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Thanks for adding your voice.
― P.C. Cast, Awakened
“The beauty of standing up for your rights is others will see you standing and stand up as well.”
― Cassandra Duffy
"You know what you know, because you've never lived a life without that truth. That you are different, that your gender did not compute with that label assigned at birth. It does not matter how large a percentage of the general population is perfectly fine with their identity. That does not change you, how you responded to the mechanisms that made you who you are.”
― Ian Thomas Malone, The Transgender Manifesto
“You don't deserve the anger you're turning on yourself. Your abuser's the one who does.”
― Cheryl Rainfield, Scars
books about hate crimes:
When Rape Becomes Acceptable: Corrective Rape in Jamaica
by Kemone S. G. Brown (Autor):
What would you do if your body had been violated? Would you have the will, the energy, and the drive to survive? What if the person who violated you believed that he was doing the right thing? After all, society had provided him with reasoning for his beliefs. What would you do if someone threatened to rape you and you had nowhere or no one to turn to, no one or system to protect you? "When Rape Becomes Acceptable" deals with the issues surrounding corrective rape in Jamaica. It follows the lives of ten women who were victims of corrective rape and illustrates how each woman or her loved ones is dealing with what happened. Some of these women had the will to survive, not in the sense that they are flourishing, but they continue to live, hiding in the shadows, hiding from society who they really are; the fear of being outed again and being subjected to another instance of "corrective rape" determining how they live their lives. However, some of them were not so "lucky". They didn't have the strength to deal with or come to grips with what happened to them, so instead of having to bear the burden of what happened, they decided to end the pain and the agony as it was much easier than continuing to live. Join them as each woman tells you her story and opens up her life, her scars, her pain, her suffering as she tries to cope in a society that has not only failed to protect her but has also given rise to the violation of her body.
Let the Faggots Burn: The Upstairs Lounge Fire by Johnny Townsend (Autor):
On Gay Pride Day in 1973, someone set the entrance to a French Quarter gay bar on fire. In the terrible inferno that followed, thirty-two people lost their lives, including a third of the local congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church, their pastor burning to death halfway out a second-story window as he tried to claw his way to freedom. A mother who'd gone to the bar with her two gay sons died alongside them. A man who'd helped his friend escape first was found dead near the fire escape. Two children waited outside of a movie theater across town for a father and step-father who would never pick them up. During this era of rampant homophobia, several families refused to claim the bodies, and many churches refused to bury the dead. Author Johnny Townsend pored through old records and tracked down survivors of the fire and relatives and friends of those killed to compile this fascinating account of a forgotten moment in gay history.
The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed by Judy Shepard (Autor);
“The Meaning of Matthew is Judy Shepard’s passionate and courageous attempt to understand what no mother should have to understand, which is why her son was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in the fall of 1998. It is a vivid testimony to a life cut short, and testimony too, to the bravery and compassion of Judy and Dennis—Matthew’s parents—as they struggle to survive a grief that won’t go away.”—Larry McMurty, author of Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove
I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a transgender child by Cheryl B. Evans (Autor);
"It is very easy to read high profile books that have huge marketing campaigns, written by big name authors, but it is books like 'I Promise Not to Tell' that shape the people we become and the views we have towards others. I strongly recommend others to read this book." Author J. James U.K.
"In the closing pages of I Promised Not to Tell by Cheryl B. Evans, the author says she wonders if she has made a mistake in publishing this book. Let me begin by assuring her the only mistake would have been to not publish it. I Promised Not to Tell is quite possibly one of the most important books to date on a very controversial and little understood social issue: transgenderism. I Promised Not to Tell will open a few more minds, clarify the myths and false hoods, and get more people talking openly about what being transgender really means. I loved I Promised Not to Tell. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended reading." - Viga Boland for Readers Favorite 5 Stars!
"Evans' solidly constructed memoir recounts a story of self-rejection and self-acceptance that flows easily and will keep readers turning pages." - Publishers Weekly (BookLife)
"I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child is a non-fiction parenting memoir written by Cheryl B. Evans. I was highly impressed with Evans' story and found myself cheering on her and her husband as they supported their son through each step of his transition journey. Evans writes beautifully, and her accounts of Jordan's and their lives is authentic and moving. As I read it, I wished that every parent of a transgender child would be so supporting and willing to embrace what at first glance seems a strange and unlikely scenario. I'm hoping that I Promised Not to Tell will be an invaluable guide to those parents who find themselves in the same position that Evans and her husband did. Towards the end of her book, Evans discusses the beauty of loving and accepting others as they are, and her message is even more urgent in today's political climate where transgender individuals have been demonized and made to feel unwelcome. I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child is a bright light showing the way to acceptance through knowledge, understanding and love, and it's most highly recommended." Jack Magnus for Reader's Favorite - Five Stars!
