Enough of the Gay Bashing! ENOUGH!

A MUST READ!!!

Disclaimer: This is not my writing, I am sharing it because it speaks so profoundly on the matter.

Enough of this Gay Bashing. Enough!
by KM on Sunday, May 15, 2011 at 1:14pm

Let me state the bottom line upfront: I support gay people and their human rights and freedoms accorded to all (freedom from fear, freedom to live in dignity, freedom from want etc ) I will not stand by silently as the hateful debate about gays escalates. I am a christian woman and an African. I am a human being. I know and love many gay people. My church minister at Harvard was gay. One of my most important mentors is gay. I have worked and continue to work with the most intelligent and dynamic gay people. I have experienced sexism and racism. I have studied and researched genocides and purges based on specific intent to destroy “a group” of people. I refuse to be the silent bystander in this hate campaign.

The nomination of Willy Mutunga and Nancy Baraza as Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice has surfaced a debate about gay rights ( or as the case may be, non rights) Haters and homophobes have swarmed out of the woodwork and in places like facebook, email list serves ( e.g. KPTJ) and comments portals in newspapers (where many go by fake names), they express the most outrageous nuggets of ignorance and hate about homosexuals, their fellow Kenyans and human beings. Both Willy and Nancy are well respected human rights advocates who believe in the indivisibility of rights. Willy wears an ear ring on his left ear ( 🙂 ), and Nancy’s PHD thesis iis on the rights of homosexuals in East Africa. However, the debate is quite un informed and becoming increasingly uncivil.

The bias against homosexuals can escalate to murderous levels as we have witnessed in the recent killings of lesbians in South Africa. Threats against gay people and the folks who support them, is the subject of proposed legislation in Uganda and other places. The debate forms part of cultural , political , social and religious debates. Many human rights activists are afraid to take on advocacy on behalf of homosexuals because this is not “politically correct’ . You see, a friend told me yesterday , one’s social standing may be ruined by taking on too open a position on ‘these people’ . To paraphrase Peter J Gomes, ( Harvard Memorial Church Minister ) one’s stand on homosexuality detrmines one’s standing on society’s scale on virtues and values , making the topic almost undebatable.

So it’s a good thing Willly & Nancy happened and created this opportunity to re-engage the debate (always lurking under the surface) . For people who identify as christians, the homosexual debate is very alive and disturbing. The narrative of Sodom & Gommorrah, the law of Leviticus , the Deutronomic sanctions and the teachings of Paul provide ample ammunition to close the debate. Remember that Biblical text also had quite a bit to say about women ( 1 Cor 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2: 11-12) and slaves (Ephesians 6:5) We have been able to find redeeming texts in the Bible that equalise all children of God. If you read Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s sermons and speeches on gay people you will find these(I have pasted one of his speeches below) .

But we insist on making homosexuality only about sex, we diminish the life experiences of our fellow human beings. Nobody focuses on the sex lives of heterosexuals do they? Yet when we discuss homosexuality, it is always about the sex and especially the mechanics of it. Do heterosexuals have their minds in the gutter ALL the time?? “THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE’ have lives outside of sexual relationships. They have hobbies, homes, children,families, interests, jobs. They have full lives, doing important things that benefit heterosexuals perhaps even more than themselves. They don’t sit around thinking …”ahh ….mmmh…..I wonder when I’m gonna have my next homosexual experience”!

Friends, can we have a civil informed debate that illuninates and advances “ubuntuness”? Can we help stop the hate and fear ? I think It’s TIME to stand up and be counted against this injustice.

KM

_________________________

Desmond Tutu’s Speech (archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.)

Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity — or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong.

It is time to stand up against another wrong.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family. But a wave of hate is spreading across my beloved continent. People are again being denied their fundamental rights and freedoms. Men have been falsely charged and imprisoned in Senegal, and health services for these men and their community have suffered. In Malawi, men have been jailed and humiliated for expressing their partnerships with other men. Just this month, mobs in Mtwapa Township, Kenya, attacked men they suspected of being gay. Kenyan religious leaders, I am ashamed to say, threatened an HIV clinic there for providing counseling services to all members of that community, because the clerics wanted gay men excluded. “But they are sinners,” I can hear the preachers and politicians say. “They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.” My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family. Isn’t it amazing that we are all made in God’s image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love? The wave of hate must stop. Politicians who profit from exploiting this hate, from fanning it, must not be tempted by this easy way to profit from fear and misunderstanding. And my fellow clerics, of all faiths, must stand up for the principles of universal dignity and fellowship. Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.

