Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year End 2009

So here we come to the end of another year - and what a year this was! Over this past year a great many things have happened around the world as well as in South Africa.

We have seen the South African General Elections in April - and we have seen, for various reasons, both cause for concern - and hope for the future. Over this past year, with all the threats against our civil rights both in South Africa and around the world, we have seen a renewed interest in the affairs which affect us - namely politics and religion. It goes without saying that apathy is a deadly trap which we must be careful not to fall into. Over the past two years since I first started getting involved in activism I have seen steady increase in awareness and participation, and have been trying very hard to encourage GLBTIQ participation.

"Get involved" I have been telling you, "Get off your ass - before somebody who hates you kicks it." It is very encouraging to me to see that some people finally seem to be getting it.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rubber Room With A View


Despite clear and easily understood press releases, explanations and statements released by eminent scientists to explain that diverse sexual orientation and gender identity is perfectly natural, and despite their attempts to simplify the explanations - some people, typically narrow minded religious fundamentalists, refuse to accept that gay people are born gay and transgender people, transgender.

"No, that's not it - it has to be a sin! These perverts like it - they're choose to be gay."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bad Apples



Just a week or so ago, I sent out a request from a pink community related religious organization to the supporters of another pink advocacy group, asking for support in speaking out against the pending Genocide Bill in Uganda. Surprisingly, I got a barrage of outrage from one of the recipients on the mailing list, letting me have both barrels because I dared to associate Christianity with the pink community! Most confusing of all, this was from a gay man!

Sun Stroke




Everybody have a nice Christmas? Ever think about the tradition and where it comes from? I did, and decided to find out. I must say, what I found reinforced my misgivings about organized religion, after all, Christmas is a good time to point out Christian hypocrisy - "peace on Earth and goodwill to all 'men'" soon turns to "take all you can" and "hang 'em high!" and "it's God's will".

This could be the pink folks in Uganda's last Christmas before getting herded into camps and exterminated by folks calling themselves "Christians" - but hey, let's all enjoy the peace while it lasts.. 'Tis the season to be jolly, after all. Anyway, I hate to be a wet blanket - so, in the spirit of a religion that can't even invent its own festivals, I wish you all a very happy Saturnalia (and ask you to remember that Santa's red hat you're wearing is the symbol of a freed slave in ancient Roman times. Interesting symbolism... and don't forget the decorated trees and sprigs of holly and greenery about the house... AND the celebration of anyone's birth - were all considered PAGAN traditions by the early Christians - who apparently knew a lot more than we give them credit for in modern times. Now how about that? Seems to me this all indicates something modern evangelicals tend to fanatically deny - that like a living language, a living faith is subject to CHANGE...and things that are unable to adapt to change die. Sweet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Price Freedom?


It seems almost undeniable that every modern religion has to have an enemy or a scapegoat. Without something to fear, clerics would have nothing to warn against, nothing to unite people under them with. No Bogie Man or big bad wolf to keep the flock encircling the camp fire in the dark night of the soul, so to speak. Without some threat, real or imaginary, they would have nothing to point fingers at and say THAT is why WE are God's chosen people and THEY are NOT.

An old saying which puts it "just so" for me, goes: "If you believe in God, it is because of the Devil".

Islamic fundamentalists for example, use the USA as their favorite enemy - even though many of the problems they blame on others are of their own making. Likewise, countries like Uganda, suffering from rampant Christian fundamentalism, see fit to blame unbelievable things on the pink community - things which considering the influence and role of American evangelicals there of late, sound exactly like the rhetoric of the US religious right.

In Africa, foreign evangelicals have been active for many years now, but over the years it has become apparent that their “mission” is more one of control than of “liberation”. Let’s take an example: In 2007, Uganda’s highest court struck down a law that made adultery a crime. Religious leaders took to their pulpits the next Sunday, which was Easter, to denounce the ruling. Gary Skinner, the Canadian founder and pastor at Watoto Church in Kampala, was among them.

