Friday, May 29, 2009

Placing Blame

Leading bigots and gay-haters in SA are of the informed opinion that SA's gay movement do not do what the gay movement in the USA does yet - asserting that America's movement is 40 years ahead of us, but that we are learning and catching up.

They may have something there. In SA our leading groups are often silent except to bicker among themselves and try to prevent newer groups from stealing their limelight while they themselves are doing nothing to benefit the pink community. While you may see similar destructive behavior in the UK of late, you certainly do not see this idiocy in the USA. And lastly to disagree with our learned friends, SA has a growing online activist community which is part of the rapidly growing "Stonewall 2.0" movement which sprung into existence in response to the debacle in the USA - now called "Proposition HATE".

Milk Review

Tuesday night I went to watch the new movie "MILK" at Uptown theaters in Port Elizabeth, accompanied by my girlfriend Tuuli and my mom. Although we had already seen this movie on a pc, we decided to see it on the big screen as they say, and to support Uptown for supporting us. 

Uptown is the ONLY theater in Port Elizabeth even showing Milk. When we approached Nu Metro and Ster Kinekor about the matter, it was before we were aware of the Uptown feature. Needless to say, Nu Metro made some half-hearted excuse about there not being a demand for it, while Ster Kinekor never bothered to reply.

What It's All About

It's been a hectic day. Really hectic. Thought I was going to spend the day in my jammies and slippers watching TV or something, instead I spent yet another day racing around town to attend meetings and other sundry sideshows. Anyways, got another meeting tonight at 5:30 and I am already exhausted. And I'm supposed to be on leave so I can recover from my really hectic work schedule which seems to be following me relentlessly and not taking no for an answer.

At least next week I will be out of town for my second week of leave - in a place where there is no internet signal. I'm even thinking of leaving my phone off! Sounds more like heaven every time I think of it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Upside Of Down

Many anti-gay persecutors have the opinion that most scientific and medical evidence that proves gay and trans people are born as naturally as heterosexuals, is based on someone's opinion and not "hard-core facts". 
"Hard-core facts"? Do they mean like the bible? Or the rantings of people who foam at the mouth while inciting hatred against an inoffensive and un-threatening portion of society? Some "facts". 
At least scientists can show actual demonstrable evidence to substantiate their facts.

They back-pedal from the accusations that they hate gay and trans people - arguing that they "love gay people", but "hate their sin" and try to show that pink community are "being hated in the wrong way" - how is there ever a "right" way to hate people?  
HATE is never right
And I have yet to understand the difference between hating somebody and hating somebody for what he or she is.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Body Count

Some nice people who insist that they don't hate gay people, but rather that they "love gay people enough to point out their faults" at the same time paradoxically insist that the disputable OT biblical law that states gay people should be murdered for "defying god" in being born gay, should be made part of our countries judicial system. This is part of what is known these days as the Dominionist or Reconstructionist movement - or "Kingdom Now Theology". Virtually every religious grouping which uses the word "transformation" this or that in their literature is part of this movement today. They are increasingly gaining power, increasingly involving themselves in politics, their sights set firmly on putting their religious dogma in the driving seat of government, no matter what anybody else thinks or feels about it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The No-man's-land Of Spiritual Warfare

I object to liars tarnishing the name of gay people, reducing them to "deviants who choose to sin" and who "can change" - in turn helping to make life even harder for them.

I assure you, gay-hating pulpit-pilots could never be as sad as I am when I see inequity and deceit peddled as truth and used to destroy the lives of innocent people because of idiotic superstitions and childish spite. People who believe this rubbish should be ashamed - and as a former Christian I am ashamed of and for them.

Hate Is Not A Religion

It is not a new thing in the world for people to call and campaign for the death penalty for gay people 'as punishment' for being gay, although it certainly is fairly new on the political scene in South Africa.
Previously, cooler heads had always prevailed, and the notion of state-sanctioned murder was generally supported for capital crimes, like murder - and occasionally, wished upon rapists and the like. However, recently, there's been an emerging trend where religious extremists have grown more vocal about their hatred for 'the other' and began to vocalize their desire for those whom they despise to be put to death for simply being born gay or transgender.

