(re) introducing the q[/t] werd: a video diary

It ain’t no mystery that we (been) preparing for dis’ (not-so) new film & video projects: nekkyd & the Q[/T] werd. 

season 1 features 32[+4]stories en the magic is in  retelling of OUR stories

some of the [extra] ordinary people featured [en behind the scenes] include: anitafrika dub theatre, blackness yes! and blockorama, bombastic kasha, bunge la mwananchi, bredrin and dadas in solidarity, colour me dragg, [is] the crux, deb singh, Elijah Masinde, elimu sanifu, faith Nolan, funkasia, the funketeers, gender education and advocacy project, house of munro, Ishtar, kalmplex, nikki mawanda, nneke dumele, red lips. cages for black girls, swagger, tajudeen abdul raheem, victor mukasa, en the Yoruba house project

A love letter to rafikis, [aka.] bredrin and dadas in solidarity.

 

b is for blackness yes! and blockorama

(re)introducing (Tsholo) Khalema as Nneke Dumele in NeKKyD

NEKKyD is a Canadain dark-comedy web series sitcom that debuts June 30, 2010

Each episode is a different journey inside Nekkyd’s (Tsholo Khalema) world as her wry observations take us into the mind of a screwed up, loved up, lustful lesbian world. Being a lesbian is tough, Being a black immigrant African lesbian trying to fit in… well lets just say, to survive you gotta know the RULEZ TA BEIN’ A STUD. NEKKyD explores the world of Nneke Dumela and her earth-shattering lust for the gorgeous and sassy women

Check out http://colourspill-productions.blogspot.com

  Nekkyd is the 2nd of 31 stories (in the 1st series of) The Q werd: a mystic, organic en (us)people-driven hadithi caravan of video diaries. Nothing like the L word, in many ways like IloveUPeople, with a continental twist…….the crux of the series is big love en big mobilizing for, and, within (pan) Afrikan communities….

The crux is the 3rd story of the Q werd:||the crux|| is a marketing, media and entertainment strategy outfit servicing Canada the USA and the Caribbean.

With almost a decade of industry experience, ||the crux|| offers branding strategy, media relations, publicity, community relations, message development, speech writing, media training, promotion, press-kit creation and complete event production.

With a wide array of industry contacts throughout North America and the Islands; ||the crux|| represents clients within the the Corporate, Multicultural, Arts and Culture, Fashion and Beauty, Entertainment and Lifestyle realms.

Check out http://isthecrux.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/13-questions-with-mel-fernandes

To be continued….kesho on the Q werd: (the evolution of) swagger

A STATEMENT BY THE KENYAN LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX COMMUNITY ON HEALTH, SAME-SEX SEXUALITY AND MEDIA.

 GALCK

A few years ago, when the Members of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya  – GALCK, held their first meeting, we decided to use the term “we the indigenous Kenyans,” to emphasize that we, the Gay and Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are truly Kenyan, and not foreigners or even influenced by any western ideology in accepting our inherent sexuality: same sex relationships and other sexual orientations than heterosexual.

We now again jointly release this statement in which we underline the  following concerns:

While we celebrate the publicity that the media has given to a largely ignored and silenced community in Kenya, we also note with concern that this publicity has also been sensationalized and with the intention of creating an impression that the LGBTI community in Kenya has certain unstated subterranean agenda which goes against our cultural traditions and value systems. We the members of GALCK love and hold in high esteem the African values of love, charity, family and (….) complete sentence We have read with great concern the widely publicized media reports that we are interested in gay marriages. We wish to categorically state that we are NOT. This seems to be the agenda of the media and not of LGBTI Kenyans. We have too many pressing issues like our fellow Kenyans at the present time.

From lack of jobs, ever increasing food prices, ethnic hatred to be concerned about same sex marriages. we would further like to note that just because we are not inclined to pursue the marriage agenda at this time in our struggle,does not mean that we condone the unfair and intrusive reporting on such marriages as we believe every one of us holds the freedom of choice in their private affairs. In addition to these shared concerns of all Kenyans we additionally are asking for freedom from discrimination, in

provision of services, freedom from police brutality, freedom from prolonged and impolite gazes, and generally any form of unfair treatment simply for who we are. All we are asking for is polite and humane treatment – the same kind of treatment that any Kenyan would want to receive from another human person.

