Author Archives: ListeningAri

(LVD) Living as a Lesbian in Iran, Where Being Gay Is Illegal


In Iran, being gay can carry a death sentence for men. Though lesbians are discussed less frequently, they too face severe government-sanctioned punishment, including lashes and flogging.
The three days Azadeh* spent in interrogation felt to her like months.
In a remote villa on the outskirts of Iran, she sat listening to clergymen preaching quotes from the Quran as the burns on her arms stung with infection.
Growing up, the 25-year-old says she was often bullied for her “boyish” looks. But several years ago, the harassment took on a more sinister form when she was arrested and tortured by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The guards had found a short story by Azadeh about two male soldiers who were lovers during the war, after a tip-off from a girl Azadeh says held a personal grudge against her.
“I never directly used the word ‘homosexuality’ in my writings,” Azadeh says, “but they wanted to use those writings to get a confession from me that I’m a lesbian. I denied everything.”
Regardless, she was forced to undergo a three-day long “reorientation course”, which she quickly learnt was a euphemism for interrogation. It consisted, she says, of religious instruction and repeated attempts to force her to admit she was gay.
“They tortured me by pouring boiling water on my skin and beating me, especially on the head. [But] more than physical torture, I was subjected to verbal abuse,” she says. “They kept telling me that I was a ‘pussy licker’.”

Azadeh doesn’t see any contradiction between her religious beliefs and her sexual orientation. Her own (legally unofficial) marriage to a woman followed Muslim marriage rituals, and she considers her partner to be her wife in accordance with religious rules. “I used to struggle a lot to interpret the Quran in a way that was more compatible with my situation as a lesbian,” she says. “I think we need new fatwa for this issue.”

Continue reading: https://broadly.vice.com/
en_us/article/a3wvjk/living-as-a-lesbian-in-iran-where-being-gay-is-illegal
(source)

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(LVD) Chile: 300 Lesbians Marching

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On March 8 in Chile was a historic day in every way, it was one of the most popular marches in our history, around 350,000 women in Santiago de Chile marching together, 800,000 throughout the country, in unison, protesting and commemorating proudly the day of the working woman. Never a march called by women had achieved such a call and for more than 30 years in Chile did not see such a massive march.
This march full of women, of all women, managed to make us all mobilize, to go out and meet thousands of compañeras who, although we did not know, we returned with every step, with every cry, with every knowing glance, our sisters.
Among all those women, of all the groups and of all the blocks in which the march was divided, one stood out full of vigor, strength and struggle. Lesbians marched together, lesbians from groups, self-convened lesbians, all marched, became visible and present. The articulator “Redlesbofeminista” called months before to play it in this historic battle and something that became impossible was taking shape.
(Translated)

El día 8 de Marzo en Chile fue un día histórico en todo sentido, fue una de las marchas mas concurridas en toda nuestra historia, alrededor de 350.000 mujeres en Santiago de Chile marchando juntas, 800.000 en todo el país, al unísono, protestando y conmemorando con orgullo el día de la mujer trabajadora. Nunca una marcha convocada por mujeres había logrado tal convocatoria y desde hace más de 30 años en Chile no se veía una marcha tan masiva.
Esta marcha llena de mujeres, de todas las mujeres, logró hacer que todas nos movilizáramos, que saliéramos y nos encontráramos con miles de compañeras que aunque no conocíamos volvíamos con cada paso, con cada grito, con cada mirada cómplice, nuestras hermanas.
Dentro de todas esas mujeres, de todas las agrupaciones y de todos los bloques en los que se dividía la marcha, uno resaltaba lleno de vigor, fuerza y lucha. Las lesbianas marchaban juntas, lesbianas de agrupaciones, lesbianas autoconvocadas, todas marchaban, se hacían visibles y presentes. La articuladora “Redlesbofeminista”, convocó meses antes a jugárnosla en esta histórica batalla y algo que se hacía imposible fue tomando forma.
(Original)

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Continue reading: https://www.eldesconcierto.cl/2019
/03/15/las-300-lesbianas-marchando/
(source)

