From ISIS to IDAHOT and Gay Iraq war vet: From homeless to activist

By Junior Mayema,

Here are two important articles worth reading please check this two articles out to understand  more on what it takes to be resilient, to never give up and to continue fighting for what you believe is right in the midst the persecution that LGBT people are facing around the globe here is the first below:

From ISIS to IDAHOT: Gay refugees and friends get day of pride – See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/isis-idahot-gay-refugees-get-day-pride190315#sthash.zK1cpkV6.dpuf

From ISIS to IDAHOT: Gay refugees and friends get day of pride

Lebanese LGBTIs and refugees from Syria, Iraq and Jordan plan IDAHOT celebration
Proud Lebanon offers events, support and even food for LGBTI people.

Photo via Facebook.

They work in a country where homosexuality is illegal, the economy is on its knees and a war on the borders has sparked an enormous refugee crisis.

But the LGBTI community of Lebanon is embracing gay refugees and determined to celebrate International Day Against Homophobia and Transpobia (IDAHOT).

Proud Lebanon supports 400 LGBTI people in the country’s capital, Beirut.

Many have fled the murderous, anti-gay Islamic State and the wars in Iraq and Syria. The refugees are particularly vulnerable – physically and psychologically scarred and without enough money even to feed themselves.

Bertho Makso, director of Proud Lebanon, told GSN: ‘We have refugees from Jordan, Syria, Iraq as well as Lebanese people.

‘We try to answer all the communities needs from food to legal to psychosocial support.’

Now he’s appealing for $3,000 (€2,800) to host an open day featuring ‘everything from art to advocacy’ for local LGBTI people and their allies.

‘This will allow Proud to raise awareness in the Lebanese community concerning LGBTI issues, as well as advocate for more rights,’ he said.

In particular, campaigners are working with others to overturn Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal law criminalizes homosexuality as ‘contrary to the laws of nature’.

Learn more about the Indiegogo campaign and donate here.

– See more at: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/isis-idahot-gay-refugees-get-day-pride190315#sthash.zK1cpkV6.dpuf

And here is the second :

Gay Iraq war vet: From homeless to activist

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/03/19/gay-iraq-war-vet-from-homeless-to-activist/

And here again i am going to add a related story about the catalytic LGBT activism of Uganda, Ugandan LGBT rights activists are the most resilient activists in the world is here we go just below and open your eyes to what is needed now :

WATCH: How Jay Z Can Change Antigay Attitudes in Uganda

 

Dr. Frank Mugisha

http://www.advocate.com/world/2015/03/19/watch-how-jay-z-can-change-antigay-attitudes-uganda

In an interview for GLAAD’s All Access video series, noted Ugandan LGBT activist Frank Mugisha called on American pop stars and celebrities to pick up the mantle of LGBT equality.

Mugisha pointed specifically to Jay Z, saying the recording artist could do more to help east Africa’s severely oppressed LGBT community than any public figure from the fields of politics or activism ever could. That’s because celebrities have the potential to impact individuals on a personal level.

“Homophobia is mostly not a collective issue,” said Mugisha. “It’s more of an individual issue. You find a parent beating or killing a child because they’re coming out. … But if we can get their own personal heroes, footballers, entertainment people, and of course, Jay Z and other celebrities to speak out, [saying] ‘You know, I don’t mind gay people; I have gay friends,’ or ‘I am gay,’ that can change the person in Uganda who is in the rural areas.”

Prolific human rights advocate and video journalist Claire Pires’s interview also includes a rare acknowledgement by Mugisha that he receives threats to his life every day.

Mugisha is ever-vigilant and mindful about the power of words and thoughts in his quest to overcome homophobia and transphobia at home and abroad. Sometimes that means not talking about certain things in his home country, he told Pires.

“I don’t talk about my threats because when we talk, when we are very empathetic about the challenges we go through; Ugandans think we are using that as a tool for sympathy,” said Mugisha.

But there can be little doubt that the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award recipient takes such threats seriously — even though he’s been facing them consistently since his friend and fellow LGBT advocate, David Kato, was murdered in 2011, following the front-page story in a local tabloid blasting “Uganda’s 100 Top Homos,” with a banner reading “Hang Them.”

That tabloid exposé, which ran in the now-defunct Rolling Stone (no relation to the American music magazine), arguably read like a hit list — and included Mugisha and many of his friends and fellow activists in Kampala, the Ugandan capital. Although a court order prohibited tabloids from publishing photos and personal information of suspected LGBT Ugandans, several similar“exposés” have run in other tabloids in the past several years, including one that plagiarized an award-winning Advocate photo essay featuring first-person stories from Mugisha and his fellow activists.

“[David’s] death was sort of like activating me to even work harder, because I wouldn’t want to see what happened to him happen to anyone else,” Mugisha told Pires in the interview, conducted in New York after the activist was bestowed the Joli Humanitarian Award by the Riverdale Country School.

Despite international outrage, in early 2014 Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which prescribed lifelong prison sentences for LGBT people in some circumstances and lengthy jail terms for those who did not report a “known homosexual” to authorities. In August of last year, Kampala’s constitutional court overturned the law on a procedural technicality.

After making it safely out of the courthouse amid antigay protesters and media on the day the law was struck down, Mugisha joyfully tweeted the “Breaking news, I am officially legal. The constitutional court in Uganda has declared anti-homosexuality law 2014 null and void.”

But because the court did not address the merits of the antigay law, Ugandan lawmakers are still trying to introduce a similar bill that would, in effect, “jail the gays.” President Museveni has all but promised to veto such a bill, presumably in order to avoid U.S. and European sanctions that came with the bill’s previous incarnation.

But far-reaching ghosts of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act persist, as a protest by Ugandan LGBT refugees in neighboring Kenya proved during a demonstration at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees camp at Kakuma on March 11. After Nairobi police attempted to disperse the demonstrators, more than 35 protesters instead camped outside the UNHCR offices until the list of demands they presented were addressed.

Watch Pires’s full interview with Mugisha below:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s