While LGBTI communities are celebrating today’s International Transgender Day of Visibility, a 16-year-old trans girl has been held in Ebolowa prison in southern Cameroon since the weekend of 18 March just for being trans.
Good work 🙂
27 January 2014 Last updated at 02:07z
Sochi 2014: No gay people in city, says mayor
The mayor of Sochi, host of the Winter Olympics, has said there are no gay people in the city.
Anatoly Pakhomov said homosexuals were welcome at the Games – as long as they “respect Russian law” and “don’t impose their habits on others”.
Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov said there were several gay bars in Sochi.
In June 2013, Russia passed a law banning the promotion of “non-traditional” sexuality to under-18s – widely seen as an attack on gay rights.
The controversial new law made providing information on homosexuality to under-18s a crime, punishable by a fine.
Critics say its loose interpretation effectively stops gay rights protests in Russia.
“As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi… how do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt? ”
Boris Nemtsov Opposition leader
Anatoly Pakhomov, a member of President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, told Panorama that gay people would be welcome at the Games.
“Our hospitality will be extended to everyone who respects the laws of the Russian Federation and doesn’t impose their habits on others”, he said.
But when asked whether gay people had to hide their sexuality in Sochi, the Mayor said: “No, we just say that it is your business, it’s your life. But it’s not accepted here in the Caucasus where we live. We do not have them in our city.”
When challenged, the mayor admitted that he was not certain there were no gay people in Sochi: “I am not sure, but I don’t bloody know them.”
BBC Panorama reporter John Sweeney visited a gay bar in Sochi the night before he interviewed the mayor.
Most people did not want to be filmed and those that did were cautious about what they said.
Drag queen Madame Zhu-Zha said there was a gay community in the city and in other areas of Russia.
“There are very many clubs for gay people in Moscow – in Sochi we have two gay clubs as well. In some places there’s serious prejudice against gay people. In other places it’s not as bad.”
The Sochi 2014 organising committee told BBC Panorama it was working hard to ensure the Games will be remembered for their diversity.
Boris Nemtsov, former Deputy Prime Minister and now a leader of the opposition, said the mayor’s claim was laughable.
“As far as I know there are several gay clubs in Sochi.
“How do they survive? Why they are not bankrupt?”
Last week, President Vladimir Putin said homosexuals would be welcome in Sochi for the Olympics but said, “just leave the children alone”.
“We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations,” he said. “We have a ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and paedophilia.”
Panorama: Putin’s Games, BBC One, Monday 27 January at 20:30 GMT and then available in the UK on the BBC iPlayer.
(Video credit: özgür demirt )
Russian PM Medvedev on gay rights
(Video credit: Impartial News Center Published on Jan 26, 2014)
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviews Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
‘Welcome’ but warned – Russia’s Putin cautions gay visitors to Sochi
(Video credit: euronews (in English) Published on Jan 18, 2014)
“Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has reiterated earlier statements that gay visitors are welcome at the Games.
At a meeting with a group of young Sochi volunteers, Putin said, “We are not banning anything. We are not rounding up anyone. We have no criminal punishment for such relations, unlike many other countries.”
The Russian President, however, was also keen to stress the country’s ban on promoting homosexuality amongst minors.
“So one can feel relaxed and at ease, but please leave children in peace,” Putin continued.” – Euronews
Putin on anti gay law – BBC News
(Video credit: TvProgramss 21 January 2014)
Should athetes boycott Sochi?
Team GB Refuses Sochi Boycott
(Video credit: TheNetFrancesco Published on Aug 9, 2013)
Stephen Fry: Gay solidarity needed at Russian winter Olympics
(Video credit: The Telegraph)
Peter Tatchell on the petition to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia
(Video credit: Kasia Madera Published on Aug 9, 2013)
Gay Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell talks about the petition to boycott the Winter Olympics in Russia because of new anti-gay laws.
This is the incident back in 2007 to which Peter Tatchell refers….
(Video credit: thx1138mindlock Uploaded on Feb 22, 2010 Moscow, 2007)
Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell visciously punched in the face, kicked then arrested. Homophobic assailant walks free.
Richard Fairbrass (Bi-Sexual) punched in the face.
30 members of European Parliament also arrested.
Should the world boycott the Sochi Olympics in defense of gay rights?- Russia Today
(Video credit: Newsnation6 Published on Aug 9, 2013)
“British actor Steven Fry has sparked a fierce debate, asking the International Olympic Committee to move the upcoming Winter Games from Sochi to Vancouver. He even compared Russia’s treatment of homosexuals to Nazi Germany. Was he right?
The subject of Fry’s ire is a controversial law passed in June, which forbids the “promotion of non-traditional relations among minors.” The terms “non-traditional” and “promotion” are open to wide interpretation, with many gay activists in Russia calling the law a potential blanket ban on any manifestations. They also say that police have idly stood by as attacks on homosexuals multiplied on the back of the new legislation.
While the first Olympic boycott dates back to 1936, when over 20 countries withdrew in protest against Nazism, the phenomenon reached its peak in the 1970s and 80s — when four Olympic Games in a row had absentees. The 1980 Moscow Games and the 1984 Los Angeles Games saw rival Socialist and Western blocks withdraw en-masse.
