foreign aid

Christina Engela's picture

Community Building

Recently I wrote about cohesion in our pink community, and over the weekend I was again faced with the exact opposite. Some trans-women seem to feel that I have been remiss in campaigning for transgender rights and focusing only on gay rights. They feel, as I do - that there are some rather prominent advocacy groups, some of them advertising that they stand for all GLBTI rights, some not - and that these groups are abandoning trans people.

A prime examples of this is the ENDA (Employee Non Discrimination Act) in the USA, which has failed to pass in the past - and from which transgender rights were conveniently removed by some of our gay allies in order to see that the act had a "better chance" of passing. Hmm. I have to point out that (duh) this is not the act of an ally. The dust around this issue still has not settled, and I wait with bated breath to see how it goes down.

Another infamous example of exclusion and working against community unity is the UK group "Stonewall" which deigns to take the name of that holy grail of GLBTI rights and sullies it by excluding the transgender and intersex communities, and catering only for the benefit of gay rights. They do a very good job of gay rights advocacy, kudos to them for that - but shame on them for not caring a damn about the trans and intersex people - and refusing even to provide them a counseling service, information, or even to stand up for their rights while standing up for their own! Stonewall UK is a large group with a loud voice, and the T and I in GLBTI are left to fend for themselves. I am frequently disgusted whenever I am reminded of this by their one-dimensional advertising and informational campaigns.
Christina Engela's picture

It's A Small World, After All

When Uganda tabled its Bill which would effectively have instituted the death penalty for homosexuality and a pink genocide, many countries applied great pressure to Uganda to drop the Bill. So far this Bill has been put on hold, yet in Uganda gay people still face an existing law which prescribes a 14-year prison term simply for being gay - just as in Malawi and several other countries.

Malawi has just this week rewarded a gay couple with the maximum prison term for loving each other - 14 years hard labor, a potential - and even likely death sentence in such a prison. The world has begun to apply pressure on Malawi because of this human rights abuse, but the question remains - how much pressure will they apply, and what will happen if Malawi doesn't budge?

Will the outcome of this issue encourage other African states to say "oh well, Malawi didn't give the West what they wanted, they didn't give in - and nothing happened to them. They're still getting aid"? Will this encourage Uganda to pass the Bill and thumb their noses at their donors as if their bark is worse than their bite - as one does to a dog without teeth?

Gay people in Africa are living in fear. And why should gay people in Africa not be afraid? Today it is illegal to be gay in aproximately 38 countries in Africa, with many countries applying lengthy jail terms as well as a measure of draconian homphobia in laws and society. Homosexuality is illegal in Zambia, as is the case in Malawi and most other African countries. The only country on the continent of Africa which has laws protecting the human and civil rights of sexual minorities, is South Africa - a country whose government, has to date not once spoken out against human rights abuses and violations in any other African state - and which continues to do business with and even to support their governments.
Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system