"This is a must-read for every person who has a trans child or teen in their life. Explanations are clear and thoughtful. This gem of a book gives the reader insight into the lives of trans kids, trans teens, and their families in a way that will let you think, learn and support anybody on the wide spectrum of gender. The best book I have found so far." Amazon.com reviewer
Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall by James Polchin (Autor);
Indecent Advances is a skilful hybrid of true crime and social history that examines the often-coded portrayal of crimes against gay men in the decades before Stonewall. New York University professor and critic James Polchin illustrates how homosexuals were criminalized, and their murders justified, in the popular imagination from 1930s `sex panics' to Cold War fear of Communists and homosexuals in government. He shows the vital that role crime stories played in ideas of normalcy and deviancy, and how those stories became tools to discriminate against and harm gay men.Published around the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in 1969, Indecent Advances investigates how queer men navigated a society that criminalized them. Polchin shows how this discrimination was ultimately transformed by gay rights activists before Stonewall, and explores its resonances up to and including the policing of Gianni Versace's death in 1997.
Kaleidoscope Song by Fox Benwell (Autor) ;
Fox Benwell delivers a harrowing and beautifully written novel that explores the relationship between two girls obsessed with music, the practice of corrective rape in South Africa, and the risks and power of using your voice.
Neo loves music, and all she ever wanted was a life sharing this passion, on the radio. When she meets Tale, the lead singer in a local South African band, their shared love of music grows. So does their love for each other. But not everyone approves. Then Neo lands her dream job of working at a popular radio station, and she discovers that using your voice is sometimes harder than expected, and there are always consequences.
Conversion: The Tragedy of Conversion Therapy by Debbie Lawrence (Autor), Debbie Ballard (Autor) ;
When Mark's parents find him comatose on the bed, they try to cover up the fact that he was transgender. This is the story of a transgender girl who is attracted to boys and is rejected by parents and church, and is sent to a Christian Camp for Conversion therapy. When this goes badly, Mark is sent to a psychiatric hospital for treatment of Gender Identity Psychosis.There are no sexually explicit scenes, but the traumatic experiences may be disturbing to younger readers. This book is more focused toward friends and families of LGBT people.This book was written in memory of two cousins who committed suicide before they were fourteen years old, because their parents could not accept them as gay or transgender.
Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells Us to Deny Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Equality by Mel White (Autor);
A deeply religious man who sees fundamentalism as "evangelical Christian orthodoxy gone cultic," Mel White believes that it is not a stretch to say that the true goals of today's fundamentalists are to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their "moral values" on the US Constitution, replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new "Christian America" in their image. As he writes, "These are not just Neocons dressed in religious drag. These men see themselves as gurus called by God to rescue America from unrighteousness. They believe this is a Christian nation that must be returned forcibly to its Christian roots."
White is also a gay man who made news when he came out more than fourteen years ago. He has gained a unique understanding of the fundamentalist agenda because, since the fall of "godless Communism," homosexuality and abortion have become the primary targets through which fundamentalists have created fear, raised money, and mobilized recruits. Originally published in hardcover three years ago under the title Religion Gone Bad , Holy Terror documents the thirty-year war that fundamentalist Christians have waged against gays and lesbians and offers dramatic, heartbreaking evidence that fundamentalist leaders are waging nothing less than a "holy war" against sexual minorities.
Mel White is the president and co-founder of Soulforce, an organization committed to ending religious-based bigotry against gay men and lesbians in America. The recipient of the ACLU's National Civil Liberties Award, he lives in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Transgressed: Intimate Partner Violence in Transgender Lives by Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz (Autor) :
Transgender survivors of violence tell their stories
Transgender people face some of the highest rates of violence in the US and around the world, particularly within romantic relationships. In Transgressed, Xavier L. Guadalupe-Diaz offers a ground-breaking examination of intimate partner violence in the lives of transgender people.
Drawing on interviews and written accounts from transgender survivors of intimate partner violence, he sheds much-needed light on the dynamics of abuse that entrap trans partners in violent relationships. Transgressed shows how rigidly gendered discussions of violence have served to marginalize and silence stories of abuse. Ultimately, these stories of survival follow their unique journeys as they navigate&;and break free&;from the cycle of abuse, providing us with a better understanding of their experiences.
An emotionally compelling read, Transgressed offers new ways of understanding the complexities of intimate partner violence through the eyes of transgender survivors.
The Rape of Innocence: Female Genital Mutilation & Circumcision in the USA by Patricia Robinett (Autor):
Genital mutilation in the USA has been a well-kept secret. "The Rape of Innocence" is an autobiographical account of a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant woman who discovered she had been the victim of clitoridectomy as a child in Kansas in the 1950s.
The author is a therapist who deals with trauma. In her work, she has met many other American women and men who were genitally mutilated as children and adults. Could you -- or someone you love -- have been cut too?
This book may explain the U.S. epidemic of sexual dysfunction, anger, anxiety, depression -- unresolved psychological trauma from circumcision. Now that the word is out, the healing can begin.
Addressing Homophobia and Heterosexism on College Campuses by Elizabeth P. Cramer (Herausgeber) ;
This book presents an integrated approach toward changing attitudes about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) students, faculty, and staff on contemporary college campuses. From Addressing Homophobia and Heterosexism on College Campuses you can learn specific classroom techniques for handling homophobia and heterosexism in the classroom. This book tackles a wide variety of subjects including academic freedom, diversity training, nontraditional families, and religion, each of which plays an integral part in the sense of community found on any college campus. Addressing Homophobia and Heterosexism on College Campuses provides you with the basic tools to set up sensible programs that have worked for others in the past and can work for you in the future!