(LVD) Toward a Black Lesbian Jurisprudence

by Theresa Raffaele Jefferson

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Black lesbians are everywhere and nowhere all at once. Throughout history we have been made invisible. This invisibility serves as a constant reminder that our culture, and indeed our very lives are considered at best illegitimate. At the same time, our identity as Black lesbians has been made hyper-visible when we have tried to remain in the wings. In these instances hyper-visibility becomes a means of punishment-a penalty for not understanding or refusing to abide by societal mandates. The experiences of Black lesbians in law and society illustrate this seeming invisibility/hyper-visibility paradox. Yet the tools of invisibility and hyper-visibility serve the same purpose-the legitimation of dominant cultural control. Invisibility and hyper-visibility compliment each other. They act in concert, as a dual cultural strategy of distortion, suppression, and punishment. A consistent Black lesbian jurisprudence has emerged whereby Black lesbians and our rights are erased at the intersection of our race, gender, and sexual orientation. This Note is an attempt to explore the lives of Black lesbians, to uncover law and society’s desire for us to remain seen or unseen depending on the context, and to provide a starting point for others to conduct future research.

Continue reading: https://racism.org/articles/
intersectionality/sexual-orientation/2616-toward-a-black-lesbian
(source)

(LVD) Spain: “We feel more secure in the town than in the city”

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A recent investigation conducted by the professor of the University of Cantabria Noelia Fernández-Rouco in which three other teachers have collaborated has analyzed the satisfaction of lesbian women in the Spanish rural environment, pointing out the main difficulty they face: the obstacles to find mutual support networks in these communities. “There are issues with a more particular character, which have to do mainly with access to resources, with distance or anonymity, although it sounds contradictory, “explains the author. “When the stigma is very present, it is what people seek, and for that they move from their places of origin or need them to present sufficient resources to form these networks or facilitate the possibility of meeting people.”
(Translated)

Una reciente investigación dirigida por la profesora de la Universidad de Cantabria Noelia Fernández-Rouco en la que han colaborado otros tres profesores ha analizado la satisfacción de las mujeres lesbianas del entorno rural español, señalando la principal dificultad a la que deben enfrentarse: las trabas para encontrar redes de apoyo mutuo en estas comunidades. “Hay cuestiones con un carácter más particular, que tienen que ver sobre todo con el acceso a recursos, con la distancia o el anonimato, aunque suene contradictorio”, explica a este medio la autora. “Cuando el estigma está muy presente, es lo que buscan las personas, y para eso se desplazan de sus lugares de origen o necesitan que estos presenten recursos suficientes que permitan formar estas redes o faciliten la posibilidad de conocer gente”.
(Original)

Continue reading: https://www.elconfidencial.com/alma-corazon-vida/2019-04-12/lesbiana-espana-rural-beso-novia_1938214/ (source)

 

(LVD) Japan: Forbidden marriage, lesbian couples rebel

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Chizuka Oe and Yoko Ogawa have been living together for 25 years. But in attempting to formalize their union by a marriage act in a Tokyo borough hall, they knew in advance that they would suffer an end of inadmissibility.
This lack of recognition weighs on the daily lives of the two women. At the funeral of Mrs. Ogawa’s mother, relatives looked at her companion with an evil eye. “They did not know anything about her and asked who she was, I was tired and sad to have to explain that we were a lesbian couple, just like an ordinary heterosexual couple.”
For her, it is certain, “if there was a legal system of marriage between people of the same sex, it would have been easier”.
(Translated)

Chizuka Oe et Yoko Ogawa vivent ensemble depuis 25 ans. Mais en tentant de faire officialiser leur union par un acte de mariage dans une mairie d’arrondissement de Tokyo, elles savaient d’avance qu’elles essuieraient une fin de non-recevoir.
Cette absence de reconnaissance pèse sur la vie quotidienne des deux femmes. Aux funérailles de la mère de Mme Ogawa, des proches ont regardé sa compagne d’un mauvais oeil. “Ils ne savaient rien d’elle et m’ont demandé qui elle était ? J’étais fatiguée et triste de devoir expliquer que nous étions un couple de lesbiennes, tout comme un couple hétérosexuel ordinaire”.
Pour elle, c’est certain, “s’il existait un système juridique de mariage entre personnes de même sexe, cela aurait été plus facile”.
(Original)

Continue reading: https://www.challenges.fr/societe/japon-interdits-de-mariage-des-couples-homosexuels-se-rebellent_642203 (source)

(LVD) Australia: Thanks To Lesbian Stand-Up Hannah Gadsby We Are FINALLY Seen

By Julia Diana Robertson

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Hannah Gadsby, a suit-rocking lesbian, just put out a Netflix stand-up special, and you MUST go watch it now. As a matter of fact, anyone who cares at all about a lesbian, needs to watch it now. I’d go so far as to say, it should be mandatory. It’s groundbreaking. Unprecedented. Monumental. Certainly one of the best things I’ve ever seen. I laughed (a lot) & cried. And I don’t cry easily. I’m a tough nut to crack—been shot at, seen b*mbs, and my tears are typically relegated to the privacy of a locked bathroom—So lesbians, when I say something powerful went down, I mean something powerful went down. Plus, added bonus, she uses the word lesbian about 100 times.

