Posts Tagged ‘transgender’

What do you think about the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill?

January 13, 2010

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill would be a violation of humans rights. The spirit of the bill is undemocratic and would be a blow to the progress of democracy in Uganda. It also isn’t a bill just against homosexuals – it’s a bill against everyone. A new draft bill includes a provision that could lead to the imprisonment for up to three years of anyone, including heterosexual people, who fails to report within 24 hours the identities of everyone they know who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or who supports human rights for people who are.

The existing law, Section 140 of the Ugandan penal code, penalizes “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” with imprisonment of up to 14 years. This legacy of British colonialism was introduced to punish local practices of what the colonial powers deemed to be “unnatural sex.” The laws stand as proof that same-sex sexual practices and gender diversity are, and always have been, part of Ugandan culture. The draft bill tabled today seeks to imprison anyone convicted of “the offense of homosexuality” for life.

Paragraph 3 of the draft bill sets out provisions on what it names as “aggravated homosexuality,” which will incur the death penalty, contradicting the global trend toward a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

The final section of the bill provides for Uganda to nullify any of its international or regional commitments that it deems “contradictory to the spirit and provisions enshrined in this Act.” As both the African Commission and the UN Human Rights Committee have held, a state cannot, through its domestic law, negate its international human rights obligations.

Over recent months, there has been increased campaigning against homosexuality in Uganda, led by churches and anti-gay groups. The media have joined this campaign, and have publicly pointed to individuals they accuse of being gay or lesbian.

People suspected of being gay have faced death threats and been physically assaulted. Many have been ostracized by their families or faced discrimination, including dismissal from their place of employment.

“This inflammatory bill will be taken as further confirmation that it is OK to attack or even kill people perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” said Victor Mukasa, of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. “It is the government’s responsibility to immediately withdraw this dangerous proposal.”

It is a dangerous proposal for everyone. It will affect the lives of everyone of every sexuality because anyone can be accused. It’s like a war on human nature – it’s perfectly natural to be homosexual. They might as well outlaw breathing. I am appalled that in 2010 – this is even an issue.

What can you do to help? You can take action by going to the Amnesty International web page and send a email to your representatives to stop this violation of human rights.

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Transgender: An Ally’s Perspective

December 23, 2009

I was talking to someone today and somehow it came up that I knew a lot of transboys.  “They must be confused.” They said.  I furrowed my brows and shook my head, “No, they aren’t confused.  They just have the wrong body.”

I know that people understand male and female.  Everyone is aware of their gender from the moment they can understand anything.  But not everyone understands transgendered.  Transgendered is not confusion or anything like that – in fact it is quite the opposite.  It’s a deep knowing that the gender assigned to their body doesn’t match the gender in their mind.

Some people who are transgendered know from the very beginning that their body doesn’t match what’s inside.  Others, go on quite a journey to figure it out.  It’s probably really hard for most cis-gendered people to imagine what it is like to feel like an alien to your own body.  The closest metaphor I can use to explain the discomfort is it’s like the dream that you’re naked/in your underwear and everyone else is clothed and staring.  It makes you really self aware and very uncomfortable.  It’s like everyone else blends in and fit but you’re the missing a piece to the puzzle.

I feel for my transgendered brothers and sisters.  It’s not easy by any means standing up and saying, “Hey, this body isn’t right for me.”  Nor is it easy to go through the steps to set the body to match the mind.

I don’t know much about the transition process.  It’s a series of surgeries and injections.  It takes it’s toll.  Some transgendered people chose not to transition due to all the risks.  If they can’t “pass” they will be plagued in life being boxed into a box that doesn’t fit.

Every three days in developed countries a transgendered person is murdered.  Also, transgendered people are often left in the dust by gays and lesbians organizations who are trying to assimilate, most notably the HRC.

Not only are they abandoned by their supposed allies, things that people take for granted as being status-quo can be a threat to transgendered individuals safety.  For example, going to the bathroom.  No big deal for your average man or woman – but if you are a man in a woman’s body or a woman in a man’s body, it can be a very dangerous situation.

The point of all this is that transgender people are usually really awesome and don’t deserve such bad treatment by society, gays, and lesbians.  Being transgendered is no more someone’s fault than being left handed.  It’s just how they are made.