*Over & Out*

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Why The Hate?

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This weekend I was moving house. The move was a success and I am glad it went well.

Now, that’s not why I did this post using org resources. There is this one thing that came up from Friday and through the weekend.

Murugi urges Kenyans to accept gays

Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi told participants at a national symposium on HIV/Aids in Mombasa targeting homosexuals, lesbians and sex workers that the government had no option but to address the community’s concerns. (contd…)

When I read this story (but missed the TV version) I was elated. I thought to myself, “WOW! What a bold statement coming from a Cabinet minister! She must be really brave.” I also wondered to myself if at all she had thought through her decision to say this in public and also the aftermath with (for obvious reasons) would be coming her way. I also thought of the aftermath itself. The church would be furious… fuming like a mexican bull ready to charge with bloodshot eyes. Wait, the Church? Really? Okay.

Then of course the aftermath came.

Churches want Murugi sacked over gay remarks

More than 74 churches have petitioned President Kibaki to sack Cabinet minister Esther Murugi over her last week remarks on gay rights in the country. The churches, under the aegis of the Federation of Evangelical Indigenous Christian Churches of Kenya (FEICCK) warned of street demonstrations against the Ms Murugi, the Special Programmes minister. In a statement, Dr Methu said Ms Murugi discredited her reputation and was unfit to hold public office. … “This should happen in the shortest time possible; failure to which we shall not be left with any other option other than to ask those who care about righteousness and morality to demonstrate against her, “said FEICCK chairman Bishop Dr Joseph.

And then people wrote letters saying God will destroy us and that now gays & prostitutes are ‘allowed’.

Wow. Ok let me get this straight, we shall be destroyed for accepting gays and prostitutes. Hmmm.. the new constitution allows gays and prostitutes. Ok. Unless I’m daft, isn’t sex work (yeah, that’s the correct term to use, not prostitution-its derogatiory-in a way) like the oldest profession ever? And oh.. ohh… how do you allow something that already existed? huh?

I don’t wanna write much. All I see here is HATE. And with hate like such comes DISCRIMINATION (based on one’s sexual inclination or behaviour) and Hate Motivated Violence / Hate Crimes! I am not going to talk about oh gays are like this or oh sex workers are like that, am gonna talk about this hate that is brewing and still exists within the Church.

Say NO to HATE!

Church and Hate. Those two words just don’t fit. But its exactly what we’re seeing. I wonder. Is this the way we treat “our brethren”? With so much hate? I mean, okay, its a sin. They’re sinning. But surely, as God looks down upon us and sees us condeming people, judging them and calling them “devils incarnates” what are we telling Him? That we are now at His level and can judge others? That oh, LOVE is nooothing! Lets hate on the gays and prostitutes. For the Bible tells me so. Huh!!!

Let me tell you one thing. One of the reasons why I lost faith in religion is such things. If I am to “love one another as I love myself” then surely, is this such a treatment I’d want to receive? Sinner or not? Is that how Jesus treated sinners? Didn’t he love them and embrace them? He never condemned them at all! I am just … aargh! Don’t even ask. I could go on and on.

Please note, I am not saying that gays and prostitutes are sinning or not sinning. That’s not my job. Mine is to ensure that regardless of their behaviour (if you choose to call it that) I still want to ensure that their humanity is upheld and that they’re treated with dignity. In a world of many a variety of people, the one thing that we always will be, one thing that we should always keep in mind is OUR HUMANITY. Lets not treat others as lesser humans. Its just wrong.

I have my reservations about what I feel about gays and prostitutes. But they are human and should be treated as such. Scorning them and saying that they should be burnt (coz it says so in some holy book) is plain inhuman. No one would want to be treated as such.

I shall pen off. And promise to continue another day.

p.s. I have added links to words thanks to Zemanta.