Gadsby wants her audience to feel the tension because they should know, if only briefly, the tension that women like her feel “all the time.”  Because of this dangerous attitude—‘If you want to look like a man, I’ll beat you like a man’—has been upheld, while the world carries on around us. In 2018, while rule-breaking lesbians are still relegated to a punchline, the mainstream will currently feature— with dignity and style—anyone, whether L, G, B, or T, so long as they adhere to the ‘rules’ of ‘gender’. Gadsby poignantly saysIf I’d been ‘feminine’, that would not have happened. I am ‘incorrectly’ female.” And that’s what the media tells us every single day of our lives… we are “‘incorrectly’ female.”

But despite her anger, depression and #metoo stories, she doesn’t want to be seen as a victim. “There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself,” she says valiantly. And I agree. Gadsby is now added to a proud history of suit-wearing lesbian warriors—And those warriors are often the best that womanhood has to offer.

WE ARE NOT A PUNCHLINE. Thanks to Gadsby, our voice FINALLY broke into the mainstream. And IT’S ABOUT. F*CKING. TIME.

Continue reading: https://www.afterellen.com/general-news/560969-thanks-to-lesbian-stand-up-hannah-gadsby-we-were-finally-seen-and-its-about-fcking-time (source)

(LVD) South Africa: Lesbians Fight for Acceptance in the Rainbow Nation

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Being a lesbian in South Africa can be a death sentence.
Nondi, Vee and over one hundred others came to the Isini Sam conference to meet and strategize on how to fight the hate and end the violence. They discussed how to better represent themselves and advocate as a cohesive group, how to combat stigmas and misconceptions, as well as how to better work with the police and community members.
“In South Africa we are free. But in our communities that we are living in, here in Khayelitsha, we are not free,” Jara said.
“We are trying to bring the community to also understand and to accept that we are humans and we are here and also that we are someone’s daughter or mother or sister,” Vokwana said.
They stress the similarities between all people. Many are quick to assert that while they are activists, their sexuality does not define them. They want to be seen as equals, as humans and accepted by their families, community, in the eyes of the law and by members of the police.
Those at the conference have chosen to speak out, but this choice comes with a price.
But activists still meet, organize and fight.
At the conference attendees broke into small groups to discuss plans for lobbying, greater visibility, training for police and ways to talk with their community members, family members and friends. They sang and danced and celebrated knowing they were among friends, among comrades, and for a while, they were safe.
They brought different viewpoints, had their own hopes for the movement and opinions on how to get there, but they shared a common goal.
Written on a white easel, a unanimously agreed upon goal from one of the groups said, “Look at me beyond my sexuality. Look at me as a human being.”

Continue reading: https://pulitzercenter.org/
reporting/south-africa-fight-acceptance-rainbow-nation
(source)

U.S: Lesbian couple were denied service at H&R Block

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A same-sex couple in Merced says they filed a state complaint against a local H&R Block claiming employees discriminated against them and denied them tax services.

Sylvia Valdez said she visited the H&R Block location on 12 W. Main St. in Merced on March 31 to get help filing her and her wife Lynn Werner-Valdez’s taxes as a married couple, filing jointly. The couple was legally married in Washington state in 2013, according to their marriage certificate. And Sylvia provided the last two years of tax returns filed as a married couple to aid H&R Block.

But when a tax preparer noticed Sylvia’s spouse’s name was female, the employee told Sylvia the taxes could get “complicated,” Sylvia said. And after a call to a manager, Sylvia said the employee claimed the couple classified as a domestic partnership and couldn’t file their taxes as a married couple.

Continue reading: https://www.mercedsunstar.com/
news/local/article229321549.html
(source)

Update: Chinese social media giant reverses ban on lesbian content amid uproar

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China’s online LGBT community has won a victory against China’s Twitter-like Weibo over its recent silencing of lesbian and bisexual women.

