[a is for] a video diary of The ‘Q’ werd

betwixt en between: m is for molisa(n.)

on love,  truth, justice & reconciliation

coming out stories

I (not-so) secretly would like to be married to jus 2 (or 2 more) of all the kings en queens that have walked on this earth en that live today….children of oya, ogun, shango (en others…)

I am a(n. Afrikan)  wom(b)an (been) in love with 2 (wo)men, all met betwixt en between, in another place not here (my story is not new)….  I confess that if I had my wishes fulfilled, I would be married to at least 3 queens en a king, yes I am (unfortunately nowadays marginalised for being) non-monogamous, that’s my coming out story.

 I confess that even though I’m ‘mostly’ out of the closet, in deference to overwhelming majorities, en the likelihood that ‘the one(s)’ might be one-woman-shacking-up type o’ folks, I have proven time en again to be not only willing to settle with monogamy, but secretly hope that I might be enough for one person. coz I really don’t know how many ‘partners’ I can handle, the truth is I’ve never actually being in a committed ‘non-monogamous relationship, so it’s fair to suppose that I might NOT  be non-monogamous in the first place at all, it could jus be a subjective ideal, a case of wishes & horses, or it could be my memory en hints in the fluidity of relationships, it could just be that monogamy is not appealing or logical to me (or many others), I mean why marry just one, if you could build a revolushunary village with 10? why NOT  have whatever your heart desires, as long as it’s consensual? And, technically one could argue that ‘monogamy’ is un-African, (one of the myriad of imposed imperialist/western values)

it’s simple really….in the end, I’ll have whoever I want to be with for life that not only wants to be with me, but shares my dreams en hopes for better lives, to raise pikney en farm (for real!), (re)build communities of love, justice, (peace) en truth

Ukweli ni, I’d be satisfied with  ‘one’ coz I haven’t met any yet that have wanted to marry not jus’ me, but a few others, besides the bigger point of THIS hadithi is not who I want to share my life with, but how we’re re/connecting with the ones we’ve been looking for….

 [C is] the crux: we ’ve heard (more than) a few hadithi about eshu, obatala, ogun, Olokun, orunmile, osanyin, oshun, oya, shango, en Yemoja, but only a couple of versions of mumbi en nambi. It (almost) always goes that mumbi births 9+1 daughtas with (a)G….., en nambi, daughta of G, marries kintu, at least that’s (part of) the crux. The bigger point is most of it seems to be lost under centuries of whitewash(ing), and our freedom is hinged on going back for not only what we have forgotten, but that, which has been distorted & exploited, like the story of c(ee),

n is for nneke/d. Is for: parts of herstory

See stories will only get us started, the rest of what we (don’t) say are our actions. The work we do to make our dreams happen, this IS the Q werd, a journey that begins with the realities of (more than 9+1) dadas.in.solidarity.

The interviews are real, the events are not fictional, these are OUR pan-afrikan postcards, in the spirit of the biggest holiday this moon, African Liberation Day, and in honour of ‘an ordinary African doing his best to unite his people’ (Taju)

Kesho, on (Agwambo Odera, Frederick Odhiambo, Gacheke Gachihi, George Nyongesa, Hilary Mulialia,  Onyango Oloo, Sam Ojiayo, Willy Mutunga, Tajudeen Abdul Raheem) 9 + 1 ALD kings (in the Q werd)

 

but you know what they say about East Afrikan dudes?

what betta way to continue the year, than finding our (own) way to (the) truth

my favourite parts…..

…but what finds a way into (y)our bodies, must also find a way to escape, instantly!

my metabolism is like the U.S  infantry,

as soon as it smells trouble, it’s quick to squeeze,

at ease, yes! it was me who cut the cheese,

I should just eat on the toilet, the way my food runs through me…

prolly more than you needed to know,

but all for a purpose,

you see my point is that….

in my pursuit for perfection….

there is really nothing wrong with me…

I am healthy…

but all my life, people have always been bothering me…

but I mean, what can I say you know, this is jus’ the way I was made…

yes I am___________________________

 

jus’ say alhamdulilah!……be happy!

for every single, beautiful, amazing ting….

