Tatchell Arrested in MoscowWrite comment (0 Comments)
Human Rights Campaigner Was Protesting Legally
LGBT+ and human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell has been arrested during a one-man protest against Russia's mistreatment of LGBT+ people, as the 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off in Moscow.
Mr Tatchell was holding a banner supporting gay men who have been violently targeted in a purge in Chechnya while standing next to the statue Marshal Zhukov close to the Kremlin.
This is the campaigner’s sixth visit to Russia in solidarity with the LGBT+ freedom struggle there. He was previously arrested twice during protests in Moscow and suffered brain damage after being attacked by Russian neo-Nazis in 2007.
Peter Tatchell, speaking from Moscow before the protest, said:
“I was exercising my lawful right to protest, under the Russian constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and the right to protest in Articles 29 and 31. A one-person protest, which is what I did, requires no permission from the authorities and the police.
“Getting arrested is standard for Russians who protest for LGBT+ rights or against corruption, economic injustice and Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its bombing of civilians in Syria.
“Unlike brave Russian protesters, I have the ‘protection’ of a British passport, which means I have been treated more leniently than they are.Read more ...
Newly crowned Miss Gay Jozi 2018 to focus on LGBT bullyingWrite comment (0 Comments)
Following a fierce and glamorous stage battle, Crystal Gunz, a 21-year-old graphic design student from Alexandra, was crowned Miss Gay Jozi 2018 at Club Simply Blue, one of Johannesburg’s longest running LGBT nightclubs.
Crystal, who identifies as gender fluid, wowed the audience and the judges on Saturday night with her beauty, poise, spectacular outfits and passion for making a difference in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.
“The fact that I won hasn’t really sunk in yet,” says a delighted Crystal, after beating out 11 other contestants to take the coveted crown. This was her third time entering the pageant, Gauteng’s most prestigious drag competition. In her first attempt she did not make the finals and in 2017 she was chosen as 1st Princess. This year, she finally achieved her dream of winning the title.
“I told myself that I really wanted this crown and I decided to work really hard for it,” says Crystal, who credits her drag mentors for her success. “I learned a lot from the previous Queens and other contestants. They taught me so much and guided me to get where I am today. I became a better ‘me’ and went for what I wanted.”Read more ...
UN fails Ugandan LGBTI refugees abused in KenyaWrite comment (0 Comments)
by Richard de Luchi - Courtesy of the Peter Tatchell Foundation
In early 2014, Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act in an atmosphere of toxic, belligerent homophobia. It was overturned later, on a technicality, but the damage had been done - and is still being done.
The hateful, often violent, 'kill the gays' rhetoric has encouraged much of the population to turn on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. Many LGBTIs had no option but to flee to neighbouring countries - notably Kenya - as their families, friends, neighbours, employers, landlords and society at large, hunted them down. They faced discrimination, mob violence and the threat of arrest under a British-imposed colonial-era law that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for same-sex acts.
Now, Ugandan MPs are agitating to re-introduce the anti-homosexuality law, and they have the support of Rebecca Kadaga, the aggressively homophobic Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament. This is prompting more LGBTIs to flee across the border into Kenya. They fear jail - and worse.
Until recently, the time required to screen, process and resettle a Ugandan LGBTI refugee who sought asylum in Kenya was around 18 months, if they were one of the lucky minority to get resettled. But now it extends to three years or more as the number of LGBTI asylum seekers has dramatically increased, in parallel with homophobic prejudice, discrimination and violence in both Uganda and Kenya - and alleged obstruction by anti-LGBTI refugee agency officials.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) newssheet, Refugee Resettlement Facts, published in January 2018, less than 1% of refugees are ever resettled.
Nowadays, new LGBTI asylum seekers are not accepted by the UNHCR in Nairobi. They are sent direct to Kakuma refugee camp in the north of Kenya.
The Government of Kenya (GoK) does not recognise LGBTI people as refugees. It considers them as illegal sexual criminals under a law dating back to British rule in 1897 and has taken over the resettlement process from the UNHCR. The UNHCR appears to be powerless to challenge the GoK's determination to invalidate the requests for safe haven made by LGBTI asylum seekers from Uganda.