This is a disturbing new trend among Christians, even those fanatical fundamentalists or literalists who for years restricted their efforts to pressing religious and social institutions and pressurizing government into making life as difficult for anyone who dared to deviate from the cisgender norms they held so dear. 
Their hatred for those who differ from themselves overflows and overrules common sense, logic and compassion for fellow human beings, and I can only attribute its arrival here to the heavy influence of the American religious right groupings who have overrun the US Republican Party, using the gay community as a scapegoat and rallying point to try and institute a theocracy in that country over the past 8 years - and certainly the dangers of mixing religion with politics can be seen in this. For many years, right wing fundamentalist "missionaries" have been coming to SA and assisting these groups under the guise of "church planting". The same has happened in other African countries, such as Uganda - and, well, we can see the culmination of those efforts for what they've delivered - in the form of the "Kill the Gays Bill".

Friday, May 22, 2009

To Do List 2009

The Christian fundamentalist hate groups and political parties got their asses kicked at the polls in this year, so after that it seems pretty much smooth sailing for the short term. 
However, since things are now looking somewhat brighter than they did up to the 22nd of April, I have made a short list of things I would to do or see in the near future. Call it a wish list if you like, but oh well, here it is:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Gay Marriage Killed The Dinosaurs!

I was most interested to hear that a group of Muslims had challenged the marriage laws of SA on the grounds that their Muslim marriages (or more to the point, divorces) were not legally recognized. 
More power to them, but how can this be? Easily, as it turns out. After all, this is South Africa, where a lot of inequalities existed - and still exist to this very day.
It seems that (gender issues aside) only civil unions and Christian marriages are legally recognized, making all other forms of marriage illegitimate.

What a surprise.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lessons Learned - Or Not

The yearly Sexpo in Cape Town has once again drawn the ire of fundamentalist Christians in the city, notably one little group calling itself the "Christian Action Network" (CAN), whose spokesman Taryn Hodgson, once again laid into the organizers and those supporting the Sexpo with all the might and thunder she could muster.

Some may remember this group as the one whose leader (Peter Hammond) along with another member of this group, co-authored a hate-filled book called 'the Pink Agenda' - which was no more than a piece of homophobic propaganda filled with hysterical fearmongering and junk-science not worth the paper it was printed on, intended to incite hatred against the pink community in SA. 
Back in 2001 this made national headlines - but more recently this group has been reduced to taking on other issues vital to the South African Christian extremist, issues of such import as abortion, and "blasphemy" in the media, and people watching (boring) soft porn on late night TV in the privacy of their own homes - and who can forget their main grudge, that their god has been left out of the Constitution and consequently, the government. 

Boo hoo.

"Transformation" = Religious Fascism

I respect others beliefs and the right of others to believe what they choose to believe - which is precisely why I favor a secular state system over any form of religious government. 
Religion is and should be a private matter for the individual.  
Trouble is, Christianity doesn't as a whole like to stay private - its supporters - particularly the fundamentalists - seek to "transform" the world around them into little Christian clones of themselves - and many would favor conquest and violence as the means to satisfy that end. (Take the Spanish conquest of South America, or the Crusades as examples.) 

On the whole, the concept is rather frightening - like the Borg in Star Trek whose slogan seems to be "Resistance is futile" and whose life aim seems to be the assimilation of all other groups, religions and cultures - or their annihilation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Tough Consititution

The SA Constitution might not mix religion with politics - but it is far more Christ-like than the one many groups claiming to be "Christian" would give us!

Below is a comment posted on a discussion forum by a man who has actively supported religious fundamentalist right wing political parties and their para-religious groups in South Africa who have made a habit of campaigning against the human rights and equality of the gay and trans community.

"I cannot see any other option for South Africa but a Righteous Republic. The term democratic which by implication is mob rule has no place in Christian politics, personally I would prefer a Theocracy, but in as much as man is not perfect a Righteous Republic would suffice. As a Christian who takes the Bible literally, understanding that GOD will curse our nation if it legislates against His Law, yet bless our nation if we obey His commandments I would support a Righteous Republic and especially a Christian Republican Party".

Ironically, the same person quoted above has on several occasions stated that he wants the death penalty to be re-instituted - and that he, like others, views it as a "Christian duty" for the state to execute gay people for the "crime" of being gay.
I'm deadly serious about this - I've seen many comments of this sort, and they're not kidding. No sir, no shit.
This is a trend disturbingly on the increase among radical gay-hating people in SA, who are usually fanatical fundamentalists or literalists ascribing to one of several religions, typically Abrahamic.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bang! - The Sound Of One Less Mosquito!

