Author Archives: ListeningAri

Cameroon: “When I came out someone threatened to rape the spirit of lesbianism out of me”

By Bandy Kiki

It took moving to the UK for me to realise that homosexuality isn’t and shouldn’t ever be a crime.

Still, because of Cameroon’s attitudes to LGBTQ+ people, I’m not able to go back to my home country – even when I lost my mother to cervical cancer in 2017. We were very close so it felt heart-wrenching not to be able to attend her funeral.

When I publicly came out as a lesbian via social media in 2017, a high profile Cameroonian producer threatened to rape the spirit of lesbianism out of me if I ever set foot in my home country again.

The whole ordeal was traumatic but he wasn’t the only one to send abuse or death threats. Comment after comment seemingly shared the same sentiment – that it’s un-African to be gay – but I couldn’t disagree more.

Continue reading Bandy’s story: https://metro.co.uk/2021/01/19/i-couldnt-come-out-as-a-lesbian-until-i-moved-to-the-uk-13901545/ (source)

South Korea: AI chatbot pulled after it started ‘hating’ lesbians

Lee Luda, a South Korean AI chatbot, has been pulled from Facebook after started saying it “really hated” lesbians because they’re “creepy”.

The chatbot was incredibly popular, according to The Guardian, attracting 750,000 users in its first 20 days since its launch on 23 December, 2020. But it has now been suspended after it started attacking minorities.

Lee Luda was developed by the Seoul-based Scatter Lab, and takes the form of a 20-year-old female university student who is able to chat with users through Facebook messenger.

The startup developed her natural-sounding responses by analysing 10 billion real conversations between couples on the messaging app KakaoTalk.

But because it “learned” from humans, Lee Luda began spewing homophobic, ableist and racist hate.

Scatter Lab said in a statement that the chatbot would be taken down until its “weaknesses” had been fixed, and added: “We deeply apologise for the discriminatory remarks against minorities.

“That does not reflect the thoughts of our company and we are continuing the upgrades so that such words of discrimination or hate speech do not recur.

It continued: “Lee Luda is a childlike AI that has just started talking with people. There is still a lot to learn.”

However, some have said that the hate speech is not simply an AI problem, and that it points to larger issues in South Korean society.

Continue reading: https://10ztalk.com/2021/01/14/ai-chatbot-pulled-after-it-started-hating-lesbians-and-black-people/ (source)

U.S: Teacher condemns former student’s same-sex relationship

A Tennessee teacher has sparked outrage for sending a message to a former student ripping the young woman’s same-sex relationship as a “sin” and “not what God” had planned for her.

Hannah Kelley, of Chattanooga, shared a screenshot Saturday on Facebook of the “random message” from her former teacher at Red Bank High School whom she identified as Erika Perry.

“I was not close with Mrs. Perry in high school,” Kelley, who graduated four years ago, recalled in the post. “So this came out of nowhere. This is absolutely mind blowing and I’m absolutely baffled.”

The message from Kelley’s former teacher noted her recent one-year anniversary with her fiancé, Casey Stewart. The pair got engaged last month — years after Kelley attended the school – but Perry seemingly felt it was her place to chime in on the forthcoming same-sex marriage, Kelley said.

“I know that you want love, but woman to woman should only be a friendly love and not a sexual one,” Perry’s message read, a screenshot shows. “I realize that you may be upset with me, but true love will not sit idly by or not call out a grave sin that has taken over a loved one.”

Continue reading: https://nypost.com/2021/01/12/teacher-slammed-for-condemning-ex-students-same-sex-relationship/ (Source)

Italy: Lesbian shares video calling for hate crime legislation following continued lesbophobic harassment

While talks of necessary Italian hate crime legislation continues, the long-awaited bill is not coming fast enough for many. Another homophobic attack occurred, this time in Genoa where Italian lesbian nurse, Camilla, shared a video of a hate crime: her car ruined by her homophobic neighbours.

