Impassioned fighter for ‘the devil’s people’

“You Are HIV Positive” wrote the doctor who tested 36-year-old John Meletse in 2002. He spelt it out in enormous capitals and held the page right in front of Meletse’s eyes. Meletse, who was born deaf, covers his face with his hands as he tells his story of when he was tested for HIV. His… Read more »

New magazine and hope for gays in Sudan

Rainbow Sudan shines a light on gay and lesbian life in a country where homosexuality is still punishable by death A new online lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender magazine in Sudan, north Africa, is a first for the country where homosexuality is still punished by death and an opportunity for gay people to start discussing… Read more »

A future for gay Egypt?

Lesbian and gay Egyptians express their concerns for the future and suggest a way forwards The Gay Star News feature on the future for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people in Egypt, which we ran in January, attracted both criticism and praise. Much of the most vociferous praise came from LGBT people actually living… Read more »

Vigilantes threaten to kill Liberian gay activist’s family

Joe Wiah reportedly hunted by armed men in Liberia over support for gay rights Armed men in Liberia threatened to kill a gay activist’s children if his wife didn’t hand him over, reported the country’s Daily Observer newspaper. The attackers stormed the Congo Town home of Joe Wiah in the early hours of 18 May,… Read more »

Trans In Kenya: A Woman Tells Her Story

It’s hard enough to survive as a gay or lesbian in Kenya. Living as a transperson in Kenya and trying to access medical care brings a different complexity. n Kenya public hospitals deny medical care to transgender people, and government offices refuse to change their identification. Jenni and I spend an afternoon with one pioneering… Read more »

Kenyan Superallies: Reverends on a Mission

Would you be willing to stand up for a minority group that you weren’t a part of? What if it cost you your reputation? Your job? Maybe even your life? In Nairobi we met with two extraordinary individuals, Reverend Michael Kimindu, and Reverend John Makokha who run Other Sheep Africa and Other Sheep Afrika-Kenya, respectively.… Read more »

HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment for Men who have Sex with Men in Africa

From February 14 to 16, 2012, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief’s (PEPFAR) most-at-risk populations technical working group, with additional support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), conducted a regional workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa on HIV Prevention among Men Who… Read more »

Kenya slum fires demonstrate need to ensure housing rights- non-gay background story

The fires that swept through the Nairobi slums of Kibera and Mathare reportedly destroying up to 700 homes, were a sharp reminder to African housing ministers meeting in the city of the need to ensure slum dwellers have access to proper services. Kibera is one of Africa’s largest informal settlements and the blaze, which started… Read more »

Nobel Peace Prize winner defends anti-gay laws

As traditional African society lurches its way slowly into a halting embrace with the modern world, few arenas create more tension than gay rights. Across the continent, being gay doesn’t just mean a constant struggle for acceptance. It usually means a constant struggle to stay out of jail or away from the lynch mob. While… Read more »

European Parliament calls on Nigeria to reverse anti-gay laws

Following violence and economic concerns in the African state, the European Parliament has adopted a resolution on Nigeria which condemns in part the current legal threats to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens. Nigeria’s Same Gender Marriage Prohibition Bill was proposed in 2011, and has since been amended by the Nigerian Senate to punish those… Read more »

Rainbow Icentity Association In Presentation To University Students

The Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) on Wednesday March 14 made a presentation to Masters students at the University of Botswana about sexual orientation and gender identity. The Rainbow Identity Association logo Rainbow Identity were at the university as invited guests of the Communication for Development Masters programme and the dialogue was aimed at raising awareness… Read more »

What is Gay and Lesbian Life Like in Kenya?

In November 2010 the Kenyan Prime Minister condemned homosexuality saying “If found, the homosexuals should be arrested and taken to relevant authorities.” Under international pressure, he retracted his statements days later, saying he only meant that same-sex marriages are illegal in Kenya. The Kenyan penal code criminalizes homosexual behavior with up to 14 years imprisonment… Read more »

Tunisian gay magazine hacked

Yesterday, homophobic hackers attacked Tunisia’s main LGBT title, Gayday Magazine, taking over its email, Twitter and Facebook accounts. This comes after several previous attacks which hacked Gmail, Twitter and the main site, renaming account titles to ‘Garbage Day Magazine’. These attacks take place at the height of an international campaign of which Gayday Magazine is… Read more »

Ugandan Gay Rights Group Sues U.S. Evangelist

A Ugandan gay rights group filed suit against an American evangelist, Scott Lively, in federal court in Massachusetts on Wednesday, accusing him of violating international law by inciting the persecution of gay men and lesbians in Uganda. The lawsuit maintains that beginning in 2002, Mr. Lively conspired with religious and political leaders in Uganda to… Read more »

