eumelia: (verbiage)
Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga have been pardoned! (They didn't actually commit any crime, arrrgh!).

They're still being called a gay couple, despite the contrary.

Good luck to you Ms. Chimbalanga and Mr. Monjeza. I hope this heralds a change of attitude in your country.

Via Question Transphobia.
eumelia: (queer rage)
Back in December 2009 I wrote about Malawian gay couple Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza being the first same-sex couple to hold an engagement ceremony in the African country.

Chimbalanga and Monjeza have been sent to seperate prisons to serve the 14 year sentence given for crimes of indecency.

The problem is that there has been gross misreporting on this case.

They are not a same-sex couple.

Tiwonge Chimbalanga is a transgender woman:
According to Ian Swartz from OSISA (Open Society Institute of Southern Africa) Tiwonge Chimbalanga sees herself as a woman. “Tiwonge so clearly identifies as a woman and she has expressed her identity as such more often than not. I think if she knew the word Transgender she would come home to a world of understanding of herself” he said recently after visiting the couple in prison. A local activist who calls her “Aunty Tiwo” visited her too and to him she said: “I am just a woman who loves my man. I’d rather remain in prison than to be released into a world where I am kept away from Steven”

I have to admit I'm disgusted. This kind of erasure is an insult to grievous injury. Trans people, women more often than not, are maligned and dehumanised. Trans identities are not a secondary issue. Tiwonge Chimbalanga is being misgendered not only by her own society, but by the western media (mainstream and queer) that is supposedly supporting hers and Steven Monjeza's engagement.

More information to be found at AKIMBO, Question Transphobia and this piece at The HuffPo.

I'm really irritated at myself for not knowing and writing about this sooner.

h/t [ profile] kynn.
eumelia: (Default)
I don't suppose I need to tell you about the inhumane law regarding executing people convicted for the "crime of homosexuality" in Uganda.

I'm not going to write about that right now. I'm going to write about the fact that in Malawi a gay couple will have to face justice after getting engaged.

The fact that they are being charged with indecency is a problem.
The fact that homosexuality is illegal anywhere is a problem.

I have a different issue.

This may seem tangential, but did you know that the indecency and sodomy ("bugger") laws in Palestine were imported by the British mandate after the Ottoman Empire lost the region after WWI.

Did you know that Malawi was also colonised by the British.

In Israel, the sodomy law was repealed in 1988! Israel considered itself a Western nation, with Western values and ideals and ideas, so it repealed them along with the majority of the Western world.

So when I read quotes like:
The BBC's southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen says Malawi is a deeply conservative society.

It feels as though they're saying: "Those stupid, backward, inhumane and atrocious savages don't know anything about being civilised people", when the bloody law was imported by "the civilised" ones in the first place!

But some voices in government have started to call for more openness about homosexuality as the authorities try to tackle high rates of HIV/Aids

HIV/AIDS is viewed as a disease passed by heterosexual intercourse, In South Africa at least (I just know more about it there and can't comment on Malawi). It doesn't bear the stigma of a "gay disease" within black communities, it is more so in white communities.
But because of the lack of acknowledgment of queer people, lack of access to information regarding safe sex and the transmittance of the disease, creates it's own unique problem.

In any event, the couple in the article - Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza - are incredibly brave and I salute them both. I hope they don't end up being punished for their love.


eumelia: (Default)

June 2015

 12345 6

V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.


-"V for Vendetta"


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