Last Friday I went to Amnesty Finland event. The issue was the situation in Uganda. The key note speaker was a Ugandan activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera and the co speaker was Canadian-Somali Hassan Shire Sheikh. They told about the situation in Eastern Africa and especially in Uganda. Homosexuality is still a taboo in most parts of Africa, due to various reasons. One is increasing influence of Islamic fundamentalists. In Uganda the reason is more relied on Christianity strongly supported by hard core Christian missionaries. So there’s a law prohibiting being a gay that might sentence you for a long time to prison. It was meant to include even the death penalty to the bill but it was finally dropped because of strong international opinion against it.
Anyway the life of gay people in Uganda is terrible. They said it is not the authorities. it is the other people. Local tabloid newspapers began a hate campaign in 2006, publishing the names and photos of homosexuals with captions such as ‘homo terror!’ In 2010, Nabagesera’s name was mentioned in the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone in an article headlined: ‘Hang them: they are after our kids!’
However the main message for us was we should carefully listen to the local activists and not make our own conclusions what to do; in many cases the wrong actions may only make the situation even worse.
I found out the situation of the trans people varies hugely in Africa. In some areas trans people are appreciated highly due to tribal traditions. On the other hand in many cases trans people are regarded as gay, no matter what their sexual orientation is.
After the discourse we went to the hang out at the office of the Rainbow family organization. There I had an opportunity to chat with LBGT people from other countries. The Greek lady told me about the bad situation of trans people in her home country. And one of the Iranian guests told interesting things about the situation in Iran. One thing was the situation of trans women is not so bad as it could be: Ajatollah Khomeini laid down the bill that let the trans women do their sex-reassignment. The background of the bill is it is severely prohibited for men to have sex with a man. But if the partner is not a man…. The bad news about that was many gay men are forced to make the sex-reassignment against their own will. The situation of lesbian women is a bit easier because the life of women is partly covered from religious polices and on the other hand it is more natural for women to live together. However the pressure will increase if you seem to be too lazy to try to get married.
We also talked about the other implication of the gay sex in Islamic countries: There's a tradition to kidnap a boy to a dancer in Northern Pakistan and in Afghanistan. They are forced to dress as a girl and dance to men and finally have sex with them. And men are not having sex with other men, the boys are actually girls, you see... It practically ruins the boys' life and it is common that they commit a suicide. How awful, it is so hard to even think about it.
Our domestic issue was the “Hetero Pride” demonstration next day. It was organized by some retarded religious and extreme right wing politicians. They have introduced the word homosation to express the fact that homosexuality is issued rather commonly in media. They claim it is even not allowed to tell someone is married or have kids…. The most horrifying situation has happened when one of these lads heard his son naming him “homo father” after watching a soap where there was a homosexual character. How an awful situation for homophobic people!!
We were wondering the claimed problem there’s sooo much homo issues in media. So we planned to propose one of the Finnish journal to edit one number of the paper in such fashion as “In the film a hetero man is trying to get an attention of the hetero dame.”, “Hetero politician has said he’s against any hidden agreements with other hetero politicians” etc.
And what comes to Hetero Pride implementation, it was not a particular success… There were about 50 participants and even more policemen and anti demonstrators. It was said to be a merry (should I say gay….) pro family event but there were almost only men. And after the demonstration some of the organizers were posing with Nazis with Nazi greeting!!
So it was not a merry family event for sure!
The last week I also became a granny. It is a marvelous feeling, my twin granddaughters are simply fantastic!!