A FORUM ON GLOBAL LGBTIQ RIGHTS ( LETS TALK ABOUT IT) 29-NOVEMBER-2014

Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM) invites you to a forum on global LGBTIQ rights under the theme “let’s talk about it” that is going to take place on saturday 29/November/2014 at Oude Lutherse Kerk, singel 411 Amsterdam starting at 14:00pm.

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Not long ago, many communities around the world had a hard time in dealing with LGBTIQ persons, some up to date still have that challenge. They avoided them and thought they were abnormal. But after learning and talking about sexual differences and preferences, many communities around the globe are slowly realising that homosexuality is not a choice, it is in fact part of nature. 
Despite of these slow developments in understanding this, most LGBTIQ persons are still in hiding due to segregation against them.

The strong efforts of UGOM’s enchroaching methods and strategies through using social media activism and involvement in dialogues with the concerned parties in 2013 and 2014 through the information events and sessions that brought subjects like unfair treatment of LQBTIQ asylum seekers from Africa especially Uganda in The Netherlands by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization authority (IND) which in its way was a form of discontent in our community and later bringing into place a lot of petitions to challenge this. This appears to have opened and paved way for other organisations within the community to take discussion on the subject few steps ahead.
When it comes to sex and the diverse part of it, it is different but not equal to many when it comes to LGBTIQ persons. We all have sex and those that do not have it want it. Our own intimate desires, sacred fantacies, instrous experimentations, the thought that no body hears.

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How can we teach our children to love unconditionally when they are surrounded with a culture of violence, discrimination and hate?
If we stayed out of our neighbours’ beds and spent just a little more time seeking to understand them. Maybe then we would stand a choice at restoring value to the meaning of love, one that transcends beyond the sexual escapades to which we have limited it over the years.

Target groups:
Against such a background and basing on the new government agenda on citizens initiatives (Participatory society) UGOM with help and support from Stichting Secret  Garden, Oude Lutherse Kerk Amsterdam, Rainbow Den Haag, Stichting Kabaassi, is set to consolidate on the appreciable impact made on efforts to keep the issue of discrimination in all its manifestation towards LGBTIQ persons  at the core stage of all the community for sustained and deeper discussions.

The forum seeks to probe into the divergent views on the subject matter of sexual diversity from an African perspective in relation to how it is viewed in the western world so as to tackle questions of how we all can inspite of divergent understanding, develop consensus agreements on ways to promote mutual co-existance and respect for individual moral values.
By UGOM

A FORUM ON GLOBAL LGBTIQ RIGHTS ( LETS TALK ABOUT IT) 29-11-2014

Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM) invites you to a forum on global LGBTIQ rights under the theme “let’s talk about it” that is going to take place on saturday 29/November/2014 at Oude Lutherse Kerk, singel 411 Amsterdam starting at 14:00pm.

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Not long ago, many communities around the world had a hard time in dealing with LGBTIQ persons, some up to date still have that challenge. They avoided them and thought they were abnormal. But after learning and talking about sexual differences and preferences, many communities around the globe are slowly realising that homosexuality is not a choice, it is in fact part of nature. 
Despite of these slow developments in understanding this, most LGBTIQ persons are still in hiding due to segregation against them.

The strong efforts of UGOM’s enchroaching methods and strategies through using social media activism and involvement in dialogues with the concerned parties in 2013 and 2014 through the information events and sessions that brought subjects like unfair treatment of LQBTIQ asylum seekers from Africa especially Uganda in The Netherlands by the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization authority (IND) which in its way was a form of discontent in our community and later bringing into place a lot of petitions to challenge this. This appears to have opened and paved way for other organisations within the community to take discussion on the subject few steps ahead.
When it comes to sex and the diverse part of it, it is different but not equal to many when it comes to LGBTIQ persons. We all have sex and those that do not have it want it. Our own intimate desires, sacred fantacies, instrous experimentations, the thought that no body hears.

image

How can we teach our children to love unconditionally when they are surrounded with a culture of violence, discrimination and hate?
If we stayed out of our neighbours’ beds and spent just a little more time seeking to understand them. Maybe then we would stand a choice at restoring value to the meaning of love, one that transcends beyond the sexual escapades to which we have limited it over the years.