 

By MAKAU MUTUA

Posted Saturday, October 24 2009 at 14:15

In Summary

People have inherent right to choose how to perform their sexuality

A country’s soul is measured by how poorly – or well – it treats minorities. That’s why it is very alarming for a member of the Committee of Experts to opine that the draft constitution will not protect gay rights because a majority of Kenyans would reject it.

It’s not the job of the committee to add or remove a particular right because of its prejudgment or prediction of how Kenyans might vote. Nor should the committee cave in to hysteria created by any interest group, no matter how powerful.

But it is the work of the committee, which is composed of experts, to give Kenyans the most democratic and modern draft constitution that protects the rights of all Kenyans, especially the most vulnerable.

Constitutions are not meant to protect only the individuals that we like, and to leave unprotected those who are unpopular, or those the majority may find morally objectionable. Nor should a person’s identity be the reason to deny them protection.

Quite the contrary, a person’s identity – especially if it exposes them to ridicule, attack, or discrimination – must be the reason for constitutional protection. Constitutions protect individuals from the tyranny of the state and oppression from their fellow human beings.

These vertical and horizontal protections are the bulwarks against the unfair exploitation of the weak by the strong, and the domination of the minority by the majority.

Absent this architecture and logic, a constitution becomes the instrument of tyranny and the petri dish for dictatorship. This is the reason the modern democratic constitution must be unfailingly secular and not captive to benighted religious beliefs.

Religious faiths must not be allowed to use the constitution to establish archaic religious views, or vanquish the basic rights of those whom they see as sinners.

The Kenyan constitution cannot be grounded on a world view of sin or the moral predicates of religion. If it did, then Kenya would become a theocracy, not a modern secular democracy.

Nor is it the role of the constitution to choose one sexual orientation over another. The constitution must at least be agnostic on sexuality.

I want to appeal to the humanism intrinsic in religion for those who do not buy the argument of legal equality in secularism and liberalism. The Abrahamic faiths – Christianity, Islam, and Judaism – believe that all humans are God’s children, and that everyone deserves to be protected from discrimination.

That protection must be afforded irrespective of sexual orientation. Where better to entrench such protection than in the basic law of a country?

The “nature” versus “nurture” debate aside, most gay people do not choose to be so. They are gay and not heterosexual. Why should their state of “nature” deprive them of rights any more than it does heterosexuals?

But this is even conceding too much ground. Why should it matter whether one is gay by “nature” or “nurture”? It should not matter whether one is “born gay” or one is gay by choice.

Individuals have the inherent right – not given by a government – to choose how to perform their sexuality. That is why the constitution should protect those who are gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, and asexual – including those who are heterosexual.

According to the UK Border and Immigration Agency, which is responsible for controlling migration in the United Kingdom, persons who are married to or are civil partners of a British citizen and wish to apply for naturalisation as British citizen must meet mandatory requirements which include three years’ residency in the UK and good character.

 “Hopefully, the Kenyan laws might change in the future and, one day, we might repeat our wedding in Kenya, ” said a defiant Mr Ngengi. A source close to Kenyan immigration said that because of the controversial gay wedding in London, it might not be in the ‘‘public interest’’ to allow Mr Gichia to enter Kenya.

 

i first read this piece, by binyavanga wainaina, last year. africa (2)

the intricate layers of over standing, satire en distancing oneself from hegemonic thought,

struck deep……

 

I had to listen to it a few more times to hear the silence(d)…

talking back through the margins of post-modernism.

 

no one can tell our stories,

but ourselves, that is true!

 

call out: hadithi? hadithi?

response: hadithi!

 

the modern afrikan…..

does it have to be this way?here’s the blog discovery of the day, forwarded from a/nother MWA  dada. ase m’khana.

below is, michael mumo on the issue of the (heavy) backlash against queer/trans afrikan communities in recent times.

watch this blog for the delayed reaction.kesho.

This is one of those blogs that I know will provoke derision but I will throw prudence out of the window and write it nonetheless.

I’ve quietly been following debate on the gay partnership between two consenting Kenyan adults in the UK over the past few days and feel compelled to say the following;

The Kenyan media has unfairly demonised occupants of a homestead in Murang’a over the sexual orientation of one of their own who has chosen a particular (or is it odd?) lifestyle.

What moral authority does the media hold to dictate what is correct or incorrect in society?  Haven’t they told us that one man’s meat may be another man’s poison?

