I give thanks for (the days before) yesterday, today and tomorrow…still riding off the energy of (more than) thousands of womben uniting to take to the streets in demonstration for wise womban traditions. I am grateful for all the sacred spaces I`ve been guided to n communed with others n for all the positive transformations of di season.

I pray that the blessings of yesterday carry into tomorrow, en as I contemplate the reality of Rob Ford as mayor in the city (not only) I have grown to cherish and love so much, I pray for guidance and healing not only for myself but others, that we may continue to change the destructive paths we`ve been on, grow more humble, loving and strong, as we come into our right destinies. I pray that we overstand the lessons from our teacher (guide)s……ase. ase. Ase……

Real tox: the q_t werd IS in the spaces between our bio(mytho)graphical (vision) quests and ancestral memories. an epic litany of our survival, and the secrets to our thriving. the riddle of the sphinx is in how all a dis’ resources being shared in so many parts of different villages….(en how) pamoja tutafika!

real tox: the q_t werd is bout all dis’ communing with other (not-so) fresh off the boat(er)s,

New Afrikans,

Urban griots, in di diaspora

Elders, en our guides [in the q_t werd]

Hadithi? Hadithi?

Hadithi njoo…..

Giza ya?

Sahani ya?

……

Notes On creativity, compassion and courage:

  1. Creativity: recently, many mo friends have been questioning and sharing with us, [the storytellers behind The Q/t werd and Nekkyd,] what they think our art is about; we have heard en documented many ideas on the ways to build solidarity among QPOC communities, from a pan-afrikan perspective, yet we haven’t ‘officially’ fleshed out where we coming from and headed yet with this epic of a feature length documentary and series.

reality is, our visions (in dis here epic of a quest) have undergone deep transformashun: in the last 3 year(s) we have crossed different worlds and not only survived, crashed en burned, revived en thrived, but metamorphosed into the kipepeo of our wild dreams. our experiences of rebuilding villages are not what we expected them to be, they have surpassed our wildest fantasies en remind us of heaven on earth; now, alhamdulilah(t) we are grateful for the growing, loving communities, for all the healing and prayers in sacred spaces

in dis’ place here, in the diaspora, we found the source of Mama Afrika again, in her people.  In our ancestral legacies en mestizoed religions,  speaking black into (our +ve) blood.memories, breaking ugali with bredrin en dadas in prayer en solidarity.

the q_t werd is personal, political en religious:

personal like what you get when a documentary filmmaker/storyteller gets married to other artist/dadas, en where dem and their village produce a (dark) comedy series on lesbian, queer & trans (pan/afrikan) communities & a feature documentary on their ‘personal’ efforts to mobilise resources for queer/trans communities in East Afrika by designing the curriculum and fundraising for a queer/trans youth arts collective (QTYAC) in Kenya & Uganda. [that’s wassup]

the political is, we are far from where we started: individually and collectively, even though we’re back to the storyboard stages again, we’re still in the spaces between (post) production en grant writing.

Our hadithi remains the same, we are still on this (vision) quest to continue (coming into) fulfilling our (right) destinies, still creatively funding our activism, art and village building through strategically chosen jobs and “fly-by-night” ventures.

The bigger point is that, the religious piece is the big(ga) hadithi, our nekkyd truth is the crux of our salvation and healing wise is,  us dreaming of (going) back home with all our first world privileges, friends and families.

2. Compassion: Over a moon ago, we received the best advice we ever got from a wise afrikan womban’s reading of our quest/ion/s. We were reminded that love and truthfulness would have to determine our way of expressing ourselves and that we jus HAD (no choice but) to lovingly and sincerely communicate our thoughts to those around us.

the truth is, we don’t have any ‘official’ funding for our (art) work, and yet we have still been audacious (and over ambitious) enough to work on submitting, not only, a documentary to the Inside Out & Mpenzi before the end of this year, but designing the curriculum and mobilising (people)  resources for QTYAC, to be run in Kenya & Uganda from May – August 2011.

Technically, the ‘boring’ or exciting stuff (depending on where you look at it from), that there are nuff people interested in getting move involved with/in our communities back at home, we’re trying because we CAN and if we don’t then folks who don’t know betta than us will prolly try to help us OUT  for themselves, we’re doing all a dis’ organising  because there’s sayings that go like we have mo to work with, in dis place here in the FIRST  world,  to serve our communities betta;

3. Courage: a love story

Skeleton woman

– A Tale of the Inuit –

She had done something of which her father disapproved, although no one any longer remembered what it was. But her father had dragged her to the cliffs and thrown her over and into the sea. There, the fish ate her flesh away and plucked out her eyes. As she lay under the sea, her skeleton turned over and over in the currents.