Love is Love by Marc Andreyko (Herausgeber), Phil Jimenez (Illustrator) ;
The comic book industry comes together to honor those killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting, which took place on June 12, 2016, in Orlando. From IDW Publishing, with assistance from DC Entertainment, this oversize comic contains moving and heartfelt material from some of the greatest talents in comics—mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today's world.
Winner of the 2017 Eisner Award for Best Anthology
Winner of the 2017 Ringo Award for Best Anthology
Winner - 2017 Anthology of the Year at the Diamond Gem Awards
Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States by Joey Mogul (Autor):
Winner of the 2011 PASS (Prevention for a Safer Society) Award from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency
A groundbreaking work that turns a “queer eye” on the criminal legal system, Queer (In)Justice is a searing examination of queer experiences—as “suspects,” defendants, prisoners, and survivors of crime. The authors unpack queer criminal archetypes—like “gleeful gay killers,” “lethal lesbians,” “disease spreaders,” and “deceptive gender benders”—to illustrate the punishment of queer expression, regardless of whether a crime was ever committed. Tracing stories from the streets to the bench to behind prison bars, they prove that the policing of sex and gender both bolsters and reinforces racial and gender inequalities.
Stop Kiss by Diana Son (Autor):
Stop, Kiss is a well thought out, well-written play about "different ways people can love one another." The story is told in a unique manner -- it starts with a scene from the present, before the climax, and then the next scene takes place afterwards, and so on, so we never actually see the event happen but learn about it before and after the fact. Interestingly, confusingly as it may seem, this is a very effective means.
The story is about two single New York women, one a teacher, the other a traffic reporter, both of whom have had failed relationships with others in the past. Over time, they realize that they have fallen in love, only to be physically assaulted by an outraged homophobe as they share their first kiss. The play shows us not only the events leading to this, but all the trauma and drama afterwards.
While the play starts off a little slowly, it escalates into an engaging, important, and relevant picture of modern life and the attitudes and views surrounding homosexuality in today's culture. I recommend seeing this play if it comes your way.
Queering Conflict: Examining Lesbian and Gay Experiences of Homophobia in Northern Ireland by Marian Duggan (Autor);
Queering Conflict offers a unique culturally specific analysis into the ways in which homophobia in Northern Ireland has been informed and sustained during the latter half of the twentieth century. This book takes the failure of the British Government to extend the 1967 Sexual Offences Act to Northern Ireland as its central point to demonstrate the subtle, but important, differences governing attitudes towards homosexuality in Northern Ireland. Both homophobia and hate crimes are shown to be situated within the framework of Northern Ireland's socio-political history as well as part of an overall culture of violence which existed as a result of 'the Troubles'. Duggan shows how the influence of moral and religious conservatism born out of sectarian divisions led to homophobia becoming an integral part of community cohesion and identity formation. Decades of political instability led to the marginalization of rights for lesbians and gay men, but the peace process has led to the development of a discourse of equality which is slowly allowing sexual minorities to situate themselves within the new Northern Ireland.
Sexual Enslavement of Girls and Women Worldwide by Andrea Parrot (Autor);
They are in different countries but share the same hell. Maria is one of 14 women lured from Mexico to Seattle, Washington, with the promise of a job, then held by force in a brothel and required to sexually service men 12 hours a day. Anna is a young mother from the Ukraine who left her husband and children there to take a job as a housecleaner in Italy, where she was put in a barred, guarded house and forced into prostitution. Nadia is an 11-year-old girl in Africa, kidnapped and forced to have sex with a militiaman daily, with a machete ever ready nearby should she refuse. All three women are part of horrific sex slavery that has drawn the attention of officials in countries around the globe. It is not rare; officials say it is increasing, at least partly due to the billions of dollars it brings in for organized crime. The U.S. State Department estimates 800,000 victims, mostly women and children, are trafficked for sex trade across nations each year and millions more are trafficked within countries - including the U.S., Britain, Spain, and the Netherlands. As a Seattle Times reporter explained when Maria's case hit the news there, the reality is that sex slaves for the most part are young women and teenaged girls who come from almost every one of the world's poorer countries and end up in almost every country where there is a combination of sexual demand and money. But they are also in undeveloped Africa, in prisons internationally, locked in forced marriages, or sold to men by parents.
In this book, Parrot and Cummings outline the scope and growth of the sex slave market today and explain the history with various elements - including economic, political, cultural, and religious - that make this trade difficult to fully expose, quell, combat, and shut down. We hear from girls and women around the world describing how sexual enslavement has tortured them physically, emotionally, and spiritually, whether they suffer at the hands of prison guards in Turkey, criminals in Washington, or buyers dealing with parents who sell their daughters for the sex slave trade in Greece, Belgium, or France. The authors also describe national and international efforts and legislation passed or in design to stop sex slavery. Successful countries and regions are spotlighted. Then Parrot and Cummings point out actions still needed to stop the sex slavery trade.
Where are the most dangerous places in the world to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)? It’s not an easy question to answer.
“Comprehensive data on hate crimes and state-sponsored violence against LGBT people is just non-existent in a lot of countries,” says Jessica Stern, executive director at OutRight International, an advocacy group. “The most consistent violence tends to actually be where there is the least government documentation [of violence], and the least civil society presence.”