For a start, the civil union was conducted in the UK where the act is legal.As such, the couple has not committed any crime.  They did not cement the union here in Kenya where such an act is still unlawful.

Let me pose this… If you were to count the number of thieves sitting in the so-called Grand Coalition government you’d fall asleep before you’re done.Why haven’t we made it a big deal as we have this particular gay saga?

Why haven’t I seen the media troop to the homes of those politicians to demand to know from their mothers if they know their sons and daughters are crooks? I think I have the answer…  It’s because it is not the business of my folks to determine what I decide to do once I turn 18.It is also none of your business! 

If our TV crews expended so much energy on the moral high ground as we did on this story, then we would have changed Kenya for the better decades ago.

We should leave Charles Ngengi and his ‘bride’ Daniel Chege Gichia to enjoy their honeymoon on the sunny beaches of Brighton in the south of the UK. They are roughly 7,000 kilometers away from us and their partnership is unlikely to influence our way of life.

For what it’s worth, theirs would have been a quiet union had it not been for the prying media who intruded our quiet ‘moral’ lifestyles, which they have now ‘polluted’ with ‘normal’ goings on in a part of North London.

We should accept divergent orientations and views, especially if they do not affect you and pose no risk. This world is not about what you imagine to be right or wrong – right according to whom?  What you imagine is right may be wrong according to someone in Islington – or Kawangware for that matter.

There! I’ve said it.  Bring on the affection or hate.

For the record; I’m not anywhere near gay.

audreSo 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?)…

audre1

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

tdot39 (40)Michael Madill, The Daily Monitor, Monday October 19th
Do you know the fear which arrives with the knock on the door in the middle of the night?  If you were an outspoken opponent of any government from 1962 until today you felt it even if it never happened to you.  Do you know the terror of women who lived through the civil war in Luweero or LRA atrocities in the north?  They went out every day knowing they faced rape and murder, suffering because they were women.

If you are a gay man or woman living in Uganda today, then you carry the same burden of persecution for your identity.  You risk death or torture or public humiliation at the hands of a community blinded by hate and religious dogma.  Your plight is about to worsen, since another bill making you illegal will soon pass into law.

Gay people are not the only ones who should fear the new bill criminalising homosexuality.  Measures which make who you are a crime are easy to manipulate.  It’s easy to persecute gay people in Uganda because they are a very small group which has no political or mainstream social support.

If you think those two groups deserve what they get, then recall the days not so long ago when you felt unfairly targeted for what you are.  The last 47 years were not kind to many of us.  So it is astonishing that we seem to have learned nothing about the importance of diversity to stability and development.

How will the new law be enforced?  Arrests and prosecutions will almost always result from denunciations.  Since you can’t tell a gay man or woman just by looking, everyone is at risk.  This puts power into the hands of the snitch, the aggrieved spouse or employee, the wronged friend or election opponent.  Once you are branded, the stigma and its judicial consequences will be hard to shake.  Are you prepared to suffer imprisonment and possibly physical violence because someone says the
y saw you commit an act or saw your name in an e-mail list?

If the odious bill on the table in Parliament is permitted to join its brethren in the law books, then it is fair to ask, who’s next?  Gay people don’t pose a threat to the government, but they are an easy scapegoat for inflaming public anger which itself can be manipulated against other groups which are a threat.  An election is coming soon, and there is little an embattled government likes better than to divert attention from its troubles or to neutralise its opponents.

Uganda would not be 47 years old if it were not for the contributions of all its people, whatever their identity.  We saw the affects of the expulsion of Asians in the 1970s.  We still feel the weight of discrimination against Northerners today.  Yet we so easily slip into the habit of hating those who are different.  

Repression is an expedient.  Today it is cheap and easy to make laws against gay people.  Tomorrow it may be cheap and easy to make laws against elections.  Today the majority participates because it can, and it hands the government increments of power and social control.  Tomorrow, when the government is stronger, the majority may not be able to resist if the government decides sterner measures are required to ensure peace, prosperity or social cohesion.

The reason we should all fear the easy hatred of legitimised gay bashing is that it puts the country on a path away from democracy.  The ease with which this bill is likely to become law will mark another step away from real pluralism.  The creeping fascism of social purification begins with the easiest pickings but never stops, and its result is always tyranny.

mmadill@oakton.edu