“We condemn all inhuman practices including homosexuality, prostitution which people are pushing for their legalisation,” the Monitor, a Ugandan news outlet, reported Skinner saying.

Inhuman? I wonder what this man has to say on the topic of genocide and how it relates to his work as a “man of God”?

This problem of religious fundamentalism exists right across Africa and not just in Uganda or Rwanda. This of course, is not exactly a new thing, but it has seen a recent upsurge in action and support.

In South Africa for example, right up until the fall of the NP government, being gay was a criminal offence. We still hear horror stories of what the military did to pink folks under the old regime, from stories about the "blue pill" they dropped in the troopies coffee to the aversion "therapy" and forced gender reassignments carried out at military hospitals. What most people today don't know, is that more harsh laws - laws similar to some of those in the Ugandan Bill, were about to be passed in the early nineties when the apartheid government fell. GASA was one group which campaigned against it at the time and many of the older generation GLBT folk can tell us some interesting tales about those days.

There are many anti-gay groups active in South Africa today, who are religious-based, way off the deep end as far as fundamentalism is concerned - and most of whom have direct links to the US religious right. Some of these have been mentored directly (ie Family Policy institute and Focus on the Family. Even Exodus International, now infamous for its direct involvement in Ugandan atrocities, has affiliates here).
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I am convinced that if not for our Constitution, things in SA would be quite different today. It is positively frightening that some of these same groups today openly state their intentions to change the Constitution in order to strip GLBTI people of equality and our civil and human rights.

Ray Mc Caulley, the NILC and Jacob Zuma are not alone in wanting to change the SA Constitution - they are backed by many others, such as Erroll Naidoo and his Family Policy Institute, Peter Hammond and his Christian Action Network and a host of religious fundamentalist crusaders, including wannabe political parties such as the ACDP and CDA trying to defend humanity against itself.

In Rwanda a bill criminalizing homosexuality was tabled yesterday. There is still no notice of the outcome, but less than 48 hours notice was given and it can be surmised that activists only learned of its existence at the last minute. This if nothing else, should serve as motivation to keep informed about matters affecting us in our own country.

Over the past few years I have joined with other activists in warning about matters which adversely affect us as a community, and I know this is December, and Christmas is coming and people are not in the mood for somber warnings and doom and gloom. I have been trying to encourage the pink community to be proud of who they are, to be aware and informed and to stand up and participate in society, in politics, in religion - in everything in the straight world which affects us. Because if we do not, and we remain apathetic, then we really will end up facing our doom like the community in Uganda, Rwanda or Jamaica who have no-one left in politics to speak out for them. If we follow such a trend of apathy and disinterest, that is what awaits us.

That aside, 2009 was a fairly good year in South Africa for the pink community. We survived thus far with our civil rights intact. We survive to face another year with new challenges. I look forward to facing them with you.

We cannot rely on others to stand up for us, we cannot afford to sit back and think we are safe. Current events around the world have shown us that freedom and equality have to be constantly defended and fought for. That is the cost of freedom. What you need to decide is whether it is worth the price or not.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Double Take



South Africa as yet, has remained completely silent on the issue of pink human rights in Africa, specifically Uganda - presumably on the "head-in-the-sand" principle employed by the ostrich - if you ignore it long enough, it will probably go away. Perhaps they are right, but then who am I to criticize? I live in a country which seems increasingly desperate to imitate that other bastion of third-world lunacy, Zimbabwe.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kill The Bill


I have great respect for GLBTI pastors and ministers - and straight clerics, who support their faith's central ethos of love, peace and tolerance - surely they have to bite their tongues a lot! I doubt I could manage it, but then as an activist I am not expected to.

Monday, December 14, 2009

From The Squeak To The Tail



Have you seen the Uganda issue is finally making the news in SA? Finally? After more than a month of international protests and campaigning by human rights bodies? A month and a half? A month and a half of a complete mainstream news blackout?