One day a fisherman came fishing, well, in truth many came to this bay once. But this fisherman had drifted far from his home place and did not know that the local fisherman stayed away, saying this inlet was haunted.

The fisherman’s hook drifted down through the water, and caught of all places, in the bones of Skeleton Woman’s rib cage. The fisherman thought, “Oh, now I’ve really got a big one! Now I really have one!” In his mind he was thinking of how many people this great fish would feed, how long it would last, how long he might be free from the chore of hunting. And as he struggled with this great weight on the end of the hook, the sea was stirred to a thrashing froth, and his kayak bucked and shook, for she who was beneath struggled to disentangle herself. And the more she struggled, the more she tangled in the line. No matter what she did, she was inexorably dragged upward, tugged up by the bones of her own ribs.

The hunter had turned to scoop up his net, so he did not see her bald head rise above the waves, he did not see the little coral creatures glinting in the orbs of her skull, he did not see the crustaceans on her old ivory teeth. When he turned back with his net, her entire body, such as it was, had come to the surface and was hanging from the tip of his kayak by her long front teeth.

Agh!” cried the man, and his heart fell into his knees, his eyes hid in terror on the back of his head, and his ears blazed bright red. “Agh!” he screamed, and knocked her off the prow with his oar and began paddling like a demon toward shoreline. And not realizing she was tangled in his line, he was frightened all the more for she appeared to stand upon her toes while chasing him all the way to shore. No matter which way he zigged his kayak, she stayed right behind, and her breath rolled over the water in clouds of steam, and her arms flailed out as though to snatch him down into the depths.

Agh!” he wailed as he ran aground. In one leap he was out of his kayak, clutching his fishing stick and running, and the coral white corpse of skeleton woman, still snagged in the fishing line, bumpety-bumped behind right after him. Over the rocks he ran, and she followed. Over the frozen tundra he ran, and she kept right up. Over the meat laid out to dry he ran, cracking it to pieces as his mukluks bore down.

Throughout it all she kept right up, in fact, she grabbed some of the frozen fish as she was dragged behind. This she began to eat, for she had not gorged in a long, long time. Finally, the man reached his snowhouse and dove right into the tunnel and on hands and knees scrabbled his way into the interior. Panting and sobbing he lay there in the dark, his heart a drum, a mighty drum. Safe at last, oh so safe, yes, safe thank the Gods, Raven, yes, thank Raven, yes, and all bountiful Sedna, safe… at…last.

Imagine when he lit his whale oil lamp, there she – it – lay in a tumble upon his snow floor, one heel over her shoulder, one knee inside her rib cage, one foot over her elbow. He could not say later what it was, perhaps the firelight softened her features, or the fact that he was a lonely man… but a feeling of some kindness came into his breathing, and slowly he reached out his grimy hands and using words softly like a mother to child, began to untangle her from the fishing line.

Oh, na, na, na.” First he untangled the toes, then the ankles. “Oh, na, na, na.” On and on he worked into the night, until dressing her in furs to keep her warm, Skeleton Woman’s bones were all in the order a human’s should be.

He felt into his leather cuffs for his flint and used some of his hair to light a little more fire. He gazed at her from time to time as he oiled the precious wood of his fishing stick and rewound the gut line. And she in the furs uttered not a word – she did not dare – lest this hunter take her out and throw her down to the rocks and break her bones to pieces utterly.

The man became drowsy, slid under his sleeping skins, and soon was dreaming. And sometimes as humans sleep, you know, a tear escapes from the dreamer’s eye; we never know what sort of dream causes this, but we know it is either a dream of sadness or longing. And this is what happened to the man.

Skeleton Woman saw the tear glisten in the firelight and she became suddenly soooo thirsty. She tinkled and clanked and crawled over to the sleeping man and put her mouth to his tear. The single tear was like a river and she drank and drank and drank until her many-years-long thirst was slaked.

While lying beside him, she reached inside the sleeping man and took out his heart, the mighty drum. She sat up and banged on both sides of it: Bom Bomm!…..Bom Bomm!

As she drummed, she began to sing out “Flesh, flesh, flesh! Flesh, Flesh, Flesh!” And the more she sang, the more her body filled out with flesh. She sang for hair and good eyes and nice fat hands. She sang the divide between her legs, and breasts long enough to wrap for warmth, and all the things a woman needs.

And when she was all done, she also sang the sleeping man’s clothes off and crept into his bed with him, skin against skin. She returned the great drum, his heart, to his body, and that is how they awakened, wrapped one around the other, tangled from their night, in another way now, a good and lasting way.

The people who cannot remember how she came to her first ill fortune say she and the fisherman went away and were consistently well fed by the creatures she had known in her life under water. The people say that it is true and that is all they know.

