anti-gay hate

Christina Engela's picture

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.

In the meantime, the topic is featured on pink community news sites around the world, buzzing with this new outrage against our humanity, and only just now is it beginning to penetrate to the mainstream media which is as usual, slow on the uptake when it comes to threats facing gay lives, trans rights and those they normally don't care to know about.

Only yesterday I bemoaned the fact that not one single country - nor the UN or other world body - had bothered to comment officially on this slap in the face to human rights.  Fortunately, to my surprise I saw last night that one country had.

"The French foreign ministry has attacked a bill in Uganda which would see gay people facing the death penalty.  "France expresses deep concern regarding the bill currently before the Ugandan parliament," the foreign ministry said in a statement sent to AFP in Kampala yesterday.  "France reiterates its commitment to the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

Christina Engela's picture

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.

It is an interesting question, because there are places where this is still not the case. In many countries, there are women with birth certificates which proclaim their "manhood", and men with identity documents which are still marked "female".

I feel this question can best be answered through a number of scenarios I laid out below:

Christina Engela's picture

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.

Christina Engela's picture

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.

He called people to love others and to show love to others - as they love themselves.  He called people to forgive each other for wrongs done to them and not to seek revenge.  He encouraged people to do unto others as they would have done to themselves and I have to wonder if they really hate themselves that much?  I say this, because if the way they treat others - or would have done to them, then if they are applying this principle as they believe the Son of God commanded them to do, then logically they cannot be very fond of themselves. Not at all.

You have to wonder.

Christina Engela's picture

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.

The case in which a man tied his dog onto the back of his vehicle and drove off with it, dragging it to death behind, sends a chill through me as does the case where, just a last week a nature conservation official brutally shot and executed a pack of trained hunting dogs for the actions of their master who was caught poaching. Then there is the story about the "pastor" who shot a neighbor's dog for "trespassing" in his yard, with a shotgun. Nice guy. And let us not forget the local animal shelters, where pets are left to their fate, where the lucky ones find homes and the unlucky are "put down" or "put to sleep" - or any number of other pretty metaphors for "killed".

Christina Engela's picture

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.

I am just one of the folks who believe that my religion is nobody else's business and perhaps I just take it for granted that other people do or should feel the same sense of security I feel without having such a need to try to prove themselves right by "evangelizing" or trying to convert other people to theirs.

Christina Engela's picture

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.

You see, whether they agree with equal civil rights for gay people, or not - the truth is that heterosexual people are a majority - a majority which is largely in control of society.  As such, those among them who are anti-gay and anti-diversity are through their narrow-minded reactionary stance, trying to protect their own status. In plain English, they are the ones who have "special rights", not us - and this explains their drive to prevent us from achieving true legal and social equality with them - because it is fairly plain to see that many of them, particularly on religious grounds, view having equal rights with us as "persecution".

Christina Engela's picture

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.

Christina Engela's picture

Sleeper, Awake!

I have been asked by someone living abroad if homophobia in SA is as bad as I seem to be saying it is. They have friends,they say, even gay friends living in SA who tell them they have noticed nothing. Perhaps I am an alarmist? Perhaps I am exaggerating?

I would say the answer to these questions, as with everything, depends on who you ask.

I know gay and transgender people who struggle with discrimination in the workplace. In some cases it is minor things like the HR department not recognizing civil unions or gay marriage certificates, or failing to manage family responsibility leave correctly when the employee takes leave to care for a sick partner, for example. Yes, I can quite understand how this can impede the eyesight of some HR practitioners. Sometimes it is the occasional slur or frustrated homophobic comment. Employers in some areas are homophobic and transphobic and just make life so difficult for GLBT employees to make them quit without having an inconvenient case for unfair dismissal come and bite them in the ass later on.

Christina Engela's picture

Headlines & Deadlines

I often marvel at news headlines like the examples I have listed below:

"Controversial Daily Mail journalist addresses gay event
Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips spoke last night about the danger of “criminalising religious beliefs” at an event debating the conflict between LGBT equality and freedom of speech."

Naturally, GLBTI people having equality is dangerous, especially if it is your religious beliefs to oppress them. Of course, we all know religious beliefs that destroy the lives of innocent people we just happen to dislike are far more important than the human rights of those people. That is, we all know religion needs to pin something on somebody and it might as well be those darn GLBTI folks, who are always objecting to being stepped on and made scapegoats of, don't they know their place? I mean, they should just accept that OUR God hates them and get on with life and quit wriggling when we put them on the hook.

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