Spirit Day 2012 and the spirit of support expands around the world showing bullied kids and bullied LGBT kids in particular that they have allies everywhere. Wear purple…such an easy way to make a difference and if a kid comes up to you as a result thank your lucky stars that you have been privileged to offer support and safe harbor.
Thanks to his comment on my blog I can post the Mista Majah response to Bruce Golding’s homophobic remarks about LGBT people.
I am not sure how I discovered the novel Moffie but I am sure glad I did. I downloaded it to my Kindle and fell in love with the writing and the emotion behind the story. Written by South African André Carl van der Merwe it tells the harrowing tale of what it was like to be a young gay conscript in the time of apartheid. It is inspired by his own experiences but fictionalized to an indeterminate extent.
I can’t remember another book in recent times that is written with as much passion, grit and unexpected tenderness. This book was not meant to be just a novel but also a tribute to those who survived the ordeal and the agony of being unwanted, mistreated and illegal. The author explains his motivation for writing the book on his website:
The book Moffie (a derogatory Afrikaans term for a gay man) is a result of my need to make sense of the madness around me while I was doing compulsory military service in South Africaduring the 1980’s. I had nowhere to turn for help or understanding – not to my parents, my Church or my friends; the Government had even criminalized homosexuality – and so it was my diary that saved my sanity. I documented my suffering, which was also that of so many others; our anguish at having to hide behind a façade, our desperation of wanting to escape or sublimate an inescapable orientation.
I have often thought of the suffering of those who were the primary targets of Apartheid, but not even during the darkest days of our history was it illegal to be black. Never would a black parent throw a child out of his house because of his ethnicity. Yet this was what happened to gay people. I needed to document the turmoil of a child going through puberty, awakening spiritually, but being pressurised into believing that, because he is homosexual, he is doomed to eternal hell.
Set during the South African border war against communism (in itself is a part of this country’s history that could be all too easily forgotten) I have recorded the atrocities that took place in ‘Ward 22’, where gay people in the Defence Force of the time were abused and tortured.
This is my contribution towards a world where we are not treated as second-rate citizens, but where we are seen and see ourselves as equal to all other human beings, as we were created.
This book is a must read and it gives an insight into a time and a world most of us know nothing about. You can order it off the author’s site here or if you want a Kindle version ( like I bought) you can get it at Amazon.
Via Mail & Guardian
“The resolution calls for an “open-ended intergovernmental working group to elaborate [on] new concepts such as sexual orientation”, and “decides that the aforementioned working group shall be the single modality and framework of the United Nations Human Rights Council within which all the deliberations on sexual orientation … shall be undertaken”.
The proposal has riled South African and international human rights and gay rights activists. Said Zackie Achmat, co-founder of the Social Justice Coalition: “As it stands the resolution would be unconstitutional.”
Read the article here.
“Outspoken Radio has officially launched the It WILL Get Better Africa campaign offering a message of hope to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. The campaign has a YouTube Channel for LGBTI Africans to speak out.”
Read the rest on African Activist here.
A Dan Rather report on the revolting and disturbing practice of ‘corrective rape’ in South Africa.
“Dan Rather Reports, March 1, 2011 at 8pm ET on HDNetFifteen years after the end of apartheid, South Africa is struggling to implement the laws in its progressive constitution. Gays and lesbians in South Africa have more rights than many gay Americans, but that’s doesn’t mean they are safe. Lesbians are often the victims of corrective rape — a horrific crime where men sexually violate them in an effort to “correct” or “cure” their sexual orientation. Several non-governmental organizations claim corrective rape is on the rise, fuelled mostly by a growing homophobia in Africa.”