Three whole mentions on 5fm news this past Friday morning, plus an enjoyable and lengthy rant on the topic by DJ Gareth Cliff - in the Mail & Guardian and one tiny paragraph I found buried somewhere in the middle of the Herald. What continues to upset me is the broad lack of interest in SA. No official comment, no acknowledgment of objections or petitions and no protests either. Over in the US and UK groups are calling for protest action - and gathering outside Ugandan embassies. That's right, people actually pitch up when you call a protest over there. I have to wonder how many people would turn up for a protest in SA anyway with all the pervasive apathy? Past experience tends to make me cautious.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Put Up Or Shut Up



December.

Yet another festive season filled with things sweet and nice - friendship, family and good memories. A time often laced, for some - with a bitter undertone of loneliness, sorrow and loss. Some people find the "silly season" significant in terms of religious meaning. I find it laced with hypocrisy, shallow commercialism, false piety and genuine arrogance. What am I referring to? I will tell you:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Separate, Less Equal

Despite the passing of marriage laws in South Africa in 2006, true marriage equality is still elusive in South Africa. Yes, gay and transgender people can and do marry, but how many people are aware that marriage for gay people is still codified under a separate act?

Ministers, even those willing to officiate at gay marriages, have to apply for SEPARATE registration to do so. Thus, while a heterosexual couple can freely marry unhindered at virtually any church, Home Affairs office, court of law, or before any ship's captain - same gender couples very often are left with just the Home Affairs option.

Even as recently as last year there were reports of certain Home Affairs offices refusing to facilitate gay marriages and passing the buck to others. Gay couples who want to make their faith a part of their marriage ceremony often have to travel to other cities to get married, or have to pay for a willing minister's travel and accommodation. Some ministers who are willing to officiate cannot, because if they were to do so - they would risk dismissal by their church.

Yes, I can see how equal marriage is in South Africa - very equal indeed. SEPARATE but equal, it seems, is still applicable in our country where divisions still loom at every turn.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sin Tax Error

GAY
=
PORN

As I said last week in an article about a gay pageant in South Africa and the lack of mainstream (straight) media coverage for the event, "gay + controversy = mainstream media coverage". Now it seems somebody else has gone one better to publicly redefine the nature gay people. But then, it is an old accusation, one which has been made many times, and this certainly will not be the last. Just a pity it comes from "one of our own".

A Purpose Driven Genocide



Uganda!

Finally this news breaks on SA media. Well it's about bloody time! And I do mean bloody. Another article also made it into the mainstream media, this time in the Citizen. I still have to gauge the SA public response to it, but I have an idea there will be quite a few comments in favor of the bill coming from the whack-jobs and wing-nuts.

It seems to me that current events in Uganda influenced by the US religious right are in fact no more than a virulent symptom of problems at home - that these things being said and used by proponents of this "Bill" and the genocide it would ignite, in fact have their origins in the backward deep south "bible belt" of the country most people naively think of as the most liberal and democratic place on Earth. Why would I say this? Let's take a look:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seeing Is Believing


Last weekend we saw the first Mr. Gay South Africa™ pageant - or rather, didn't. 

Those of us who were not fortunate enough to attend the main event, or the semi-final ocean cruise, or the other events which took place around the country, read about it. We saw articles and photos in local pink news services such as Gayspeak and Mambaonline - but that was pretty much the only mention the event received. Did we see any attention given to this event - which the gay community found to be of some import, in any mainstream newspapers or hear radio coverage or see any TV features? I certainly didn't. Apparently the Mr. Gay South Africa™ pageant (I keep writing it out in full because it is a completely different animal to the former "Mr Gay SA" pageant of years ago) did manage to make the News24 front page - online. Twice. It also made The Times once, but that was long ago, and somehow it made Die Volksblad in Bloem - I don't know HOW it got it in. But about the actual final event, only News24 - oh - and although displayed on the front page, the actual article was under "GoTravel" and not anything in the main news section. But otherwise, that was it.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

False Witness

I would like to bring up a widely publicized case of a Ugandan man - a gay man, who was paid by the religious right to claim that he had been "cured of homosexuality" was feted across his country, and propelled to fame for his talks on how he had "recruited" children into a "homosexual lifestyle" at schools and otherwise made false claims which confirmed the rhetoric of his homophobic handlers - and helped fuel the fire which threatens to consume those for which he helped vilify.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Crying Wolf

"In a multiple-bias incident [of reported hate crime], two conditions must be met: (a) more than one offense type must occur in the incident and (b) at least two offense types must be motivated by different biases."

