Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Treatise On The Psychic Abilities Of The Common House Fly

No, I am not kidding. I was however kidding that when I wrote this post that my very first line would have to be "No, I am not kidding". Well, maybe. LOL. And yes, I am quite sane. At least that's what the last shrink I saw told me. Hehehe. But then, perhaps I have gone quite wonko and that is just what I wanted him to think?

Now before you dismiss me for a crank or a lunar tick, please hear me out. A few years ago the place where I work was inundated by a plague of flies, coming from the nursery next door which had put a new compost heap close to our side of the boundary. There were literally thousands of flies inside our building for weeks while our managers negotiated with the neighbors to remove the compost heap. In the meantime, sales of bug spray and fly swatters boomed and the silence was punctuated with small regular explosions and occasional swearing.

Death, Even Plausibly Denied, Is Still Death

A while back one of the loudest voices on the right wing Facebook groups in SA made a u-turn and denied calling for the death penalty as punishment for gay people. He said, "I deny personally calling for the death penalty".

And yet he is the one who has on several occasions instituted such "discussions" on several of these forums, and actively promoted and defended them. (The transcripts I have made of these discussions bear me out on this.)

"The death penalty was never my idea" he objects. He even shifts the blame for this atrocious lack of morality by claiming "it is not I who says so, but the bible..." - He is too much a coward to even claim the mantle of responsibility for what he desires to be meted out to innocent people - based simply on his own personal intolerance of gay and transgender people.

What a nice example of a "Christian soldier" you are. Persecution, murder, injustice and genocide - all in a days work for you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Honey, I Shrunk The Bigots

Some bigots have on several occasions on a known anti-gay hate group site claimed that I am persecuting "true" Christians. Note that they clearly distinguish themselves from the vast majority of Christians which include my straight Christian friends and family - who love and accept gay and trans people for who they are - and who support me in my efforts. Why people who claim to love and serve God cannot live like like they claim to is quite beyond reason - and excuse. "...you are just as bias as the rest of us !!" they rant.

Oh, the pot tries to make me look like a kettle so that it can call me black?

Clear Intent

Whenever there are Pride events, there are individuals making claims about the "debauchery" and "immorality" they claim to have seen there. Some have claimed to have witnessed simulated sex acts, full nudity and some enterprising fibbers have even laid claim that while driving past such events that their small children "were traumatized" by the sight of such a parade or festival. They have used such claims to drum up support for their mounting attempts to ban every gay and trans festival in the country.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Hardware Store And Other Stories

Okay folks, this article might a little more graphic than my regular posts, but I feel it is a subject that just has to be addressed - and the arguments provided reveal the kind of mindset we face when dealing with fundamentalist bigots.

Some people presented me with an interesting argument a few days ago, using the apparent design and function of human sexual organs as a reason to "justify" heterosexual sex for procreation only and to question "the legitimacy" of homosexuality and same gender relationships. They focused on the "design" of the penis and vagina and the apparent purpose of these organs as reproductive items - and the anus as solely for disposing of bodily waste. Predictably, they portrayed heterosexual sex as "dignified" while demeaning any other forms of intimacy in (hetro as well as) same gender couples as "deviant", "perverted" and "disgusting".

Funny, I thought the design of a penis was to give pleasure as well as function - and it works rather well in terms of whatever hole you put it into (including among others, the anal cavity) and even using the services of Mrs palm and her five daughters. And before you even start ranting about procreation being the be-all and end-all of existence and 'sexistence', remember that not all married heterosexual couples can procreate - and that even animals (and even gay animals) have sex for pleasure and for reasons of intimacy - and not just to hear the sound of little feet pattering in the hall.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

There are many Christians who love and support gay and transgender people. What boggles the mind is that a minority group also calling themselves Christians attacks both gay people and the Christians who love and support them. These are usually the kind of people who claim that gay and trans people cannot be "true" Christians - and the same for the Christians who oppose them.

Which brings to mind a simple question: Does hating gay people make one a "true" Christian? It is astonishing to note that many people feel that it does - even though they often lack the courage to put it in those exact words. In fact, they even claim to act out of "love" for us.

Whatever - in the end that's what it comes down to.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Friendly Fire!