Homosexuality is still a crime in 72 countries (pdf). And even countries with no legal barriers, such as the US, record shocking levels of hate crimes – there were 53 transgender murders from 2013 to 2015 and not a single one was prosecuted, for example. Based on the data that is available, here are seven of the countries where LGBT rights are most under threat – but where campaigners are also making the occasional small step of progress.
“It depends on what part of the country you are in – but in two words I’d describe Iraq as ‘not safe’ for LGBT people,” says Amir Ashour, Iraq’s only openly gay activist, explaining that it’s not just the threat from Islamic State in Mosul and Hawija. “In Baghdad and the middle of Iraq the violence is actually more visible from groups supported by the government, who do killing campaigns. The latest one was in January – we knew several people who were killed but there were rumours there was a list of 100 names.”
Attacks on gay individuals under Isis have been widely reported, but Iraq’s systematic killing campaigns of gay individuals pre-date the terror group and continue to this day. Ashour, founder of LGBT group IraQueer, estimates there’s been at least one a year since 2006.
Suspected community spaces have been burned down or bombed, and it hasn’t been safe to meet up with people for at least six years – especially as people have been targeted via dating apps. “We have no spaces left online or offline,” Ashour adds sadly.
It’s clear LGBT Iraqis are still looking for ways to connect though. Ashour says his NGO’s network has grown really fast with the organisation’s website getting 11,000 hits a month, most from inside Iraq. “What’s great is that we’re able to provide resources for LGBT Iraqis that were not there for ourselves.”
There’s hope for change too. A rare opportunity for Iraqi activists has come up with Iraq being appointed to the UN human rights council. “The officials used to say they could never meet with us but now they can’t say they’re busy because protecting our rights are part of their job,” he jokes.
Iran’s leaders describe homosexuality as “moral bankruptcy” or “modern western barbarism”. Amnesty International estimates that 5,000 gays and lesbians have been executed there since the 1979 Iranian revolution. Although it is less common now, it still occurs. In the summer of 2016 a 19-year-old boy was hanged in Iran’s Markazi province: in 2014 two men were executed.
The threat of blackmail is now a huge problem for gay men, explains Saghi Ghahraman, founder of the Iranian Queer Organization. This is because Iran’s complex laws around homosexuality mean that men face different punishments for consensual sexual intercourse, depending whether they are the “active” or the “passive” participant. The passive person faces the death penalty, but the active person only faces the same punishment if married. The laws can lead to distrust between partners, as if caught, the only defence for the passive partner is rape. This also creates an atmosphere for blackmail.
And in a remarkable piece of legislation, fathers and grandfathers are given the right under Iranian law to kill their offspring, making “honour” killings legal. “From an early age, children learn starting in the home that the world is very hostile to LGBT people,” says Ghahraman.
The government’s treatment of the transgender community is not so black and white. Since 1983, when Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa permitting the acceptance of transgender people in society, sex reassignment surgery has been available and Iranians can take out loans for the surgery. In fact, except for Thailand, Iran carries out more sex reassignment operations than any other country in the world. It’s a double edged sword for some in the LGBT community though – the operations have become a controversial solution for gay men trying to reconcile their faith with their sexuality and the government refuses to recognise transgender people who don’t want surgery.
A global study found that Honduras had by far the highest numbers of transgender murders relative to its population. But it’s not just trans people who are at risk. After the left-leaning president, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in 2009, LGBT murders soared; 215 have taken place since the coup.
It’s important to understand the wider context too – in recent years, people have been able to kill with impunity, regardless of the victim’s sexuality, and Honduras today is murder capital of the world with a national homicide rate of 60 per 100,000 people. But LGBT murders are more likely go unpunished, according to an Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report (pdf), due to discriminatory stereotypes popular among the police.
Interestingly, despite the threat of assassinations, LGBT Hondurans are active both in civil society and politics. When René Martínez was murdered last June, he was a member of President Juan Orlando Hernández’s ruling National party.
On the run from persecution: how Kenya became a haven for LGBT refugees
LGBT activist Erick Martínez is also a candidate for the Honduran congress. He says things are improving but there are still challenges: “We started getting LGBT activists elected in 2012 and we are now seeing the fruits of that as we have more LGBTI people able to influence the political parties for real inclusion.
“The biggest problem is to make generational relays as because of the violence many LGBTI activists are migrating and one of the fears I live up to is being a victim of the violence for the work I do.”
The number of LGBT refugees a country produces is another indicator of how dangerous a country is for LGBT people. Between 2014-2016, the Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Fund, a US-based Quakers association, reports that they supported more than 1,800 LGBT individuals to escape Uganda.
It’s easy to understand why people want to leave. In 2014, the Ugandan government attempted to introduce the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, which at first included a provision for the death penalty. It would go on to be declared unconstitutional in Uganda’s courts, but the damage was done, and homophobic violence had been legitimised. People were outed in Ugandan newspapers, one published a list of “top 200 homosexuals”, despite knowing that revealing LGBT people’s identities could lead to them being killed. A report by the Ugandan NGO SMUG showed that persecution based on sexual orientation had increased in the two years after the act.
