora allows for a unique experience that both shapes and connects us in a way that blurs the lines that separate us.
Both @lesiliva (http://lesiliva.tumblr.com/) and @ blacqueerwomyn(http://blacqueerwomyn.tumblr.com/) are Queer women from Africa whom while going through the initial process of coming out found that they lacked a community of individuals that could specifically understand the range of challenges they were facing based on the various identities they needed to negotiate.
This tumblr is meant to be a reflection of what the community needs. A resource, a sanctuary, a reminder of home, a place of friendship and whatever DQ-Africans need.
*note- We have chosen to focus on issues that surround Queer women, because both of us have intimate and direct knowledge of the issues that queer women face.
The ungendered body does not exist, just as the unclassed body does not exist. Such disarticulation reproduces the false tropes of the ungendered body and of ungendered politics and the unclassed body and unclassed politics. These in turn reaffirm the positioning of normative male political practices as somehow “unmarked” and universal. Such an equation hides that gender is not something one can be outside of. It is not an analytic lens that can be withheld and deployed according to genitalia and/or sexual practices of the people being studied. When an attention to gender is limited to female and/or LGBTQ people in the Middle East, it reproduces the study of gender as the study of how (other) men treat “their” women and gays.
BREAKING NEWS: being gender queer doesn’t qualify you to talk about gender , you have to read foucault
elitism at its finest.
Waitttt, someone REALLY told you this??? O_____________O
I sometimes avoid straight women on purpose.They have this way of pressing themselves on my safe-space after finding out I’m queer and continuously fucking flirting with me after I’ve asked them repeatedly to get away. It never ends. And the timbre of the nastiness varies by race, too.
Straight White women pull this “oooh look at this sexy, near-smart and opinionated queer Black man acting like a girl so hawt does he have a BIG DICK lemme touch his hair and coo and drop suggestive hints about all this fine White pussy he’s missing mrawwwr yum!”
Straight Black women pull this “oooh yes my Nubian Warrior King werq that Afro and those box braids omg he’s a faggot well I aint got nothin against the gays but it pains me to see our men falling prey to the weakness of homosexuality he just ain’t found the right Black Woman yet lemme make kissy-face and purr!”
Straight Latinas pull this “oooh yes this cute-ass papi in my midst but damn why he gotta be a maricon? hmmm I wonder if I can entice him before the Black women and the White bitches get to him first!”
Those are the only creeds of straight women I have an interaction with like this on a daily basis, which is why Asian and Native women have been omitted. But if they’re white-identifying they do the shit straight White women do. It’s not cute. Cut it the fuck out. EW. UGH. Just get the hell away from me my body is not for sale. DIE.
it’s pretty upsetting how many white people are unaware that it was actually white imperialism that crushed lqbtq* folk’s rights and expression in poc countries
i see white lgbtq* folk going on and on about how poc cultures are heterosexist/cissexist etc and the worst thing is they don’t even KNOW that it was their own culture that created that mess
This is important to remember. Many indigenous cultures accept(ed) people who would in Western terms be defined as LGBT*. In places like Uganda where the “Kill the Gays” bill happened, the atmosphere of homophobia and transphobia are a direct result of outside religions coming in and asserting their cultural and moral beliefs over those of the native culture and moral schemas. The laws in places like Jamaica and Haiti against “buggery” were implemented by BRITISH AND FRENCH IMPERIALISTS and the campaign against it was so successful that heteronormativity (originally a tool of survival) has become a huge part of their cultures. There are so many examples, from Filipin@ bakla to Two Spirit people in some Native American tribes, that what is popularly referred to as LGBT* today, has always been a part of humanity and for some, at least, is in no way more unnatural than being cisgender or heterosexual. In fact, in many of these cultures, these people were given places of honor within their community’s social hierarchy. We were written into creation myths, instead of having them used as weapons against us. We were seen as gifts. Never forget that.