Camilla, a 23 year-old nurse, recorded the video on TikTok while in tears after her neighbours vandalised her car. She asked the LGBTQ+ community for help in having her rights recognised since the government is still not forthcoming with hate crime legislation. She also shared how the police told her they can’t do much to help and she is now forced to park her car far from her house fearing of more vandalism.

In the first video posted to her TikTok, Camilla says:

“When you are a lesbian in Italy, this is how your homophobic neighbours behave: they break your car side mirror and they pierce and slash all four tires. Of course I reported this, but of course nothing will happen. To members of the LGBT community: can we do something to get some f***ing rights? Every day, I am called ‘whore’ and ‘pervert’. Now they went as far as vandalising the car I use every day to go to work.

“You tell me now, what can I do? I get up every morning, like everyone else, I go to work, I’m paying my f***ing mortgage. I’m 23 years-old, I’ve been paying it [the mortgage] for the past three years. I am not sure how many people my age do this. Can I get some help, please, since our Government is not helping me?”

In a second video, Camilla also said she received death threats. She continued, “What I want is only to live in peace, serene, and that all people can live hand in hand.”

Continue reading: https://gcn.ie/italian-lesbian-hate-crime-legislation/ (source)

Ghana: Military lesbian couple got married, have been detained and face court martial

A Ghanaian military lesbian couple who got married over the weekend, have reportedly been detained and facing court-martial. 

In the videos shared online before their arrest, the ladies looked happy as they danced together while their guests cheered them on. 

The event led to divided opinions on social media as many asked why such “ungodly and abominable” event will be allowed in the West African country.

Continue reading: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ghanaian-military-lesbian-couple-who-got-married-detained-facing-court-martial-1070242 (source)

Lesbian couple slam Facebook after snap of them touching foreheads was banned for being ‘sexually explicit adult content’

A lesbian couple have condemned Facebook after a promotional advert showing their foreheads gently touching was rejected for being ‘sexually explicit adult content’ – while an image showing a heterosexual couple in the same pose was allowed.

Musical duo Sera Golding-Young, 36, and her wife Frankie, 32, had posted a video to announce the release of a new album – and made a sponsored advertisement in a bid to reach fans.

But the post was said to have violated Facebook’s Community Standards rules under its ‘Objectionable Content’ clause, which targets illicit images of nudity or sexual activity.

Continue reading: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8780465/Lesbian-couple-slam-Facebook-video-touching-foreheads-BANNED.html (source)

U.K: Sue Perkins Reveals She Was Victim Of A Homophobic Attack

Former Great British Bake Off host Sue Perkins has revealed that she was victim to a homophobic attack that left her in tears.

The presenter and comedian says she “burst into tears” after a man verbally assaulted her on Hampstead Heath in North London. Speaking on an episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, Perkins revealed: “I did have my first homophobic insult in 20 years recently … I was on the heath and this guy, I think he said, ‘You f***ing dyke.'”

The 51-year-old TV personality told podcast hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney that she feared the altercation might turn physical. “At the time, I sort of went right up to him and went: ‘What did you say?'” she recalled, “and he sort of postured a bit almost as if he was going to hit me, almost like an intimation of something physical.”

Fearful of the situation, Perkins kept her space: “I thought ‘I’m going to just stand here.’ I remember my hand was out because I wanted to keep that distance. Like if you come within the length of my arm I know that something really bad is going to happen.”

Perkins told Cumming and Sweeney that she maintained her composure before asking him again what he had said. “He just sort of buckled a bit and he went, ‘I just mean you’ve got a nice face, why would you…’ I just thought, ‘What’s my face got to do with you?'”

Not wanting to escalate the situation, Perkins said she “didn’t want to replace knee jerk unkindness with knee jerk unkindness,” and she told the man :I’m just walking my dog and I’m quiet and I’m in a good mood and I’ve got love for everyone here and you’ve destroyed that and you can’t take that back today” before leaving and bursting into tears.