Ugandan activists refuse to be pushed underground, despite the risks – they put on a week of pride events last summer that were disrupted by police.
A gay scene with regular events is tolerated in Moscow. But Putin’s government is openly anti-gay, and is discussing another homophobic law, which proposes jailing people for public displays of non-heterosexual orientation or gender identity.LGBT groups have been denied the right to hold pride marches under anti-propaganda laws and well-publicised events that have been held have been disrupted by violent thugs. Nor has any action been taken to shut down groups that openly go after LGBT people, such as Occupy Pedophilia, a national network of Russians who torture gay men, and then post hugely popular videos of their acts online.
Sierra Leone, 2004:
Sierra Leone is a country, where 90 % of all females have undergone FGM.
Sierra Leone, 2004:Lesbian Rights Activist Brutally Murdered!
Sierra Leone is one of the most women hating country in the world. Nearly all females are forced to FGM, forced and child marriage. If someone is against the cruel and barbaric partices, she is murdered in the most heinous way.
The government of Sierra Leone should bring to justice those responsible for the brutal murder of FannyAnn Eddy, founder of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association and a lesbian rights activist known across Africa.
Eddy, 30, was found dead on the morning of September 29. While she was working alone in the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association's offices the previous night, her assailant or assailants apparently broke in to the premises. She was raped repeatedly, stabbed and her neck was broken.
"FannyAnn Eddy was a person of extraordinary bravery and integrity, who literally put her life on the line for human rights," said Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Project at Human Rights Watch. "Again and again, within her country's borders and beyond, she drew attention to the harassment, discrimination and violence lesbian and gay people face in Sierra Leone. Now, she has been murdered in the offices of the organization she founded, and there is grave concern that she herself has become a victim of hatred."
Eddy had founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in 2002. The group provided social and psychological support to a fearful and underground community. Eddy herself, however, was a visible and courageous figure, lobbying government ministers to address the health and human rights needs of men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women.
In April, Eddy was part of a delegation of sexual-rights activists whom Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) helped attend the annual session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. Eddy met with her own government's delegation, and testified to the Commission about lesbian and gay rights in what she called "my beloved Sierra Leone."
"We face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and others," she told the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. "Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people."
Eddy and her organization documented harassment, beatings and arbitrary arrests of lesbian, gay and transgender people in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is emerging from a devastating 11-year civil war that ended in 2002. The civil war was characterized by egregious human rights abuses by all sides but especially by rebel forces, including widespread rape, murder, torture and limb amputation. Despite the disarmament of some 47,000 combatants and the successful completion of presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2002, the deep rooted issues that gave rise to the conflict - endemic corruption, weak rule of law, crushing poverty and the inequitable distribution of the country's vast natural resources - remain largely unaddressed by the government.
While there were serious problems with the Sierra Leone Police and judicial system before the conflict, the civil war clearly exacerbated them. The international community, particularly the United Kingdom, has invested heavily in efforts to train the police and rehabilitate the judicial system, however numerous problems remain. While there have been many improvements in the behavior of the police, reports of extortion, bribe-taking and unprofessional conduct remain common. There are insufficient numbers of judges, magistrates, prosecutors and courtrooms, which has led to huge backlogs within the court system. Extended and unlawful detention of hundreds of criminal suspects - many without due process guarantees as stipulated in the constitution - is also a key problem.
"The authorities in Sierra Leone must investigate this crime fairly and fully," said Long. "They must send a message to a frightened lesbian and gay community that violence against them will not go unpunished."
Eddy leaves a 10-year-old son.
Testimony delivered by FannyAnn Eddy to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, April 2004
Distinguished members of the Commission,
" My name is FannyAnn Eddy and I am representing MADRE. I am also a member of the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association.
I would like to use this opportunity to bring to your attention the dangers vulnerable groups and individuals face not only in my beloved country, Sierra Leone, but throughout Africa.
My focus of interest is the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which most African leaders do not like to address. In fact, many African leaders do not want to even acknowledge that we exist. Their denial has many disastrous results for our community.
We do exist. But because of the denial of our existence, we live in constant fear: fear of the police and officials with the power to arrest and detain us simply because of our sexual orientation. For instance, recently a young gay man was arrested in Freetown for being dressed as a woman. He was held in
detention for a full week without any charge being brought. Though I personally was able to argue with the authorities to release him, most people like him would have been held indefinitely because there are very few of us who are able to speak up.
We live in fear that our families will disown us, as it is not unusual for lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender people to be forced out of their family homes when their identity becomes known. Many people who are forced from their homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity are young with nowhere else to go, and thus become homeless, have no food, and resort to sex work in order to survive.
We live in fear within our communities, where we face constant harassment and violence from neighbors and others. Their homophobic attacks go unpunished by authorities, further encouraging their discriminatory and violent treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
When African leaders use culture, tradition, religion and societal norms to deny our existence they send a message that tolerates discrimination, violence and overall indignity.