In recent weeks, the International Olympic Committee has negotiated with Russia’s Olympic organizers, saying that it received “assurances” that the law would be suspended for the duration of the Games. Russian officials have produced conflicting statements in response, and the situation remains uncertain.” – Russia Today
Gays face hatred attacks in Russia
(Video credit: CNN NEWS INTERNATIONAL)
The terrifying reality of life under Russia’s anti-gay laws
(Video credit: Journeyman Pictures)
Cecilia Gentili couldn’t stand the looks on their faces. The looks waiting room patients would give her when a nurse called a man’s name and she stood up instead. The looks nurses would give her when they said they were looking for someone else. The looks she’d get at the bank when she tried to open an account.
“They made you feel like less than a person,” Gentili says.
Gentili is a transgender woman, and in person, with shoulder-length blond hair, she is the woman she always knew she was. On paper, however, it was another story. For years, Gentili’s legal name and documents didn’t match her identity, and navigating that discrepancy became a daily struggle. For transgender people — those who don’t identify with the sex are born with — any time they have to show ID can turn into moment of awkwardness, humiliation or, in some cases, discrimination:…
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Two gay men, released from a Cameroon prison in January, have again been arrested. They have been held in police custody for the past two days, since shortly after they were attacked in a local marketplace on Sunday, March 24.
The incident began when Jonas Singa Kumie and Franky Djome (Franky Ndome), variously described as gay men and as transgender, went shopping last Sunday at the Essos market in Yaoundé. They dressed as they usually do — in women’s attire and wearing wigs. From a distance, their sexy outfits could give the impression of two young ladies shopping at the market. But in this particular market, their identities could not go unnoticed. They are well known, because Franky ran a hair salon here before being sent to prison in 2011 to serve a five-year sentence for homosexuality.
They are also known outside Cameroon, because of news reports about their trial…
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On a March 14 trip to Russia, British actor/author Stephen Fry heard from LGBT activists about the increase in anti-gay violence since the passage of St. Petersburg’s “gay propaganda” law, which the Russian parliament is considering extending nationwide.
Fry said, “Although I’ve been horrified and upset, and angry at the brutish tyranny of the so many of the homophobic people who are supported by the government, what has touched me much more has been the work of the [LGBT] activists … and the people who stand up to bullying, stand up to homophobia, stand up to name calling, stand up to violence. And they do so, because they are proud of who they are. And they know they have the dignity and all the rights that any human being should have. And in time Russia will know that too,” Coming Out St. Petersburg reported.
Fry was in Russia to film…
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Dr. Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, on March 14 defended Iran’s treatment of LGBT people, responding to a damning report by the United Nation’s Special Rapparteur on Human Rights in Iran.
That report by Ahmed Shaheed, a former foreign affairs minister of the Maldives, described widespread human rights violations, including those of LGBT people. Under Iranian law, homosexual activities are punishable by death.
Based on interviews with 24 members of the Iranian LGBT community, the report stated that:
Fifteen interviewees believed that they were arrested at least once for their sexual orientation or for associating with other LGBT persons.
Thirteen reported that once in detention, security officers subjected them to some form of torture or physical abuse; including punches, kicks and baton strikes to the head or body and, in a few cases, sexual assault and rape.
Several people reported that they were…
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An article in the online news site Bikyanews.com sounded optimistic: Under the headline “A better Ethiopia for gay people,” it told of a young gay accountant in Ethiopia whose success at work created an impression that Ethiopians were becoming more accepting of the gay community.
But his life outside the office was so difficult that it was clear that that headline about “a better Ethiopia” was overly optimistic. The article soon attracted online commenters whose violent remarks dissolved any remaining optimism.
In response, Biyanews.com reported, “A number of comments and angry emails have been flowing in that call for the death of Ethiopia’s small lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.” For example:
- “kill them all these rubbish people. the country never allowed this kind of community.”
- “Our community dont tolerate such disgusting practice, if you want to be a gay then please leave our country.”
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Arrests of two gay-rights workers this week in Uganda bring to at least 13 the number of people worldwide who are currently imprisoned on charges of violating laws that punish those who are born gay, lesbian or bisexual. In addition, at least 14 other people are awaiting trial for homosexuality.
The prison sentences vary from three months to five years — at the low end of punishments that are on the books in the 76-plus countries where homosexuality is currently illegal.
Listing 27 names is probably an extreme understatement of the number of people who are behind bars or awaiting trial on anti-homosexuality charges, but finding out about specific cases is difficult, especially in countries without a free press.
The lists below provide a narrow window into just one of many types of injustice affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, sometimes with fatal results. (See the last…
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Uganda has started arresting LGBT activists in the capital city of Kampala as the country joins Nigeria, Cameroon and Zimbabwe as the most actively repressive anti-gay nations outside the Middle East.
Today a second gay youth worker, Kabuye Najibu of the Ugandan LGBT group Youth on Rock Foundation, was arrested on homosexuality-related charges. He was detained when he entered the Kawempe police station in Kampala to visit Joseph Kawesi, who was arrested on similar charges Dec. 31.