Sounds like the definitive intro to an episode of "Law & Order", doesn't it?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

16 Days Of Double Standards

While I may commend the now traditional South African institution of the "16 days of activism against women & child abuse" campaign, I still see plenty of duplicity and ambiguity in it.

16 days of activism? I don't know about you folks, but I'm an activist every single day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lemon Karma

Sometimes life hands us a lemon. This is just one of those things that happens in the run of our daily lives, a truth, an undeniable fact of our existence - a thing which defines our state as mortal, fallible beings, and which clarifies one particular aspect of life - something which humans spend their lives searching for.

Control.

Either you have it, or you don't. And as human beings - we don't. We may have the illusion of it, the temporary illusion where we may have power or influence over others, or a situation - but this passes, as do all things. Eventually the wheel turns, and those on top find themselves lying in the road - asking what happened and what the number of that bus was. Ain't karma a bitch?

Once burnt, twice shy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mistaken Identity

Last night I came upon a blog which claimed to be feminist. Now I have no problem with feminists, in fact I am also a proud feminist (how can I be a human rights activist otherwise?) - and in the course of my activism for the pink community, I try to get a shot or two in for feminism also. After all, as a trans-woman I am also a woman and sensitive to the sexism and patriarchal attitudes that I face just as any cis-gender woman does. I am sad to say it, but the site in question also turned out to be transphobic in nature.

The owner, "Margaret" - wrote a post called "No Such Thing As A Transsexual" and proceeded to criticize transgender people to the point where I could actually forget it was a woman writing, and not a trans-misogynistic, heterosexist, homophobic bigot of the right wing. The only thing I did not see displayed was the rabid religious fundamentalist tendency to dump a ream of rhetorical religious references to somehow "prove" their point. Instead, scant references were made to the typical right-wing conservative propaganda machine, which has about the same basis in fact as Harry Potter is a world religion. The comments left by a gaggle of her goose-stepping cis-sexist wing men - and herself, simply expounded upon their clear bigotry against trans-women - and transsexual, and even gay people in general.

Let's start with the title:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Dutch Courage

Over the past weekend some things drew my attention. Oddly enough, both of these are related to courage and speaking out. Oddly enough, speaking out can be a sign of courage - and the lack of it. Even stranger, not speaking out can be a sign of courage - or the lack of it. As with everything, this depends on the circumstances.

I read some comments on a letter posted by an activist friend of mine. Yes, my activist comrade was writing about gay rights and the unity of the pink community, and yes, the commenter was himself gay, but the tone of the comments were anything but flattering. It seems this critic felt that "self-appointed" activists were "ruining his image as a gay man" by "speaking for all gay people" - and he certainly did not want to be associated with transgender or intersex people.

Wow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thick Skin And Stone Hearts

How can people ever know the mind of God? How can creatures such as us ever hope to understand the thought processes of a God who can create a universe? Who are we to decide what is or isn't acceptable to God? And what I find amazing is the folks who will stand up and claim that they know what God wants, what God says - and go further to claim the authority of God to act out of hatred and intolerance.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

If The Shoe Fits...

