“I BELIEVE I AM GAY”

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Uganda Gay On Move (UGOM) members are proudly taking part in “I BELIEVE I AM GAY” photography exhibition by Hadas Itzkovitch & Anya van Lit  about religions and homosexuality in the Netherlands. This will all take place at Bijbels Museum in Amsterdam The Netherlands.
This has been a very ground breaking research for the two to come up with.

Itzkovitch and Lit began their project in 2013 with a single question: “Is it possible to be religious and gay in the Netherlands?” A search followed by the Netherlands. During the lengthy process of research and shooting found that many homosexuals, despite the difficult position in which they may be, still draw inspiration and strength from their faith and continue to adhere to this belief.

The photographers chose staged images in a classic style. Attributes and attitudes refer subtly to the specific faith.
For more info please look at the link below;
http://www.bijbelsmuseum.nl/i-believe-i-am-gay
(Great thanks to Hadas and Anya for this great work)
Aluta continua
“Human rights is our pride”
UGOM

How ‘Gay’ Came to Mean ‘Homosexual’

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The word “gay” seems to have its origins around the 12th century in England, derived from the Old French word ‘gai’, which in turn was probably derived from a Germanic word, though that isn’t completely known.  The word’s original meaning meant something to the effect of “joyful”, “carefree”, “full of mirth”, or “bright and showy”.

However, around the early parts of the 17th century, the word began to be associated with immorality.  By the mid 17th century, according to an Oxford dictionary definition at the time, the meaning of the word had changed to mean  “addicted to pleasures and dissipations.  Often euphemistically: Of loose and immoral life”.  This is an extension of one of the original meanings of “carefree”, meaning more or less uninhibited.

Fast-forward to the 19th century and the word gay referred to a woman who was a prostitute and a gay man was someone who slept with a lot of women, often prostitutes.  Sort of ironical that today a gay man doesn’t sleep with women.   Also at this time, the phrase “gay it” meant to have sex.

With these new definitions, the original meanings of “carefree”, “joyful”, and “bright and showy” were still around; so the word was not exclusively used to refer to prostitutes or a promiscuous man.  Those were just accepted definitions, along with the other meanings of the word.

Around the 1920s and 1930s, however, the word started to have a new meaning.  In terms of the sexual meaning of the word, a “gay man” no longer just meant a man who had sex with a lot of women, but now started to refer to men who had sex with other men.  There was also another word “gey cat” at this time which meant a homosexual boy.

By 1955, the word gay now officially acquired the new added definition of meaning homosexual males.  Gay men themselves seem to have been behind the driving thrust for this new definition as they felt (and most still do), that “homosexual” is much too clinical sounding and is often thought of as offensive among gay people due to sounding like a disorder.  As such, it was common amongst themselves to refer to one another as “gay” decades before this was a commonly known definition (reportedly homosexual men were calling one another gay as early as the 1920s).  At this time, homosexual women were referred to as lesbians, not gay.  Although women could still be called gay if they were prostitutes as that meaning had not yet 100% disappeared.

Since then, gay, meaning homosexual male, has steadily driven out all the other definitions that have floated about through time and of course also has gradually begun supplementing the word ‘lesbian’ as referring to women who are homosexual.

Not satisfied with simply changing its definition once a century, as early as the 1980s a new definition for the word gay started popping up among American youth where now something gay could either mean a homosexual or something that is “lame” or “stupid” or the like.  This new definition was originally almost exclusively meant as an insulting term, derogatorily referencing homosexuals.

However, according to a report done by the BBC, most children are still using the word to mean “lame”, but now with having nothing to do with sexuality of any sort and also not generally meant as an insulting term against homosexuals. 

Now it is used more to the effect of just saying, for instance, “That movie was gay” as in stupid, but having nothing to do with homosexuality in their minds and not generally directed at people (thus not supposedly meant to be offensive to the gay community).  Whereas the origins of this new “lame” or “stupid” definition were most definitely meant to be insulting and were primarily directed at people.

The abstract noun ‘gaiety’ has somehow largely steered clear of having any sort of sexual connotation as with the word “gay”.  It still keeps its definition as meaning something to the effect of “festive”.Male homosexuality was illegal in Britain until the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967.  Because even mentioning someone was a homosexual was so offensive at the time in England, people who were thought to be gay were referred to as “sporty” with girls and “artistic” for boys.
Bringing Up Baby in 1938 was the first film to use the word gay to mean homosexual.  Cary Grant, in one scene, ended up having to wear a lady’s feathery robe.  When another character asks about why he is wearing that, he responds an ad-libbed line “Because I just went gay”. 