THIS RIGHT HERE. I remember when I was doing research on Polynesian cultures, it really surprised me to learn how accepted homosexuality and transsexualism was in Polynesian (particularly Hawaiian) culture. The entire concept of the gender binary was completely foreign to them! They just had a super fluid and generally open minded take on sex. Luckily many of the articles I was reading flat out said the change came when the white man showed up and shoved heteronormativity down everybody’s gullet.
They sure do (>_>) No one can deny this. This is why I say that white people are the hatred that we POC fear. It is not about ‘hating whitey’, it is about fighting off whitey’s hatred and destruction.
Who Killed David Kato?
What does American Evangelicalism have to do with the murder of Uganda’s most prominent LGBT activist? More than you’re probably comfortable with.
A visiting neighbor found him lying on the floor. He was bleeding with serious wounds to the head where he had been struck with a hammer. The mysterious assailant had fled the scene. David Kato died on the way to the hospital.
The police quickly labeled it as a robbery - but those who knew the victim suspected otherwise. Kato was, after all, a marked man. Only a few months before, a local Ugandan tabloid called The Rolling Stone had released a list of “top homos” complete with names and addresses. Kato’s picture was on the front page, along with a banner that read “Hang Them.”
“When my brother wanted to do something then no one could stop him. He was very brave.” - John Malumba Wasswa, Kato’s brother.
Kato was a prominent LGBT activist in Uganda, a country where homophobia is reaching a fever pitch. It is a place where many believe that homosexuals are “recruiting children” and “raiding schools.” It is also where the “Kill The Gays” bill, a piece of legislation that would make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, was proposed.
Kato’s murder and the controversial “Kill the Gays” bill caused international uproar and left human rights groups scratching their heads. What caused Uganda’s descent to violent homophobia?
The chilling answer traces hatred and violence in Uganda back to the United States and the religious right. David Kato, before his death, had spoken out against American evangelicals stirring up homophobia in Africa. His allies in Sexual Minorities Uganda have also cited the role of America’s religious right as pivotal in the rise of hatred against homosexuals in Uganda. And now we can attempt to answer the question: Who Killed David Kato?
“David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S. evangelicals in 2009. The so-called U.S. evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood.” - Val Kalende, the chairwoman of one of Uganda’s gay rights groups.
Homosexuality has long been a taboo in Uganda. Economic devastation and internal political strife, however, had taken precedence over the issue. It wasn’t until evangelicals took an interest in the African country that homosexuality and politics began to merge. And so the scapegoating of gays began - an export of America.
For American missionaries, Uganda was ideal. As the gay rights movement in the United States picked up steam and homosexuality was becoming increasingly more acceptable, anti-gay Christians on the far right began to feel that they were losing the culture war. And so they turned to a place where there ideals might take root a little better. Missionaries began visiting Uganda and preaching to the people there.
Unfortunately, they did not preach peace and love. They chose instead to conduct a little social experiment with Uganda by preaching intensely anti-gay rhetoric.
Three of those evangelicals and their actions are chronicled below.
1. Scott Lively
Scott Lively is an American author and attorney. He co-wrote a book called The Pink Swastika in which he states that homosexuals are the true inventors of Nazism. He is the former state director of the California branch of the American Family Association. He brought these radical ideas to Africa where they stirred up hatred of gays.
“If your definition of homosexuality is being able to do whatever you want to and that you should be able to go and engage in sex with another person and because of that the disease you have is going to spread to that person and they’re going to take it home and give it to their wife, how much tolerance should we have for that?…zero tolerance.” - Lively on homosexuality
Here is a clip of Lively detailing his role in the “Pro-Family” movement in Uganda:
2. Richard Cohen
Richard Cohen is an American conversion therapist. He is a leader in the ex-gay movement and is, in fact, an “ex-gay” himself. He is also an evangelical Christian. His book, “Coming Out Straight,” has been cited as an inspiration for the “Kill the Gays” bill.