Target groups:
Against such a background and basing on the new government agenda on citizens initiatives (Participatory society) UGOM with help and support from Stichting Secret  Garden, Oude Lutherse Kerk Amsterdam, Rainbow Den Haag, Stichting Kabaassi, is set to consolidate on the appreciable impact made on efforts to keep the issue of discrimination in all its manifestation towards LGBTIQ persons  at the core stage of all the community for sustained and deeper discussions.

The forum seeks to probe into the divergent views on the subject matter of sexual diversity from an African perspective in relation to how it is viewed in the western world so as to tackle questions of how we all can inspite of divergent understanding, develop consensus agreements on ways to promote mutual co-existance and respect for individual moral values.
By UGOM

A NEW DAWN IN UGANDA WITH A NEW ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY LEGISLATION YET TO TOUPLE ANY OTHER ANTI GAY LAW EXISTING IN CONSTITUTION

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On 08 November 2014, a new draft anti-gay Bill (called the Prohibition of Promotion of Unnatural Sexual Practices Bill of 2014 dated 29 October 2014) prepared by a government committe to replace the struck down Anti-Homosexuality Act has reportedly been sent to the office of President Yoweri Museveni and newly named Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda. The draft includes a new Section 2 making the provision of “funding for purposes of promoting unnatural sexual practices” and in Section 4 to “make a representation … by whatever means of a person engaged in real or fictitious unnatural sexual practices” unlawful.
It should be noted that this new legislation in pipeline is a sumation of the the Penal Code Act of 1950 (Chapter 120) (as amended) which provides 

Section 145. Unnatural offences.

“Any person who

(a) has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature;
(b) has carnal knowledge of an animal; or
(c) permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature,

commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for life.”

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Section 146. Attempt to commit unnatural offences.

“Any person who attempts to commit any of the offences specified in section145 commits a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

Section 148. Indecent practices.

“Any person who, whether in public or in private, commits any act of gross indecency with another person or procures another person to commit any act of gross indecency with him or her or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any person with himself or herself or with another person, whether in public or in private, commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years”.
This new development is an indicative that the Ugandan government is trying to use the traces left behind by the British during their glory days of colonialism.

The government of Uganda aims at an anti homosexuality legislation that can not be challenged as it was in April 2014 to the law that had got passed and challenged on technicality ground ( Passed without qorum)

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This can clearly be evidenced in President Museveni’s move to call upon the church to rally behind him and government of Uganda in the fight against homosexuality.

In Sironko district in Uganda, president Museveni has asked the Church and civil society to support government in the fight against homosexuality, saying the vice has become a danger among the young generation.

The President also requested the clergy to continue preaching against the increasing moral degeneration, saying this has led to the rise of HIV/Aids epidemic among the youth.

Mr Museveni made the calls in a speech read for him by the Minister of Security, Mr Muruli Mukasa, at the consecration of North Mbale Diocese Bishop Samuel Gidudu at the weekend. He said any clergy who presides over a wedding of a gay couple should be blacklisted and isolated from the Church because the act is not only against the Bible teachings but also the African norms and traditions.
The President said government has introduced patriotism lessons in schools to help youth learn how to love their country with its cultural heritage.

In August, the Constitutional Court in Kampala declared the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill into an act as null and void on grounds that Parliament passed it without quorum.

Later, MPs kicked off a drive to re-introduce the Bill. It was tabled before Parliament in 2009 by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati.

In his maiden speech, Bishop Gidudu pledged to harmonise the Church’s role in implementing government programmes and improve working relations between his diocese and the State.

