LGBT Link Round Up 1.10.15

Defying death threats and police detention, activists in Uganda publish LGBT magazine

In an effort to convey the realities of life for LGBT people, an activist group in Uganda have published a magazine that offers health advice, personal stories, and articles on the clergy. Activist Jacqueline Kasha says the magazine was created with the goal of addressing  “the falsehoods spread by the Ugandan media, which regularly publicly humiliates and degrades homosexuals.”

“Instead, we are sharing our stories in the hope that we can change social attitudes. The people we are trying to reach out to are the people who are threatening to burn our houses and beat us.

“We are not journalists and I don’t respect the media here in Uganda. The media is furious with us because we are reclaiming our stories. We expect them to retaliate. We are always frightened, but nobody else is going to stand up for us; our community needs a face.”

I applaud their courage, and hope that they remain safe, bc unfortunately, bigots are going to retaliate against them.

In a statement, the activists involved said:

“This magazine will also shade a light to readers on the extent of the marginalization and discrimination the LGBTI community in Uganda continues to face on a daily basis.

We have been forced to live undignified lives; the authors of the stories are Ugandans who, through their voices, should be heard by policy makers and the general public, and hopefully, help to create a path for attitude change in a community that is continuously growing in homophobia and violence against this harmless group of Ugandan citizens.”

They have also called on the government to “promote humanity, peace, unity and liberation as they report on LGBTI issues” and to suspend all moves to introduce further anti-gay legislation; for the public to establish a dialogue with the LGBTI community; and for religious leaders “to refrain from preaching and instigating hate within their congregations.”

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For the first time Tiffany & Co. feature a same-sex couple in an engagement campaign

The unnamed pair are a real-life couple living in New York City.

“Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear, and true love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms,” said Linda Buckley, Tiffany & Co. VP of North American PR, in a statement to “The Tiffany engagement ring is the first sentence of the story that a couple will write together as they create a life that is deeply intimate and exceptional, which is the message we hope to convey through this campaign.”

Thank you Tiffany & Co. for treating gay people AS people and recognizing that our love is every bit as real and deserving of recognition as heterosexual couples.

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“I wish I’d never written the story” says author of ‘Brokeback Mountain’

I wish I’d never written the story. It’s just been the cause of hassle and problems and irritation since the film came out. Before the film it was all right… In Wyoming they won’t read it. A large section of the population is still outraged. But that’s not where the problem was. I’m used to that response from people here, who generally do not like the way I write. But the problem has come since the film. So many people have completely misunderstood the story. I think it’s important to leave spaces in a story for readers to fill in from their own experience, but unfortunately the audience that Brokeback reached most strongly have powerful fantasy lives. And one of the reasons we keep the gates locked here is that a lot of men have decided that the story should have had a happy ending. They can’t bear the way it ends — they just can’t stand it. So they rewrite the story, including all kinds of boyfriends and new lovers and so forth after Jack is killed. And it just drives me wild. They can’t understand that the story isn’t about Jack and Ennis. It’s about homophobia; it’s about a social situation; it’s about a place and a particular mindset and morality. They just don’t get it. I can’t tell you how many of these things have been sent to me as though they’re expecting me to say, ‘Oh great, if only I’d had the sense to write it that way.’ And they all begin the same way — I’m not gay, but?.?.?.?The implication is that because they’re men they understand much better than I how these people would have behaved. And maybe they do. But that’s not the story I wrote. Those are not their characters. The characters belong to me by law.”

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Margaret Thatcher considered banning sex toys in the U.K.

The revelation comes following the annual release of documents from the UK’s National Archive. They say that the change was considered after moral crusaders lobbied the Prime Minister, including Mary Whitehouse, whom Thatcher met on two occasions.

In September 1986, the then Home Secretary, Leon Brittan, wrote to Prime Minister Thatcher saying that there was a ‘strong case’ for banning sex toys under obscenity laws.

‘Some of the items in circulation are most objectionable, including some which can cause physical injury.’

Brittan thought that sex toys, under the terms of the 1959 Obscene Publications Act, could be viewed as items likely to ‘deprave and corrupt’.

However, following her meetings with Whitehouse – a prominent anti-obscenity campaigner – Thatcher, who served as Prime Minister between 1979-1990, instructed Brittan to look at a new way in which they could be barred, more specifically in relation to how they could be considered to offend good taste or public decency.

Brittan felt that asking court’s to make rulings in regard to ‘good taste’ could be fraught with ambiguity. The plans were subsequently abandoned.

Heeey, I know what’s a great idea!
A government banning items that are used by consenting adults in the privacy of their own bedroom!
Glad this didn’t happen as it’s none of the government’s business what consenting adults do in their bedrooms.

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Today in “Transphobic assholes who refuse to accept that trans women are women”:

Trans woman turned away from Western Wall in Jerusalem

Stylist Kay Long from Tel Aviv visited Jerusalem with a friend from Madrid, but was refused entry to the female section of the wall by a ‘modesty volunteer’ who said she was not a woman. She was then yelled away from the men’s area.

The Western Wall, or Kotel, is the only remaining part of the Temple Mount and is the holiest site in Judaism.

Long visited the wall in a black dress and is two meters (6’7”) tall ‘without heels.’

‘From an early age we are taught that if we place a note at the Kotel our prayers might be answered,’ she wrote on Facebook.

‘All that’s left now is to take a picture and say a prayer from afar with the hope that it will be answered. Because God is everywhere and loves us all.’

Elinor Sidi, director LGBTI community center Open House, said Long’s experience was not unique.

I hope that one day such transphobic bigotry is so rare that it is nearly unique.

LGBT Link Round Up 1.10.15