“Homosexuals are at least 12 times more likely to molest children than heterosexuals; homosexual teachers are at least 7 times more likely to molest a pupil. 40% of molestation assaults were made by those who engage in homosexuality.” - Cohen in his book “Coming Out Straight.” His book has been criticized for being based largely on assumptions.
And just how much has his book affected homophobia in Uganda? Take a look at this video in which Stephen Langa, head of the Family Life Network in Uganda and the main proponent of the “Kill the Gays” bill, references Cohen’s book:
3. Lou Engle
Lou Engle is a charismatic Christian leader in America. He is best known for founding “The Call” which hosts twelve hour prayer rallies. His ministry is also featured in the documentary “Jesus Camp.”
“Today, America is losing its religious freedom. We are trying to restrain an agenda that is sweeping through the education system. Uganda has become ground zero.” - Engle, speaking to a crowd of Ugandans on making homosexuality punishable by death.
Engle traveled to Uganda to praise their government’s efforts to combat homosexuality - including the “Kill the Gays” bill. Here is a clip of him speaking out to a crowd of Ugandans:
So, who killed David Kato?
Homophobia, globalized culture wars, and Americans preaching hate.
None of the missionaries listed above actually struck Kato with the hammer, but they and others who brought their twisted anti-gay ideas to Uganda are responsible for his death. And they are also responsible for the rise of hatred and violence against LGBT people in the country.
Things like this:
are the direct results of American evangelicals stirring up homophobia in Uganda.
So what does this story mean for those of us who support gay rights here in America? It means we have to be vigilant. What anti-gay evangelicals did in Uganda is what they wish they could accomplish here: a culture that believes gays are evil. While many of them have tried to distance themselves from the controversial “Kill the Gays” bill, they remain unchanged in their view of homosexuality as a disease to be eradicated.
David Kato was buried by his close friends after the pastor who was supposed to oversee the ceremony chose instead to go on an anti-gay tirade. Even in death, peace seemed elusive for Kato. Indeed, for all gay people in Uganda, the road ahead is long and tumultuous.
To honor David Kato’s memory and to stand with our allies in Uganda, we must remember that we cannot afford to be complacent. The men on this list who caused so much damage to the gay community in Uganda reside right here in the United States where they continue to preach hatred. We must support gay rights and human dignity in America if we ever want to see a day where their vitriol cannot harm anyone else.
Would you like to see a film on the life and death of David Kato?
This is why I think the Western discourse that paint Africans and black people in general is defaming.
Homophobia as we know it today in Africa is a by-product of colonialism and white supremacy.
Bringing this back because it is important to understand what is going on in Africa at large and in Uganda in particular in term of queerphobia.
Can you please do something or say something to these evil men who are murdering, raping us because of our sexuality. Please save us from this pain?I fear for our lives every day i ask myself who’s next and that doesn’t sit well with me, I’m sure if u stand up and say enough is enough and show that you love and support us, you would succeed in fighting this hatred, because this issues affects you as well.
I’m writing this letter full of tears, loosing hope, weak, and most of all tired and disappointed that our government, justice system, broader communities and our families are not taking action to protect us from these evil men who think killing women particularly lesbians and giving us pain is a solution and that makes them men enough and makes it right for them to do that, but still no one is saying anything about that, no one cares even when they know that we are being brutally murdered.
Parents help us reclaim our humanity and dignity, I feel like a criminal in my own country and criminals walk free after doing this shocking and hateful things to our bodies, and boast about what they are doing to us and still continue doing that just because they think we are competing with them and feel threatened by us, REALLY? Is it Power relations, is it culture and tradition? That’s just scary and oppressive to lesbian women and to women in general. When half of the population feel that they own every woman’s body and they can do anything because they know that women are vulnerable.
I feel and I’m confident to say we are being disrespected, threatened, prejudice and our human rights are violated yet our justice system is failing us.