He asked the clergy and believers to embrace the Church’s teachings at all levels to help government extend services to them without having strings attached.

By UGOM

HOMOPHOBIA IS A DISTRUCTIVER FEAR WITHIN ONE’ SELF … BUT OF WHAT AND WHO, EXACTLY?

In today’s world, there are things ignored and taken for granted. We take this moment to keenly borrow the understanding of the hate that comes from within, the hate that develops without understanding what one is hating regardless of understanding the reasons to do that.

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To be a homophobe in the 21st Century especially in 2014 onwards is, increasingly, to find oneself on the fast track to social scorn. In an environment of growing acceptance, we condemn homophobic feelings, particularly in men, because we think they come from inside the individual and are thus his full responsibility. A man or woman who says hateful things about LGBTIQ is “backward.” He or she is protecting his or her social status, or maybe he or she is secretly LGBTIQ himself or herself. He or she needs to grow up or come out already.

However, the continued existence of homophobia despite the obvious downsides raises questions about its basic nature: Do psychological theories like those above really explain why being LGBTIQ specifically, evokes such fear, the kind that can sometimes even lead to violent speech and action? Do they account for why homophobia is such an easy bulwark against an insecurity? Why does coming out seem so impossible to some people? The only way to answer these questions is to stop thinking of homophobia as a personal choice and understand it as the inevitable and deliberate result of the culture in which many people around the globe are raised.

Clearly, many people around the world have grown up learning to be scared of LGBTIQ being. But not only for the reasons we typically think not only, in the end, because of religion, insecurity about their own sexuality. The truth is, they’re afraid because heterosexuality is so fragile

Heterosexuality’s power lies in perception, not physical truth as long as people think you’re exclusively attracted to the right gender, you’re golden. But perception is a precarious thing; a “zero-tolerance” policy has taught people that the way people think of them can change permanently with one slip, one little kiss or too-intimate friendship. And once lost, it can be nearly impossible to reclaim.

Put another way, the zero-tolerance rule means that if a person makes one “wrong” move kisses another person of the same sex in a moment of drunken fun, say he or she is immediately assumed to be LGBTIQ. Women have a certain amount of freedom to play with their sexuality (mostly because society has a hard time believing in lesbian sex at all). Male sexuality, on the other hand, is understood as unidirectional. Once young men realize they are gay, they become A Gay Person. We don’t hear about gay men discovering an interest in women later in life, and we rarely believe men when they say they are bisexual the common, if erroneous, wisdom is that any man who says he is bi is really just gay and hasn’t admitted it yet.

The result of all this is that men are not allowed “complex” sexualities; once the presumption of straightness has been shattered, a dude is automatically gay. That narrative does not allow much freedom to explore even fleeting same-sex attractions without a permanent commitment.

There is a good example of  a dude who was straight in a university institution staying in a hostel. He hooked up with dudes for the first semester of university. He was then in a monogamous relationship with a woman for the rest of university study. Just in the weeks before graduation,people still expressed confusion about the existence of their relationship.

The zero-tolerance policy is legitimately scary, then, not just because it sticks you with a label, but also because it erases a lifetime of straightness. One semester of experimentation was worth more than every other hook-up and romance of this dude’s life both before and afterward.

Indeed, such erasure is scary even if homosexuality itself isn’t a bad thing. Even if religion and Esquire didn’t teach people to be scared of each other’s bodies, they would still be afraid of the way a brush with LGBTIQ can so suddenly erase the rest of their sexuality. With so much on the line, it’s no surprise that people take up the job of policing this boundary themselves, lest it be policed by someone else, to their detriment.

It’s worth noting that people confront their fear with brilliant creativity. High-schoolers accuse each other, their activities, and even objects of being LGBTIQ with precisely the zero-tolerance attitude that they themselves are navigating. A popular game in many high schools was and is “fag tag,” where boys slap each other’s packages with the back of their hands. In college they played chicken, where two guys each slide their hand up the other one’s inner thigh. Whoever gets freaked out first loses or wins, really. These games aren’t just grounded in disgust with homosex; they are playing out exactly what society has taught people about heterosexuality: One wrong move, and you’ll be permanently marked.