Supergay David Kuria: Kenya’s First Openly Gay Political Candidate

In a country where homosexual acts are illegal, you would never believe that an openly gay man could run for public office. And yet, David Kuria has never backed down from standing for his beliefs. He’s been Kenya’s most visible activist beginning with his work as Chairman of the Kenya Gay and Lesbian Coalition of… Read more »

omen who have made a mark

Note: this list is notable for the absence of any lesbian human rights activists. However, Prof. Sylvia Tamale, listed, is very pro-gay and has co-authored a book about homosexuality in Uganda: ‘Homosexuality: Perspectives from Uganda’. Ugandan women have steadily come of age, claiming a comfortable place at the high tables of governance, politics, business, sport… Read more »

Security High As GALCK Offices Broken Into

Thieves also attack two other offices This morning, thieves broke into the GALCK offices and made away with goods and computer monitors. In what is described as a robbery, the thieves also broke into a clinic located on the first floor building where GALCK offices are also located. They also made away with unknown items… Read more »

Expert Explains Why There Is Little Research On Kenyan LGBTI

Nguru Karugu is a Kenyan public health consultant. He recently spoke about why there is very little research on LGBTI except the MSM in Kenya’s National Aids Programmes. Nguru Karugu, a public health consultant on LGBTI healthcare needs Below are his remarks as told to Behind the Mask’s Melissa Wainaina: “The HIV pandemic in the… Read more »

Cameroon delays appeal of man serving three years for gay sex

Amnesty International says Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, jailed for homosexuality, is prisoner of conscience and anti-gay laws should be lifted Cameroon’s courts have again delayed an appeal hearing for a gay man sentenced to three years jail for homosexuality in April 2011. Jean-Claude Roger Mbede expected to have his case heard today but was not brought… Read more »

Namibia: Sex Workers Mark Their Day in City

Sex workers in Namibia face violence, discrimination and stigma on a daily basis from those who are expected to uphold the rule of law, namely police officers, and say that they too have human rights and should enjoy the protection of the Constitution. Saturday was International Sex Worker Rights Day, and the occasion was commemorated… Read more »

Ethiopian Mr Gay World Contestnat May Have Difficulty Returning Home After Show

There are reports that Ethiopia’s Mr Gay World contestant may have difficulties returning home after the contest as a result of receiving death threats he has received. The news of Robel Gizaw Hailu’s probable forced exile was revealed by Mr Gay World’s Africa director, Coenie Kukkuk in an interview with the Gay Star News website… Read more »

Interview: Gays and the Libyan revolution, before and after (part two)

There is hope for the future among Libyans after the revolution, including LGBT people, but a recognition that progress towards a freer society may be slow. In a previous interview we spoke with Khaleed, a 31-year-old gay activist from the east of Libya about his experiences under the Gadaffi regime. Now, in this second part,… Read more »

My life as a gay man in post-Gaddafi Libya

In our second interview with Libyan LGBT activist Khaleed, he talks about his life after the revolution in Libya The revolution changed life for all Libyans, including LGBT citizens, and there is optimism for the future. There is hope for the future among Libyans after the revolution, including LGBT people, but a recognition that progress… Read more »

Liberia considers 2 anti-gay proposals

Monrovia, Liberia—Two new bills introduced into Liberia’s legislature would make the country the latest on the African continent to punish homosexuality with possible jail time. Liberian law currently does not explicitly address homosexuality. “Voluntary sodomy” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, but there have been no recent convictions, according to… Read more »

Former diplomat contests Tunisian leader on gay rights

A former top Tunisian diplomat has sent an unprecedented open letter to Rashid Ghannouchi, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamist Ennahda party that now rules post-revolutionary Tunisia, about the direction the country is going. Farhat Othaman is a researcher and author. He was a senior diplomat who was unfairly dismissed by the administration of… Read more »

Africa’s ‘first gay billboard’ unveiled

The organisers of Mr Gay World believe they had unveiled the first ever gay-themed billboard in Africa. The placard went up near Melrose Arch on M1 South in Johannesburg yesterday and is not the competition’s second ‘first’. Mr Gay World had been celebrating having its first ever black contestants in the 2012 event. Representatives had… Read more »

Morocco 4th in Africa for Facebook use

The number of Facebook users in Morocco reached 4.1 million in January, making the country 39th in the world and 4th in Africa, ANSA reported on Tuesday (February 28th). Egypt ranked first in Africa, followed by South Africa and Nigeria. Sixty-three percent of Moroccan Facebook users are under the age of 24 and 65% are… Read more »