Since homsoexuality and transgender rights are a social and human rights issue, as an advocate for the human rights of the pink community, I would like nothing better than to leave religion out of things altogether. Oh, if only it were so simple!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

When Pancakes Aren't

According to my girlfriend, who is from Finland - the Suomi (Finnish) equivalent for 'pancake' is Pannukakku. Now like me, you might think that means your standard winter evening delicacy with cinnamon sugar or syrup and maybe a dash of lemon. 

Wrong.

He Who Wounds Me Deepest Is Closest To Me

It is the people that are supposed to love us that hurt us the most when they cannot or will not accept us for who we are. Gay and trans people need to be very strong as people to be able to cope with the rejection they often experience from family.

Every trans person knows that if you are young then it is really the best time to start transitioning because the results are so much better. The body simply is more receptive to hormonal treatments if you start off when you are in your teens or early twenties. There is simply so much less cross-gender damage to undo. The downside of this of course, is that when you are young and still living with your parents, you cannot support yourself - and your welfare is in someone else's hands. If parents are loving and understanding enough to accept the truth about their children, and to help them instead of standing in their way - or worse, rejecting them and subjecting them to emotional abuse and blackmail, then these are very lucky people indeed.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hate Speech Kills

Homosexuality is legal in Iraq but is condemned by religious leaders. Recently, two gay men were murdered in March and four more were found dead in the Baghdad Shiite slum of Sadr City in April. Both incidents closely followed condemnations of homosexuality by leading local clerics. In Iraq, despite the legal status of homosexuality, Amnesty International reports that twenty five boys and men were killed in Baghdad between March and April because they were, or were perceived to be, gay.

Freeze - FPI!


Once again, as a human rights activist for the pink community I run the risk of offending people who identify as Christian as well as gay, trans or pro equality through targeting the matter of religious persecution of gender and sexual diversity and bigotry.

Please rest assured that this is not my intention. My intention is to highlight the actions and words of a minority of fundamentalists who use religion as a weapon against people for their own selfish ends. This is the offense - and not just against loving tolerant Christians, but against everyone who loves democracy, freedom and equality. We trust that Christians who support freedom of thought and the ideals of democracy and equality will take this into account wherever we engage bigotry espoused by those who claim to speak against the pink community for them as well.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shuffling A Pack Of Lies

On Friday I received notification that a hate crime had taken place in a small town in New York State. Rachel Roo, an 18 year old teen mentor on a popular transgender forum had been brutally murdered.

It was reported that Rachel who had transitioned quite young, had been involved in a car accident in which her mother had lost an arm. Upon testifying in court, the lawyer for the opposing party outed her - apparently her townsfolk did not take kindly to this revelation and she and her family now faced numerous death threats on a daily basis. It was reported that while riding to a nearby store on Friday evening, she disappeared. Her bicycle was found in a dumpster and some hours later she had been found lying at the side of the road. She was reported to have been gang-raped, and so badly assaulted that even her knee caps had been shattered by what was assumed to have been a sledgehammer. Apparently she was supposed to have been left for dead in a shallow grave, but supposedly managed to crawl out and towards the roadway, and collapsed where she was later found. She was taken to ICU where she died in the early hours of the next morning.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Infernal Affairs

Many people, including some in the transgender community have been heavily criticizing the Beatty couple for deciding to rear their first child themselves. The latest, second pregnancy in which Mister Beatty has also opted to carry their second child has raised the ire of the transphobic bigots and trans community alike.

The first time round, when Oprah interviewed Thomas on her show - bigot groups referred to the event with contempt as "Woman Has Baby - So What?" As any transman would tell you, being reffered to in this callous way would be a most hurtful experience. Being reffered to in this way by bigots who have no idea what it is like to be targeted in such a personal way - or any idea what it is like to be gay or transgender is hurtful enough - but when attacked by the community you are a part of - who should know EXACTLY what you are going through - and quite frankly, should know better - the wound is so much deeper.

Although the negative response is much, much less than the first time round, I cannot help but be saddened by the irony and paradox in all this.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Doctors For What?

One would expect on seeing the name "Doctors For Life" that it would be some medical reference, a respectable medical group perhaps - but upon closer inspection of their website and internet trail, you begin to see a trail full of footprints - worrying footprints. A paw-print of anti-abortion activism here, a paw-print of anti-gay activism there - and all the way the menacing sign that the tail of Christian fundamentalism has been dragged through between them.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What Comes Out Makes Us Unclean, Not What Goes In

What does gender have to do with sexual orientation? The questions bigots ask again and again reveal their ignorance about the subject - and the fact that try as you may to explain it to them - even by referring them to expert sites on the matter, they just won't get it - shows contempt for diversity.