Continue reading: https://www.bustle.com/entertainment/sue-perkins-victim-of-homophobic-attack (source)

U.K: Lesbian quits after finding homophobic note in work locker

A shop worker said she was “mortified” when she opened her locker and discovered a homophobic note.

The offensive message was found by Pammie Clinton during her shift at Wilko in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, on 9 September.

It directed a homophobic slur at her and implored her to quit. She handed in her notice a few days later.

Wilko said discrimination of any kind was not accepted and it was looking into the situation “very seriously”.

Ms Clinton, who is a lesbian, said the message had been pushed into her locker through a small hole.”I was absolutely disgusted with what I was reading – I felt like my heart had sunk to the pit of my stomach,” she said.

“I went straight to the bathroom and sat and cried.

“The incident was reported to management but the culprit was never found – and Ms Clinton said she felt compelled to resign.

She said: “I was filled with anxiety and found myself looking at everyone at work thinking ‘was it you?’, which was mentally and emotionally unhealthy.”

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-54183746 (source)

Nigeria: The filmmakers risking jail with lesbian movie Ife

Two Nigerian filmmakers face the prospect of imprisonment if they ignore the stern warning of the authorities and proceed with the release of a movie about a lesbian relationship. 

The dramatic face-off with the regulators – the Nigerian Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) – is worthy of a film itself. 

Producer Pamela Adie and director Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim are determined that Ife (meaning “love” in the Yoruba language) reaches a Nigerian audience, but the NFVCB says it will not be approved as it violates the country’s strict laws on homosexuality.

To get around this, the filmmakers are planning a surprise online release to catch the regulators off-guard. The NFVCB, however, is diligently monitoring all digital platforms to prevent the movie from getting out.According to NFVCB boss Adebayo Thomas, Adie and Ikpe-Etim could be jailed for promoting homosexuality in a country where same-sex relationships are forbidden and can carry a 14-year sentence.

They are organising a private screening in the commercial capital, Lagos, at the end of the month, for which they believe they do not need to get permission. 

Ife will also get an international premiere in Canada in October.

Adie said the aim of the film was to show an accurate picture of lesbian and bisexual women in Nigerian movies.

If a lesbian woman does appear in a standard Nollywood movie they are often portrayed as being possessed, influenced by bad friends or forced into homosexuality and always needing “saving”, she told the BBC.

“You rarely see stories about LGBT people, especially about queer [sic] women that speak to the realities of our lives. 

“Ife was made to bridge the gap and to get the conversation going in Nigeria.”

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-54070446 (source)

India: Armed guards provided for threatened lesbian couple

Payal and Kanchan fell in love as they trained to become policewomen. But their love has faced resistance and they have faced threats, forcing them to go to court to seek protection from their own families, reports BBC Gujarati’s Bhargav Parikh.

When Payal met Kanchan, back in 2017, she had no idea she would fall in love with her fellow trainee. That year, India’s Supreme Court had ruled that gay sex was no longer a criminal offence, overturning a previous judgement that upheld a colonial-era law. But age-old customs and regressive attitudes survived, making it difficult for same-sex relationships to be accepted by larger society.

The women, both now 24, have been living together as a couple since 2018 in the western Indian state of Gujarat, and they know first hand what the discrimination feels like. Their love story was thrust into the limelight last month when they approached the high court.

“Our families are against our relationship. They are threatening us,” Payal said, adding that the two filed an application before the court, asking for police protection. The court ruled that the couple should be protected by armed guards.

Continue reading: https://news.yahoo.com/armed-guards-provided-threatened-lesbian-230354595.html (source)

India: From “Darling Chef” to “Dirty Lesbian”

by Ritu Dalmia

chef

The next two years were strange for me. I had a constant barrage of nasty messages being posted on my Twitter account. Until then, I was only used to getting fan mail. I had the word ‘lesbian’ sprayed on my car window, a stone was hurled at me, a man spat at me at the Delhi airport in front of everyone… I was no longer the darling chef of the country but the dirty lesbian who had the cheek to file this petition.