Thirdly, we are most appalled by the treatment given to our family members. It was extremely shameful and intrusive of the media to ambush old and ailing parents of a gay person with inhumane questions about their child, one whom they had not seen in such a long time. It is as if, by embracing our sexuality, our families ipso facto loose any right they have to privacy, dignity and fair and humane treatment from the media. Please leave our families out of it, they do not choose our sexual orientation for us, and for many within the family our sexual choices are a struggle for them to accept. Exposing them to public humiliation serves no purpose at all.

Most Kenyans are appalled by the conduct of the media, in this regard and we know there are some in the media fraternity with a sense of decorum and propriety, we hope they will prevail on this uncouth behavior of their colleagues.

We are very much concerned about public and personal health of our society. In an era of HIV/AIDS, one group that has recently been identified by various government studies to be heavily impacted by HIV is men who have sex with men. Because of our society’s attitude towards them many are also married and have children and represent all cadres of our society. When there is sidelining and discrimination on any segment of our society, as is being done here on LGBTI Kenyans, then there can never be success in fighting HIV and AIDS. These communities will go underground making it very  difficult to provide prevention, treatment and care for all our citizens ensuring the continued spread of HIV. It is important to realize there is no society in the world that has ever eradicated homosexuality through  compulsory heterosexuality – enforced heterosexuality only leads to more HIV infections, inability to reach the Most at Risk Populations with properly targeted protection messages and widespread vulnerability.

It is in recognizing the deeply entrenched African value of life that we are urging all LGBTI Kenyans to embrace their sexuality and practice it safely and to protect all that they partner with.

Lastly the LGBTI Kenyans do not stop anyone from living their lives as they see fit. Indeed we do not even stop preachers and saints from preaching and living their saintly lives. While we believe that sexual orientation is innate and cannot be changed (even though one can live a semblance of heterosexuality) we do not in anyway impede on those who want to pray same-sex sexuality away from doing so, nor do we stop the preachers from helping them to pray it away. All we are asking is for a legal and constitutional order that respects our freedom of conscience and right to exist. Kenya belongs to both the religious believers and non-believers and our laws should not be dictated by the teachings of any religious persuasions. Indeed religious freedom also means freedom not to believe. If  LGBTI people have no place in the church, they are still Kenyans and should also be protected by the law.these sentence feels like a direct attack on religion without context-can we rephrase to mean everyone else and the media?

 Therefore we call for equal treatment before the law. Such is in the interest of the health of the entire society in the era of HIV/AIDS, and in the interest of the observance of everyone’s basic human rights. I understand the need of using HIV as our entry point or right/how does this reflect on the homophobic views the media is already giving?I think we should add that what we expect is responsible reporting maybe even offer first hand interviews in response to matters of public interest(chege+charls) this will ensure they have more info???

 written and signed by

Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya

the truth about stories is…they’re all we got….you can do anything you want with this one, it’s yours for the taking….share it with others, forget it, criticise the strategies, fill in the gaps, but don’t say you’d have lived your life differently, if (only) you knew, now you know.

here’s another transcript fresh off the presses….this shit is live!

There was extended discussion on what people had experienced or heard post the Pulse and Nation marriage article. The reactions have been varied and disturbing. There has been increased hate mail received at GALCK that is disconcerting for all that use the center and this issue will be discussed further at the next GALCK meeting.

There also seemed to be an increase in hostility towards the community. Some of the stories shared last night included the following:

 

1. One member was attacked in her neighbourhood as she went home the Friday after the Pulse article came out. Three men stopped her and punched her till she was bloody. She is also about to be evicted from her workplace because she is a lesbian. The community has always known she was a lesbian and there had been no problems. Why the attack now?

2. Individuals whose pictures were on the Pulse magazine had major challenges with their families. Two of the individuals had their mothers become hysterical after neighbours shared the pictures from the newspapers.