We don’t want to be tolerated , we have human rights by virtue of being Human, being a lesbian does not make us less human, there’s nothing wrong with us loving same sex, I never thought that loving women can make people to be this insecure and have this much hate.
Nonkululeko “said she has more reasons why she won’t have a man in her life and said she won’t change who she is and what she believe in and for her to get what she wants she work hard and smart, she doesn’t go around hurting people causing unnecessary pain to them, so these men need to learn that”.
Parents we are your children, we need you to fight this with us, if you as our parents can stand up against this evil, the senseless murders would go down, if not end.
I know it’s hard for you as well but is it hard for you to say STOP the murders on our Children’s body? Come out as collective and say something, make noise for us, start campaigns involve yourselves in human rights organisation so that you know that its within your right to fight for human rights and for those that a marginalised what happened to Wathinta umfazi wathintha Imbhokodo?
If you love us and care about us its time you stand up for us and raise awareness about these issues.
LESBIAN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, QUEER RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS!
Forum for the Empowerment of Women
FEW was established by black lesbian women activists living in Johannesburg in 2001.In a post 1994 South Africa and with the new constitution of 1996 recognising sexual orientation within the equality clause, it was clear that we had to organize ourselves to ensure that we were able to claim and live the rights entrenched in the constitution. Already, with increasing numbers of LGBTI people coming out and being visible both in everyday life as well as within human rights defending work, the age-old issues of discrimination, stigmatisation and marginalization were becoming more blatant. The group which initially began the conversation about organizing black lesbian women were concerned that within the broader LGBTI and women’s human rights issues, black lesbian women were more vulnerable because of intersecting identities, contexts and realities.
We also recognised the power within our community – both black lesbian women, women in general and the LGBTI community – to confront the abuses that were being perpetrated against us in a democratic South Africa. Initially, the focus was on social space and service provision, including counseling and information, education and communication on key issues, health and related realities of lesbian lives. A key focus was on the issue of hate crimes, particularly rape and sexual assault, which were being reported in growing numbers. The hate crimes were being perpetrated based on assumptions about sexual orientation and gender identity which were seen as deviant and so worthy of responses by communities. This homophobia was directed at all LGBTI people, but the targeting of black lesbian women for this “fixing” was obvious and linked to the patriarchal nature of our society which in turn fed heteronormativity. Projects included a small scholarship fund for survivors of hate crime related violence, drama and soccer as processes to engage with black lesbian women.
Even as a young child, Grace was attracted to boys, and by the time puberty hit, they were on her mind all the time. She would secretly spy on her brother and his friends while they were swimming, experiencing a longing she just couldn’t quite understand. But by then, she already knew that she dared not tell anyone about these feelings. All those doctor-doctor games she played with Dadi and Sam really stayed with her, even though they seemed to have forgotten all about it.
Adolescence – The Double Life
In front of everyone else, she was the biggest baddest dyke alive – chasing girls like it was nobody’s business, frequently boasting about behind-the-school victories during the hormone-fueled rush that was high school. Truth be told though, she was miserable. Lovely though they were (and lord knows, she tried) women’s curves and bodies generally did nothing for her. To go along with everyone else, she had one girlfriend after the other – hot ones too – femmy femmes, dandy dykes, cute as button bois, and a lipstick lesbian so pretty, all the girls in the school were jealous. To maintain her status, she even had sex with some of them. Leaning in, she’d close her eyes, and well…more often than not, she would think about that one handsome boy from geography class.
There was no-one she could turn to. Her friends relentlessly teased a classmate, Rea, for liking boys. Grace’s throat would close up and her palms get all sweaty when this happened…if only they knew. Rea was the only openly straight person at school, but she never had a boyfriend, she wouldn’t dare. Everyone knows what happened to Zee and Kay when they got caught out kissing…
All the books they read, the examples used in history class, and every single picture were strictly about gays, or weirdly ambiguous. All the poems, stories and pictures about love occurred in same-sex contexts alone (besides who would want to deny the beauty of a woman? Grace would repeatedly tell herself in the mirror before going out on a date with another one of her many girlfriends.)