Like mosquitoes swarming around an exposed body part, homophobic bigots seem to make complete cliché’s of themselves in their crusade of the uneducatedthe quest of the ignorant
One could also draw stark comparisons between bigots and their fellow bloodsuckers, and I frequently do. I thought I would include a few insights into the arguments used against us GLBTI advocates in the last while, just for your entertainment (and mine) - and to provide answers to these, while swatting a few bugs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The End Is Nigh!

On Sunday morning I enjoyed a quiet relaxing walk hand-in-hand along the beach front with my girlfriend. 
On the way back we enjoyed looking at the stalls and were quite surprised to find one peddling religious fundamentalism as if it were a brand new bicycle. Signs pinned to the tent displayed the words "The End Is Nigh" and "It is closer than you think!" along with various other forms of bizarre and nauseating rhetoric and "Christian nationalist" propaganda. 
Strangely enough, there were a few people actually chatting to the stall owners, enthusiastically grinning from ear to ear, presumably gleaning finer details of this impending and absolutely certain doom, probably with exact time and date and instructions on what to do if "left behind". 
It was hard for me to resist strolling over and asking what date and time I should put in Google Calendar to mark this event, presumably with a 15 minute reminder just in case I miss it - or if I should lie down and put a brown paper bag over my head while I wait.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Pink Elephants, Red Herrings And Gay Rights Activists

It confuses and disappoints the heck out of me when people standing in the shoes of gay activists start to argue that gay activists should be concentrating on other issues like racism or xenophobia instead of protecting or advancing gay rights. "Hello, it's the plumber - I've come to fix your TV."

I always thought that we as gay rights activists (supposedly) stand against heterosexism, homophobia, transphobia, discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Yet some prominent (presumably) gay rights advocates in SA have criticized gay rights activists who pay attention to gay rights issues instead of tackling issues like racism and xenophobia.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Copping Out

Recently it has come to my attention that some of our SA girls are still having difficulties with transphobia. Yes, I know - it isnt exactly a new thing. Like homophobic hate crimes, transphobia (fear or loathing of transgender people) still exists and inspires hate crimes of its own. However, it seems people exposed to transphobia are either keeping quiet about it or the authorities are refusing to do something about it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Civility Costs Nothing

Centuries ago, people were more isolated and clustered together in like-minded groups. For example, whole countries and even continents followed just one religion, or spoke one language, hardly ever setting eyes on anyone who followed another or spoke other languages.

Though we may not really recognize it today, significant population shifts and migrations often led to conflict and political upheaval. It seems to be a basic human instinct to fear the unknown and even loathe it - but with knowledge and understanding come tolerance and enlightenment, but to get to that stage people first have to get past their fear and loathing.

The idea that all people can and should live together in peace is not really a new one -
but yet in practice, it is very young indeed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Humans Are Funny Animals

Many detractors of the gay rights movement have spent the past thirty years or more criticizing it as somehow asking for "special rights".

George Orwell in his masterpiece "Animal Farm" which was a pertinent statement on the turmoil of post fascist western society and differing political ideologies (and almost a prequel to "1984") stated "All animals are equal - but some animals are more equal than other animals".

One can see warning signs of a harsh resentment and bitter distaste and disrespect for the humanity of other people in statements like "gay rights are 'special' rights". Often the fights in the past against slavery and racial prejudice are compared with the modern struggle for GLBT equal rights and all manner of interesting comparisons are drawn. There are in fact many similarities.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pearls Of Ignorance

Somebody made a statement today that showed me the prevalence in flawed thinking in the general population. Flawed thinking and ignorance - and what a potent pair they make indeed. People who probably do not even know one person who falls within the GLBTI spectrum, nor knows anything about them beyond the standard rhetoric in circulation out there telling people how "wrong" it is to be gay or that it is some kind of "sinful lifestyle choice" are advocating anti-gay measures and even taking an anti-GLBT stance in politics, ostensibly in the interests of what they call "morality".

What did they say? Well, here it is, folks:

"There is certainly a logical link between homosexuality, incest and beastiality and other deviant behaviour".


Where on earth do these people get their facts from?