Wathint abafazi!
Wathint` imbokodo uzo kufa!

Now you have touched the women!
You have struck a rock
 

(You have dislodged a boulder!)
You will be crushed!

The Federation of South African Women (1955)

 sistas in solidarity (SIS) is a working concept that grew out of Thursday’s  roundtable discussion on building solidarity within queer/trans afrikan communities.  (this is a living document). 

It is an intuitive and logical consequence to the big dreams we have for the liberation of ALL Afrikan peoples. It is our contribution to the struggle for Afrikan liberation. We are critically analysing our gaps and internal contradictions.

We are addresssing the intersections of our diversity, sharing resources, and building radical, sustaining and  sustainable coalitions.

It’s significant to note that there were only 3 (bio) brothas in the brainstorming session. And only one was over the age of 4. That would be Chris Harris from BADC. another comrade in the struggle for afrikan liberation, ase. and ase, to all the wo/mynthat came together to build solidarity.

We warn you! we have (not)  only just begun, en these issues are OUR stories…..

 For the next few weeks, we will be (mostly) sistas in solidarity, mobilising resources en working together to do more to support queer/trans activism on the continent. we’re working on our own unity first.

It’s official we’re recruiting. write an op-ed. bring it up wherever en whenever. Do something (more).

We will be talking with you on community radio.Verlia stephens is officially back on air this week en she’ll be telling you more about the bill and proposed actions in her next  show  on “Liming with Verlia in de African Diaspora”.

We will be circulating petitions and requesting folks to sit on advisory commitees.

 

We will support the implementation of 4 programs, to start….

AO101  workshops,

a womyn’s circle for healing en self recovery,

queer/trans youth arts collective &

queer/trans youth exchange program (Jun-Aug 2010), to be launched in East Afrika,

en spearheaded by The People Project with the collaboration of various Kenyan & Ugandan groups.

(much, much more will be shared in detail on the listserv)

 

We’re asking for donations of many kinds. 

we will be sending you our wish lists for the GALCK  resource centre

(and) we’ll be checking them twice. 😉    

so check this space (soon).

 

to give you an idea. we’re looking for donations like books, videos & educational brochures for our library.

Binders, condoms, dams, lube, computers, cameras, printers, scanners, sound recorders, paper, STP’s, blank tapes, a boom & mic, hormones, technical support, volunteers, & MONEY.

 

we’re going to ship a container back to Kenya, with (some) necessary resources, for these groups in East Afrika.

MWA, TEA, IshtarMSM, Gay Kenya, AfraKenya, SMUG, FARug &  TITs

 

there are many possibilities to the ways you could support.

(be as creative en as revolushunary as you can, en get back to us with your ideas and suggestions)

 

We’re recruiting performers for our UNDERGROUND &  BIG LOVE  parties.

we promise a round up of the biggest celebrity talent (from the margins)

we got an after party, and our favourite DJ’s cherry picked alot.

 

yes. we have our wishlist. we want folks like  Ryan Hinds, Dainty Smith, D’bi Young.AnitAfrika, Amai Kuda,Troy Jackson, Laura Aidanblase,  Stacey Ann Chin, Imani Henry, Hanifah Walidah, Milo de Milo, Suzy Yim, Brescia Birdthroat Bloodbeard, LAL, zaki ibrahim, deb kirk pearce, ryli skelton, tenacious bryan, marie jolie, njeri damali campbell, truthIS …..the list is long.

we want U people

(to)

 

Book these dates. Nov 21st & Dec 18th.

we’ll be throwing you some (not-so) “UNDER-GROUND”  parties.

 

For now, we’ll spill jus’ a few juicy secrets. 

On Nov 21st,there will be spoken word/dub poetry, song en dance, en an after party.

There will be be many beautiful  QPOC en a silent auction.

It’ll be the kinda win-win situation we all looking for. come out, en raise money, for a revolushunary cause.

 

AND we’re looking for sponsors for raffle prizes for December’s   BIG LOVE  party……

the idea is that we get it all from the community, but we’re ready to exploit small en big businesses for our purposes. 

all a dis, en more,  is by, for, en from the community.

we are (the )  GRASSROOTS.

we are the power of (u) people.

 

We”re looking for other parties to donate part of their proceedings in events over the next 3 months.

would the (not so) usual suspects please stand up?

 Give us your ideas of who else we can get to donate part of their party funds to our cause.

 

Watch the streets and  join our group on FACE BOOK  for more details.

we need your support to realise our dreams.

Because we’re setting lofty goals, and THIS IS  the revolution.

Thinking global and starting local.

 

Join us!

  We are doing this not only because we can, but because it is necessary.

 We stand in resistance to all forms of imperialism.

and, to start, we petition the Prime Minister to release an official declaration condemning Bill 18! 

 

We will launch a queer/trans/pan/Afrikan activists listserv, hosted by Fahamu, that will serve as a forum to connect  Q/tPOC  and, activists of Afrikan descent from the continent en in the diaspora(s).

The official launch for the listserv will be, online, on Friday October 23rd.

And, we’re recruiting people for the cause.

 

Izwe lethu! I Afrika!

 

sis

[you tube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BpXhaDXp-c]

 

s.I.s(ta)

in the spirit of organising (en not agonising), I present to you more material for critical thinking.

