Lesbians in the News 30 October 2015
Guyana loses Woman of Courage Zenita Temall Nicholson
Guyanese LGBT activist, Zenita Temall Nicholson died on October 26th. Temall Nicholson was honoured last year by the US Embassy in Georgetown as an International Woman of Courage. She was the Country Coordinator for Caribbean Vulnerable Communities/PANCAP Global Fund, and past Secretary on the SASOD Board of Trustees (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Guyana).
On presentation of the Woman of Courage award in March 2014, Temall Nicholson was described as being “an energetic, effective and passionate advocate at both the national and international levels for the principle that both women’s rights and the rights of lesbian, gays, bi – sexual and transgender persons are human rights, deserving of equal attention and protection”.
Guyana remains the only country in South America where homosexuality remains illegal and is punishable by imprisonment, with additional laws criminalising gender non conforming dress, although men may cross dress or express their gender identity as long as it is not for “improper purposes”. Women may wear trousers but do not appear to be covered by the same ruling enabling cross dressing.
As reported in a 2012 report to the UN CEDAW Committee, Guyanese lesbians remain subjected to harassment and sexual threats, compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory femininity and/or gender conformity.
Zenita Temall Nicholson’s activism will be missed in a country which requires significant improvements to secure the safety and wellbeing of lesbians, and our thoughts are with her family.
Arts & Entertainment
- Curve magazine will contain an in-depth story on lesbian erasing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in their January issue.
- Listen to author Michael Helquist discuss his new book about Marie Equi; lesbian doctor, activist and anarchist.
- Follow bloggers Wandering Wives, a UK lesbian couple that sold everything they owned to travel the world.
- Copies of Blood and Visions: Reconciling with Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press are now available at Green Woman Store. It includes writing by ten womyn who stopped their transition from female to male.
- Listen to the recording of “The Sounds of MichFest 2015: a Radio Documentary of the 40th and Final Fest” on WORT. It can be found under “Access Hour” in the archives from October 26th.
Laws, Politics and Policies
- State Representative Celia Israel, the first out lesbian lawmaker in Texas, isn’t letting her colleagues get away with using Christian religious beliefs about homosexuality to run her state. In an episode titled, “God and Governing” produced by The Texas Tribune, Israel speaks out against turning Texas into a theocracy.
- The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), has released a report showing that 70% of the geographic area of the United States lacks any city, county, or state employment protections for LGBT people.
- The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya is seeking donations to complete several human rights cases, including a petition to seek freedom of association and registration of LGBTIQ organizations, challenging forced HIV testing and a class action suit to decriminalize consensual adult sex regardless of sexual orientation.
- Simone Bell, the first black and openly lesbian state lawmaker in Georgia is resigning after accepting a position with Lambda Legal.
- Homosexuality remains illegal in at least 76 countries – more information is available on the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.
Social and Health Issues
- As refugees stream into Europe from places like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Lesbian and Gay Federation of Berlin and Brandenburg is reporting increased violence against lesbian and gay asylum seekers by other refugees.
- 78,000 march in Taiwan’s Pride Parade, the largest in Asia, as Taipei hosts the 6th ILGA-Asia Regional Conference. As always, it is worth considering the extent to which the Conference considers and addresses lesbian-specific issues, as an often invisible subset of the LGBTI community.
Crimes against Lesbians
- A lesbian couple vacationing in Hawaii was attacked and arrested by a police officer that didn’t like their public displays of affection in a grocery store. Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson spent three days in jail before charges were dropped. The Honolulu Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. Wilson and Guerrero have filed a lawsuit against the officer for discrimination.
- A Welsh lesbian is speaking out after her attackers received a slap on the wrist for verbally and physically attacking her in north Wales in July. 44-year old Jackie Hatton-Kesketh says the attack left her unable to continue working at her job and contributed to the breakup of her 12-year relationship.
- The leading scorer in the history of international soccer, Abby Wambach, announced her retirement on October 27th. Wambach finishes her amazing career as the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, only the second American to win the title since Mia Hamm (2011 & 2002).
- Jamaica held its first Montego Bay Pride on October 25th and announced it was a complete success. The event included music, networking, a 10-minute Flash Stand in front of the Summit Police Station and a speech by leading Jamaican activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers.
Lesbians in the News compiled by Liz and Lisa.
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Reblogged this on Stop Trans Chauvinism.
Reblogged this on Radfem Repost.
SHE was what courageous means.