At the time, mainstream audiences didn’t get the reference so the line was thought popularly to have meant something to the effect of “I just decided to be carefree.
UGOM

UNHCR Halts Registration of Ugandan LGBT Refugees in Kenya

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I reported at African HRC that unscrupulous people may be conducting scams and taking advantage of LGBTI people who seek to escape their countries of origin. Of the several problems that seem to be happening at this time, UNHCR has confirmed reports of the trafficking of groups from Uganda and that this has now resulted in a temporary hold on registrations.

I  received reports that 76 men (some may be gay, some pretending to be gay)  have just been denied registration/mandates from UNHCR as they had been brought to Kenya from Uganda as part of a ‘business scheme’ by a third party, who in exchange for payment, guaranteed them they would be mandated by UNHCR and then resettled abroad. I asked UNHCR about the 76 registrations, but did not receive a direct response about the denials.

However in response the UNHCR spokesperson in Kenya has officially confirmed  that UNHCR has decided to temporarily put on hold registration and assistance for new arrivals. Because: ” We have received information from several reliable sources (refugees, implementing partners and LGBTI support groups) that Ugandans are now trafficked to Kenya in groups in order to be resettled to a third country. ”

I expressed concern that this could negatively impact genuine LGBTI asylum seekers:  And the spokesperson responded:

 “We fully agree with you that there may indeed be genuine cases among the group of asylum seekers who have arrived over the past months. However, we do have a responsibility vis-a-vis the donors, resettlement countries and most of all the LGBTI refugees themselves to make sure that only genuine cases obtain protection and durable solutions.

We hope you understand that we need to investigate this further before we can decide on the way forward. It may in any case be expected that as from now we will take significantly more time to assess the claims and protection needs instead of automatically expedite processing.”

THE WARNING BY AFRICAN HRC:

First reported and read more at:http://tinyurl.com/jw5z75w

Source: Melanie Nathan at nathan@privatecourts.com.
@melanienathan1

UGOM

THE EAST AFRICAN COURT REJECTS APPLICANTS AGAINST THE DRACONIAN ANTI HOMOSEXUALITY LAW

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East African court rejects bid by two organisations to be ‘friends of the court’ in case challenging sections of the Uganda Anti Homosexuality Act (AHA)Though ruled nullified, the Uganda AHA, however, remains a precedent that other EA countries can adopt; this is what is being challenged including the constitutionality of such legislationJudges said the two applicants did not meet some of the criteria to be ‘friends of the court’

Arusha, TANZANIA

The East Africa Court of Justice (EACJ) has thrown out two applicants who wished to be enjoined in a case challenging the now nullified Uganda Anti Homosexuality Act.

The judges dismissed the applications filed by UHAI East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative (UHAI EASHRI) and Health Development Initiative-Rwanda (HDI-Rwanda)  in their attempt to join the case filed by the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum (HRAPF) challenging sections of the nullified Anti-Homosexuality Act in the EACJ.

The Anti-Homosexuality Act was already challenged in Uganda andfound to be invalid on the basis of a parliamentary voting technicality, as there was no quorum when the Act was passed. However, the court never ruled on the human rights and constitutional issues raised in the case.

It therefor means that HRAPF will not be joined in the case by the UHAI-EASHRI or HDI-Rwanda as “amici curiae.” (That status, which means “friends of the court” allows submission of legal arguments by parties not directly involved in a case).

HRAPF is seeking a ruling by the Tanzania-based East African Court that will make clear that anti-gay laws such as the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act are unacceptable throughout East Africa.
Source: Dennis Inzioka

UGOM

UGANDA GAY ON MOVE (UGOM) TO FEATURE IN FUTURE PUBLICATIONS OF AMSTERDAM PASSPORT

UGOM community/Organisation/ initiative to be mentioned and included in the future Amsterdam Passport .

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Amsterdam Passport is a publication of Amsterdam RAI that helps and guides national and international people in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. In this publication entails a taste of what the exciting and surprising city of Amsterdam has in store for you. Whether it is business or pleasure, Be sure you will have a great time when you are guided in the city of Amsterdam. You can as well visit their website on http://www.amsterdampassport.com
for the latest offers in the city. This publication can be accessed free of charge in all public places in Amsterdam such as airport, train station and hotels.