One of those individuals has moved out of the house and town to try and figure things out. The third individual in the picture had to alter his movements in his neighbourhood to ensure that he is not attacked. Of course they have all suffered tremendous stress and hardships over the situation.

3. A GALCK staff member who went to collect the keys for a new post office box was delayed at the office for hours and informed that she would have to wait and meet the Director of the office. There was a lot of murmur by the office staff and some actually coming over to gawk at her and see, I guess, what a lesbian looks like.

Luckily for her, plus her great way with people, she was able to turn a rather hostile engagement to one that was more amicable. The post office official informed her that she would need to meet with her lawyers first to be clear about opening a P O Box for an LGBTI group and she would get back to her later in the week. As the GALCK staff member left the post office, the officer told her that she would pray for her and her like.

 

With these types of reaction you can see that there was real debate about the community responding to the media. Would a response only escalate the situation? After much debate there was agreement that some form of  response from the community must be generated. Silence was not seen as the answer to the situation. LGBTI individuals would continue to get attacked whether there was a response or not.

However there was agreement that there would have to be a strategic response that took into consideration the actual risks the community faces at this time.

 

There was then a discussion of what strategic issues or responses the group should think about in terms of responding. The following were points brought up in terms of a response:

 

1. The need to utilize personal stories. These can never be refuted since one is talking from their own personal experience.

2. Awareness creation of the reality of LGBTI Kenyans. Everyone agreed that the larger society is incredibly uninformed about homosexuality and LGBTI individuals. There is need to provide basic information on the community.

3. Need to base the conversation about LBGTI communities within a human rights framework. Kenyans have been inundated with human rights discussions from a number of years now and this would simply be about expanding that discussion to include LGBTI communities.

4. Whatever rules and procedures are agreed by the community on engaging with the media must be strictly adhered to for this community response to be successful

5. There is need to prioritize the public health perspective in responding to the media. HIV/AIDS is understood by many in the society and any situation like the present situation where a segment of the society is sidelined including from accessing health care services simply for who they are would not be tolerated.

6. It must be made clear to the media that same sex marriage IS NOT a priority for the LGBTI community in Kenya period. This is a story they have generated and there are many other very pressing concerns for the community. It was also stressed that even if the issue is not brought up at an interview the point should still be made.

7. The move by the LGBTI community to challenge the existing colonial hold-over draconian laws is to make health care and other servicesavailable to the community ( utilizing a Public Health approach)

8. Need to pick which media houses to engage with. There are friendly media houses and journalists and they should be the ones targeted with our statement.

9. Need to engage with human rights, civil society and health allies on this situation.

 

Agreements

 

A. It was agreed that the community generate a statement that incorporates the following areas:

 

1. A health and human rights perspective

2. Same sex unions are not a Kenyan LGBTI priority

3. There are LGBTI Kenyan citizens, who are just regular folk, who work, pay taxes, face all the problems that Kenyans do and are committed to the development of a country that is prosperous and respectful of ALL of its citizens.

 

A group was constituted to generate the first draft that will be presented at the next GALCK meeting.

 

B. There was a question as to why the interest in the community now. There have been many parties and LGBTI gatherings in Nairobi and Kenya over many years now. Why is the community being targeted at this time? There were those who felt that this was cyclic and that with a slow news week this was one issue to pick up.

However the majority felt that this may be a more calculated move by forces organized against the community to begin a campaign against the community. These forces were also seen as coming from within our own community. Considering what is happening in our neighboring countries it was felt that it was important for us to actually take the time to have more in-depth discussion and begin early strategizing if any such efforts are underway in our country.

There was recommendation that a Human Rights group take this organizing piece on. Akiba Uhaki was mentioned as the organization that could possibly lead this discussion forward.

 

I’ll stop here.  

a concerned brotha.

 

 

More on everything at the PROTEST/BAHATI party next Wednesday @ the GladStone Hotel.

from 7:30 – 11:00pm,

we’re putting more of our own politics back into partying…..

en building solidarity within queer/trans communities.