This denial has especially disastrous results in the context of HIV/AIDS. According to a recent research study published in December 2003 by the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in collaboration with Health Way Sierra Leone, 90% of men who have sex with men also have sex with women, either their wives or girlfriends. Of that group, 85% said that they do not use condoms. Clearly the message of sexual education and transmission of HIV is not delivered to these men in Sierra Leone. It is clear that many men get married not because that is what their inner being desires, but because that is what society demands-because they live in a society which forces them to fear for their freedom or their lives because of their sexual orientation. The silence surrounding them-the refusal to acknowledge their existence or address their health care needs-endangers not only them but their wives and girlfriends.
Yet, despite all of the difficulties we face, I have faith that the acknowledgement by the Commission of the inherent dignity and respect due to lesbian, gay people can lead to greater respect for our human rights. As evidenced by the liberation struggle in South Africa, where the constitution bars discrimination based on sexual orientation, respect for human rights can transform society. It can lead people to understand that in the end, we are all human and all entitled to respect and dignity.
Silence creates vulnerability. You, members of the Commission on Human Rights, can break the silence. You can acknowledge that we exist, throughout Africa and on every continent, and that human rights violations based on sexual orientation or gender identity are committed every day. You can help us combat those violations and achieve our full rights and freedoms, in every society, including my beloved Sierra Leone. "
Nothing is worldwide done until now, we have now 2017, but the situation for lesbiand and gay people is becoming more and more dangerous on the whole planet.
Worldwide lesbians, women, girls and female childs are raped, tortured, killed, because for only one reason, they didn't want to live and sleep with men. So they men are teaching them, how to feel like a real women, that means sexual humilation, sexual torture, mass and gang rape, sexual mutilation and the most possible cruel murder. That are heinous and cowardly male crimes, nothing more and nothing less! The same men are liking child brides, underaged girls, which have undergone barbaric FGM, forced prostitution, child prostitution, sex slavery and sex trafficking, child porns and rape porns. No comment about this! They are all cowardly and perverse sadists and perverts and no real humans!
South Africa, 2016:
Men gang rape Mpumalanga lesbian couple ‘to teach them they’re women’ !
‘They also hurled insults at us and told us that they wanted to teach us that we are women and how it feels to be a woman.’
A lesbian couple was gang raped in their home after returning from the Mpumalanga Comes Alive festival in October 2016, Mpumalanga News reports.
The perpetrators allegedly made it clear to the victims it was a so-called “corrective rape”, a misnomer describing sexual assault to “punish” lesbian women.
One of the victims described their horrific ordeal.
“We were sleeping when we heard a strange noise and started to shout for help, but our cries fell on deaf ears, as nobody came to our rescue. The suspects kicked the door down and entered the house. I asked them what they wanted. They turned off the light, and one of them came straight towards me and demanded to have sex with me.
“When I refused, one pushed me on to the bed, undressed and started to rape me. Another one raped my girlfriend, and they then took turns to rape us. I think the whole thing was planned because they used condoms. The one who was raping my girlfriend requested a condom from his friend.
“They also hurled insults at us and told us that they wanted to teach us that we are women and how it feels to be a woman,” she explained.
She said she was also raped in 2013 by an unknown man.
“It’s not easy to cope, but I need to find closure because there’s nothing I can do, and I had to be strong and support my partner. This time around it is not that easy to let it go. Every time I see a group of men, I have flashbacks of the ordeal, and it is not easy to hang out with my male friends,” she added.
The chairperson of the Lesbian, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender organisation (LGBT) in the Lowveld, Joy Kunene, said even though the country was under democratic rule, LGBT people were not yet free in the society. Many are sexually abused and keep quiet about it, she said. They don’t bother to open a case at police stations because they are scared of secondary victimisation.
“Corrective rape is still a problem in some communities and during our gay pride marches, we encourage them to open cases so that the law can take its course.
“They are scared of secondary victimisation, when police question them about their sexuality. The reality is that our members no longer have faith in the police,” said Kunene.
Kunene concluded: “We have a provincial task team that will play a vital role in monitoring cases of corrective rape. Pending cases will be a thing of the past as we are ready and geared to restore justice to our members.”
The Brutality of ‘Corrective Rape’:
South Africa has one of the world’s highest rates of sexual assault. According to a 2009 government survey, one in four men admit to having sex with a woman who did not consent to intercourse, and nearly half of these men admitted to raping more than once. An earlier government study found that a majority of rapes were committed by friends and acquaintances of the victim.
Just as disturbing is a practice called “corrective rape” — the rape of gay men and lesbians to “cure” them of their sexual orientation.
In one of the few cases to attract press attention, in 2008, Eudy Simelane, a lesbian, was gang-raped and stabbed to death. Her naked body was dumped in a stream in the Kwa Thema township outside Johannesburg. A soccer player training to be a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, she was targeted because of her sexual orientation.
In 2011, Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, was raped, and stabbed multiple times with glass shards. Her skull was shattered. Her eyes were reportedly gouged from their sockets. Ms. Nogwaza had been seen earlier that evening in a bar with a female friend.
Simphiwe Thandeka, was “correctively” raped three times. A tomboy, she was raped at age 13 by an uncle who didn’t approve of her “boyish” ways. “I didn’t know at the time it was rape, because I was only 13,” she told. The next morning, she awoke bleeding and in severe pain. She spoke to her mother and grandmother, who insisted it was a family matter and was not to be spoken of again.