*Over & Out*

Conversation on Homosexuality

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Some time back I was involved in a heated debate on a certain list serve I’m part of and I thought the following was quite an interesting take. Yes, I am FOR human rights and thus why this. Hope it sparks some thoughts in you too. It was one of the participants responding to another’s claims. Note: These are not my words, so E.&OE.

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I believe in human rights and advocate for it but on same sex marriage issue I strongly oppose
for the following reasons…

First let me assure you that the last we want is to advocate for same sex marriages, as a community, we feel that marriage has been an institution that has been used to discriminate against persons of LGBTIQ identities and even further entrench heterosexuality as the only valid and recognizable relation between individuals. Secondly,our struggles are so deep and so personal and political that subscribing to the institution of marriage keeps us from defining healthy ways to relate without having oppressive attitudes towards each other, your orientation and gender identity not withstanding. For example, as a woman, I would hate for anyone to think of me as an object of possession – I do not want anyone to pay dowry to my mother because first there is no price for me in monetary or otherwise, other than my precious life and to be expected to change my name to that of the person am getting married to is to invalidate my existence as a person with my own life to live (these are my personal feelings) as I am believer in equality and freedom to be and the marriage institution has proved to be a sexist and patriarchal institution and unless it changes, I want nothing to do with it.

This is not African orientation,brain washed ideas from the west,AFRICANS SHOULD REMAIN AFRICANS.DID YOUR GRAND FATHERS INVOLVE IN SUCH ACTS?

That must be stopped. I can go on and on with examples of healthy same sex relations that existed in very many African traditions, but if you want to chose to retain that argument, I will point you to your reference to Christianity and Islam, both of which are not indigenous to Africans, these religions were introduced to Africa by the same westerners you claim to have brain washed all the queer persons in Africa. And in the queer community we have people of all generations which goes far into explaining that sexual orientation and gender identity are inherent and not choices we make, the terms we use are borrowed from the English language gay lesbian, etc. and thus might not denote our lives as queer Africans and hence our desire to define ourselves within our African context,this however does not nullify our rightful existence as queer persons in Africa and does not call for blanket condemnation and invalidation of our being.

Why are our reproductive [parts] different because am a woman and the the other is a man. Its wrong biblically, Koran wise and indigenous wise. Who will marry us?

You will be married by the person you fall in love with, that person you make the choice to live the rest of your life with, that is a personal choice and we all have that opportunity to pursue any relationship and engagement that contributes to our well being. All the queer Kenyans would also want to indulge in that choice, of choosing the partner they want to share a life with, and our biological anatomy is a question that needs to be revised in relating with ourselves, should the fact that I have breasts and a vagina mean that I am only good for reproduction? That my role in the world is to reproduce and that’s it? I advocate for sexual rights and autonomy because sexuality is an intrinsic factor of all human beings, and it is interlinked with every other aspect of our lives. In this case we need to move beyond defining ourselves by our biological anatomy to a holistic approach to self identity…where all the attributes of my living are respected and acknowledged as the combination that allows me to experience life to the best most highest standards of potential and lived life.

I welcome all those who are ready to share,learn and engage in seeking social justice.
Amandhla!

Somewhere in the conversation I saw this interesting equation.

Genes + Brain Wiring + Prenatal Hormonal Environment = Temperament
Parents + Peers + Experiences = Environment
Temperament + Environment = Sexual Orientation

Then came this equally interesting fact.

Population of gays in the world??

One can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5%. that is, 5% of the 6 billion people in the world.

So will the human race decimate?

Quite fascinating conversation eh? All I can say is:

I yearn for the day when “HUMAN” will be the only label we brandish ourselves.

*Over & Out*

Am I An Activist?

Yesterday I was having a conversation with a friend while sipping some cold ones despite the cold weather. We had just met and were getting to know each other. My friend is in college and is pursuing a course on hotel management. Then he asked me a question…

“What do you do?”

I paused. I hesitated. I thought. In my mind, I was thinking “I’m an activist.”. But then, lately I have been really questioning that. Lately I have been asking myself, when I say am an activist, do I really know what it means? Do I know what it entails? Can I seamlessly akin myself to other renowned activists beginner steps?

What does it mean?