Whenever she could access the internet in a quiet place, she would google terms like “sexual deviance”, “straight” and “heterosexual,” constantly looking over her shoulder, afraid someone would walk in. She became an expert at clearing her browser history. Desperately looking for a role model, or at least some subtext in her own culture, she would turn to marginalized ’rumored-to-be-straight ‘artists like Brandy and Monica who did ‘The Boy is Mine’. Or Mary J Blige’s ‘Be Without You’. She was sure those songs were about love between a man and a woman. Sure. Of. It. Probably wasn’t really, but a girl can hope…
Later, she would be surprised to learn that heterosexual love used to be perfectly acceptable, celebrated even, in African cultures before the colonialists came with all their laws.
School was unbearable at times, and on that day the girls from the soccer team wrote “breeder” on Rea’s school bag in tipp-ex, she felt completely trapped. The teachers, of course, did nothing, not even the ones that were rumored to be straight themselves. After Rea tried to kill herself she was sent off to the local priest who had great success in dealing with straights, druggies and other kids with problems. I’ll never be that obvious about it, Grace thought. Rea should have been more careful…does she really need to wear dresses all the time? Long hair and make-up is such a dead give-away…
School was of course not all bad. Same-sex showering was strictly forbidden of course, and those cross-sex shower sessions after PT became the highlight of her week. Grace was quite good at acting gay during shower time…except that one day…
Family and God
Grace wanted to be a priest in the church in her teens, but she gave that idea up a long time ago. Her life and feelings are simply not reflected in all the same-sex relationships Jesus had with the apostles. Same-sex relationships are highly valued and advanced by the Church, although apparently some alternative churches do exist in bigger cities in the wayward West. Nevertheless, Grace really treasured the values of service to and caring for one another without judgment that the Church teaches and really wants to be involved. Recently however, more and more church leaders across the continent have become vocally opposed to heterosexual rights, even devoting entire sermons to condemning the damnable sins of “Those” people. Everyone knows about the 362 admonishments to straight people in the Bible. Recently, the president of the country joined in and straight people (even those people who are merely perceived to be straight) were attacked in their homes. One couple murdered even.
Since Grace’s parents are extremely religious and traditional, she avoids discussing her struggle with her sexuality at home. At one point a distant aunt broke up with her wife of fifteen years, and became involved with a man. The family disowned her and never spoke to her again, and when she got sick, no-one went to visit, still they refused her male “friend” access to her in hospital and she died alone.
As soon as Grace finished school she left home for the city. She made good friends and became very involved in straight rights activism. For the first time in her live, she felt really alive and a while ago, in one of the secret straight bars downtown, she met the most beautiful boy, Vusi.
It was all so secretive and exciting….and the sex!
She felt like together they were going to be invincible and the world surely never, ever has, and never, ever, EVER again will see a love quite like theirs. She just wanted to share this incredible thing with everyone, shout it from the rooftops and kiss for days. They were extremely cautious, but one day a gang of kids saw them holding hands and all hell broke loose. They called them all sorts of horrible names and shouted that they deserved to die. They were pelted with rocks and when they got home, all the windows were broken. They were terrified. Their straight friends rallied around them and told them to be more careful in future.
Gay people are all over each other all over, but as soon as two people of different sexes show the slightest inclination towards showing public affection, the frowns start appearing.When will this ever end? It gets so tiring to constantly hear “that is so straight!”whenever someone is referring to something stupid, even gay friends who know about her sexuality.
To avoid upsetting her gay friends Grace never holds hands with her boyfriend or comment on good-looking guys. Recently, she started noticing that they would explicitly invite only her over, and last night Dee told her that she’s ok with her being straight and all, but that she really should keep her private life private and not flaunt her straightness so much. Grace just shrugs it all off – that’s what you get for being part of a sexual minority. No need to make a fuss.