Some years later, Simphiwe’s uncle decided that marriage would “cure” his niece of her sexuality. So he arranged a marriage for her.
“He took me to his friend’s house and told me I must have sex with this man, because I was going to marry him next month,” she recounted. “I had no idea what was going on.”
The friend raped Simphiwe multiple times, and beat her with a clothes hanger. “He told me I was going to be his wife and not a lesbian,” she said. The following morning, the friend returned her to her uncle’s house. “He told my uncle he couldn’t marry me because I was still a lesbian, and returned the money my uncle had given him,” she said.
During a hospital visit, Simphiwe learned that she had contracted H.I.V. from her uncle and had become pregnant by his friend. “My Mum had known my uncle was positive, but she never told me,” she said.
After giving birth to a son, she was raped again, this time by a priest in her township — who also impregnated her. She gave birth to a daughter. She gave her children Zulu names: her boy Happiness, and her daughter Blessing.
“I opened a case against the priest but nothing happened,” she said. “They kept losing documents; there was a lot of confusion. There were a lot of people against me, this man was a priest, and they love him so much so they took his side.”
She added: “I don’t have any support from my family or the community, so what could I do? I just left it like that. The only thing I can do is love my children.”
In 2004, Pearl Mali was raped for the first time by an elderly man whom her mother brought home from church. She was 12 years old. The man raped her in her bedroom almost daily until she was 16 years old. “My mother didn’t want me to be gay so she asked him to move in and be my husband. She hoped it would change me.”
Khayelitsha, left, outside of Cape Town, is among fastest-growing townships in South Africa. According to the South African Police, 249 sexual crimes were reported between April 2011 and March 2012. In Kwa Thema, right, outside Johannesburg, a mural was painted here after the body of a well-know soccer player, Eudy Simelane, was found in a park. She was gang-raped and stabbed nine times.
In December 2009, Zukiswa Gaca left a party to buy cigarettes. A man, who knew she was a lesbian, accompanied her. He deceptively led her to a shack where someone was sleeping. “He said he was going to show me I was a woman so he took off his pants and put a blanket over the man sleeping on the bed. He raped me in front of his friend who just lay there under the blanket.”
In 2001, Tebogo Motswagi, a transgender woman, left, was raped by seven men and penetrated with a broomstick. In November 1994, Thamsanqa Mdluli, right, was gang raped. During the attack, one of the men told Thamsanqa that they were raping him to restore his manhood.
In 2007, Hlengiwe Hlengwa was repeatedly raped by her uncle, whom she depended on financially. He told her that by forcing her to have sex with him, he was trying to change her.
In June 2010, Lindeka Stulo was attacked by a man while walking home. He slammed her head into a nearby wall with a heavy crate. Two weeks later, the same man struck her on the back of the head with a bar. “You are a girl, not a boy,” she remembers hearing. "I am going to beat you until you stop what you are doing with other girls.”
Funeka Soldaat, a founder of Free Gender, a black lesbian activist group in the Khayelitsha township outside Cape Town, described an atmosphere of pervasive fear: “It’s as if you are sitting like a time bomb. You don’t know when it’s going to explode. You are just waiting for it to be your turn. And you won’t get any support from the community, as the community thinks homosexuality is un-African. Homophobia is going to take time to go away, if it ever does.2
Corrective rape is common in South Africa, Zimbawe, India, Jamaica, but also in other countries.
“... in practice the standard for what constitutes rape is set not at the level of women's experience of violation but just above the level of coercion acceptable to men.”
― Judith Lewis Herman
“The mistake we make is in thinking rape isn’t premeditated, that it happens by accident somehow, that you’re drunk and you run into a girl who’s also drunk and half-asleep on a bench and you sidle up to her and things get out of hand and before you know it, you’re being accused of something you’d never do. But men who rape are men who watch for the signs of who they believe they can rape. Rape culture isn’t a natural occurrence; it thrives thanks to the dedicated attention given to women in order to take away their security. Rapists exist on a spectrum, and maybe this attentive version is the most dangerous type: women are so used to being watched that we don’t notice when someone’s watching us for the worst reason imaginable. They have a plan long before we even get to the bar to order our first drink.”
― Scaachi Koul, One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Rape culture is gloryfied and justifyed, because we are living in patriarchy!
Normal male sexuality means worldwide to penetrate women, girls, female childs against their will or make them brainwashed, so all male wishes are going true, no matter how sadistic or perverse! Childbearing and underaged marriage is gloryfied, because many females are dying of it.
PIV is always rape, ok?
How can you possibly see it otherwise? Intercourse is the very means through which men oppress us, from which we are not allowed to escape, yet some instances of or PIV and intercourse may be chosen and free? That makes no sense at all.
First, well intercourse is NEVER sex for women. Only men experience rape as sexual and define it as such. Sex for men is the unilateral penetration of their penis into a woman (or anything else replacing and symbolising the female orifice) whether she thinks she wants it or not – which is the definition of rape: that he will to do it anyway and that he uses her and treats her as a receptacle, in all circumstances – it makes no difference to him experiencing it as sexual. That is, at the very least, men use women as useful objects and instruments for penetration, and women are dehumanised by this act. It is an act of violence.