[from women who run with the wolves: myths and stories of the wild woman archetype]

http://www.blacklooks.org/2010/08/james-baldwin-precious-lord-take-my-hand/

re/posted for critical analysis. this article was written By Elizabeth Mwai.

I only have questions to present. if the state is willing to spend $40m to count GAY  kenyans. then can they channel that money through  GALCK  as the only coalition group working towards sexual minorities rights?  and seeing as GALCK  and Ishtar were already double crossed once just a few moons ago, can we ensure that the steering committee is comprised mainly of queers & trannies (yes, if you’re gonna bandika names on us, then we can choose our own ‘foreign’ terms)?

and can the state be held accountable to its promises? frankly we just don’t trust y’all…if you’re so interested in helping us, then strike down those criminalising laws…it’s as simple as bahati….just table a bill. then…maybe…we can work together in finding out what our needs are..

right now I fear you may jus set the pigs after me. you’ve already sent the vultures en all the closet faggots you could muster to “sell” us OUT…what you don’t know, those are not OUR  people.

we are the ones who speak back, who resist your borrowed notions of identity. we are the ones who remain TRUTHful, even when it’s deadly…like that anti homosexuality bill.

before we go ahead with population council, can we spend that money counting all the criminals in parliament and all arms of state? that money should be enough to get us started on a major cleansing of the revolushunary kind.

my position would be to spend that $40m on service delivery…we know we’re here, you’re the one that’s casting it as unfamiliar.

 The Government will spend Sh40 million on a research to establish the number of gay Kenyans.  

 The survey, set to begin in December till June next year, is the first of  its kind.

On Tuesday, National Aids and STD Control Programme (Nascop) director  Nicholas Muraguri said the survey would be done in conjunction with the  National Population Council.

 “We cannot continue excluding this group identified as a key driver to new  HIV/Aids infections,” said Dr Muraguri.

In an interview with The Standard, Muraguri said establishing the population of men who have sex with men would facilitate development of  interventions.

 Apart from knowing their population, Muraguri said the study was aimed at understanding their behavioural practices, condom use and risk factors.

 Murgauri said it is believed majority is married for purposes of trying to  hide their preferences.

“We want to know how many partners do they usually have, are they married, > do they use drugs and what’s their care seeking behaviour,” said Muraguri.

 *Hot spot*  Currently, the gay hotspot is believed to be Coast Province, Nairobi and

tourist sites, including game reserves.

 Muraguri said gay men had been known to have an almost five times higher  the national HIV prevalence than the normal average

 He said social exclusion has globally been identified as a major  contributor to ill health among gays.

 He said the Government finds it challenging to tackle the spread of new infections estimated at 100,000 cases annually because of ignoring key  drivers to the scourge.

 Studies have shown 15 per cent of the new HIV infections are attributed to gays.

 According to the Mode of Transmission Study conducted at Coast Province in 2007 and results released last year, they were responsible for up to 20 per  cent of the new HIV infections in the region.

 The most at risk have been identified to be commercial sex workers, truckers, injecting drug users and gays.

 Muraguri said the Ethical Review Board would appraise tools for the study.

He said most programmes on gays were mostly driven by NGOs, a situation the Government ought to take charge off.

 He said by gathering such information, they would reach out to the group in the fight against spread of HIV and Aids.

> Read all about: standardmedia

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=standardmedia>National

Aids and STD Control Programme

<http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=National+Aids+and+STD+Control+Programme&gt;

 Nascop

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=Nascop>gay

marriage

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=gay+marriage&gt;

 lesbians

> <http://www.eastandard.net/InsidePage.php?incl=allabout&kywrd=lesbians&gt;

Peter N. Njane

 Director ISHTAR MSM

 TEL:+254721952570

 EMAIL:pnjoro2002@yahoo.com <EMAIL%3Apnjoro2002@yahoo.com>

 pnjane@ishtarmsm.org

> *ww* <http://www.galck.org/ishtar>** <http://www.galck.org/ishtar>*

> http://www.ishtarmsm.org.

> * <http://www.galck.org/ishtar&gt;

  GALCK3THE GAY AND LESBIAN COALITION OF KENYA

October 18, 2009

RE: Solidarity with SEXUAL MINORITIES UGANDA in regards to Bill 18 – Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009

We, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer persons  of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya, wish to show our support and solidarity with the LGBTIQ community of Uganda and Sexual Minorities Uganda as they face uncertainty following the tabling in Parliament of the Anti-Homosexuality bill no 18.on the 14th of October 2009. We note that this proposed legislation, if passed, will be a breach to the fundamental rights and freedoms of all LGBTIQ persons of Uganda.