My would-be Facebook friend wrote to me again yesterday. I say "would-be", because were it not for the tiny detail that I am a transsexual woman romantically involved with another transsexual woman, and the minor aside that this would-be friend is a "bible-believing Christian" who thinks I have made a "sinful lifestyle choice", we might actually be friends. At least she seems to think so. I on the other hand, am not a masochist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cult Of The Poison Tongue

While I am not afraid to take on religion in my articles - it is on issues of persecution, prejudice and bigotry - and especially ignorance and hypocrisy that I usually write. While I am often critical of some religious groups, and evaluate the value and worth of religious doctrine and analyze the potential accuracy and truth and application of religious scriptures - and the conduct of those who claim to live by them - I do not attack ALL people or ALL Christians - just the hypocrites, the liars and the bigots. Prime recent examples of these are the people in Uganda getting ready to commit genocide in the name of religion, or is that the other way round?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Overturning Democracy


More than fifteen years after the New (New, new, new etc) South Africa and the inception of our visionary Constitution, conservative (and invariably religious fundamentalist) groups and political parties who bitterly oppose any civil rights for GLBTIQ people, still complain about the fact that such decisions which have far-reaching consequences for minority groups, were not put to a popular vote. Some of these groups have increasingly made it very clear that they intend to pursue means to overturn these rights.

To their minds, democracy is just a numbers game, and the weight of numbers automatically makes something right just because it has been voted on. Does it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

'Tis A Cold Light That Dawns

Is love a "habit"? Is love not as vital to human beings as the air we breathe?

Some people call the links to articles I provide in arguments against bigotry and against the use of religion as a tool to oppress people and as an agent of hypocrisy, "trying to justify" my views on human sexuality and gender and even religion.

Justify? Science doesn't lie. Religion written in dead languages on the other hand is open to interpretation. How can it not be, without evidence or fact to back it up? Add to the lack of substantiating evidence, the documentary proof that many people, and great leaders, have used religion and religious scripture as a tool to "justify" the evil they have done - and do - in the name of God. Whether or not you are religious yourself, you should be able to see examples of this all around you in daily life.

All around us there are people who warn against gay people, tell lies about transgender people and demonize us as a pink community as though we are a threat to them, and something to be feared.

We are not monsters, we do not "recruit", suck blood or hang upside down from the rafters, and we do not "pray on children". It is truly hurtful to see the lies some people claiming to be good people say about us.

I know in some countries people may view people like me as freaks and outcasts, but here in South Africa it is different. Here I have straight friends and colleagues who treat me with respect and value me for who I am, and for what I can do. I contribute to society, and I make a difference. Take away people like us and you remove our potential from the bigger picture and you make society poorer for it, and set it back. And quite frankly, even if they didn't like me, or want to befriend me, or even to speak to me outside of working hours, I really don't need them to. I will choose my own company. I'm glad they are my friends, but I can live without them if need be. At the end of this I will add: my civil and human rights they WILL respect, especially if they expect me to respect theirs.

Nevertheless, some folks delight in pointing out the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as "confirmation" of how "right" they are about other people's unworthiness to share the world with them.

WRONG - Sodom and Gomorrah were supposedly destroyed for other reasons - and NOT because of gay people - read here and here to find out why.

They angrily demand to know why gay and trans people should be "allowed" to have equality and rights equal to their own. I find this shocking evidence of religious hypocrisy and arrogance, let alone unacceptable from any moral or even "Christian" view point. It disgusts me.

You have rights, don't you? What is so special about you? People are people - and ALL people should have EQUAL rights. Failure to recognize this lessens some people before others - and again, elevates some above others. This is not democracy - but tyranny and despotism.

I notice these folks all seem obsessed with the bible and religion - and yet they seem to practice none of what it preaches - love, tolerance, forgiveness and peace - not murder, injustice, oppression and hatred.

On the Ugandan Facebook hate group which incites hatred and generates support for the passing of the pending Ugandan Genocide Bill. Lies and propaganda abound, such as the lie that gay people "recruit", are after children, conspiring to destroy "heterosexual society" and religion and numerous other accusations too ridiculous to recount. And easily visible in all of this is religious fundamentalism, fear, paranoia and the ever-present ignorance and hatred which drives homophobia.

Have gay people truly done ANYTHING to any of them, that they should hate them so much that they would wish them dead or other harm to come to them? These are their family members, friends and colleagues they are talking about!