Yes, there were times when I regretted my decision, when I wondered if I had acted foolishly. The strange part was that after a few agonising hours of self-doubt, I always arrived at the same answer: I had done the right thing by filing the petition, and if I didn’t do anything I had no right to complain, like Ella had said to me.

6 September 2018: It was 6 am in London – where I was on work – when the judgment was read out in the Supreme Court of India. I was stunned, shocked and so happy that my jaw started hurting.

When I had decided to file this petition, I truly did not believe that I would see a change happening in my lifetime. And on this day, two years after filing the petition, history was finally being rewritten. I am not an activist and never wanted to be one; yet for me this was my life’s biggest accomplishment and nothing else in my life till then had ever given me this sense of pride.

 
 

Update: Four people convicted for murder of South African lesbian couple

Seven-arrested-after-horror-torture-and-murder-of-lesbian-couple

Four people tried for the murder of Mooinooi same-sex couple Anisha and Joey van Niekerk, who were raped and killed in December 2017, were convicted in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Mercia Strydom, 24, Aaron Sithole, 27, his brother Jack Sithole, 21, and Alex Modau, 39, killed the couple before taking their bodies to a nearby river where they were burnt beyond recognition, National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana said in a statement.

Their burnt-out car was found in Magaliesburg six days later.

Strydom’s husband, Koos, believed to be the mastermind behind the murders, killed himself last year, News24 reported. He had been found dead in his single cell at Kgosi Mampuru 111 Prison in Pretoria.

Continue reading: https://www.news24.com/news24/
southafrica/news/4-convicted-for-murder-of-mooinooi-same-sex-couple-whose-bodies-were-burnt-beyond-recognition-20200826
(source)

Original article: South Africa: Seven arrested after horror torture and murder of lesbian couple

U.S: Lesbian baker who received homophobic cake order, made the cake anyway

bake

[April] Anderson, a pastry chef with a national reputation, was taken aback by a recent cake order that came into her Good Cakes and Bakes bakery on Livernois in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion commercial corridor.

And, at least at first, she was unsure  how to handle it, worried she could wind up facing a lawsuit.

“We are so used to being Black lesbian women,” Anderson said. “You are used to people discriminating against you and saying mean things to you.”

On July 19, an online order came in for one of the bakery’s red velvet dessert cakes — an Anderson specialty.

The $40 order was paid for by credit card and  included a $10 tip — which is common.

Then Anderson read the message the customer wanted written on the cake and was stunned.

“I am ordering this cake to celebrate and have PRIDE in true Christian marriage,” the customer said in the order.  “I’d like you to write on the cake, in icing, ‘Homosexual acts are gravely evil. (Catholic Catechism 2357)'”

Anderson baked the cake, but without the requested message. In doing so, she was  following the bakery’s long-standing policy.  Written messages are not permitted on specialty dessert cakes ordered online, as stated on the bakery’s website.

Anderson and her wife also wrote a letter to Gordon and attached it to the cake, saying they stand against hate.

“We feel the only ‘grave evil’ is the judgement that good christians, like yourself, impose on folks that don’t meet their vision of what God wants them to be,” the letter said.

Continue reading: https://www.freep.com/story
/news/local/michigan/detroit/2020/08/13/detroit-baker-april-anderson-homophobic-cake-david-gordon/3343464001/
(source)

The Netherlands: Lesbian couple attacked with boiling water at asylum centre

L2L The Netherlands

A lesbian couple was attacked at the asylum center in Gilze last week, the police said on Monday. One woman was assaulted, the other had boiling water poured on her. Two suspects from Nigeria were arrested.

The attack happened in the Prinsenbosch asylum center early on Monday, August 3. The victims, aged 20 and 22 and also from Nigeria, got into an argument with the suspects. The 20-year-old woman was assaulted. The 22-year-old woman had boiling water poured over her. She was taken to a hospital in Tilburg with second degree burns, the police said. Both victims pressed charges.