They continue to ask sarcastically "what makes gays physically different or is it a spiritual thing? Or is it a mental condition that convinces them that they are not men and women, but rather homosexual men and lesbian woman?" - So after all the long explanations - and even some really short ones - according to them a gay man is not a man? Gay people are "physically different"? LOL.

Here is the short version:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Government Service - African Style

There is only one thing worse than spending three hours sitting in a queue that doesn't move - spending three hours STANDING in a queue that doesn't move. In South Africa's government departments, this is getting beyond a joke.

A little while ago I had a run in with the local Traffic Department, whose Enquiries desk was absolutley clueless about whether my Finnish girlfriend would be allowed to drive in SA using her EU drivers license - or not, what papers if any she would have to fill out in order to be allowed to drive, or whether she could get an international license here - or not, or if she would have to wait until we are married and she gets permanent residency before going through the whole process of getting her almost worthless local SA license the hard way.

I find it odd that somebody can get a license in a first world country which has far higher standards than South Africa (and far less corruption) and this license would not be "good enough" to be recognized here. Another question that popped up in my mind was whether we were the only people to ever ask them questions about foreign drivers licenses in SA. They did however manage to give me a mobile number for somebody in Uitenhage who might be able to assist us in our enquiries - if said person actually exists and ever answers her phone.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vicious Circles And How The Wheel Turns

Gay-haters claim GLBTI are less than one percent of the total population (when worldwide stats seem to place us conservatively at TEN percent (based on estimates of the KNOWN out pink population)) and object to having "their rights" placed secondary to a minority. Funny that a bunch of fags gaining legal equality with them will make them feel less than equal? How does that work again?

Isn't it strange the way some people reason? You can almost taste the irony in the air when people justify their actions by saying it was necessary to kill a hundred in order to save a thousand? Isn't that called rationalisation? Particularly when you really have to wonder what it is they are trying to "save" people from? It certainly makes me wonder about the way they think - their motives, reasoning and whether or not they have any conscience at all? After all, how many innocent victims of their hate does it take before it becomes wrong?

For us, one is already too many. For them, a thousand is not enough.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heterosexism Kills

"...how do I stand up for myself if I will lose my home?"

This is just one example of a young person too terrified to stand up for herself as a young transgender woman - in her own home. One example of how we let the bigots win by terrorizing us into silence and compliance with their will and their way. Too many of our young people live in an environment where they have to hide their sexuality or their gender identity from their parents, friends and family. So many of them have such a hard time dealing with it themselves - and to then still have to face the trauma of coming out - at which point they risk facing what has come to be called 'the war at home'. Some of us are lucky enough to have loving, caring parents who comfort, accept and nurture us - but not so many of us are that fortunate.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Million Drums

The ACDP is making a lot of noise consolidating and enlarging it's power base, which was all but decimated in the April 22 elections. The DA has thankfully broken the tenuous alliance they had formed with them in order to form an opposition to the ANC in the Western Cape province some years before, and now they are well and truly out of power and on their own. Far from giving up on the fight to take power, institute a theonomy and turn the gay community in South Africa into criminals and fugitives as they were before 1994 - they are now trying to drum up support for their daunting climb from the dark and stifling basement they hatch their schemes in, to the dizzy heights of the steps of Parliament in 2014. At least, that is what they are aiming at.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rotten Fruit

Since the "ex-gay" industry recently lost one of its most famous cornerstones - a book written thirty years ago called "Homosexuality in Perspective", in which the founding principles of this multi-million dollar hate-industry were laid out using "case studies" - now revealed in a new book called "Masters of Sex" to have been wholly fictitious and falsified, fundamentalist gay-haters are now changing their rhetoric to suit circumstances.

For the past twenty years or more, these groups have ignored and opposed the findings of every reputable mental health institute around the world which opposed "reparitive therapy" and who asserted that it was ineffective and that a persons sexuality or gender identity are not mental disorders which can or should be treated or changed, and that to do so is harmful to the individuals concerned. It is books such as "Homosexuality in Perspective" which they used to substantiate their argument. That cornerstone in the foundations of their industry has now only just crumbled to dust in the light of day.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Christian Is As Christian Does

All arguments aside about whether being gay is a sin or not - what about those Christians who take it upon themselves to persecute gay people? We could debate the issue of evidence and proof for a year, and for another year you could reject all evidence to show gay and trans people are as natural as heterosexual people, as well as rejecting all reasonable religious alternatives to the choice some make to hate - or to love us in the name of the same God many of us also love and who also loves us. But let us put that aside for a moment, and narrow it down to response.

