anti-gay hate

Christina Engela's picture

Separate ≠ Equal

A little while ago I received a response from a priest who wrote to me about the subject of marriage equality in South Africa.

I had said in an interview with Behind the Mask - and he quoted me: "Gay people can marry, but under a separate Act, and also, without a choice of in or out of community of property, and also without the freedom of choice to have a religious ceremony or not - and as Apartheid made us all keenly aware, separate is not equal - but it certainly is separate", Engela said.""

He said: "Of course gays can get married under the Civil Union Act; but surely they have the choice of having an ante nuptial contract drawn up before they get married! They also do have the choice of having a religious wedding ceremony, there are ministers of religion who are marriage officers under the Civil Union Act, I am one of them and I do officiate at same sex religious weddings."

I had of course been quoting a legal expert who had spoken to a community gathering at an ECGLA event in Port Elizabeth several weeks before - at least on the subject of the ANC - no, not Juliaaas - but on the Anti-Nuptial Contract.
Christina Engela's picture

Business As Usual

President Jacob Zuma's recent visit to Uganda drew a lot of attention to South African involvement in that country - and also to the revelation that there are many South African companies which have concerns, business interests and a corporate presence in that country. Despite the ongoing human rights violations against the LGBTIQ community in Uganda - and the consistent attempts by human rights organizations to draw attention to the threat against the lives of a minority group - neither the SA government, nor one of these companies has even once taken to speaking out against these devious and sinister practices.

There are quite a few very large SA companies foing business openly in Uganda - and we can be certain that there are many more companies who support the Ugandan regime just by doing business there - and by paying taxes to the Ugandan government. Of course, you are all encouraged to search for more online and to add them to your own lists and ask others to take further action yourself.

GLBTI people and those offended by this disregard for human rights, are encouraged to change whatever service providers they can - and to send emails to the SA government and these companies to express their disappointment and disgust at their continued silence on the gradual erosion of human rights in Uganda - and the tacit support of a regime which facilitates and enables this unacceptable situation to continue.MTN, Standard Bank, ABSA, Shoprite-Checkers and SAB-Millers - all have substantial interests in Uganda. MTN was mentioned in President Zuma's speech in the Ugandan Parliament 3 weks ago, as paying 200 billion in taxes to Uganda each year. These are South African companies - with full support of the South African government - keeping that regime afloat and sponsoring a government which callously violates every tenet of human rights.

Eskom supplies electricity to Uganda, but we are realistic and do not expect people to sit in the dark and live like they are back in the Stone Age - even if Eskom parts of SA should, whenever it feels like it - and it's not like we can just stop paying them.

Christina Engela's picture

Not Otherwise Specified

I was asked a question by a friend the other day. "How does one rid oneself of the shame surrounding sexuality as indoctrinated by church and society, and especially being different and having a secret that one cannot share?"

I think we are all influenced by the very Victorian stereotype while growing up - the whole concept that "sex is dirty and wrong and sinful" - despite it being 100 percent natural, normal and even healthy. Victorians have often been described as being too afraid to see themselves naked for fear it will lead to sinful thoughts. Ironically, it is this same Victorian concept which still haunts former Colonies with its presence in leftover so-called "morality" laws, dying a lingering death. Die already, for Pete's sake.

Even bigots would not be here if it weren't for sex - that's right - not even the high-and-mighty James Dobson. And Erroll Naidoo would not be sporting such a neat "pee-pot" hairdo in his photos all over the internet if he didn't think himself "sexy" in some way - although I have to admit, that idea actually scares me.

What is unnatural, unhealthy and even strange, is the concept that in order to be socially acceptable and viewed as "moral", people should conform to the manufactured concept of Male and Female as social ideals, and be completely celibate and totally asexual in demeanor, attitude and outlook - except within the confines of one monogamous relationship - which has been clearly defined by them for us all and called "Marriage". And of course, even when we stick to this arrogant prescription - with a partner of our own choice - we still get attacked, regardless of whether it is in the privacy of our own homes or not - even if it outlasts their own equally fragile unions.

Societies, cultures and religions far older than Christianity, long ago recognized the existence of more than two genders. Western society seems only to recognize the two extremes - what we today call the gender "binary". What? You thought there are only two genders?
Christina Engela's picture

"Family Policy Institute" - Deciding For You What You Can And Can't Have Access To.