We shall continue to fight for the rights of the most marginalised LGBTI persons and asylum seekers and genuinely support them when there is need for that.

(feel free to follow us on Facebook, Tweeter, LinkedIn as well as visiting us on http://www.ugandagayonmove.nl for updates)
“Human rights is our pride”
Aluta continua!
By UGOM

IMPORTATION OF HOMOPHOBIA IN THE SAFE HAVENS IS ON SKY HIGH

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Much as there has been an increase in the numbers of LGBT refugees and asylum seekers due to the introduction of new anti gay legislations around the globe and inherited draconian penal codes against homosexual acts, there has been the indirect importation of homophobia to the safe havens were many flee to live the life they desire.
This is as a result of opportunists who use the situation to attain their desired goals and achievements without minding the safety of those that suffer from the real situation.
A fresh example of such scenario is non other than “Mubiru Sweden”  as used on Facebook who according to the a profound human rights defender, CEO and Founder at Find Hope Sweden, Human rights consultant  for LGBTI immigrants Madam Naome Ruzindana of Sweden being quoted in her words about this whole saga saying:

” This was actually sent to my inbox by the very people that shared a room with Mr MUBIRU SWEDEN,and in the message sent that Mubiru used a gay case to acquire his permanent Residence here in Sweden,through Malmö Immigration Office.Today,this is how MUBIRU SWEDEN is paying back ! Members are ready to testfy to this! ”

She is yet to unearth who the real Mubiru Sweden is to be answerable for his hate speech on social media to instigate violence in the safe haven.
This has received a lot of criticisms from various LGBTI rights diehards and working tirelessly to see this person worked upon by law.  Let it serve as a very good lesson to all those who think they will import their hate into the safe havens of the diaspora.

UGOM

Bisexuals May Be In a Double Marginalisation

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There is a lot of confusion about the concept of bisexuality. Many people are 100% gay or lesbian, in other words they are sexually and emotionally attracted only to partners of the same sex.  Others are completely heterosexual, bonding in sexual and intimate relationships only with people of another sex.  But what about everybody else?  A significant percentage of people do not fit neatly into either of these categories, because they experience sexual and emotional attractions and feelings for people of different genders at some point during their lives.  For lack of a better term, they are called bisexuals. Many people hate this term, for a variety of reasons, and prefer to call themselves “pansexual,” “non-preferential,” “sexually fluid,” “ambisexual,” or simply “queer.” This is particularly true for young people under the age of 40, who consider the term “bisexual” to be outdated and limiting, and do not identify with this lable at all. Since there is no consensus on this terminology and no other widely-accepted term has yet emerged, I will use “bisexual” in this discussion to describe everyone who does not identify as completely straight or completely gay. 

THE KINSEY SCALE

The Kinsey scale of zero  to six was developed  by sex researcher and pioneer Alfred Kinsey (you probably saw the movie about him a few years ago) to describe sexual orientation as a continuum from zero to six. Heterosexual people are at “zero” on the scale, gay and Lesbian people are at  “six”  at the other end of the scale, and everyone in between, from one to five, is bisexual.  People who fall at one or two on the scale have primarily heterosexual  sexual and affectional relationships and desires, but have some attraction and experiences with same -sex  partners as well.  People at three on the scale are approximately equally attracted to both men and women.  People at four and five on the Kinsey scale choose primarily same-sex partners, but are not completely gay or lesbian and have some heterosexual tendencies and relationships as well.

THE KLEIN SEXUAL ORIENTATION GRID

Dr. Fritz Klein was a psychiatrist, researcher, and pioneering bisexual rights advocate who founded the first known bisexual organization in the worlkd in 1974, called “Bisexual Forum.” He felt that the Kinsey scale was great but too limiting, so he created the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid. He expanded on Kinsey’s scale ,which only takes into account sexual attraction and sexual behavior. Klein’s Grid measures seven different factors in sexual orientation:

sexual attraction,
sexual behavior,
sexual fantasies,
emotional preference,
social preference, lifestyle, and
self-identification.
This approach gives each person a much more nuanced, multi-faceted sexual orientation. 

An additional complication has evolved in recent years as many people have become more gender-fluid, or have transitioned from their birth gender to a different gender. The labels heterosexual,gay, lesbian, and bisexual all are based on the old-fashioned concept that there are only two genders, male and female, and that whatever gender you are born with is authentic. Many transgender people are transitioning from male to female, or from female to male, or identify as “genderqueer” because they do not comfortably fit into either the male or female gender. Since sexual orientation has always been based on the gender of your sexual partners, if gender is not a rigid category, labels such as straight, gay, or even bisexual become much less meaningful or relevant.