Another pet gripe I have about these bigots is that they like to refer to gay people as "homosexuals" - read the documents put out by religious right wings crazies like Focus on the Family, Exodus, NARTH etc. You can almost taste the disdain and disgust when they use it. They simply cannot bring themselves to call us by any name we prefer, BECAUSE we prefer it - and to them it seems to give us "legitimacy" or a modicum of respect, which is unacceptable to them.

On the Ugandan Facebook hate group demanding the death penalty for GLBTIQ people - STILL active and not yet removed by the lax and apparently indifferent Facebook Admins, these bigots demand to know from human rights activists which sexual orientation is "better" than the other - straight or gay?

What is this, a game of "my dog is better than your dog"?

Why do you think that one sexual orientation is supposed to be "better" than the other? Is it because you feel threatened by other people? Do you think there is somehow a "competition" between sexual orientations? Do heterosexuals have something to "prove" against their non-heterosexual relatives? Is your own identity so fragile that you can be threatened by the mere existence of others?

If I were to ask you to choose which is better, black or white, you would probably label me a racist. But it simply clarifies my point, which is that neither gay nor straight is better or worse - just different to each other, but not a threat to each other simply because of that difference. Can you understand this?

Apparently not, because they cry: "If they dont wanna be killed, they should avoid sin. simple."

This one person, called Monicah, simply took the cake and gorged herself on it. Oddly enough she has just spent some time elaborating on her "Christian faith" and how "sinful" gay people are!

So if the bible equates all sins equally, what gives YOU the right as a fellow sinner to demand the deaths of other people who are no more guilty of sin than yourself? Are YOU sinless? Are YOU perfect?

The use of religion as a weapon, whether in Uganda or South Africa or the USA, indicates to me a case of "convenient Christianity" - no more than a convenient excuse to try to justify the unjustifiable... A power play run by the intelligentsia - and once sparked by their words, supported on a wave of blind, blisteringly ignorant plebs eager to find a solution to their problems so clearly pointed out by their leaders. A Final Solution.

On the same group on Facebook, the group Admin posted Ugandan news of a 58 year old man caught for molesting a 3 year old boy, implying that it was evidence of homosexual malice and the "threat to the family" posed by the existence of GLBTIQ people in Uganda. Of course, he denied that is why he posted this, but why make such a post if it has no perceived relevance? In any case, even if he didn't vocalize the implied accusations, his cronies on the group soon did, whipping the online mob into a fury of anti-gay slurs and incitement to commit state-sanctioned genocide just as soon as the Bill passes. Of course, these comments were not deleted, last time I looked.

So what has pedophilia got to do with homosexuality? Would you still have posted the news if it was a man molesting a 3 yr old girl? Why not? Because it is pedophilia? But miraculously because it is a man who molested a boy, it somehow becomes homosexuality?

Pedophilia is NOT homosexuality - here are some obviously urgently needed facts about homosexuality and child molestation. Isn't it interesting that pedophilia occurs most frequently in heterosexual males, followed secondly by heterosexual females? Where are all the gay pedophiles then? Why, right at the bottom of the list... now how about that? Up in smoke... "poof", so to speak (Sorry about the pun).

And then of course we saw signs of frustration on the part of the group Admin and creator, who realized his forces were getting creamed - whipped into a frothy frenzy, but creamed, none the less. The typical last resort of the losing side of a despotic argument - deleting posts.

Deleting posts simply because you do not approve of the points being made, indicates an inability to participate in a rational debate. When you delete one side of a debate it stops being a debate and becomes a monologue, a dictation of one viewpoint, disjointed and meaningless - save for the fact that dialog, as praised by the very same Administrator a day before, is pointless.

Deleting the truth won't make it a lie - or make it go away - or make the lies told in that forum - or any other, true.

Another dude on the same forum made the classic bigoted statement that they don't hate gay people, they just hate homosexuality.

Oh great, that clears things up, definitely. You don't hate gay people, but you just hate everything gay about them? Interesting. Ever heard of a paradox? It's something like "Peace Force" or "Military Intelligence" - and basically what you have just said, in a nut shell.