Like me, you might not like porn - I really have other interests, and I wouldn't waste my bandwidth on it - but certainly don't place myself in the position where I think I should tell people what they should be allowed to do or watch in private and on their own time - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, of course. Now, aside from murder, rape, pedophilia and grand theft, I can't think of any reason why adult porn could be harmful to anyone. In fact, even smoking is more harmful. However, I do know that opening the door to censorship legislation opens a whole other can of worms that may prevent you from seeing, saying or even doing other things which you take for granted now - and that you may actually WANT to. And that to me is far more harmful than anything people like Erroll Naidoo spend most of every day bitching about.

It is freedom which aggravates people like Erroll Naidoo. Freedom of choice - the freedom to choose something which he happens to disagree with. The freedom to be who we are born to be - and to embrace it instead of crawling at his feet on all fours, beating our chests in misery and begging him for forgiveness. The freedom to defy his annoying need to tell other people how to live their lives. How dare we?

As I have always said - more freedom is always a good thing - as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I have to wonder how people like Erroll can justify his claims that granting other people the freedom to be happy can possibly be harmful, if he cannot even substantiate his claims? Oh, we know the things he says, about how "harmful" it is to be gay, and how much of a "threat" it is to "allow" gay people to be treated like equals and how much worse it is to "allow" them to be happy as well as gay or transgender.
Christina Engela's picture

Once Upon A Hate-Crime

Come kiddies, gather round - aunty Tina is going to tell you all a story... somebody was kind enough to send it to me, and I want to share it with you because it made me think. Pay attention in class, because I will be throwing lollipops at anyone I see sleeping - and there will be questions afterwards.

Once upon a time, a mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning :

"There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" 

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap . . .. alone.. . ..
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital. When she returned home she still had a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever - with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well... She died. So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.
And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember --- When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
Christina Engela's picture

Jacob, Jacob, Wherefore Art Thou?

Why has President Zuma of South Africa, who visited Uganda for a few days this past week, not condemned the Ugandan Genocide Bill?

The bill in question, which is still being debated in the Ugandan Parliament and - if passed, will condemn millions of innocent Ugandans to death simply for being born gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex - and simply for being a favorite scapegoat and target for the hatred of an increasingly virulent homophobic agenda in Uganda. This legislation will also effectively turn many heterosexual people into criminals just for not reporting the existence of GLBTI colleagues, parishioners, neighbors, clients, family and friends to the authorities and for "harboring criminals".

This bill has over the past six months drawn the ire and outright condemnation of churches, companies, advocacy groups, the UN, and governments from countries all over the world - except the largest, most prosperous and influential country in Southern Africa. A country, whose Constitution promises dignity, equality and legal protections to everyone, but in this case - specifically pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity. A country, whose government has thus far completely ignored all requests from advocacy groups in South Africa to speak out on this issue, and to add its voice to the weight of condemnation from those countries who are concerned with the welfare of the human rights of the Ugandan people.
Christina Engela's picture

Shock Treatment

I would like to praise the Canadian authorities for apprehending Dr. Aubrey Levin, aka "Dr. Shock" - a man who is believed to have fled to Canada to avoid facing the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission in the 1990's - and for launching an inquiry into his activities in Canada - and also for investigating charges of human rights abuses from when he was in South Africa.

I welcome the fact that all criminal cases in Canada in which this person has participated as an "expert" witness for the prosecution, are currently being reviewed. Who knows, there may be innocent people sitting in prison or mental institutions because of his prejudice. I also applaud the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for suspending Levin’s license to practice (that's really great - I really, really like that part). I also applaud Canada for the over-all thoroughness evident in the way this sensitive issue is being handled. I can guess how long this would take over here in sunny South Africa.

Firstly, the case itself would probably be put off until sometime after the Soccer World cup - because we all know how much more important that is than boring old human rights - giving it another six months for the public to forget it ever happened, so that the bail appications could go off without a noisy protest outside the court room. Then, it would probably take six more months to find the missing dockets, if ever - and then, like another prominent homophobe in this country, Mr Levin would probably be impossible to locate to be subpoenaed for his court appearance.

The cynical side of me would expect to find him occupying a government office in a South African embassy, perhaps in Burundi or Rwanda - seeing as the job in Uganda is already taken - by Jon Qwelane.