WHO IS BISEXUAL?

 There is no simple definition of bisexuality, and bisexual people are a very diverse group.  There are several theories about different models of bisexual behavior.  J. R. Little is a psychologist whose extensive research identified at least 13 types of bisexuality, as defined by the seven factors on the Klein Grid. They are:

Alternating bisexuals:  may have a relationship with a man, and then after that relationship ends, may choose a female partner for a subsequent relationship, and many go back to a male partner in the future.

Circumstantial bisexuals: primarily heterosexual, but will choose same sex partners only if they have no access to other-sex partners, such as when in jail, in the military, or in a gender-segregated school.

Concurrent relationship bisexuals: have primary relationship with one gender only but have other casual or secondary relationships with people of  another gender at the same time.

Conditional bisexuals:  either straight or gay/lesbian, but will switch to a relationship with another gender for a specific purpose, such as young straight males who become gay prostitutes to make money or lesbians who get married to men in order to gain acceptance from family members or to have children.

Emotional bisexuals:  have deeply intimate emotional relationships with both men and women, but only have sex with one gender.

Integrated bisexuals:  have more than one primary relationship at the same time, one with a man and one with a woman.

Exploratory bisexuals either straight or gay/lesbian, but have sex with another gender just to satisfy curiosity or “see what it’s like.”

Hedonistic bisexuals:  primarily straight or gay/lesbian but will sometimes have recreational sex with a different gender purely for sexual satisfaction.

Recreational bisexuals primarily heterosexual but engage in gay or lesbian sex only when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

Isolated bisexuals:  100% straight or gay/lesbian now but has had at one or more sexual experience with another gender in the past. 

Latent bisexuals:  completely straight or gay lesbian in behavior, they have strong desire for sex with another gender but have never acted on it.

 

Motivational bisexuals:  straight women who have sex with other women to please their male partner who requests it for his own titillataion.

Transitional bisexuals: temporarily identify as bisexual while in the process of moving from being straight to being gay or lesbian, or going from being gay or lesbian to being heterosexual.

While literally millions of people are bisexual, most keep their sexual orientation secret, so bisexual people as a group are nearly invisible in society.  Gay men and lesbian women have long recognized the need to join together, create community, and to organize politically.  Long years of hard work have led to significant gains in political and human rights, as well as a visible and thriving gay and lesbian community.  Bisexual people have been much slower to come out of the closet, create community, and form political and social networks to gain visibility and political clout.

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Many bisexual people complain that they feel like outsiders in both the straight and gay/lesbian  worlds. They don’t fit in anywhere, feeling isolated and confused because they lack any community where they can find acceptance and role models. Many gay men feel that bisexual men are really gay, that they are just in denial about being gay.  Many straight men are homophobic and hate and fear both bisexual and gay men, often victimizing them with harassment and physical violence. Many straight women reject bisexual men out of misguided fears that they have HIV or other sexually transmitted infections, and tell them to “stop sitting on the fence” and “make up your mind.”  Bisexual women are often distrusted by lesbians for “sleeping with the enemy,” hanging onto heterosexual privileges through relationships with men, and betraying their allegiance to women.  Straight women often reject bisexual women out of fear they will make sexual overtures and try to “convert” them to being bisexual. 

“TRANSITIONAL” OR “PATHOLOGICAL” MODELS?

Both the straight and gay/lesbian communities seem to have only two possible models of bisexuality, neither of which represents bisexual people accurately.  The first is the “transitional model” of bisexuality, believing that all bisexuals are actually gay or lesbian but are just on the way to eventually coming out as gay.  The other is the “pathological model”, that bisexuals are neurotic or mentally unstable because they are in conflict trying to decide whether they are straight or gay/lesbian, and that they just can’t make a decision.  Both models see bisexuality as a temporary experience or a “phase” born out of confusion rather than an authentic sexual orientation.  Some see bisexuality as inherently subversive because it blurs the boundaries, confronting both heterosexuals and gay men and lesbian women with sexual ambiguity.  As a result, bisexuality challenges concepts of sexuality, traditional relationship and family structures, monogamy, gender, and identity.  Bisexuals cannot conform to either the gay or straight world or they would not be bisexual.  Instead they must re-invent personal ethics for themselves, and create responsible lifestyles and relationships that serve their needs even though they don’t fit anyone else’s rules.