Stay at home, watch TV…The other night she saw on a programme on Animal Planet that animals sordidly often reproduce through cross-sex intercourse! Mainstream scientists and historians obviously dispute this, but more and more voices are coming out saying that some of the lower ranked species for years and years preferred to reproduce throughsex. Human society has of course long progressed from this questionable practice, thanks to medical technologies that make less risky (and far better planned) forms of asexual reproduction the norm today. Since women often faced severe health risks during the gestation period, this practice has long been banned in most countries. Clinics offer free and subsidized fertilization to same-sex couples interested in single gene or dual-parent genetic offspring. Naturally, these services are not available to cross-sex couples, nor can they adopt. Even though they do accept the fact that pleasure is the only natural function of genitals, Grace and Vusi still fantasize about conceiving a baby through sex, as long as Grace can be protected. Vusi had heard that there are places where – with enough cash – you could do this!
Oh, how her moms would freak out if they have to find out about this plan!!!!
sonofbaldwin is talking about Ugandans but they seem to want to group all the other nations as a monolith
African homophobia is, whether we can deal with it or not, an Africans attempt to be more like white people. -Sonofbaldwin
I agree with most stuff this dude has said about the topic but that quote alone is wrong and is based on the West’s ethnocentric assumption that non-westerners are trying to be so much like the West, in all it’s good and bad.
I can’t speak about other African nations (because it’s y’know, not a monolith) but at least in my country, a lot (traditional) Naija people think homosexuality is Un-African because (apart from christianity dictating what is ‘good’) they associate it with white people and the West. they strive to disassociate themselves with a lot of white/western mentality.
if we (Nigerians) are so obsessed with trying to be white, we’d happily make homosexuality legal. Please don’t put your western-centric bias onto this topic and then assume you have more knowledge on the reasons why homosexuality is illegal far more than the people actually living in these countries do.
In Egypt, outside of Islam being the dominant religion, homosexuality is also considered a Western thing, more specifically “what White people do” or “White nonsense.” They don’t want Americans to even really exist, so to say they want to be “more like White people” is simply retarded.
ehh at the use of ‘retarded’ but yeah ^^
I dunno, the whole post made out like the entire continent (with a mention of Uganda and Ethipia) has one exact attitude to homosexuality. it’s complex.
Lesbians are (at least in Lagos, Nigeria) not overtly punished (whereas, men will be severely punished for being queer) and in Hausa culture (which is dominantly Islam people) there’s somehow a lot more ‘open’ feminine men and it doesn’t follow the west’s version of homosexuality.
Sometimes, I wish someone could push me over a cliff
Did he REALLY say that shit??
“African homophobia” in the singular????? A continent?? So we all fucking wish to be like white people?? More than 50 countries?? Hundreds of millions of people?? Tens of thousands of cultures??
I am hurt and speechless. I thought he was better than that! Westerners, I am starting to seriously hate you! I am not even gonna lie!
Also homosexuality is marketed ‘non-African’ by Christianity!! This non-African thing is also due to the fact that like I said earlier it is based an imported definition of sexuality that conceives it as a spectrum with opposites and labels. Sexuality in traditional cultures used to be much more FLUID than that.
What queerhairyvag said is the truth, a lot of Nigerians do think that homosexuality is un-African and is something white people do.
This is not and can never be simply a matter of trying to “be like white people”. It is really more complex than that, especially when you consider that the virulent homophobia of today was honestly imported and implanted on us by Western/Christian forces. Sure it is confounding that this seems to be the case of white Western people telling us Africans that homosexuality is a white/Western “disease” (<_<) but at the same time our traditional understandings of sexuality, gender and sex have pretty much been either wholly destroyed or corrupted. So, what dreams-from-my-father said about imported definitions of sexuality.