[Update: Reportedly they have now been released, but are in hiding.]
Kawesi is a co-founder of the Youth on Rock Foundation, which provides health and wellness information to LGBTI youth.
In her blog, South African attorney and United States-based LGBT rights advocate Melanie Nathan reported that both Najibu and Kawesi were arrested for “crimes relating to homosexuality” and “recruitment into homosexuality.”
Another colleague of Kawesi visited the police station with Najibu, but…
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One in four young gay people assaulted
One in four young gay people have been assaulted in England, and more than half have self-harmed.
The new research, which also found nearly half (47%) have received threats or intimidation as a result of being gay.
As reported by The Independent On Sunday, the figures come from Youth Chances, the biggest social research project into young LGBT people in England.
Dan Baker, Youth Chances project manager, said despite it being 2012, it is still a hard environment to grow up gay.
‘Self-harm jumped out as a really alarming statistic,’ he said. ‘Self-harm is a way of people expressing an internal issue that they might not be able to express. Maybe Britain is not as tolerant as we thought.’
The statistics for self-arm among gay people are significantly higher than the national average of one in 12 young people. Two thirds of women said they had hurt themselves on purpose, compared to 37% of men.
Transgender young adults were the most vulnerable, with four out of five saying they had deliberately harmed themselves.
Youth Chances believes its research shows public attitudes have yet to catch up with the legal system.
Baker said: ‘There’s a lot of great equality now, such as allowing gay couples to adopt and have civil partnerships.
‘But, despite the progress, there seems to be lots of cases of harassment and even assault.
‘If people are being taunted or attacked because of who they are, it shows public opinion behavior hasn’t caught up with legislation.’
Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the British paper: ‘These statistics are really shocking; they ought to be a wake-up call to every parent, teacher and community leader. As a society, we are still failing LGBT kids on a massive scale.
‘Even today, around half of schools have no anti-bullying program specifically addressing homophobia. Kids are not born bigoted, they become bigoted.
‘All the evidence suggests that education can help combat bigotry and promote understanding and acceptance.’
The three-year project will eventually survey 15,000 young adults. The initial findings are based on the responses of the first 3,500.
November is Anti-Bullying month and Anti-Bullying week is 19th – 23rd November. This is a perfect time to challenge homophobia bullying affecting young people in our schools. Take action now!
Southwark Primary School becomes first to offer training days to support staff in tackling homophobic bullying
“Homophobic bullying is endemic, it damages children’s lives and contributes to the lowering of standards. Homophobic bullying has gone unchecked in our schools for many years resulting in countless individuals suffering physical and emotional damage and seeing their live chances compromised as a result.
School leaders may express hesitation in engaging in this work, for fear of offending parents or people of faith. However, our role as school leaders is to face challenge and drive forward innovation for the sake of the brilliant young people in our care.”
A taste of what young (and not so young) LGBT people are up against…..
LGBT youngsters are are surrounded by homophobic slurs on Twitter just see for yourself on this website that tracks these slurs in real time: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/oct/02/no-homophobes-language-count
See also “Tracking casual homophobia” http://www.economist.com/blogs/johnson/2012/10/language-twitter
Here are some related videos:
LGBT Bullying and Suicide: It Does Get Better
This is what President Obama says:
In the US, Dr. Ron Holt is a clinical psychiatrist, who is passionate about ending bullying and suicide, enhancing the knowledge of medical providers regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) healthcare and educating the public about the consequences of homophobia. http://audacityofpride.com/
Bullying and How You Should Deal With It – Eddie Miller
Bullied teen Lesbian comes out to her mum
EDEL 244 iMovie Project. Heart-breaking……
Police in Zimbabwe say they’re still investigating the group Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe, or GALZ, and have refused to return property they seized during a raid on GALZ offices in August.
GALZ attorney Tonderai Bhatasara wrote to police to say that the items should be returned, because they were not linked to any crime.
About the raid, the Zimbabwean newspaper NewsDay reported:
The police ransacked the GALZ offices in Milton Park and confiscated property, which included computers, compact discs, pamphlets and various documents, on allegations that the organisation was operating without registration as required under Private Voluntary Organisations Act.
In reply to Bhatasara, the police at Harare Central Police Station said they were keeping the property during an ongoing investigation and wanted to use it in court.
Bhatasara denies that GALZ is in violation of the registration law. At the time of the raid, police also accused GALZ of possessing…
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The homophobic government of Uganda continues to be pestered by pro-LGBT computer hackers.
Members of the hacker group Anonymous said today that, in retaliation for Uganda’s anti-gay policies, they seized control of the website of the Office of the Prime Minister and the database of the government’s Justice Law and Order Sector.
They added a photo of the recent Uganda Pride parade to the website. By the end of the day, it had been removed.
This attack follows a similar one in June.
The Anonymous activist reportedly downloaded the databases of both sites and threatened that their contents may be revealed.
A statement from Anonymous said:
‘Today’s hack and deface of the Ugandan Prime Minister’s site was the latest in a long list of actions against the government and infrastructure of Uganda for crimes against LGBT people.
“We will not stand by while LGBT Ugandans are victimized, abused and…
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