Being bisexual is in some ways similar to being bi-racial.  Mixed-race persons generally don’t feel comfortable or accepted by people of either ethnic group, feeling that they don’t belong or fit in anywhere, as their existence challenges the very concept of race.  Like bisexual people, they spend most of their lives moving between two communities that don’t really understand or accept them.  Like biracial people, bisexual people must struggle to invent their own identities to correspond to their own experience. Forming a bisexual identity helps bisexual people to make sense of and give meaning and definition to their reality.

STAGES OF BISEXUAL  IDENTITY

Dr. Mary Bradford is a psychologist and author of The Bisexual Experience: Living in a DichotomousCulture. Her ground-breaking research identified at least four steps or stages that bisexuals go through to fully acknowledge and become comfortable with their identities as bisexuals.

1Confusion over sexual orientation.

Most bisexual people start out feeling very confused about their attraction towards people of both sexes, wondering   “Is something wrong with me?”Some spend their entire lives in this stage, hiding their sexual orientation, feeling isolated and alone with the inner turmoil over their “dual attractions.”    Many go through life identifying as straight, or as gay or lesbian in order to be accepted and fit in.  Because their own experience does not conform to either community, they feel intense pressure to choose one and identify with it.  Without any language to frame their own reality, and no visible role models or community available to them, bisexual people must have sufficient self-confidence and belief in their own identity in order to eventually transcend this stage.  People in their teen’s and 20’s are now able to move through this phase much more quickly because openly bisexual adults have become much more common in recent years. As a result, these young people have more role models and feel more comfortable with their sexual orientation.

2. Discovery of the bisexual label and choosing to identify as bisexual.

Most bisexual people say that discovering the label “bisexual” was pivotal in understanding and accepting their sexual orientation. Most experience relief when they hear the word “bisexual” for the first time, because they finally have a word that mirrors their experience and feelings.  For some, the negative stereotypes of bisexuals as “promiscuous,” neurotic, or vectors of AIDS, prevent them from identifying with the label or claiming it for themselves, but many agree that it comes closer than any other term to describing their lives. Instead of rejecting the label, many invent their own definition and create bisexual lifestyles that fit their individual lives. Ironically, younger bisexuals seem most contemptuous of the label “bisexual,” as it seems very quaint, dated, and irrelevant to them. Some use the more general term “queer” to describe their orientation. And because many younger people are more gender-fluid or have transitioned from one gender to another, many do not apply any label  to their sexual orientation.

3. Settling into and maintaining a bisexual identity.

For many, this step is the most difficult. While they feel good about being bisexual, they experience extreme conflict living in the real world as bisexual.  Many discover it is not acceptable to talk about their bisexuality in most circles, especially in their work lives and in their family lives. Often rejected by family members, friends, and co-workers, even spouses or potential partners because they are bisexual, they find that to develop and maintain a bisexual identity requires inner strength, self-reliance, and confidence.  Many overcome these obstacles by forming their own community and finding accepting friends and lovers.

4. Transforming adversity.

For most bisexuals, coming out and staying out of the closet is an on-going process which must be repeated with every new social situation, workplace, friend, or lover.  Many see this process as the most important form of political action, creating visible role models and a cohesive bisexual community. Because most bisexuals have suffered through the first three stages alone and in silence, they want to make it easier for other bisexuals to recognize and embrace their sexual orientation without years of turmoil and loneliness.  Many also get involved in bisexual political organizations as a way to increase bisexual visibility and promote bisexuality as a viable identity.  Just as gay men and lesbians were only able to win some rights through organizing and being visible in both the social and political arenas, bisexuals will only win acceptance through coming out of the closet and living their lives openly.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Are you struggling with ambivalence or confusion over your sexual orientation? Are you seeking community to share your developing identity with others?  If so, reach out for support now.  Check out some of the many bisexual organizations and support groups that now exist, to find a safe place to express your feelings and meet others who are going through similar experiences.  The Internet has a wealth of information on bisexuality, with articles, organizations, on-line groups, etc. One to one counseling or therapy can also be helpful in sorting out feelings and gaining clarity and self-confidence.  Be careful to seek out a non-judgmental therapist who is supportive of bisexuality and has expertise in bisexual issues.  And joining bisexual social or political groups is also a great way to see visible role models and to allow your bisexual identity to evolve in a way that fits you.  And last, but certainly not least, there are now many excellent books on bisexuality which may help you understand and fully embrace your sexual orientation.