homophobia

Christina Engela's picture

Blood Feud

 

Every year around December the South African National Blood Service starts shouting frantically that blood stocks are low and that they are desperately in need of donors. This past month I have seen the familiar call on lamp post advertising and in newspaper headings, heard their plaintive whining for blood on the radio and on TV - and cursed theSANBS under my breath every single time.

And every year around this time, many people will answer this call - whether out of civic duty or simply out of helpfulness and love for their fellow human beings, they will go to donation centers to answer this call to satiate South Africa's lust for blood.

What I find both sad and hypocritical in this scenario, is the fact that every year this time, many people who do so, will find themselves turned away and indirectly told that neither they, nor their blood - are good enough for the high and mighty standards of the SANBS.

I find it unbelievable that despite this "shortage of blood" which has the SANBS in such a flat spin annually, gay or bisexual men and transgender people are still banned from donating blood - based on fairy-tales, right-wing junk-science and plain old-fashioned prejudice.
Christina Engela's picture

Hate Speech - The Gospel Of Genocide

 


Let's focus on hate speech today, shall we?

A petition on the "Petition Spot" website, a service which allows the creation of online petitions caught my attention - it is creatively entitled "Sign to kill all the gays". The subtitle of the petition says "Gays are gross and do not have the right to live. This is a petition to get the government to kill them all. Please sign if you support my cause."

It has been up there since September 14 2009, and so far it has a whole 39 signatures. Stop the press. Perhaps they should have advertised it in Uganda, Jamaica, Iraq and Iran to meet their target of 1 million signatures. Shame, poor deluded little psychotics.

It isn't the only "petition" of its kind though, apparently you can see the others listed on the same screen under innovative names like "Kill Gays","Kill All Gays". All of which have equally psychotic rantings by signatories such as "I support this petition. We should kill the niggers too while we're at it! White POWER!", "I support this petition. ****ING GAYS.", "KILL ALL THESE ****ERS!!!"

Judging by the low quality comments of the people supporting this affront to decency, I can only conclude that these are either petulant children with too much time on their hands or a bunch of half-wits of the order of the KKK - except that I now feel I owe an apology to village idiots everywhere as well.
Christina Engela's picture

Misplaced Blame

 


Many fundamentalist Christians today are calling for a return to what they call "biblical values", which in essence ignores the New Testament and even Christ's existence altogether - thus discarding the New Covenant entirely. They focus almost completely on Old Testament ritual laws and cry for the death penalty to be reinstated (apparently this is a "biblical value") as a so-called "deterrent" against crime - crimes which many of them feel should include adultery, divorce, "blasphemy", lying and their personal favorite, homosexuality.

The death penalty is in this case, euphemistically speaking, their holy grail - a piece of legislation that will miraculously fix everything that is wrong with South Africa (or the world, why stop there?) - a grasping at straws wrapped in the mantle of justice and authority which they claim comes from God.

So let me get this straight - in a country where the justice department is incompetent, likely to screw up in convicting the right person for the crime - may even be corrupt - and where the government is making increasingly conservative and oppressive noises, people are seriously asking for the return of the death penalty? What are they smoking?

They seem to think the death penalty will somehow fix everything. Punishing people left and right for crimes already committed will somehow prevent other people from following their example. And killing people for their crimes will teach them not to do it again. Yeah right, that'll learn 'em. They won't do that again.

Human nature isn't like that, because people think they won't get caught.
Christina Engela's picture

Kill The Bill

 


I have great respect for GLBTI pastors and ministers - and straight clerics, who support their faith's central ethos of love, peace and tolerance - surely they have to bite their tongues a lot!  I doubt I could manage it, but then as an activist I am not expected to.

Many times an older woman, who is a gender activist in the church - and whom I consider a mentor - cautions me not to come across as aggressive because it gives credibility to the patriarchal mindset to just wave me off as "just an angry woman".  Of course, although I do agree with her, that very patriarchal mindset is exactly what makes my point.  I AM angry.  And considering the state of the world today, shouldn't I be?  Shouldn't we all be?  Is it unreasonable to be angry at the manner in which those appointed by us to make decisions are making a right balls-up of things?  Is it not right to be angered by mismanagement, corruption, inaction, injustice, discrimination and human rights violations?
Christina Engela's picture

From The Squeak To The Tail

 



Have you seen the Uganda issue is finally making the news in SA?  Finally?  After more than a month of international protests and campaigning by human rights bodies?  A month and a half?