Another went on about the facts presented to show homosexuality is natural because it is known to exist in animals, in such a way that he accused gay people of "behaving like animals" and equating us with them. Indeed, if love is an animal characteristic, then I am happy to agree - however, how many animals can such as he point out that actually hate? All human beings are animals. Well, we're not plants are we? That is, except maybe for those of us who are "vegetables".

To close, one among them - Monicah again, said they have "seen the light" - referring to the sinful nature of gay people versus the "salvation" offered them by prayer and "Christianity" which would "change" them and "make them heterosexual" - the standard load of "ex-gay", "reparitive therapy" crap that flies in the face of common sense, logic and hundreds of official and authoritative dismissals and condemnations.

So Monicah, what you are saying is that you have "seen the light"? I find that an interesting statement considering the hateful things I have seen you add to this forum against gay people. Are you saying that hating is "Christian"? Is hatred "seeing the light"? Hate is acid in the blood. It eats you alive from the inside out, like a cancer.

Sooner or later, it will consume these people, and they will be a spent force left with nothing.

You have seen the light?

Close the fridge, Monicah - it's cold enough.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Situation Normal

I think it is telling that those supporting the Ugandan Genocide Bill make references to sources those of us in the activism game for some time easily recognize and can dismiss as either "cranks" and wildly inaccurate, or "hostile" and overtly malicious. On the two now internationally infamous Facebook hate groups where people are openly supporting their country's "leadership" of the international community in the surprisingly related fields of gay and human rights, they try to discredit something their sources cannot disprove by just quoting people and studies which cannot verify anything at all - "studies" performed by people who just want to create the impression that being GLBTI is not natural so they can claim that it is somehow a "choice". This of course - if left unchallenged, gives them a visible advantage over those who oppose this travesty of justice called the Ugandan Genocide Bill - and that is the purpose behind this confrontation - to challenge them, their Bill, their hatred, and their ignorance.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Frog Soup

I must admit I find it disturbing that a man who dodged going to trial to face 180 charges of corruption to become president of SA - and because of the violent behavior, rioting and threats of his supporters, and who opposes gay rights - has been chosen as "best President in Africa", despite only being in the post for 6 months and impressing everyone with his charms, despite having no formal education and having not actually achieved anything since election day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Conversation With Death

For a few days now, debates have been raging on groups on Facebook which support the genocide bill of Uganda. There is much to-ing and fro-ing, with each side presenting its arguments, and each in general criticizing the other.


The administrator of one of these groups came onto the scene to suggest that this support for the Gay Genocide Bill - I call it that because that's is in effect exactly what it is - is because of the "culture" the Ugandan people "believe in" and "you cant fault them because you too have a culture". He also suggested that it is always better for people "to talk" than not to talk. I agree with this second part, because when people stop talking, well - that's when wars happen.

I can fault them, actually - for institutionalized mass murder is not a "culture", it is an affront to civilization - and arguably, God as well.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Waiter, There's A Bigot In My Soup


Setting the scene:

Two new groups have been created on Facebook. Just days old, their numbers have swelled to in the thousands. The topic? The newly proposed anti-gay bill that has been submitted in Uganda. Far from being populated with outraged citizens criticizing this slap in the face to human rights, they are filled with it's supporters, small-minded near-illiterates crying for blood and if anything, by their obtuse rhetoric, confirming the claims that the US religious right have been influencing Uganda for over a decade. And has Facebook removed these hate groups? Nope. Still there - but at least the hate-mongers are getting plastered and the people they oppress are getting some value for their money for a long needed change. Watch them squirm. But even so...

Uganda is on the verge of a state-sponsored genocide on GLBTI people - and Facebook allows such groups to exist? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Diamonds And Glass

At this stage the new Ugandan Bill condemning GLBTI people to death has not been passed yet. I say GLBTI because the very same bill makes it very clear that there will be no distinguishing between any "attempts to legitimize homosexuality" by using the different terms in our collective community. Thus, as far as the Ugandan Bill is concerned, we are all "homosexual" - giving chilling affirmation to my plea for all GLBTI to stop their bickering and in-fighting, and to seek unity as one group, one community - because that is how our enemies see us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Missing The Mark


Somebody asked me the other day, as a transsexual woman - what does having my gender reflected correctly in identity documents and birth certificate mean to me? In South Africa we are very fortunate in that transsexual people can change not only their names and gender, but also their gender description in the population register.