Homophobia, then, is precisely a fear, and one that these people are not at all foolish for entertaining. The behavior it engenders is a perceptive response to a sick system, rather than a sickness itself. That’s why  we don’t hold a grudge against the kids in junior and high school who say “fag,” or the occasional bartender or a waiter or waitress who makes a weird comment about any one’s date they’re understandably more scared of us than we are of them.

By UGOM

UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL DIVERSITY: SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY AND INTERSEX

More and more, people think of The Netherlands as a diverse society in Europe and the world at large being the vanguard to respecting LGBTI rights stretching many years back. For example, The Netherlands is home to people of a wide variety of ethnic and religious backgrounds, skin colours and languages. In other words, we are all not the same: there are many ways in which human beings are different from each other.

Sexuality is one of the ways that people are different from one another. Although the term “sexual diversity” can apply to many different aspects of sexuality (for example people are diverse in terms of their sexual likes and dislikes), it is usually used with respect to sexual orientation and gender identity.

LGBTQ Stands for…

The acronym LGBTQ is a reflection of sexual diversity within society. Some people wonder what exactly it stands for so let’s quickly review what each letter stands for in the acronym.

L is for lesbian. Lesbian refers a female person whose primary sexual attraction is toward females.

G is for Gay. Gay refers to a male person whose primary sexual attraction is toward males.

B is for Bisexual. Bisexual refers to a male or female person who is sexually attracted to both males and females.

T is for Transgender and/or Transsexual. Transgender refers to a person whose gender identity is neither exclusively female nor male. Transsexual refers to a person whose gender identity is the opposite of their biological sex.  

Q is for Queer or Questioning. Some non-heterosexual people refer to themselves as Queer because they are uncomfortable labeling themselves according to the more traditional categories of gay, lesbian, or bisexual. A person who is Questioning is in the process of arriving at a clearer sense of what their sexual orientation is.  

Sexual Orientation

The term “sexual diversity” is often used in the context of sexual orientation. Not all people are heterosexual. Some people are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, or questioning (for a more detailed definition of these terms see Sexual Orientation and Coming Out). In other words, within the population there are people with different sexual orientations and this is an example of sexual diversity.

Gender Identity

The term “sexual diversity” is often used in reference to gender identity. In part, this refers to the fact that not all people have a gender identity that conforms exactly to their biological sex. To make this easier to understand, let’s define the basic terms relevant to a discussion of gender identity.

Biological sex: Most people are born with a body that is clearly either male or female. So, for example, when a boy has a penis and testicles, we can say that his biological sex is male and when a girl has a vagina and a uterus, we can say that her biological sex is female.

Gender identity: Gender identity refers to how a person sees themselves in terms of being male or female. In other words, gender identity is about how a person feels with respect to being male or female which is a different concept than their biological status as male or female.

Transgendered, transsexual, trans: For some people, their gender identity does not exactly match their biological sex. A person who sees themselves as being neither exclusively male nor exclusively female in terms of their gender identity can be described as transgender. A person whose sense of gender identity is opposite to their biological sex (e.g., a person who feels that they are male but who is biologically female; or vice versa) can be described as transsexual. Some transsexual people seek out medical treatments to help align their bodies with their internally felt identities. People in the transgendered and transsexual community often identify themselves as “trans”.

Intersex

Western society has typically made a very clear social distinction between people who are classified as male or female. However, in terms of biology, there are some people whose genitals and/or reproductive organs are a mix of both male and female. For example, a person may be born looking female on the outside but be mostly male on the inside. Or a person may be born with genitals that appear to be in-between or a mix of male and female. Intersexuality is usually the result of hormonal factors during prenatal development that affect the reproductive organs. An intersex person will develop a gender identity that best reflects how they feel. Some will think of themselves as predominately male or female and some will adopt a transgender identity.   

