South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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Shooting from the shadows - When gay hearts harbour gay hatred.

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Does internalised homophobia kill?   By Bruce J. Little

There is much speculation about Omar Mateen’s motives for killing or maiming more than 100 people at the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando over the weekend, as information regarding his sexual orientation comes to light. He was believed to be a regular patron over a length of time at the very LGBTQIA+ venue that became the sight of his murderous rampage and is alleged to have had two profiles on known dating apps for men who have sex with men. His father believed his acts were motivated by a repulsion Omar felt at the sight of two men kissing. Omar may have been suffering from severe internalised homophobia, and it’s an epidemic likely to be every bit as stirring as HIV. The two may even be inextricably linked.

What is internalised homophobia?lovenothate
It’s more than just being afraid to come out of the closet. Essentially, it is when an LGBTQIA+ individual becomes infected with heterosexist and homo-prejudiced society’s perceptions of what it is to be LGBTQIA+; adopts these views and turns these poison ideas inwards on themselves, as well as onto other LGBTQIA+ individuals.
“My family/ friends/ these people/ this religion/ this book/ this institution believes that being LGBTQIA+ is evil and unacceptable. Therefore, I am evil and unacceptable, and so is anyone who is like me.”
If you are LGBTQIA+ and ashamed of being LGBTQIA+, then it’s easy to say that you are an internalised homophobe. But, the same applies if you are judgmental towards other LGBTQIA+ people that are different from you. If you judge effeminate gay men as being inferior to masculine gay men; “tops” as being superior to “bottoms” or deem trans gendered individuals to deserve less status than you do; or feel that a “butch” lesbian is easier to tolerate than a “lipstick” lesbian, then you too are suffering from internalised homophobia.
The term “internalised homophobia” is misleading. The word phobia is associated with fear, but often it is more severe than fear, more like prejudice, discrimination or hatred. So, the term ‘homophobia’ makes it seem more harmless than it is. Then the use of “internalised” also creates the impression that nothing is outwardly manifested, and this is not the case when it manifests as an LGBTQ person killing other members of the LGBTQIA+ community as a result of his internalised homophobia.

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Sunday's (26 June) Pride March in Istanbul was cancelled after it was banned by Istanbul's governor. German MEP Terry Reintke, 17 activists and 2 international supporters were briefly arrested and later released. The arrests happened after participants gathered in the streets of Istanbul.

Police dispersed the crowd.Ist

CO-CHAIR OF ILGA-EUROPE'S EXECUTIVE BOARD BRIAN SHEEHAN was in Istanbul to support Istanbul Pride. "These developments in Istanbul mark yet another dark step in Turkey's history books. Various pride events across Turkey have been banned in recent times. These are ultimate acts of oppression by the Turkish government. Fundamental freedoms in Turkey are no longer secured."

Activists from the Istanbul Pride Week committee were prevented by the police from reading out a press statement [1] in which they challenged
these politics. They said: "We are not marching today but we just started marching [forwards]. …We are dispersing, we are stronger, bigger, and
louder. They are right to be afraid of us because we are uniting, growing, and marching."

ILGA-Europe called on the Council of Europe, the European Union and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to step up their efforts to protect human rights and democratic values.

"When authorities actively work to diminish the rights of minority groups, the international community must do everything in its power to support citizens. ILGA-Europe will continue to stand by the Turkish LGBTI movement.
We shall strengthen our work to ensure that, one day, everyone in Turkey can enjoy full equality." continued Sheehan.

Istanbul had seen successful pride marches for 15 years until 2014, when 50,000 people participated. The 2015 pride was met with riot police.

Dr. Rad talks Flu Jab

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Dr. Oscar Radebe, Clinical Manager: Senior Medical and Communications Consultant for Health4Men, answers some questions about getting the flu vaccine.OscarRadebe
1. What is the flu vaccine, and how does it work?
Flu vaccines are created to protect against seasonal flu, which affects millions of people each year. The vaccine is trivalent, which means it is three vaccines combined into one to protect against three common viruses: influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza A (H3N2) virus, and the influenza B virus. The vaccine is injected to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies, which can take up to 2 weeks to fight against the virus. So, it is recommended that you get a vaccine, at least, a month before flu season starts (May/June).
2. My friend said that he got sick after he took the vaccine. Is it possible that the vaccine itself can make you sick?
No, the flu vaccine does not make you sick, but there could be other reasons why you became ill and the common ones are:
• You vaccinated late and had already been exposed to the flu virus
• Your immune system was weak at that time of vaccination, so your body could not produce enough antibodies to fight the flu
• You vaccinated in time, but the strain of the flu virus in that particular year has mutated or changed and has become resistant to the vaccine that you got

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When your BFF is living with HIV

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By Bruce J. Little

We sat around the pool chatting and laughing about stuff we’d gotten up to over the weekend.  We loved to do this; get together and compare dating war stories, and this always left us both wheezing from too much cackling and not enough breathing.  I was still mid the descending voiced sigh that usually ends a long spell of laughter when he said:  "I need to tell you something."h4mlogo

The news left me completely stunned with absolutely no idea what to say.  This is a guy that I could usually tell anything to, a person that shared my un-PC sense of humour and also loved to play in the realms of the inappropriate.  He and I sang Gaga together and flirted outrageously with petrol attendants. But I knew that what he had said was not meant to be funny. 

He wasn’t the first person I knew that was HIV-positive, but he was the first person that I knew well, and the last person I thought would ever acquire it. My first lesson, HIV is indiscriminate.

I said so many tactless things, and looking back I admire how well he coped with some of the stupid things I said and asked.  Knowing that I can't go back and change how I reacted then, at least, I can now help people to know what they should say if they ever find themselves in the same situation.

My first big mistake:  I got all formal and not like myself.  Because I felt unsure of what to say, I suddenly started to edit myself and to speak in a way that wasn't authentic. I must’ve sounded like a call centre agent from a complaints hotline. He picked it up immediately. Authenticity is the best first response.  "I'm sorry to hear that", wasn't the wrong thing to say so much as it wasn't the kind of thing I would usually say to him.  It was the kind of stuff you say to an acquaintance or disgruntled customer. I should have sworn out loud and grabbed and hugged him; that would've been more me.   What you say is not as important as the way that you say it.     

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Anova embraces the approval of PrEP in South Africa

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The Anova Health Institute welcomes the move by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) after they officially registered the use of a combination of two antiretroviral drugs as a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. This pill, taken daily by the HIV negative individuals, can drastically reduce HIV infection.

Prof James McIntyre, CEO of Anova, says: “This is a major advance in HIV prevention in South Africa, with the potential to save many lives. The evidence is clear, PrEP works if you take it. Not everyone will need or want PrEP, or require it forever, but it can provide almost complete protection against infection if taken consistently. Our challenge is to educate users and move rapidly to ensure access for those who need it.”h4mlogo

Dr Kevin Rebe, Specialist Medical Consultant at Anova’s Health4Men Initiative, says: “The approval of PrEP is a major step forward in the fight against HIV. It is extremely effective and safe to use. It can reduce the risk of HIV by more than 90% in HIV negative people who use it correctly. This announcement will greatly facilitate the work that Anova conducts in HIV prevention. Our challenge now is to create demand for PrEP and to work towards removing barriers to access.”

Anova, in collaboration with the Desmond Tutu HIV Research Unit, already has a PrEP demonstration project underway within state sector clinics. Anova is working to develop tools that will allow PrEP to be nurse-driven and scaled up by the Department of Health.

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