So? What does this mean to us? I know what it means to me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Implausible Deniability

Kenya, a country where homosexuality is a criminal offence and gay people are called "un-African" and "a disease imported from the West" is about to launch a census of gay people in the country. Is this really to fight HIV, or are there more sinister forces at work?

Supposedly this initiative is intended to curb the rampant HIV infections, made much worse by illogical and un-scientific religion-based "abstinence only" education policies which only serve to keep rural people ignorant and also to force sexual activity underground, regardless of sexual orientation.

Homosexuality is categorized as a crime carrying a penalty of 14 years imprisonment in Kenya. Sounds to me like a good way to purge gay folks from society - hold a census so you know where to find them and then cart them off somewhere to a gulag. I'm surprised the nice folks in Uganda didn't think of that yet, but hey, they are neighbors, so perhaps they are talking about these things?

They call it a "census" - which will result in a list of all GLBTI people in Kenya - and they seem dependent on people "reporting their friends" - in a country where simply being gay can result in a 14 year jail term. Yes, I would call it sinister.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All You Need

Two thousand years ago a man came to Earth who was called the "Messiah", and who sought to reconcile God and Humanity. The religious called him the "Son of God" and the "Son of Man" and also the "New Covenant", by which the sins of all were wiped clean with his blood. Oddly enough, there are those today who call themselves his followers and him "King Jesus" while "evangelizing" to transform the world into perfect little sinless utopias - and who, by stark contrast also reject completely that which he stood for.

I have often found it strange, if not a little gory that blood is such a recurring theme in the Christian faith - and even more disappointing that it is being supplemented by fresh blood in modern times.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Death Becomes Us



It is often said that human civilization can be summed up by how people treat animals under their care.

If this is the case, there are people who love animals as companions, and those who like them deep-fried and crispy.

It is for the latter reason that I have been feeling very pressed of late to turn vegetarian.

Today I want to focus on something not that closely related to gay rights - but yet, also not wholly unrelated. You see, how people treat animals tends to reflect on what kind of people they are. It tends to shine through in how they treat other people as well, and in particular refers to their attitude towards people and groups of people whom they don't like.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doing Unto Others

Reports of a large billboard on the side of a busy public highway in a big city with the words "SOUTH AFRICA: TURN TO GOD" and some vague bible reference beneath it, makes me think deep thoughts.

Wow.

Isn't this illegal? If it isn't, it should be.

I can already hear the hackles raising on the necks of folks who would like very much to burn me at the stake for saying something like that, but wait - put down those matches, bro - and hear me out first.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Logic Bomb

There are a few things that have stood out to me in my campaign for equality for the pink community. Of these, one that stands out the most is the liturgy used by people who fight against gay rights - who call equal civil rights for GLBTI people "special rights". This is of course a horrific lie - made all the more so by the underlying hatred and malice concealed by the simplistic and exclusionary reasoning they employ.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blood Feud

I disagree with the University of the Free State for letting those four racist students off the hook - it is repulsive what they did, urinating in food and tricking people into eating it - and then posting videos of it all over the web. There is no excusing it, and they should be punished for it.

However, I disagree that this case gets so much urgent high profile attention while other preceding cases of heterosexism and homophobia are still on the back-burner after more than a year. After all, these "students" still have not apologized to the victims, just complained about the misfortunes they have suffered as a result of their offensive actions. What they did was a personal assault on their victim's bodies and their dignity as people, based entirely on race. It was an act which was unprovoked, inexcusable and unjustifiable.

Are the civil rights of the pink community less worthy than those of Black people? Is racism more of a public or moral outrage than homophobia or transphobia? What is good for one is good for all. That is equality. At least, to my understanding of the word.