This morning I decided to write about it…in my spontaneous nature…while I learn. Yes, I have work to do, but lemme do this one. I went to wikipedia. Duuh!

Activism consists of intentional action to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.
The word “activism” is used synonymously with protest or dissent, but activism can stem from any number of political orientations and take a wide range of forms from writing letters to newspapers or politicians, political campaigning, economic activism such as boycotts or preferentially patronizing businesses, rallies, street marches, strikes, both work stoppages and hunger strikes, or even guerrilla tactics.

Oh I see. “Intentional action to bring about social, political, economic or environmental change.”. That makes sense. Like Martin Luther King (social), akina Dedan Kimathi (political), or Wangari Maathai (environmental).

A book I gotta read: Wangari Maathai

Hmm… So where do I lie? I like social change. But wait, what is it that I do? I like what the vision for a certain organisation says:

“A Just and Egalitarian East Africa where all persons enjoy their rights and live in dignity.”

I wish to break that down.

Just: fair: free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards or rules

Egalitarian: classless: favoring social equality; “a classless society”

Rights: Rights are variously construed as legal, social, or moral freedoms to act or refrain from acting, or entitlements to be acted upon or not acted upon.

Dignity: the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect

I like this! There is still a whole spectrum of things to learn about and this is kinda like my passion. I love humanity. I think am an activist in one way or another. But I nowadays refrain from calling myself one. Maybe someday it will be clear. There is still time. I also think I’m a humanitarian. But that is a topic for another day.

Great day lovelies!

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Its Up To YOU

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I am very spontaneous when it comes to my writing. Yes, at times I have it all planned out but most of the times I just pick stuff out of my mind. Thoughts rush through my mind and I simply pick them as I write.

Now, as I said in my previous post, I wanted to write about “activism or the lack thereof”. I remember at the time I was thinking about whether activism is doing what it should. Whether it is being bold enough. And when I say activism I mean human rights activism. Now, for clarity’s sake, I like dealing with definitions. That way I can derive my point from an objective angle. (OK, maybe my view will be subjective.).

The meaning of the word activism:

Activism, can be described as intentional action to bring about social, political, economic, or environmental change. This action is in support of, or opposition to, one side of an often controversial argument.

Therefore we can conclude that activism in simple terms involves taking informed actions to achieve something you feel is not being addressed. For example, if one feels that children are not being treated properly either by parents, teachers, peers, government etc then one takes a “direct and militant” action to see that their rights are being addressed.

So where does “free will” come in? Okay, it may not be directly involved with activism so I will just say that I had to mention the above. I tend to be like that in my posts by the way. Don’t know if its spontaneity or what! Never mind!

Free your mind. (pc: ohermenauta.wordpress.com)

I believe free will has everything to do with how we human beings conduct our lives. As much as I believe in the power of love, I also believe in the power of choice and free will. It is said that God gave man free will to do as he pleases. I am no preacher, so don’t expect a sermon! A quick summation of the meaning of that saying is that it is up to us. I believe it is us who choose our paths. Now now, this is not news to anyone (I presume) and all of us know this. But do we stop and critically think about it? Do we not see how it has a huge hold on us? Do we not realise that it is through gaining that realisation that we see “the light at the end of the tunnel”?

What am I talking about? I am saying that it is this free will, God given, that determines how we live our lives. I call myself “a lover of humanity”. Why? Because I believe in love. And I see its dire need in us. In our society. In our lives. In our families. In our relationships. Everywhere.

It is free will that will determine whether or not a man aged about 25 can kill people (note I didn’t say ‘innocent’) and dump their bodies in swamps and blame it on a cult. It is free will that will make him choose whether or not to go ahead and “obey the orders” he was given. It is free will that will determine whether or not we will vote for the new constitution (though I tend to think so unfortunate that a lot of the votes will be politically influenced). It is through this free will that humanity can be peaceful and coexist but then…I go back to my earlier post. Some think that a “peaceful world” is more or less Utopia. Hmmm… How I wish that would happen!

We make choices everyday whether or not we want to. When you wake up, you decide to wake up. You decide to get out of bed. You decide to go to the bathroom, take a shower, brush your teeth, make breakfast, dress up, walk or drive to work or wherever else you are going. It all boils down to one thing. CHOICE.