In previous posts, I have posed questions and issues of working on our unity.

I have advanced the premise, both implicitly and explicitly, that we have alot of untapped resources and unaccounted privileges as queers and trannies living in North America. That we need to divert and subvert these resources  to support activism on the continent. I have posited that some of the major gaps thus far have been ignorance & complacency. to put it simply, we’re caught up in ourselves, and the realities of survival on Turtle Island.

But that is not enough, because as much as, particularly as queer/trans people of colour, we face an intersection of oppressions. and we’re struggling to carve and maintain our own spaces here. we also have to acknowledge that things could be much worse. and many queer/trans immigrants will recount  to you stories of differences. that is why many of us are here, we have made toronto our homes, or tdot has always being our home, or it’s an exile, or it’s none of these. Whatever the case may be, we also have enduring connections with other lands, where the situation for queer/trans people is drastically different.

and the reality is that we DO have alot. we have  pride, our own papers, we have communities spread all over the country, we have same-sex marriage, and we can wax political about the (right wing) gay agenda, and the commodification of queer cultures, but at least we got visible cultures to commodify, and locations to resist from. we’ve got bathhouses, and the 519.  we’ve got ACT  and TEACH,  the Inside out festival & mpenzi black womyn’s festival. you should know what we got. we’ve got love and resistance.

For those of you who are wondering, what next, those who are getting tired of the seemingly endless theoretical debates on identity politics….i posit that the next frontier is fighting for global rights. None of us is free, as long as some, or one of us is oppressed. It can/should be as simple as that.

So as a queer & trans person, you are implicitly invested in the needs of queer & trans communities worldwide. As an Afrikan, you are implicitly invested in the liberation of all Afrikan peoples. or at least, that’s the dream.

I chose this video interview piece to continue the series that I’ve just introduced. I’ll put up the rest of the links under the u people category. there are 2 more presentations in that panel discussion by Zanele Muholi & Gareth Henry.

we are the ones we’re looking for

 

I don’t have a petition (yet) to present you in protest of the anti homosexuality bill, but in the spirit of building solidarity amongst queer/trans communities globally. I offer another presentation to reflect on. the volume on this video is low, and it’s only the first part of a longer panel discussion on global human rights for queers that was held before the Pride parade in June, in Toronto. But the content and message is the point of this blog.

and I offer you only more questions, what do you think the nomination of one of Afrika’s leading queer/trans activists, Victor Mukasa, symbolises for queer/trans activism in East Afrika?

 I’m still developing my critical analysis of the impact of this nomination on the community, I’m still waiting for more. and I’m in a particularly powerful place right now to assess the aftermath and some of the consequences of recognition such as this nomination in particular.

And what I’m interested is deepening that interest that a cross section of people have, and that enduring commitment to workign for queer/trans rights in Afrika. but we need more people, doing more. we need money, we need capacity building in our organisations.

we need to be able to earn a living wage while working. and we need to take care of ourselves. and pay attention to our safety. we need to address the abuse and violence not only from out/side, but most significantly, within our communities.

we need all the programs that folks are working on, with/in the gay and lesbian coalition of kenya (GALCK); ishtar MSM;  gay kenya; transgender education and advocacy;  minority women in action; sexual minorities uganda; freedom and roam uganda; transgender, intersex, transsexual; TALESA, all of these organisations and more…..I mention just the ones I know or have heard most about.

if you think there’s something you can help with, then follow up with whom/ever and whenever you wish. If you’re in Toronto, then I can meet up with you. Yes, I am shamelessy group promoting here, but who betta to do it? I may not have many answers but I’m working on finding them. and there are a few programs I’m working on that I need help with.

I’ve already posted the outline for one of those programs, A0101 workshops.

I am also building the curriculum for a womyn’s circle fo healing and self recovery (a space for afrikan womyn & trans folk to draw on the wealth of indigenous african knowledge to re/learn ways of living sustainably. where we can have a safe space to reclaim our sexuality and gender identity, and commune, reason and teach other)

and when I say I, I mean we, because there are a few of us, and we’re looking for more help.

we are also implementing a queer/trans youth arts collective next year. this will be a series of workshops that will teach media making skills to young people. because we need to take up space and tell our own stories. because we need to re/educate ourselves.

we have set up advisory committees for all 3 of these programs with a max. of 15 people on each of the organising committees. we are still recruiting more (necesssary) people.

and these are just the programs I’m responsible for. there are more activities and programs that we’re working on in MWA.. and there are different programs that all the organisations are working on.

 

yes, we are recruiting.

get involved.

 

Global Human Rights For Queers pt 1

consider this an illustration of a case study in differences. and ask yourself the question when do you think we’ll have something similar in East Afrika? is it necessary for us?

should we get SRS enlisted first? should we pressure the government to enable trans & intersex people to change the sex on their birth certificates? shoud we advocate for all the constitutional rights that trans & intersex Afrikans need before taking to the streets? what would our numbers be? who would come out and support?

I confess, I have many more questions than answers, and I’d love to recruit ever single person that walked in this parade to walk a similar one in solidarity with the ongoing campaign to repeal sodomy laws throughout the continent and fight that anti homosexuality bill in Uganda.

what do you think we can do to continue making the lives of queer/trans people throughout the world safer?

Tdot’s 1st Transgender March Friday June 27th 2009