African ideas of self/ves, our cultureS and our philosophIES has taken such a beating from colonialism and imperialism. I saw this documentary recently that did talk about homosexuality in Uganda, and I remember clearly one of the older women saying that when she was young in her hometown there were two men living together (as lovers and life partners). She said other people used to say that they had been possessed by the “monkey spirit” but that nobody harassed them, nobody thought they were gay or even know what being “gay” was. The woman’s point was that the “trouble” started when they associated this with Western definitions of homosexuality which they had been taught was a grave sin. Another woman spoke of having sexual encounters with other women when she was growing up in Uganda, and insisted that she did not “know” this was lesbian.
As a final point, what people, i.e those from the West and those straight Africans who have taken it upon themselves to speak on behalf of the African LGBTIQ communitIES, say on our/their behalf is so so so so so very much different from what those communitIES say and know. I read a post recently on how “African homosexuality is a Western invention” by someone who supposedly cares about African queers. This person went on about how people like the yan daudu in Hausaland are not really gay but Western people view them as being gay so African LBGTIQ communities follow Western thought. Because we don’t think for ourselves. I was like “fuck this bullshit” because the dude who wrote the post clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. I also sent the post to a friend who was pissed just from the title. Anyway that person’s post…it’s the same to me as saying that you know about a country (like say, UGANDA) because you have a few friends from there or have lived there so that makes you the authority. It’s like people do not really care what African LGBTIQ communities know or have to say.
We, Africans, are so intelligent
*flips hair* (^_^)
The bolded! I spoke with some elders and they basically told me the same thing. We should try and rehabilitate those ancient conceptions we had about sexuality. To be honest, the way the west labels and conceives sexuality and gender is so reductive and narrow to me. It doesn’t render human complexity.
Get all the way the fuck into this and this will be the last time I say this:
I don’t give a FUCK about your hurt feelings. PEOPLE ARE DYING.
Nope. I don’t live in Uganda. I ain’t no expert. I just believe what my friends, black and homosexual and born and raised in Uganda, tell me. I don’t give a fuck about heterosexual narratives that proclaim, “But my father’s cousin’s uncle’s best friend’s nephew is straight and lives in Uganda and doesn’t hate homosexuals.” Exceptions ain’t rules. Talk is cheap. Don’t talk to me until you can answer THIS question honestly: What have you done for them lately?
Just like I believe that the American government’s murderous, thieving actions in Japan or Korea or Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere brown or black people have tried to thrive represents its people (INCLUDING ME), so, too, do I believe that the homophobic actions of the Ugandan government represents ITS people. I don’t give people the luxury of saying “My interests are not being represented by my government.” No. I don’t give MYSELF that luxury and I’m DAMN sure not giving it to you. These clothes I have on? The price I paid for them was American Imperialism and goodness knows how many corpses. Heterosexuals walking around (relatively) safely in Uganda? The price for that is the stigmatization and scapegoating and oppression of the homosexual population. We don’t even have to ASK for the privilege, doll, we get it just because of WHO WE ARE.
We are ALL complicit, baby. Now—what are we going to DO about it?
Look, no one’s denying that Africa has issues with homosexuality, mostly from the residual effects of Christian imperialism, but you demonizing the Ugandan people (people that you coincidentally have privilege over.. the same privilege you seem to be bantering on about that they have over their gay counterparts) isn’t doing shit either, so you really need to knock it off with the condescending bullshit. These aren’t ~hurt feelings~.. these are people from the continent telling you that how you’re portraying the situation is much more basic than the reality, which is extremely harmful.
You really seem to be putting to cart in front of the horse. Saying Ugandans “are trying to be white” is a really broad overview of colonialism and white supremacy. Being closest to white is how some Africans are surviving. Colorism is a very real thing. Instead of vilifying people (who’s situations we’ll never be able to comprehend) for simply trying to live.. we should be more focused on eradicating the harmful, Eurocentric notions of beauty and worth that drive them there in the first place.
