By Gavin Hayward
A young gay man who left a well-paid government job and fled from Zambia because of his sexual orientation has been denied refugee status by the South African Department of Home Affairs.
Homosexuality is punishable by 14 years imprisonment in Zambia where sections 155 to 157 of the Penal Code says “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” is a felony. This provision dates from when Zambia was Northern Rhodesia and part of the homophobic British Empire.
Anold Mulaisho realised he was gay when he was 14 at boarding school. In January 2016 he started working for the Zambian Department of Water Affairs but made the mistake a few months later of telling his boss that he was gay and had a boyfriend. The news spread rapidly and he had to leave Zambia in a hurry as he feared being arrested.
He entered South Africa in January 2017 on a bus from Zimbabwe and on arrival in central Johannesburg he received a typical South African welcome: he was robbed, and lost his laptop.
Since 1 July 2017, Anold (then just 22) has had to go often to the Department of Home Affairs in downtown Pretoria, sometimes being given an Asylum Seeker Temporary Permit valid for only one week.
In a sworn affidavit about this case, Anold says, “I was interviewed by a male officer…(who) asked me why I was there. I said because of my sexual orientation. The officer laughed and called another officer. They both laughed….. The officer (said)… that if I claim to be a ‘gay’, why is it that I am not wearing make-up…. He asked if I have sex – am I the woman or the man?”
The contents of the affidavit clearly call into question the qualifications and/or training of staff of the Department of Home Affairs to deal with asylum applications by gay people.
The Western Australian Museum in Perth, Australia recently acquired a rather controversial new item for its collection: a glory hole from the city of Gosnells.
Its explicit nature, however, is stirring up controversy for the museum.
Neil Buckley, from Perth, saved the door from the train station when the city decided to redevelop the building in 1998. He has now donated the door to the museum, saying ‘It’s really an important part of social history and this is how we used to have sex at a time when it (homosexuality) was illegal.’ Covert glory holes — round holes in doors or walls — allowed people to discreetly engage in sexual acts. They were especially used by gay men, as homosexuality was illegal in western Australia at the time.
That part of Australia did not decriminalize private sexual acts between same-sex people until 1990. Further, only this year were people allowed to expunge such a conviction from their record. Buckley continued: ‘Because it was illegal we had to go to a beat that was off the main drag and that was the only place many men could meet other gay men because it was still illegal in clubs.’
What’s the controversy about?
Arts Minister Tony Krsticevic called the display of a glory hole ‘tacky’.
By Lawrence Mashiyane
It is February and, for those who care for such things as Valentine's Day, it is the month of Love. Some scurried throughout January to get someone 'special' and others are getting on the love train before the 14th. At the end of search, many will be on dates on the 14th and many will be having sex; others will probably be watching TV, but we are not interested in them for now (and clearly love isn't either). The interest is in the ones who will be on dates and/or having a shag. The interest is in what happens after Valentine's Day. After Valentine's Day, how long until the romance fizzles out and turns into a memory or worse, a one night stand? You're probably thinking not long and if you are then it means you know about the cloud that hovers over the gay community; our relationships do not last. Of course this stereotype or stigma does not apply to everyone in the gay community but, as I always say, stereotypes do not come from out of nowhere. They are not made up. Stereotypes are that big cloud of black smoke that let every one know there's a fire. It does not mean an entire building is burning, but it does mean a floor or two could be.
For any relationship to last, one thing is important and that one thing comes before love, trust and commitment/faithfulness. That one thing is compatibility. The problem with the gay community is that compatibility has been cut down to two simple things; sex role and behaviour/gender expression. "Are you top, bottom or versatile?" They ask. "Are you 'straight' acting or feminine?" Once those two questions are asked and the answers are the desired, everything is good to go! But truth is, it is not good to go. Not at all! I am not saying that those things are not important (although how greatly important is up for debate), I am saying that there is more to find out beyond those two. There is a lack of compatibility in Gay relationships and it is usually because people have two things in mind: Society and Sex.
Whether a guy is effeminate or not is usually a concern with society; especially if one is in the closet. Sometimes it is preference but also, some people prefer to be with more masculine or 'straight acting' guys because it is a lot less obvious and covert. When two guys walk down the street, looking all heterosexual, no one really thinks "oh look, there goes a gay couple" but the concern is if a guy walks with another guy who has a twist in his hips, a twang in his voice and speaks with swinging hands; it all looks too obvious. The feminine guy draws too much attention, the two guys walking together now stick out like a sore thumb. Even if some guys are 'open' and out of the closet, the still remain (if I can say) conservative. They do not want to put society on edge, draw the attention of homophobes and they believe that their sexuality is no body's business. A fear for being judged for being gay still exists.
The second concern is Sex. The "are you top, bottom or versatile question?" simply put is, "are we going to be able to fuck or not?" I reject any other interpretation, it simply amounts to that.
In Afghanistan, as part of an illegal but traditional practice, men recruit young boys, luring them with gifts and money with the intention of having sex with them. They do it under the guise of a disgusting old sexual traditional practice called “bacha bazi” (boy play).
The practice has been widely discussed — for example, in The New York Times, Newsweek and The Daily Mail. Further coverage comes in a video documentary titled ‘They don’t just dance’ that is now available online through RTDoc – an English-language documentary channel created by Russia’s government-backed media company RT.
The documentary shows how under-aged boys are recruited and taught how to dance like women in parties organized by rich folks, who then later select their favorite boy for sex.
In Afghanistan, this is not viewed as homosexuality, even though there are strict laws prohibiting the act.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are South Africa’s most at risk population for HIV acquisition and transmission. For this reason ‘WeTheBrave’, a sexual health campaign, has been launched with MSM in mind. This will be the first large scale campaign ever in this country to specifically address gay men and other men who have sex with men.
The launch event took place in Newtown, Johannesburg on Thursday 25 June with a who’s who of LGBT and HIV activists in attendance. They were entertained by a performance by Odidi Mfenyana and heard messages from Sir Elton John, Professor James McIntyre, and others.
Spearheaded by the Anova Health Institute, and funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the WeTheBrave.co.za campaign will address both prevention and treatment issues in an affirming, non-judgemental and sex positive way, which will be entertaining and engaging.
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