Further, this bill seeks to control and dictate every Ugandan’s sexuality and gender expression by criminalizing consensual same sex relationships and self identities .The belief that homosexuality is unnatural and a threat to traditional family values is promoting false prejudices that target the LGBTI community and render them vulnerable to acts that are in violation of their rights as citizens, which in turn degrade the value and efforts put in achieving a democratic state of Uganda.

As Kenyans who risk facing the same legislative discrimination, considering the shared borders and legal jurisprudence of the East African community, we are pledging our infinite support and adding our voices to demand that the Ugandan parliament refrain from passing this bill into law. Additionally, we encourage the East African community to challenge these appalling acts directed towards minority communities and especially sexual minorities. We further condemn the justification of human rights violations in the name of morality and culture that go against the good will of all states that have signed and ratified the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

In light of the homophobic responses and reaction from the Ugandan government and its agencies and as an effort from the LGBTI community that raise awareness and challenge all forms of human rights violations perpetrated on the basis of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity (arbitrary arrests and detention, physical assault, emotional and mental assault, hate speeches and hate crimes ), we urge the government of Uganda to refrain from such acts and put in place mechanisms that address the issue of gender and sexual based violence against all Uganda citizens.

Regardless of our personal moral beliefs and values, our sexual orientation and gender identity we are standing up in solidarity with our Ugandan brothers and sisters to agitate for the respect for Democracy, the Constitution and its enshrined principles of human dignity, equality, freedom and justice for all.

In solidarity,                                                                                                                                                                    

Steering committee

For: Gay and lesbian coalition of Kenya

www.galck.org        

 For further information:

info@galck.org

poul85@gmail.com

+254 721 801 054

The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya is a coalition of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) human rights organizations GALCK is registered as a trust (“Kenya Gay and Lesbian Trust”) and was established in May 2006.

GALCK is an umbrella organization and currently consists of five member organizations; “Minority Women in Action”, “Ishtar MSM”, “TOMIK”  “Gay Kenya” and “Transgender Education and Advocacy – TEA”. Additionally, there are four organizations mainly out of Nairobi whose membership is under consideration.

The vision of GALCK is a safe and enabling environment for LGBTI organizations and individuals in Kenya.

The mission is to promote recognition, acceptance and defend the interests and rights of LGBTI organizations and their members.

en a much tastier “big apple”

watch, new york! there’s many tings you can learn….

no homo! 😉

 

St. Petersburg, Fla. — The Canadian Press Published on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 12:08PM EDT

Toronto will host the World Pride event in 2014 after winning a vote among gay delegates at the international InterPride Conference in Florida.

Toronto beat its main rival for the event, Stockholm, on Sunday to win the hosting duties.

Tracey Sandilands, executive director of Pride Toronto, told Toronto television station CP24 that Toronto captured 77 votes to Stockholm’s 61 in the first round of voting, eliminating Stockholm.

But that wasn’t enough for the two-thirds majority needed to win the right to host the political and cultural event, she said.

A second vote of yes or no gave Toronto a 78 per cent endorsement, said Ms. Sandilands.

Pride Toronto officials said that this summer’s Pride Week drew an estimated one million people to Toronto and contributed $136-million to the city’s economy.

”World Pride is going to be about five times bigger,” said Ms. Sandilands.

A delegation of 10 people went to Florida to present Toronto’s bid, including representatives from Pride Toronto, Tourism Toronto and Toronto police.

The Toronto event will be the fourth scheduled World Pride since the event’s inception in Rome in 2000.

World Pride promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on an international level through parades, festivals, and other cultural activities.

The next one is set for just prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, England in 2012.

 EN NOW….the work continues. Pride Toronto  has alot of revamping to do if it means to honour that title.

This year, I came back to Tdot, specially jus’ for Pride, and I gotta say, I think there were way too many gaps.

en too much empty posturing.

dear pride committee, you’re guilty of token nominations. VICTOR MUKASA & Bill 18….nuff said.

dear Pride Toronto, unfortunately you are not doing nearly enough for WORLD  queers & trannies.

you are guilty of commodifaction & exploitation of minorities.

dear p.t, you need fresh, en more revolushunary blood.

this time, next year, you should host a world conference….

dear p.t, this time,  you should simply do much more “meaningful” community work.

dear p.t,  you’re supposed to be here because of the community, en many communities are here because of mostly other people’s work.

 dear PRIDE  committee,

we are here to HELP  each other.

 

seek ye first our global human rights!

start with campaigning in response to Bahati’s Bill….

do something more.

 

we’re watching YOU.

we ain’t holding our breath though…

ain’t agonising so much as organising,

dis revolushUn is (also) LIVE.

 

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