Ex diplomat quizzes Tunisian leader on gay rights

Farhat Othman questions spiritual leader Rashid Ghannouchi over new Tunisia’s commitment to human and LGBT rights A former top Tunisian diplomat has sent an unprecedented open letter to Rashid Ghannouchi, founder and spiritual leader of the Islamist Ennahda party that now rules post-revolutionary Tunisia, about the direction the country is going. Farhat Othman is a… Read more »

Resentment Toward the West Bolsters Uganda’s New Anti-Gay Bill

Kampala, Uganda — At first, it was a fiery contempt for homosexuality that led a Ugandan lawmaker to introduce a bill in 2009 that carried the death penalty for a “serial offender” of the “offense of homosexuality.” The bill’s failure amid a blitz of international criticism was viewed by many as evidence of power politics,… Read more »

Zambia: Gay Rights Impossible in Country – LAZ

LAZ vice-president Martin Musaluke said yesterday that it was unattainable to respect gay rights because homosexuality is prohibited in the country and that people convicted of the offence were liable to face stiff punishment. He was reacting to United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s statement on his recent visit to Zambia that people should… Read more »

Uganda: 190,000 Petition Citibank And Barclays To Condemn Anti Gay Bill

An international petition launched three days ago calling for the international business community to protest Uganda’s notorious anti-gay bill has garnered the support of over 190,000 people worldwide. The more than 190,000 people have signed the petition to join a campaign on the website launched three days ago by Collin Burton, a gay Citibank… Read more »

South Aafrica: Copy Cat Murder Of Another Gay Man Brings Death Toll To Eight

The body of a murdered gay man was found at the weekend bound and suffocated in a copy cat manner to seven previous cases. The body of Rulov Senekal, a manager of the Joburg Theatre and a one time Artistic Director of the Johannesburg Youth Ballet in the 1990s, was discovered by one of his… Read more »

Zimbabwean pulls out of Mr Gay World 2012

The Mr Gay World contestant from Zimbabwe has pulled out of the competition citing personal reasons but organisers praised the “brave stand” he had taken by coming so far. The Mr Gay World contestant from Zimbabwe has pulled out of the competition citing personal reasons but organisers praised the “brave stand” he had taken by… Read more »

Gay rights out of constitution

The final draft constitution, earmarked to replace the Lancaster House Constitution, will criminalise homosexuality and ban same-sex marriages according to the views of the majority of Zimbabweans, it has emerged. In an interview, Constitution Select Committee (Copac) co-chair Mr Edward Mkhosi (MDC) said Zimbabwe had unequivocally affirmed that homosexuality should be outlawed. “During the outreach… Read more »

Ten women arrested in Cameroon for being lesbian

    Face up to five years in prison if convicted     Liberia looks to toughen its anti-gay laws Ten women have been arrested in Cameroon on suspicion of being lesbians. They have been detained in Ambam, some 190 miles south of the capital of Yaounde, until they go on trial, Cameroon Radio Television reported. Consensual… Read more »

Catching Up With Botswana’s Swedish Trained Activists

Four months after attending a three week human rights training programme organized by Sweden`s National Association for Sexuality Education, three activists from Botswana are putting lessons learned into practice. The training equipped programme participants with knowledge in human rights for LGBTI community, they were then asked to develop projects of change in their respected countries.… Read more »

Liberia: Gay Activist Escapes Angry Mob

Self-proclaimed Liberian gay activist Archie Ponpon, and few followers were Thursday narrowly hustled out of the premises of a local radio and television station by Police Support Unit (PSU) officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in Monrovia, after over 500 members of the public had besieged the vicinity of the radio station to attack… Read more »

An interview with South African Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron discussing homophobia in Africa

via BBC HARDtalk, Interview with Edwin Cameron Living as an openly gay man in socially conservative Africa is hard enough, but Edwin Cameron went even further. He was the first public official in South Africa to reveal his HIV positive status. Nelson Mandela appointed him a judge and he now serves on South Africa’s Constitutional… Read more »

Opinion: Gay rights in Cameroon

Gay rights – or lack thereof – in sub-Saharan Africa (and indeed, parts of Asia and the Middle East) are becoming an increasing cause for concern among human rights groups, campaigners and forward thinking governments around the world. Many states punish those perceived as homosexual with hefty fines, lengthy prison sentences, torture, and sometimes even… Read more »

Domestic Violance Issues And Botswana’s LGBTI Community

Botswana – Domestic violence in the LGBTI community is a serious issue, although most of the cases are left unreported due to the system which is often oppressive and hostile towards LGBTI leading those involved in violence in fear to reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity. Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of… Read more »