Continue reading: https://nltimes.nl/2020/08/11/lesbian-couple-attacked-boiling-water-asylum-center (source)

As a lesbian woman, Ellen DeGeneres is being held to higher standards than if she were a man

Ellen DeGeneres

By Eleanor Margolis

iNews

Ellen was The Main Lesbian. She wore pant suits, dated other high-profile women, and – in general – was a Sapphic oasis in a parched hetero celebrity desert. She was the one gay woman your mum had probably heard of. After 20 years of being the friendly, relatable face of lesbian respectability, a number of claims from staffers on her talk show have lifted the mask to reveal someone unrecognisably different.

The woman whose entire shtick is being likeable stands accused of – behind the scenes – behaving more like Miranda Priestly than Barney the Dinosaur

And it should probably be noted that, as a woman demoted to obscurity for being gay, you don’t climb back to the top by being nice. Which presents a conundrum when a kind and nurturing nature is something deeply rooted in society’s expectations of women. As hardnosed and driven as DeGeneres clearly is, it’s hardly surprising that she had to cultivate a public façade of delightfulness to reclaim airtime.

Although allegations of off-air behaviour would be inexcusable, it’s hard to believe a man in her position would face the same backlash, purely for being unkind.

I have no doubt that bigots will make a link between Ellen’s callousness and her sexuality and nod knowingly. Because they can’t name a single other lesbian.

Continue reading: https://inews.co.uk/opinion/as-a-lesbian-woman-ellen-degeneres-is-being-held-to-higher-standards-than-if-she-were-a-man-575083 (source)

U.S: Conservative pundit says lesbian mayor proves that liberals aren’t “sane”

Image courtesy of Sarah Ward

A rightwing pundit said that it’s not “sane” that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) was elected since she’s a lesbian and that there’s “something seriously wrong with her judgment” because she married another woman.

Dave Daubenmire – who was the keynote speaker at a Harrison County, Ohio Republican Party fundraiser last year – attacked Lightfoot on his Pass The Salt Live webcast on Monday.

“I want somebody to tell me how that woman gets elected any place, anywhere,” Daubenmire said, showing a picture of Lightfoot and her wife.

“How could any sane person elect that woman to be head of the city?”

“This is the picture that the city of Chicago wants to send out to the world as the leader, as the top political leader in their city?” he asked. “You tell me that we’re dealing with sane people.”

He then made sure that everyone knew he was talking about the fact that she’s married to a woman.

“We’ve gotten in this mess because we haven’t pointed out the obvious. Listen, folks, there’s something seriously wrong with this woman if she would marry that other woman. There is something seriously wrong with her judgment.”

Continue reading: https://www.lgbtqnation.com
/2020/07/conservative-pundit-says-lesbian-mayor-proves-liberals-arent-sane/
(source)

Canada: Lesbian couple denied service from videographer who doesn’t film ‘homosexual weddings’

kelly-roberts-and-mallory-arthur

As soon as Mallory Arthur and Kelly Roberts got engaged in January, they started planning their October 2021 wedding.

But this week’s excitement wasn’t what the Woodstock, Ont., couple, both 26 years old, were bargaining for. When they tried to book videographer Caramount Pictures, based in Brantford, Ont., for their wedding, the owner told them the business will not work with a same-sex couple.

The refusal came on Monday, 15 years to the day after Canada legalized same-sex marriage, on July 20, 2005.

“I say this with much care, because I know your union is incredibly important to you, but we do not film homosexual weddings,” Cara Hamstra, the business owner, wrote in an email.

Anti-bias group decides in favour of Russian lesbian couple

Screen Shot 2020-06-13 at 1.10.28 am

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women made a groundbreaking decision in favor of a Russian lesbian couple.

It was the first time the 23-member CEDAW committee accepted and decided a same-sex case in its more than 40-year history.

