…” I must either grow or end my life” thought the spark at long, long last……
(excerpt from the sacred story of the tree of life….in “indaba my children”)
Straight from day 5 to 13, I wonder how many public events there have been organised in solidarity with the 16 days of activism?
I haven’t attended/organised any. My life has been course readings and writing essays and proposals, looking for a full time ‘paying’ job, and attending to healing and self recovery, a new/ish long/distance lover……
the bigger point is that i’m coming out of a crisis situation, and not even halfway through the chaos of transition.
The spirit of this series of posts though was/is to mark the realities of career/grassroots/radical activism, in the every day.
For a full/er experience of this post, I recommmend reading this piece to fire on the mountain/new beginning by asa/tracy chapman….
Today is about arm chair activism & ta(l)king back space, and, this piece is a reflection is from a “so/gi” listserv, aka. cracker playground and token afrikan space.
It’s about one organisation in particular, amnesty international. it’s about two regions. europe & afrika.
the lesson to mull over. just what exactly is the problem? and who is the enemy?
the answer belies ones ideologies.
bahati’s bill is still up in the air, some of my sistas won’t even dream of getting SRS, and most afrikan queers & trannies live in fear & self doubt, on the continent. the reality is also that there are many afrikan queers& trannies who live drastically different lives and are relatively more comfortable than others. I find that the situation in Kenya, Uganda or many other countries in Afrika, aren’t as pressing to many folks here in North Amerikkka, yet I have access to diverse resources, albeit through fragmented spaces, that I en/vision as everything we need and then some, to achieve some of the rights that we’re looking for.
this shit (read: homo/les/bi/trans phobia is new. it wasn’t always so, but it is what it is).
the state of tings calls for one to tread carefully, but Idon’t care how much one espouses their particular religious beliefs or brand of politics,
we can’t ignore this problem, and need to work on resisting all forms of oppression.
Amnesty should really know better than their latest position on LGBTTIQQ issues, but then again, do they really care about Afrika/ns?
Volunteers of the dutch LGBT-network of Amnesty International today received a message saying that Amnesty will no longer actively support the LGBT cause.
The coordinator of the Northwest regional network the only active lgbt network within Amnesty Netherlands – wrote that Amnesty will not start any actions/campaigns of its own on LGBT Issues until 2016. They will however join international campaigns.
In a reaction on a (dutch language) weblog (http://aliceverhij.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/) Amnesty’s national director says that Amnesty still supports the cause and continues to see sexual orientation as a human right. They will join other organizations’ actions when requested so. There are luckily other organizations that have attention for the LGBT cause. Such as the is the COC (mainstream LGB organization) and TNN (Transgender Network Netherlands).
A request however for support from Amnesty for this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance in the Netherlands already came with the answer “Sorry we have no people so our support is only for the record”. So I strongly doubt what they will do if requested. Probably only in Gay Pride week (not the Amsterdam Canal Pride, there will be no Amnesty boat).
Latest years Amnesty Netherlands had 4 to 8 hpw available for LGBT affairs, which always was too little. A volunteer on LGBT was taken off her cause last year because it had no (regional) importance for the coordinator.
It ain’t over till the fat drag queen sings and she’s not singing until we win
the reality is that drag queens HAVE been singing, I’ve heard many of them in Tdot, though the ones I’ve met in Nairobi all have many more horror stories to tell you about being “in the life”.
yet the issue is still not as simple as one organisation, or the refusal to acknowledge….if it were then this ‘other’ piece of news, on december 3rd, would have pleased me extensively….
Sweden to cut aid to Uganda over anti-gay law
According to comments attributed to Gunilla Carlsson, Sweden’s development assistance minister, the Swedish government says it would cut aid to Uganda over an anti-gay law they find “appalling”.
“My number two at the ministry, who has direct contact with the Ugandan government, has brought it up,” Ms Carlsson recently told Swedish Radio News. “We’ve talked about it in Uganda, and I’ve also tried to speak to the kind of organisations in Uganda that are the target of the legislation.” Uganda receives about $50 million in development aid from Sweden annually.
Swedish Radio News reported online, in a November 30 article, that the Scandinavian country would consider discontinuing development aid to Uganda if the law was introduced.
“I’m doubly disappointed, partly because Uganda is a country with which we have had long-term relations and where I thought and hoped we had started to share common values and understanding,” the minister is quoted as saying.
“The law is wretched, but it’s also offensive to see how Ugandans choose to look at how we see things, and the kind of reception we get when we bring up these issues.”
Ndorwa West MP David Bahati, who brought the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009), has denied accusations that he is in a hate campaign, insisting he is defending the heterosexual family. Mr Bahati has the tacit support of President Museveni, who has made strong anti-gay statements in recent times. If passed in its current form, the law would create a felony called “aggravated homosexuality”.
Offenders would face death for having sex with a minor or a disabled person, or for infecting their partners with HIV. It would also punish attempted homosexuality as well as the failure of a third party to report homosexual relationships.
Critics of the proposed law say it is not needed, as the Penal Code Act already punishes homosexuality, and that it is based on unproven claims that European gays are clandestinely recruiting in Uganda.
In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s conservative government called the proposed law “vile and hateful”, while Britain’s Gordon Brown raised the issue with President Museveni during the recent Commonwealth summit in Trinidad and Tobago. Ms Carlsson said the law would make it “much more difficult” for Sweden to continue helping Uganda.