Weibo on Monday restored a community titled “les” (short for lesbian), after first shutting it down on Friday, as Chinese internet users have flooded the site with symbols in support of lesbians and messages of solidarity.

Continue reading: https://www.inkstonenews.com/society
/chinas-weibo-reverses-lesbian-ban-amid-protests/article/3006393
(source)

Original article: China: Weibo is removing content with the #les hashtag

U.S: Republican preacher hits out at ‘demonic’ lesbian Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot

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E.W. Jackson, who was the Republican Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2013, hit out at Lightfoot after her victory in the April 2 runoff election.
Speaking on radio show The Awakening on April 3, Jackson said the mayor-elect’s comments are “a satanic, demonic twisting of language.”
The Conservative pastor commentator said: “Chicago just elected a lesbian woman, and she got up and said, ‘We’re showing the world it doesn’t matter who you love.’
“I almost get nauseous every time I hear that because we know that’s a euphemism for, ‘It doesn’t matter who you have sex with.’”
He added: “They’re not talking about love, they’re talking about who you have sex with. And specifically, they’re saying it doesn’t matter if you have sex with someone of the same gender.
“The euphemism is just disgusting. It really is, because this is a satanic, demonic twisting of language.”

Continue reading: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019
/04/08/republican-preacher-demonic-lesbian-chicago-mayor-lori-lightfoot/
(source)

Italy: Engaged lesbians face abuse, discrimination on college campus

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Two lesbians engaged to be married have said they are the victims of ongoing abuse and discrimination.

Known only as GB, 27, and LS, 21, the pair said they have no respite from ongoing taunts about their sexuality. They even face from some of their friends in group chats they belong to.

The pair study psychology and cultural mediation (the study using data to analyse the cultural difference between people) respectively. They are students at the University of Padua in the northern Italian region of Veneto. Both women live on campus in the Copernicus Residence.

‘When they came to tell us that our displays of affection were too noice, we laughed, then it degenerated and we realized that this was an attack on us, because we are lesbians,’ the pair told media.

Continue reading: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/
engaged-lesbians-face-abuse-discrimination-on-college-campus-in-italy/#gs.68c6gs
(source)

Ireland: Lyra McKee, talented young, lesbian journalist killed at riot

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Lyra McKee was killed on Thursday (local time) by a gunman shooting in the direction of police officers, shortly after she tweeted a photo of a police vehicle being pelted by petrol bombs, with the caption: “Derry tonight. Absolute madness.”

A year after moving to Londonderry, the celebrated young journalist had written about how she looked forward to “better times ahead and saying goodbye to bombs and bullets once and for all”.

But just three months later she was killed during a riot that underscored the challenges still faced by Northern Ireland, 21 years after the Good Friday Agreement largely ended decades of deadly sectarian bloodshed.

Continue reading: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-20/lyra-mckee-remembered-at-vigil-in-northern-ireland/11032882 (source)

 

China: Weibo is removing content with the #les hashtag

Weibo began the ban on the #les hashtag over the weekend. (Mark Ralston/Getty)

The Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo has reportedly been removing posts and comments with the hashtag #les.

The ban on the term, which is short for lesbian, was discovered by users who use the site’s “super topic” feature, where people can create online communities using a hashtag.

Continue reading: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2019
/04/15/weibo-bans-lesbian-hashtag/
(source)

Ukraine: Lesbian conference targeted by lesbophobic protesters

Editorial note: Listening2Lesbians is watching the harassment and demonstrations against the European Lesbian Conference as shown in this story, and the conference’s twitter feed and Facebook timeline. We will keep our readers updated.

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About 350 lesbian activists to meet in Kyiv on April 11-14 to discuss their rights and challenges at the second European and Central Asian Lesbian Conference or EL*C.
Olena Shevchenko fears the conference, which will be held in hotel Tourist on Kyiv’s left bank, can be attacked by ultra-right groups.
“Someone broke the windows last night in a hotel and wrote: “LGBT out!” Shevchenko said. The police and National Guard promised to secure the event, she added.