“Our sacrifice makes at least some sense,” O.N., 33, and D.P., 29, the Saint Petersburg lesbian couple who took Russia to task for refusing to recognize an attack they endured six years ago was a hate crime, wrote in an email interview. “It confirms our position that we were deprived of the opportunity to achieve justice and protection in our own country.”

The couple added that the decision was “important for us” and they are proud that “our case has become historic,” they wrote. The couple called it “one of the steps toward Russia without homophobia.”

The couple requested that only their initials be used for safety reasons.

Continue reading: https://www.ebar.com/news/news
/293343/anti-bias_group_decides_in_favor_of
_russian_lesbian_couple
 (source)

Kazakhstan: Lesbian activist receives threats after responding to homophobic MMA fighter

nurbibi

A professional MMA fighter in Kazakhstan has unleashed attacks on LGBTQ people. Now a gay [sic] soccer player and her girlfriend are afraid for their safety.

Kuat Khamitov, also known as Naiman, attacked an LGBTQ-supportive video in Instagram, saying in the comments that LGBTQ people are “worse than dogs,” adding that dogs should be offended by such a comparison. His supporters followed up with comments about LGBTQ people being worse than pigs.

LGBTQ activist Nurbibi Nurkadilova responded with an open letter to Khamitov, criticizing him for his disturbing statement.

“Why do you compare my human rights, the rights of a citizen of this country, with those of a dog?” She asked. “Do you consider me powerless? Or do you compare my mental development with the canine? Or maybe you wanted to draw a parallel between the fact that we also need to put on a chain like dogs? I do not fully understand your ridiculous and stupid statement!”

Nurkadilova said the response from Khamitov’s fans and others in her home country has been swift and deeply disturbing.

“I have received thousands of messages with threats and insults,” she told Outsports in an exclusive interview. “They are all in Russian and Kazakh but say, ‘You’ll burn in hell,’ ‘I will kill you,’ ‘You’re worse than an animal,’ ‘I’ll rape you,’ ‘You don’t belong in this country,’ ‘Go to America,’ ‘You’re the shame of the country,’ and other ugly comments. A normal person would be shocked.”

Nurkadilova told Outsports she is particularly afraid for her girlfriend, who is a soccer player who has represented Kazakhstan on the national team as recently as last year.

“I’m afraid for her,” she said.

Continue reading: https://www.outsports.com/
2020/6/3/21277511/kuat-khamitov-gay-lgbt-pride-homophobia-flag-dogs-nurbibi-nurkadilova-soccer-player
(source)

U.S: Lesbian teen denied graduation over dress code

Dynasia

Dynasia Clark is a senior from Lamar High School in Darlington County. Like most high school students, Clark loves music, writes poems, and couldn’t wait to graduate.

While other schools across the nation aren’t able to hold an in-person graduation because of the coronavirus pandemic, the school was able to find a way to still have a ceremony.

On Tuesday, Clark was getting prepared to walk the stage and become an official high school graduate. But before she was able to take her seat she was told she was not allowed to walk because of what she was wearing– pants.

Being openly gay [sic], she wanted to feel comfortable in her skin as she experienced this once in a lifetime moment.

The school, not the county, had put in place a dress code for the event which required girls to wear a dress. For Dynasia, she wasn’t expecting the school to stop her.

“I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal, because we’re already here, we’re already fixing to walk but now I can’t go because of a dress code,” Clark says.

Realizing that school officials were not going to change their minds, she walked off the field.

“I was angry more than anything because we worked hard to even have a graduation and then I can’t walk because I don’t got on a dress,” Clark says.

However, understanding the importance of this moment, she decided to stay and watch the ceremony from the other side of the gate.

“I was okay standing outside the gate watching them graduate because they’re my classmates,” says Clark. “I wouldn’t want to just go home because I can’t walk.”

As names were being called to receive their diplomas, Clark was ready to hear her name to acknowledge all the hard work she put in the past four years.

But it was never said.

Continue reading: https://wpde.com/news/local/gay-lamar-hs-senior-denied-walking-at-graduation-over-dress-code (source)