Now, I don’t like long posts so I will wind up. Back to free will. There is something I tell people close to me about their minds and the immense power it holds. For example, the weather in Nairobi is not rosy. On the contrary, its awful! Its cold, sunny, chilly, rainy, hot…all at the same time! Most of us will get colds and flus and all manner of stuff that can be brought about by the conditions. Here is how I see it. It is up to us to choose what to do about it. You can decide to drown yourself in sorrow and say “oh I cant help catching a cold. Its a given” or you can say “well, its cold and thats the reality but I will try not to catch a cold. And if it does catch me, it will be gone before you know it”. What’s the point here? Its all in your head! Thats what weve heard people tell us. Its all in your head. Its all in your mind. If you think bad things, bad things will most likely come your way. If you think positively, its those positive things that will most likely come your way.

Make use of your brain. Excersice your mind. Don’t let your body lead your life, YOU lead your life.

It is up to YOU!

p.s. In as much as I think this is my blog and thus I should do things my way, I like order and, well, quite frankly, I know I can do better. BUT seeing that it is my nature, (duuh! Who’s perfect??) I will keep saying “Imma do me!” Just had to say that. Really!

Why is Africa so Homophobic?

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For about a week or two I have been at loggerheads with myself about why I have not been writing and updating my blog and some of the things that came to mind was why on earth I started the blog itself in the first place when I cannot even make a coherent relevant interesting post, not even once! A while back I could write a post a day. Now I find it hard. Not that there isn’t anything to write about but just the mere fact that the time to do so is not enough and maybe even the zeal to do so. And its not like I cannot write, its not like I don’t have the ideas…you know what? You get the drift. Now back to my question.

Why is Africa and africans so homophobic? What is our problem? Is it that we do not understand what homophobia is? Is it that we do not understand what homosexuality is? Are we really that myopic or are we deliberately ignorant? What ails us? Mind you, I will not go about putting links and definitions here about what I have read, what I have seen and all the posts I have been looking at. I will just ramble on at this because It has been poking at me for a while. But then again. I believe it is important I do so where I can.

Recently, Malawi sentenced a “gay” couple to 14 years in jail. Why do I say “gay”? Because if you read carefully the correct stories and the judgement itself, you will realise that Tiwonge is indeed transgender and not gay. Thus, she identifies as a woman! Fine, the point here isn’t her trans identity, rather it is the fact that they were jailed for loving one another. If my memory serves me right, (I am being lazy) they were charged with “acts of gross indecency”. My question is, if that was indeed gross indecency, shouldnt it have been the big crowd invited to the engagement ceremony that would have gone to court and complain about being shown yuky stuff in public? If it was indeed indecent, then who are the ones who felt disgusted? How come they had so many guests? In the end, it was a sad and wrong move that the Malawian courts made and surely that sentence will haunt them for days to come. What is my view on this?

Love is an interesting thing we have. It is an emotion as well as a virtue. These people were not accorded love by anyone. I wonder how Jesus feels like at that moment. These are two people who love each other. They were jailed using an archaic law that goes against the most basic human rights principles that even the Malawian constitution claims to uphold. Therefore, if the constitution says they have been accorded rights and they have now been jailed, aren’t we treating them as less human? It is very sad.

Neighboring Uganda has been considering a piece of legislation that will ensure that I cannot write about homosexuals in Uganda and if I am found I will be jailed for 7 years. My HIV positive gay Ugandan friend cannot be seen in public with me because if for any reason I want to wipe a spec of dust from his cheek then I am jailed for life and he is executed since he is positive and gay! Talk about retroactive steps! My! When I saw the bill, I couldn’t believe my eyes! And then I watched this youtube video and it further opened my eyes. It is a dangerous piece of legislation that will end up hurting the whole of Uganda rather than the targeted group. My view?

With all honesty, how does two people enjoying each others company affect me? Lies have been spread that if we allow homosexual people in the world we will all die. Seriously? As in do you hear that statement? We will all die? Jeez! Its not even possible statistically!