Continue reading: https://www.kyivpost.com/lifestyle/
people/journalism-of-tolerance/hundreds-of-lesbian-activists-to-meet-in-kyiv-on-april-11-14.html?cn-reloaded=1
(source)

 

European Lesbian Conference on Facebook

U.S: Lesbian Parents Of Toddler With Cancer Receive Lesbophobic Message

Tiffany and Albree Shaffer with their children (via Facebook)

The parents of a one-year-old girl diagnosed with advanced cancer were shocked to receive a hateful message on social media from a stranger.

“My prayers for Callie. I was going to donate $7600.00 to her fund, but I found out her parents are lesbian. I’ve chosen to donate to St. Jude due to that fact. Sorry. I’ll still pray for her though, but maybe it’s God’s way of getting your attention that she needs a mommy and a daddy, not two mommies.”

Continue reading: https://instinctmagazine.com/
post/parents-of-toddler-with-cancer-receive-hateful-message/
(source)

Callie’s GoFundMe Page:  https://au.gofundme.com/
TinyButMighty17

Australia: Lesbian women forced to pay fees to Royal Brunei Airlines after cancellation

Lesbian women forced to pay fees to Royal Brunei Airlines after cancellation

Two lesbian women have hit out at travel group Flight Centre for asking them to pay hundreds in cancellation fees to Royal Brunei Airlines (RBA).
Shannon, 26, and Jaqueline, 28, from Australia booked the flights with RBA with a stopover in Brunei last month through Flight Centre. However, after learning about the implementation of Sharia Law – which would see gay and bisexual men stoned to death and queer women face public lashing – they cancelled.
Flight Centre agreed to waive the cancellation fees. The group informed the pair they still needed to pay a $300AUS ($213.42/€190.08) to Royal Brunei Airlines.

Continue reading: https://lgbt.10ztalk.com/2019/04/05/
lesbian-women-forced-to-pay-fees-to-royal-brunei-airlines-after-cancellation/
(source)

Older lesbians deserve recognition as feminist pioneers and sisters

by Claire Heuchan
AfterEllen.com

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Older lesbians have given so much to feminist and gay organizing that their erasure as the pioneers of both communities feels nothing short of criminal. And yet, much like mainstream society, so much of queer culture centers youth and masculinity that it is fundamentally unequipped to acknowledge the significance of older lesbians within the community.

Continue reading: Older lesbians deserve recognition as feminist pioneers and sisters

Update: Chicago Elects Lori Lightfoot as Its First Lesbian Mayor

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In a runoff election, Lori Lightfoot has been elected the mayor of Chicago today. Announced by Associated Press on Tuesday night, this makes Lightfoot not only the first Black female mayor in the city’s 182-year history, but also the first lesbian.

Continue reading: https://www.out.com/politics/2019
/4/02/chicago-elects-lori-lightfoot-first-lesbian-mayor
(source)

Original Article:  U.S: Lesbian mayoral candidate targeted by lesbophobic flyers

U.S: Brooklyn lesbian attacked by Uber driver

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[Taylor] De Souza had to get stitches on her head after she said her Uber ride ended with her being physically assaulted by the driver.
“He said ‘you f—ing lesbian, get out my car,'” De Souza said. “He told me he’ll chop me up and throw me in the river.”
De Souza told PIX11 she did not get out of the vehicle because she said she didn’t feel safe. According to De Souza, that’s when the driver started smoking, despite her telling him she has asthma.

Continue reading: https://pix11.com/2019/04/02/
exclusive-brooklyn-woman-says-uber-driver-attacked-her/
(source)

The 11-Year-Old Who Wants To Be America’s First Lesbian President

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Ella Briggs, an 11-year-old Connecticut resident, became her state’s first openly gay “kid governor” in January ― and she’s aiming to one day have national and even global impact.

She’s already so invested in public service, she said she would love to become America’s “first lesbian president”.

Still, the road to living authentically hasn’t been easy. Ella has said she was harassed at the public school she attended in East Hampton, Connecticut, after she first identified as a lesbian. In third and fourth grade, she said her classmates ostracized her and refused to sit next to her in class.

“I think they were just scared of me,” she told the Post. “They were afraid to touch me.”

When she told a substitute teacher that she identified as gay, Ella said, the teacher told her that subject wasn’t “school appropriate.”

“It really hurt my feelings,” she told the Courant. “I cried in the bathroom and I don’t want kids to feel like that because like I already didn’t feel like I fit in at that school.”

Continue reading: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au
/entry/connecticut-ella-briggs-kid-governor-lesbian-president_n_5c950965e4b0a6329e15f504
(source)