How do you as Christians respond to other people?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Expecting Someone Smaller?

Many times I have engaged in debates with bigots, particularly Christian fundamentalists. Often, when cornered and outgunned by the weight of evidence and material presented to them - which they have of course denied - they resort to personal attacks and character assassination. Sometimes they will call efforts in defense of their victims "trashing other people's beliefs" - I find that rather ironic considering all the vicious things said about gay and trans people - and me - that have come out of their mouths, um - finger tips.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Out, Damned Spot!

Here in SA our Pride events are sponsored by the community, businesses and not councils or government. This means that while their funding is independent (and often hard to come by) all they require is the co-operation of the local authorities and that at least their financial eggs are not all in one basket, and the cancellation of one sponsor will usually not mean disaster.

Municpalities often just show us support through granting of permits, assitance with advertising or press releases and statements and so on. Mostly they realize how much revenue and tourism these events bring into their towns - one such instance saw a campaign by religious radicals to ban such an event thwarted, mainly due to the fondness of the residents for the festival - and also their fondness for the pink money it brings in - which exceeds their December holiday takings.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Happened To IDAHO DAY In SA?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is celebrated May 17. The international day against homophobia aims to coordinate international events to call respect for lesbians and gays world-wide. Unlike the LGBT Pride Day, which is meant to emphasise proudness of one's sexuality and refusal to be ashamed of it, IDAHO is held to highlight "... that in reality it is homophobia that is shameful and must be deconstructed in its social logic and fought against openly."

The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is also seen by many as a day of rememberance, to mark the deaths and lives of those who have died as a result of homophobia and transphobia and hate crime. It also celebrates the fact that there is no shame in being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

This year IDAHO day was celebrated widely by pink communities around the world, and on the eve of the 2009 IDAHO day, and France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses, as homosexuality was globally in 1973. (This means that I am wonko everywhere in the world - except France. Did I mention I like France?) Sadly I noted nothing of the sort here in South Africa. No announcements, events, full page ads, radio interviews... nothing at all. Perhaps the bigger advocacy organizations here were too wrapped up in campaigning against racism or xenophobia? All jokes aside, I feel it is necessary in South Africa to mark such events - because believe it or not - we are not immune - nor are we untouched by the hand of homo and trans phobia.

True = False

There are many loving Christians out there who happen to love and befriend gay and trans people and support and accept them without seeing any kind of conflict of interests in this. They love God and they love their fellow human beings as they believe their God taught them to. These are people in whom one can believe you can see the nature of a loving father God shining through.

Considering this, isn't it somewhat ironic that there are people who claim to worship the same deity, read the same holy books and also claim to be Christians - who paradoxically hate gay people and try their level best to destroy them in the name of this same God? In the same breath many of these people also claim that others who show love and tolerance to gay people - or stand against their acts of hatred against them - cannot be "true" Christians... I find this rather an interesting proposal.

Don't you?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Get Your Own Life - This One's Mine!

It seems that there many instances where various versions of the bible - which is essentially no more than a compilation (incomplete, I might add) of other ancient "books" or codices - which have suffered the incompetence of numerous translation efforts, deliberate changes and omissions - and conspiracies by the Roman Catholic Church to conceal and even promote such inaccuracies. Most important of all are the efforts of modern American bible "authorities" which control the worldwide selection, publication and distribution of bible versions today resist the correction of such omissions, changes and other errors as "changing the word of God" - as if the flawed alterations in general use today are really the originals! It seems pretty clear to me that this is as a result of their desire to keep women - and gay and trans people oppressed as the "other" in society. Hmm. I wonder why? The almighty patriarchy hard at work, protecting its own selfish interests? (http://gayandlesbianbible.com/index.php?pr=Excerpt,
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jim_meritt/bible-contradictions.html)

Arguing with religious fundamentalist bigots over the so called "inerrancy" (that's not even a recognized word) of their bible is a circular argument - it has been proved very "errant" indeed, let alone improvable and mistranslated - never mind thumb-sucked and censored and manipulated.