In December, the U.N. refugee agency moved more than 200 gay refugees from dangers of Kakuma refugee camp to safety in crowded, unsanitary quarters in Nairobi.
The UNHCR were only able to come up with a small compound consisting of 11 rooms in total to house over 200 refugees. The current safe shelter is not designed to accommodate 200 people and has only 5 bathrooms all in an unsanitary state. While we understand that this is all that may be available given the emergency transfer, it is hard to imagine that a better more accommodating plan cannot be made soon.
If this persists it will be clear that UNHCR in Kenya either lacks the resources or has failed to properly apply such resources to accommodate the LGBTI refugees. This must change. The conditions under which the refugees are living at this time are inhumane and untenable and is a set up for further disaster through health hazard and other problems if allowed to persist.
UNHCR must make special provisions for LGBTI refugees: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and intersex transgender refugees have no choice but to cross borders into countries which are hostile hosts. It is for this reason that UNHCR in Geneva must find more resources and create safe shelter compounds for LGBTI refugees. This should be occurring in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and other countries.
Those “other countries” should include the United States, South Africa, and nations in Western Europe, and Austalasia.
The U.N. decision to move the LGBTI refugees came on 13 December, when the UNHCR announced it would remove them from Kenya’s huge Kakuma Camp where they have repeatedly been targets of violent attacks by other refugees and nearby residents.
Kakuma Camp “does not provide a safe environment for LGBTI refugees and asylum-seekers,” said a UNHCR spokeswoman.
The announcement came in the wake of an attack on 20 to 30 LGBT refugees at the UN refugee agency compound, where they were seeking relief from dangerous and inhumane conditions at Kakuma Camp.
By Steeves Winner
Eighteen-year-old Stenie (a pseudonym) always wanted to be a professional football player.
Two years ago, that dream came true. She joined the professional Intersport football club in the city of Yaoundé, Cameroon, and the team paid her enough money to live on.
She lives alone, with no other financial support, rejected by her family because of her sexual orientation.
This is her story:
I pursued my education until secondary school. In 2013, I stopped because of the school’s homophobic and discriminatory climate.
Because I look masculine, people called me “boy-girl.”
I decided to pursue a career in football even though I knew that people in Cameroon discriminate against female football players on the assumption that they all are lesbians.
In 2013, I decided to join a club to start a football career and to fulfill my dream of becoming a professional football player. I played for five years. Two years ago, I became a professional at the Intersport football club.
At first, it was really hard. I endured insults and discrimination. Team members called me a rug muncher. Others pejoratively called me “father.”
One night after a match, I barely escaped from two men who jumped me from the bushes on my way home. I was able to get out of that mess only because passersby heard my cries and intervened.
Then, on Friday, Nov. 23, after a match where I played well, the manager and my coach at Intersport told me that I wouldn’t be on the team any more. They said the club’s success was in jeopardy because of public pressure and anti-gay judgments about me.
“What did I do?” I asked. “How does my presence hurt the club?”
The latest issue of LOVE magazine hit stores in Britain on Tuesday, 8 January and people were immediately abuzz about its cover, which features famous British footballer David Beckham sporting green eyeshadow
Many on social media are head over heels in love with the photograph, which features the always-stylish Beckham in a white suit — custom-made by Dior — on a red background.
Inside the issue he discusses his career. “That’s how my career started and that is where I felt most at ease, most confident and happiest,” Beckham tells the magazine about his time spent on the soccer field. “I turned into a totally different person. Once I was on the field I knew that was what I could do best.”
The mag also quotes Beckham as saying, “I was always that kid in the corner that didn’t really say much. I knew that once I was on the field, I was confident. It was all I ever wanted: to be - a professional footballer.”
Since his retirement from the game, David Beckham has been a highly paid brand ambassador, appearing in ads for brands including Samsung and Sprint. He’s also got his own underwear line (which he has also modelled himself) and most recently unveiled the grooming line House 99 by David Beckham, a partnership with L’Oreal.
This soccer star has always been a tastemaker and trendsetter, and this David Beckham eye makeup photo is only the latest instance of him doing what he’s great at.
The latest issue of LOVE magazine, which is part of Condé Nast Britain and which is declared to be its first “moving image issue,” will be on sale in South Africa by the time you read this.
S & S Productions and MVT Productions are pleased to announce that they will be hosting a RuPaul’s Drag Race Contestant once a month, for the rest of the year, at Babylon -The Joburg Bar as well as Zer021 Social Club in Cape Town. The first Queen to grace the Stage will be Season 10 Contestant Dusty Ray Bottoms: (From the website www.dustyraybottoms.com)
Dustin Rayburn was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, where he popped out of his mama and onto the stage. He spent his childhood performing in community theatre, concentrated in theatre at Floyd Central High School , and ultimately attended Wright State University for Musical Theatre. After college, Dustin packed up a suitcase with just a few bucks in his pocket, and set out for New York City! Having spent years admiring the pageantry of Kentucky drag, Dustin was instantly taken with the out-of-the-box drag he found in NYC. The son of a preacher man, with musical theatre training and a punk rock soul, Dustin’s unique point of view and style of story-telling had finally found a home. And thus, Dusty Ray Bottoms was born! Dusty grabbed the attention of NYC nightlife with her showstopping performances in competitions such as The Miss Look Queen Pageant hosted by Bob The Drag Queen and So You Think You Can Drag? Named “Who’s Next” by NEXT Magazine as “the kind of performer who just might have what it takes to rival major drag talents like RuPaul and Bianca Del Rio.”, Dusty had become a resident Drag Queen in NYC!
Of Africa’s 54 nations, 34 currently have laws against same-sex intimacy (see list on p2). The latest country where it is illegal to be gay is the north-central African nation of Chad.
Two other African nations — Kenya and Botswana — may be heading in the opposite direction. High courts there have scheduled hearings in early 2019 on constitutional challenges to their anti-gay laws.
In August 2017, Chad enacted a law providing for prison sentences of three months to two years for same-sex intimacy.
This is the wording of the law, translated from French:
Chapter II on “Other offenses against decency” of Title VII (relating to sexual offences) of the Penal Code, provides as follows:
Article 354. Everyone who has sex with persons of the same sex is liable to imprisonment for three months to two years and a fine of between 50,000 and 500,000 francs.
Chapter III on “Offenses of a sexual nature committed against minors” of Title VIII (relating to offenses against the person or the status of the child) of the Penal Code, provides as follows:
Article 360. Anyone who, without violence, maintains a sexual relationship or practices sexual touching on a person of the same sex aged less than eighteen (18) years will be punished with imprisonment of one (1) to three (3) years and a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 francs.
India and Trinidad overturned their anti-gay laws in 2018. Kenya and Botswana might do the same in 2019.
The Botswana High Court has scheduled a hearing for March 15, 2019, on the constitutionality of Botswana’s laws that make same-sex intimacy a crime.
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