So I still don’t have all the details about the queer folks arrested in Kenya over the past week, and that in itself is indicative of some of the key challenges we face in raising awareness on our struggle.
Whether it’s cases of blackmail, extortion, discrimination or hate crimes, many of the people involved are afraid to go public, for the valid fear that they would be endangered by the backlash.
And for queer/trans Afrikan activists like myself, we have to constantly negotiate the balance of speaking out for our rights and not crossing other people’s boundaries. To put it simply, you can not OUT anyone who is not OUT. (it’s tricky for me to stick to that principle).
And it’s important to acocunt for my/your own safety. The reality is that I’m posting about this particular topic so much because there has been a heightened focus on these issues…it’s an animal farm, members of parliament getting paid off en swinging red herrings into our institutions. BILL 18. ARTICLE 217.
i’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again because I’m stuck in between a place betwixt en between…..
in an environment of complacency, post modernism & wilful/ignorance and dis/connected from the land I call home….
yet I write because this needs to be said. and we really shouldn’t make no time for hate. as simple as that.
but ofcourse it ain’t. and each one. has to teach one…..
like that (not-so) new twitter campaign…..no MO. no HOMO!
(re-tweet! tweet! tweet!)
Every situation is different, and whenever I’m in doubt, in queer situations ( pun intended 🙂 )
I always think what would Audre say? (or what would El Hajj Malik do?)…
and for this post, her quote is…
“and when we speak, we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid, so it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive” (from the black unicorn)
so now you know.
my professor in lesbian studies (i’m a blessed, privileged queer that’s fo sho) was just remarking in class today on lesbian feminism, en how intricately connected en infused with poetry the discipline was….
and I think it’s not only true but powerful, that we can use language creatively to reclaim ourselves. re/shape our identities.
(what’s unfortunate is that sucha brilliant woman got such lil time in the 3 hour class. and that all through the class this time all I could think was I had more urgent queer matters to deal with….but that’s me, not THEM, right?)
most of the time was spent talking about white lesbian separatists. and straight celibate women. radical feminists.adrienne rich.van dyke(s).catherine mackinnon……i refused to read this week’s reading on principle, all of them apart from one. and Audre, and her essay, the masters tools will never dismantle the masters house, I dun read 30 times before. her words carry with me to the place where script becomes scripture. where a (m)otherworld is possible.so in class.I practised silence.and found my stories inside)
en here’s an/other one….
The phenomenon of the butterfly flapping it’s wings en the ripple effect captures the essence of this post….
here’s a few more details on the lesbians arrested in Kisumu, with no names…other than Po’, who is another dyke/feminist/warrior/activist/survivor you should learn more about, and she’s OUT already, so i dun crossed no lines…
Thanks for your help so far, today I was called by one of our members, she informed me that two of our members (X & Y) were arrested in their house in M. estate. They have been lesbians living together and so one lady by the name of A. blackmailed them and informed the police at Kondele police station of their activities.
The police came and arrested the two of them and they were locked in. At their home they were not told why they were arrested and on reaching the police station they were accused of stealing the lady’s money which they denied.
After that they were taken to court this morning and the same charges were raised which they refused and were given a bond of 5,000/= each. After this I called another one of our members to come and help us but she informed me she was out of town so she promised to call MWA for some help and so Po’ called back and we managed to talk at length giving her full details.
One of the ladies was beaten up on asking why she was being arrested, so after this I was given a lawyers name and number (Mr Omaya) whom I called and told me to see him tomorrow at 7.30 am which I will do. So far we have raised 4,000 for the bound and after we have raised the total amount, we shall proceed with the case out of the court.
Thanks and hope to give you more update from our meetings with the lawyer and if we manage to bond them out.
Yours in Solidarity,
A concerned brotha