As FCM pointed out some time ago, intercourse is inherently harmful to women and intentionally so, because it causes pregnancy in women. The purpose of men enforcing intercourse regularly (as in, more than once a month) onto women is because it’s the surest way to cause pregnancy and force childbearing against our will, and thereby gain control over our reproductive powers. There is no way to eliminate the pregnancy risk entirely off PIV and the mitigating and harm-reduction practices such as contraception and abortion are inherently harmful, too. Reproductive harms of PIV range from pregnancy to abortion, having to take invasive, or toxic contraception, giving birth, forced child bearing and rearing and all the complications that go with them which may lead up to severe physical and emotional damage, disability, destitution, illness, or death (See factcheckme.wordpress.com for her work on the reproductive harms of PIV, click on the “intercourse series” page or “PIV” in the search bar). If we compare this to even the crappiest online definition of violence: “behaviour involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something”. Bingo. It fits: Pregnancy = may hurt, damage or kill. Intercourse = a man using his physical force to penetrate a woman. Intention / purpose of the act of intercourse = to cause pregnancy. PIV is therefore intentional harm / violence. Intentional sexual harm of a man against a woman through penile penetration = RAPE.
If we look at the act in more detail (skip this parag if you can’t take it), PIV is a man mounting on a woman to thrust a large member of himself into her most intimate parts, often forcing her to be entirely naked, banging himself against her with the whole weight of his body and hips, shaking her like he would stuff a corpse, then using her insides as a receptacle for his penile dejection. How is this a normal civilised, respectful way to treat anyone? Sorry for the explicit picture, but this is what it is and it’s absolutely revolting and violating.
The term “fuck you” is not an insult for nothing, men know why – it’s the worst thing you can do to a human being. It is in itself an extremely physically invasive act, very often painful, generally at the beginning before the pain may be cut off by the genital arousal; causes all sorts of tears, bruises, swelling, discomfort, STDs, vaginal infections, urinary infections, genital warts, HIV and death. Not to forget the additional sado-gynecological interventions/ costs of PIV-maintenance, and all the secondary physical mutiliation and financial costs that go with our duty to make ourselves look decorative for male sexual consumption – such as hair removal, make-up, starvation or forced feeding, torturous limb deforming or cutting up, etc.
The fact intercourse causes so many infections and tears and warts attests to the unnaturalness of intercourse, that it’s not meant to be. The vagina’s primary function isn’t to be penetrated by a penis but to eject a baby for birth. They are two muscle tissues / sphincters pressed against each other to help the baby be pushed out. Penetration of the penis into the vagina is completely unnecessary for conception.
There’s a reason men need to groom us into it, and why this grooming takes so long- because it’s so grossly violating and traumatising that we would otherwise never submit to intercourse. The only reason we may now not feel raped or have the impression we desired or initiated PIV, is because men broke down our barriers very skillfully and progressively from birth, breaking down our natural defences to pain and invasion, our confidence in our own perceptions and sensations of fear and disgust that tell us male sexual invasion is painful, harmful and traumatic.
Through an all-pervasive and powerful male propaganda, they stuff our minds from infancy with the idea that PIV is normal, desirable and erotic, before we can even conceive of it as something horrifying, and make sure we never see any alternative to their lie – or that if we do, we can no longer take in the information, are punished for thinking and saying otherwise. The fact we may not immediately feel raped doesn’t mean it’s not rape, objectively speaking. To give a classic example, many women in prostitution may not identify the act of prostitution as rape, except if the act wasn’t paid for. It doesn’t stop us from saying that all prostitution is rape. We know that our subjective feelings or thoughts may be colonised by men’s perspectives and as radical feminists we don’t let that override and erase the objective reality of violence. (PS -The reason why ONLY the lack of payment is defined as rape is because the offence here isn’t against the prostituted woman but the pimp who was deprived of his income. Rape comes from rapt, which is an old word for theft of woman-as-property.)
Lastly, from a structural point of view, as a class oppressed by men, we are not in any position of freedom to negotiate what men do to us collectively and individually within the heterocage. Men, by whom we are possessed, colonised and held captive, are the sole agents and organisers of PIV. Men dominate us precisely so we can’t opt out of sexual abuse by them; intercourse is the very means through which men subordinate us, the very purpose of their domination, to control human reproduction.
Rape culture has it's roots in patriarchy and the using of male genitals as weapons! We see it daily in examples like rape, child rape, corrective rape,gang rape, mass rape, war rape, sexual harassment, catcalling, forced prostitution, child prostitution, sex slavery, child and rape pornography, forced FGM, forced child marriages, forced polygamy, misogynist sexist media and advertisments, forced dress codes, forced childbirths, worldwide femicide and female infanticide. That is always called the normal heterosexual way of life. Nobody on this earth can be so stupid or sadistic that this is normal. LGBT people are murdered and harassed, because they live in a human way without violence and war on women.
If we don't end patriarchy, it will end us, with devil wars, genocide, femicide, mass murders. Together we can make a change!
“human beings are human beings, just treat everyone like that.”
― Hayley Williams
“Love has no gender - compassion has no religion - character has no race.”
― Abhijit Naskar, Either Civilized or Phobic: A Treatise on Homosexuality
Thanks for adding your voice.
Thanks for adding your voice.