Whether or not you want to admit it, living in the West has afforded you a wide range of opportunities and please, before you start, spare me the tragic Black man saga. I’m Black, as well as being a woman, as well as being an immigrant, as well as coming from a nation plagued by war, ethnic collision and the like, so there’s nothing you can explain to me about Blackness/oppression/marginalization that I don’t already know. I’ve lived on both African and American soil. I’ve seen how the economic and social dynamics shape people and the way they perceive the world. You have abundant access to internet, literature, articles and knowledge that most Ugandans will never be able to. That access to knowledge allows you the privilege to question whether or not there is a God and how (S)He would feel about homosexuality. How’d I know? I’m an Atheist, which is something I never even would have considered back in Ethiopia.
The prospect of Christianity in most African nations is a complex one that derives from dehumanization, but is in itself a form of microresistance. I am an Atheist (as I’ve already stated), but as an Ethiopian who was raised Orthodox Christian, I can’t escape the prospect of the denomination, because it’s what my family back home literally thrives on to have the strength to deal with their struggles. Uganda is absolutely ravaged by malaria, poverty, malnutrition ethnic disputes, etc etc and a belief in God is what keeps them going. They don’t have time to question these preconceived notions that have been ingrained into their conscious when they’re literally trying to stay alive. You diminishing the very real, catastrophic realities that Ugandans deal with is harmful to homosexual Ugandans as well.
You seem passionate about the cause of gay Africans, but telling people that they don’t know their history is snide and disrespectful as fuck and does nothing for this cause you claim to be so egregiously fighting for. You don’t have anymore of a stake in this than we do. You know it. I know it, so cut it the fuck out.
African homophobia is, whether we can deal with it or not, an Africans attempt to be more like white people. -Sonofbaldwin
I agree with most stuff this dude has said about the topic but that…
Homophobia, as it appears in ANY country in Africa, is a product of white supremacy. Period. The end. It might have come with colonization. It might have come with Christian missionaries/conquerors or Muslim missionaries/conquerors, but it CAME. It wasn’t there before that. Do your research. Know your history. It was ONLY with the introduction of a monotheistic religion did any country in Africa start displaying homophobia. Before that? THOUSANDS if not MILLIONS of tribal societies had a place for the homosexual that had NOTHING to do with sin or negative judgment or ostracization or disgusts.
But I realize that fucks with some people’s black power fantasies about the continent. But ask me if I give a fuck.
What I hear from many people on the continent is that it was, in fact, homosexuality that Europe brought with them. THAT IS A MYTH. I don’t care if that offends you. It’s a myth. It’s a myth. It’s a fucking MYTH. Designed to make panicked men feel more masculine and complicit women to feel more patriarchal.
And you can “WESTERN” me from now until doomsday. I don’t give a FUCK. It won’t change the FACTS. It’s one thing not to know someone else’s history, but to not know YOUR OWN? And WORSE, to perpetuate a fallacious history invented by European conquerors? THE FUCK? Fucking homophobes.
I feel so sorry for you.
Sigh. You’re saying these things as if there are Africans that don’t know this. As someone who is 1st generation I don’t have any black power fantasies. I don’t romanticize African history. I don’t romanticize the history of my parent’s home land. I reject that monolithic view of Africa every day so you’re not doing anything special.
This has nothing to do with debunking fantasies. You rolled around in western privilege when you called al the people of Uganda violent and hateful.
The issue is you think that you can speak for Ugandans and by extension all Africans. It using your voice to diminish context and nuance. That is inexcusable and dangerous because you present information inaccurately.
You are arrogant enough to think that folks are running around completely ignorant to their history. It’s amazing how POC who put on this air of enlightenment continue to cling to white western behaviors - belittling and diminishing African voiceS because you know AfricanS are just so backwards and ignorant.
Here you are, getting a free education from African peopleS but you choose to cling to your arrogance and little bit of knowledge that you think you possess. If your behavior wasn’t so embarrassing I’d laugh.