Three whole mentions on 5fm news this past Friday morning, plus an enjoyable and lengthy rant on the topic by DJ Gareth Cliff - in the Mail & Guardian and one tiny paragraph I found buried somewhere in the middle of the Herald. What continues to upset me is the broad lack of interest in SA.  No official comment, no acknowledgment of objections or petitions and no protests either.  Over in the US and UK groups are calling for protest action - and gathering outside Ugandan embassies.  That's right, people actually pitch up when you call a protest over there. I have to wonder how many people would turn up for a protest in SA anyway with all the pervasive apathy?  Past experience tends to make me cautious.

The Ugandan Genocide Bill has been widely publicized over the last month and a half - mostly by pink media and advocacy organizations and other NGO's - and mostly not in South Africa.  This proposed new law addresses every possible factor which may be used to corner and further oppress and even destroy GLBTI Ugandans. It adopts a pose that flies in the face of accepted medical practice by grouping all sub-groups of what is known as the pink community (such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex) together, labeling them all "homosexual" and then adding insult to injury by labeling them "un-Ugandan", "un-African" (even "un-Christian") and a "threat" to religion and Ugandan society as well. It even criminalizes heterosexual people who do not betray family members, friends, employees, employers, acquaintances - or anyone they encounter - to the authorities on suspicion of their sexual orientation or gender identity - and rewards them with a 3-year jail sentence.
Christina Engela's picture

Put Up Or Shut Up

 



December.

Yet another festive season filled with things sweet and nice - friendship, family and good memories. A time often laced, for some - with a bitter undertone of loneliness, sorrow and loss. Some people find the "silly season" significant in terms of religious meaning. I find it laced with hypocrisy, shallow commercialism, false piety and genuine arrogance. What am I referring to? I will tell you:

Every year around this time, the South African National Blood Service starts whining about low blood stocks and the fact that they are desperately in need of donors. This past week I have seen the familiar call on lamp posts and in news headlines.

Once again, I find a grim, sarcastic smile on my lips. Why?

Every year around this time, many people will answer this call - whether out of concern for others, civic duty or simply out of helpfulness and love for their fellow human beings. What I find both sad and hypocritical is the fact that every year this time, many people who do so, will find themselves turned away and indirectly told that neither they, nor their blood - are good enough for the high and mighty standards of the SANBS.

I find it unbelievable that despite this "shortage of blood" which has the SANBS in such an eccentric flat spin, gay men and transgender people are still banned from donating blood - based on second-rate fairy-tales, right wing conservative junk-science and plain old-fashioned prejudice. Were it not so downright tragic, it would actually be funny.
Christina Engela's picture

More Separate, Less Equal

Despite the passing of marriage laws in South Africa in 2006, true marriage equality is still elusive in South Africa. Yes, gay and transgender people can and do marry, but how many people are aware that marriage for gay people is still codified under a separate act?

Ministers, even those willing to officiate at gay marriages, have to apply for SEPARATE registration to do so. Thus, while a heterosexual couple can freely marry unhindered at virtually any church, Home Affairs office, court of law, or before any ship's captain - same gender couples very often are left with just the Home Affairs option.

Even as recently as last year there were reports of certain Home Affairs offices refusing to facilitate gay marriages and passing the buck to others. Gay couples who want to make their faith a part of their marriage ceremony often have to travel to other cities to get married, or have to pay for a willing minister's travel and accommodation. Some ministers who are willing to officiate cannot, because if they were to do so - they would risk dismissal by their church.
ptaguy's picture

Rather Be Black than Gay

(Originally published on Warfare: The Delightful and Dreary Sides of Gay Life - http://warfare-delightful-dre

Christina Engela's picture

Sin Tax Error

 

GAY
=
PORN

As I said last week in an article about a gay pageant in South Africa and the lack of mainstream (straight) media coverage for the event, "gay + controversy = mainstream media coverage". Now it seems somebody else has gone one better to publicly redefine the nature gay people. But then, it is an old accusation, one which has been made many times, and this certainly will not be the last. Just a pity it comes from "one of our own".

I postulated that it seems gay people being portrayed in the media as promiscuous stereotypes and parodies as a rule is just fine, but telling the truth about them or showing them in a good light is just not controversial or interesting enough. Now it seems there is some confusion about what is the truth about gay people, and right now, yes - I'm talking stereotypes. What makes a stereotype even worse is to fly in the face of everything we have been saying and doing to disprove that stereotype - and then inexplicably, just go and prove them right.
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