The UNHCR has ceased granting monthly stipends of some 4,000kes, roughly US$40, to all but a few of the several hundred men and women who remain in Nairobi, and who struggle to survive there, often alone and isolated.
While the official line of the UNHCR is that all is calm, and that harmony reigns in both Nairobi and Kakuma, the situation described by many LGBTI refugees is very different.
Kenyan law makes it very difficult to get the required Aliens card in order to work. The Kenyan police are a particularly brutal force and frequently round up LGBTIs, especially Ugandans, and cart them off to jail - often beating them up and humiliating them sexually in the process. They usually only get released on the payment of bribes. UNHCR appears to be powerless to stop this arrant abuse of human rights.
The general Kenyan population is frequently hostile. They are responsible for much of the violence towards LGBTI people; being deeply suspicious of the Ugandan refugees renting houses in their neighbourhoods.Read more ...
Humping When A Hug Would DoWrite comment (0 Comments)
Are you having sex when all you need is to be touched?
By Bruce J. Little
We all need to be touched. It’s well-documented that babies that were not touched and held after birth stopped developing and often died, even if they received all the nutrition that they needed. We may not be babies anymore, but we still need to be touched.
The problem is that society has somehow convinced many of us that men do not need to be touched or can’t be trusted to touch or be touched in a non-sexual way, and this has become even more complex for gay, bisexual or queer men to navigate. A man touching another man with affection has been labelled as ‘gay’ and now straight, and gay men alike suffer from this ignorant way of thinking because we are creating a society of men who are suffering from touch isolation.
Homophobia has created many a society that frowns upon contact between men, for fear that this contact and intimacy could spark homosexual inclinations. This has left millions of straight men also starved for affection and intimacy from their fathers, brothers and male friends. With gay men, these interactions become even more sexually-loaded.
Touching someone means so much these days. Holding another man’s hand has a much more dramatic effect now than it did say 100 years ago. In rural areas around, South Africa it is still commonplace to see two men walking hand-in-hand, but in most urban or densely populated metro places in South Africa, this gesture has come to be seen as being synonymous with homosexuality. Holding another man’s hand means you are having sex with him. How did we get here? In a world were so many fathers are already holding back on showing their sons affection, gay boys are presumably receiving even less affirming touch from their dads.
As a gay guy, I am highly conscious of which men I touch and how I touch them, as well as super aware of the types of touch that I receive from other men. I’m very lucky. As a gay man with a fantastic relationship with my father and brother, I enjoy regular hugs and the odd hand on the back of my neck and shoulder. It means the world to me. I also have a group of gay men that I have platonic relationships with that I get to regularly embrace and spend time with intimately in a non-sexual way. The problem is that I am the exception and not the rule. A lot of men don’t have these opportunities to be touched in an affectionate platonic way.
There were times in my past where I also went for weeks without being touched by another person, and I could actually feel the lack of that intimacy. I knew that there was something significant missing from my life. It hurt, and I felt even more alone in the world.
With hookup apps as prevalent as they are these days, it’s easy to find someone in a 5 km radius to meet up for sex, but I wonder how many of these hookups are motivated by the regular need to get your rocks off, and how many are actually just triggered by a conscious or subconscious need to be touched.
Would we be as promiscuous as a community if we were touched more often?Read more ...
Sleep your way around the worldWrite comment (0 Comments)
With our weak rand, travel, particularly international travel is a very costly pleasure. This is not so much because of the cost of the ticket, though a return trip to Cape Town in high season can cost over R4000 whereas a ticket on the same dates to Rome or Bangkok is around R7500. The bigger problem is once you are there, where are you going to stay as accommodation will cost a whole lot more? Because of this a lot of people are turning to groups like Queer Couchsurfers on Facebook, and they report that this is the way to travel. Where else can you find free places to stay when travelling around the world, or even at home in SA? You may even get a shag into the deal!
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