Last but not least, the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya on May 17th celebrated IDAHO as I stated here. This week, I heard rumours that the Inter Religious Forum was suing the National Museums of Kenya for hosting the event in what they called “allowing the commission of acts of gross indecency in a public space”. So I beg to question. Here was a genuine celebration by two genuine and legal NGOs with guests coming from all sectors of the society; rich, gay, poor, lesbian, high society, straight, yuppies, bisexual…i mean, the guests were diverse and vast. The media was even there, the international representatives were there. I mean, can I even start thinking about the sillyness of that statement? Aren’t gays, lesbians, transgender and intersex people PEOPLE? Aren’t they taxpayers? And since when was it a crime to congregate? I am at a loss of words!

I never wanted to do a lengthy post but all these things triggered my somewhat angry mood this week and I just had to vent it all out.

Some day, we will be able to understand the human rights concept. Someday.

Somehow. But, is it this>>

May 17th is IDAHO

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The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) is celebrated every May 17 around the world.

It is coordinated by the Paris based “IDAHO Committee” founded and presided by French academics, Louis-Georges Tin. It is celebrated in more than 50 countries in the world, and recognised officially by the European Union, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Mexico, Costa-Rica, etc.

The international day against homophobia aims to coordinate international events to call respect for lesbians and gays worldwide. Unlike theLGBT Pride Day, which is meant to emphasise proudness of one’s sexuality and refusal to be ashamed of it, IDAHO is held to highlight:

“ “… that in reality it is homophobia that is shameful and must be deconstructed in its social logic and fought against openly.” ”

May 17 was chosen as the day of the event because homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) on May 17, 1990.[3]

(Source: Wikipedia)

Today marks an important day in the calendars of the LGBTI community and other supportive mainstream human rights organisations and movements. It is a day, as stated in the above text, set aside for all LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual and Intersex) persons to stand in solidarity against homophobia and transphobia.

Here in Kenya, the day is being commemorated by KHRC (Kenya Human Rights Commission), the one led by L.Muthoni Wanyeki and GALCK (Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya). I think there is something about it on their websites. This year, Kenya is paying particular focus on Transgender and Transphobia. There is also a newspaper Feature by The Standard on today’s paper. Sadly, thanks to useless website they have, I can’t find a link.

Kenyans know little about this day and its events and more-so the reason why it is commemorated. I do not intend to make a lengthy post about it but I would like to highlight a few things to note.

First, we remember the debacle that happened in Mtwapa in the recent past. That was outright homophobia in action. But first, lets see these two words in definition (Wikipedia).

Homophobia: Homophobia is a range of negative attitudes and feelings towards homosexuality and people identified or perceived as being homosexual. Definitions refer variably to antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, and irrational fear. Homophobia is observable in critical and hostile behavior such asdiscrimination and violence on the basis of a non-heterosexual orientation. In a 1998 address, author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott Kingstated that “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.”

Transphobia: Transphobia (or less commonly, transprejudice and trans-misogyny, the latter referring to transphobia directed toward transwomen) refers to discrimination against transsexualism and transsexual or transgender people, based on the expression of their internal gender identity (see Phobia – terms indicating prejudice or class discrimination). Whether intentional or not, transphobia can have severe consequences for the target of the negative attitude. Many transpeople also experience homophobia from people who incorrectly associate their gender identity with homosexuality. Attacking someone on the basis of a perception of their gender identity rather the perception of their sexual orientation is known as “trans-bashing,” as opposed to “gay bashing.”

What happened in Mtwapa was indeed homophobia, based on religious fundamentalism and extremism. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has a right to religion but the most basic right of all is the one found in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I mentioned it here. It is clear that none should infringe on these basic rights, which include freedom of conscience and right to privacy. These are but some of the rights that sexual minorities (the general term used to describe minority groups marginalized on a sexual basis, including sex workers) are not accorded to and further more are infringed upon by society.

It is my wish that, as this day is marked and passes, that we as Kenyans and more so as human beings, can reach into our human core and say NO TO HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA. This cause is important and it is imperative that we all understand why every human being should be free from such acts of human rights violations.

And with that, I rest my case. I have been lax on writing about human rights and my activism but I hope I shed more light on this aspect of our lives as time goes by.

Thank you for reading and for supporting. I am very happy to interact with such wonderful persons such as YOU GUYS!!!

XOXO!

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