It is amazing that people can commit hate crimes, and just conveniently not show up in court when they are charged to - and nobody, not even the Government or Judicial Authority it seems, can do anything about it - other than to offer them a job as a foreign Ambassador, of course.
Christina Engela's picture

They Got Him In The End - Or Did They?


Dr Aubrey Levin, aka the Dr Mengele of Apartheid South Africa has finally run foul of the law. He was arrested in Canada last week for abusing a Canadian man at his practice. It seems that old habits die hard. "Dr Shock" as he was called back in the old days, used to torture gay and lesbian military personnel to try and turn them straight. Amazingly enough the folks at your local friendly neighborhood "ex-gay" ministry have been trying to that for decades too - and haven't been having much success either. Most intelligent people already know that it is nigh impossible to "straighten" what was made "skew" in the first place, to paraphrase an Afrikanerism. For those not smart enough to bluff their way out of Levin's grasp, (shouting "Praise the Lord, I'm healed!") he performed forcible sex-changes on them - and according to some sources, many of these were intentionally botched.

Only one thing can define such actions to me - an intense hatred.

I managed to just avoid him in my own term in the South African Army - luckily he had already left by then. I did my whole transition in the Army. It could have worked out very differently if he were still there of course. As it was, I picked up lots of horrific tales from "family" who had been there - or still worked in the military medical environment, of days gone by. All told me how lucky I was to have missed them.
Christina Engela's picture

Bloed Skande

Bloed Skande - in Afrikaans, literally translated, means "blood scandal" - and yes, I think what is being done to the dignity, equality and humanity of gay and transgender people wherever discrimination is being enforced by blood services, is nothing less than scandalous.

I read the linked article "Transgender blood donors in New Zealand" on the topic of discrimination against gay and transsexual or transgender blood donors in New Zealand. The idiotic reasoning employed by the NZ blood service appears to match the callous stupidity of our own here in South Africa - although it must be said that while NZ employs a 5 year ban on such blood donors, SA "only" imposes a 6 month ban - although, no matter which way you slice the pie, if you are a gay male or transsexual or transgender individual who wishes to be a full-time blood donor - you are still expected to remain celibate as long as you intend being a blood donor.

The article was written by a transsexual New Zealander who encountered this prejudice and irrational thinking present in the NZ policy and laid it out in her article. "The 5 year penalty [on transsexual blood donors] was put in place," She said "because until I have my vaginoplasty done, all sex with my [heterosexual] boyfriend is considered homosexual . But upon gaining a vagina, sex with my boyfriend magically becomes heterosexual!"

Here is the clincher: "I asked whether or not I could engage in anal sex after my surgery. The answer was yes, it would be no different to a cis woman having anal sex (i.e. it [anal sex] does not disqualify women from donating blood). Again, the ownership of a vagina magically qualifies me, regardless of how I have intercourse."
Christina Engela's picture

Mistaken Gender Identity

Did you see the article about the woman misidentified as transsexual and thrown into jail for 7 months with men?

I think it should be pointed out that it's not so nice to be treated like us, is it? And therefore it's not nice the way WE are being treated - DESPITE provisions in existing laws that supposedly protect people from this sort of treatment.

Apparently some typically over-qualified genius in the employ of the State mistyped her name as "Denis" - when she was actually Denise. (Yes, that's right, with an "e" - as in "education") That one slip of a key could easily have cost this woman her life. In point of fact, I would say that her life has been effectively ruined. Yes, she was detained on suspicion of having committed a crime - but now, despite having been cleared in court of all charges - she is a multiple rape victim, has suffered various forms of abuse and trauma, is suicidal, may have contracted HIV and numerous other diseases. A simple "We're so f***ing sorry" from the court and the Prison Service - or the State - is just not going to be good enough.

The simple truth about jails in this country is that they are death factories. Whether you go there for a week or life, the line between both can become a little blurry and actually mean the same thing.

Jails in South Africa have become breeding grounds for gangs that exist inside and outside the confines of prison life. They are training academies where a simple bag-snatcher can graduate as a full-fledged murderer. They are overcrowded, brutal and savage. And of course, our prison service is hardly any better than the criminals they guard, trading favors and money with their captives. Oh, now I'm being a little harsh, some might say - but how often has their corruption been exposed by investigative journalists?

And yes, prison is supposed to be feared, it's supposed to be a natural consequence to breaking the law. It's supposed to be a deterrent. But is it altogether fair? Is it just?
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