Awareness and Acceptance of Sexual Diversity

In the past, sexual diversity within the Dutch population was less apparent and visible than it is today. Over time, Dutch society has become much more tolerant and accepting of the differences between Nederlanders along lines of religion, ethnicity, race, and sexuality. This includes a recognition that we are a diverse community with respect to sexual orientation, gender identity, transgenderism, transsexualism, and intersexuality.
Be there on 29th-11-2014 to fully get first hand information from key figures in this arena.

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By UGOM   

UGOM TO ADDRESS THE 22-11-2014 WORKSHOP ON SEXUAL DIVERSITY ORGANIZED BY AKASANOMA FOUNDATION

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Akasanoma Foundation is organizing a workshop under the theme African perspectives on sexual diversity of which Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM) community representatives were invited to address the congregation on the topic of sexual diversity inline with African protected values. 
Until quite recent, a discourse on sexual diversity was virtually unwelcome subject among people of African origin generally.  Most Ghanaians in particular, who are quick to narrow everything about the subject to abhorrence for homosexuality and lesbianism, would neither be party to nor lend their ears to discussions on this. Subtly however, there is now considerable shift from the old order within the community. 

The pioneering efforts of Akasanoma Foundation with her Live & Let Live series of information sessions in 2013 that brought the subject to the fore as a component of discrimination appear to have paved some way for other organizations within the community to take discussions on the subject few steps further. 

 

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Akasanoma Foundation considers the usual scornful view towards discussions on the subject originating largely from both cultural and religious differentials as bordering more on rather unclear perspectives on the demands of sexual diversity than anything else.  Varying arguments and standpoints are likely to assume greater proportions and remain with us for as long as we are unable to reach clear understanding of what mutual co-existence requires of all of us particularly when this affects divergent values we subscribe to individually.     Further, our firm position on the issue of discourse on sexual diversity is that a community becomes its own enemy when it chooses to sweep issues that demand open discourse under the carpet. A matured society, we believe, confronts rather than ignores challenges that pose serious threat to or undermines the moral fabric of the society Target group. Against this background and in line with the new government agenda on citizens initiatives (otherwise called participatory society), Akasanoma Foundation, with support from the Amsterdam Social Development Service (DMO), is set to consolidate on the appreciable impact made on efforts to keep the issue of discrimination in all its ramifications (i.e. based on race, sex, sexual preference etc,) at the center stage of the African community for sustained and deeper discussions.

The workshop seeks to probe into the divergent views on the subject matter of sexual diversity from African socio-cultural perspectives and to answer simple question of how we can, in spite of divergent views, stimulate consensus agreements on ways to promote mutual co-existence and respect for individual moral values.
 
Date: Saturday, 22nd November, 2014.
Place: Akwaaba – Bijlmerdreef 252C, 1102 BC Amsterdam Southeast.  Time: 17.30 – 21.00 hours. Language: Bi-lingual (English and Dutch with eventual Akan translations).

Programme:  17.30 – 18.00 hours: 
Arrival of guests/Registration. 18.00 – 18.30 hours:  Meals & Drinks 18.30 – 18.45 hours:  Opening plenary – motivational statements. 18.45 – 19.00 hours:  Playing of drama sketch video (Excerpts). 19.00 – 19.05 hours:  Short Break. 19.05 – 20.05 hours:  Workshop session.  20.05 – 20.15 hours:  Interlude for drinks 20.15 – 20.35 hours:  Workshop summary | Closing remarks. 20.35 – 21.00 hours:  Networking (with drinks) | End. Participants and speakers are drawn from a spectrum of interest groups in the Amsterdam Municipality, community organizations in Amsterdam and opinion leaders within the Ghanaian community. The session will be recorded for television broadcast. For further information.

By Stichting Akasanoma and UGOM