Editor’s note: While the students at the centre of this story aren’t lesbians, accusing the students of being lesbian in this context demonstrates the social position of lesbians, with both the teacher and the students understanding the word alone to be derogatory. The media article did not challenge this framing.
Meerut: A teacher allegedly called two students lesbians as an insult, dragged them out by thweir hair and paraded them around the school after she spotted them having lunch together. She was “enraged” ar the violation of COVID protocol. Police have recorded the students statements and the school will initiate an inquiry.
The two Class X students were from different sections. One had come into the other’s classroom during lunch break. The teacher in charge, Amita Rastogi, lost her cool. “She used derogatory terms, said we were in a relationship and that we must be seeing each other outside school,” one of the girls said.
In the Tula region, the Khomyakov Home literary festival was canceled after complaints from Orthodox activists. They were outraged by one of the participants – the writer and open lesbian Oksana Vasyakina.
The festival was to take place in the Bogucharovo estate, which belonged to the founder of early Slavophilism, Alexei Khomyakov. The organizers said that the event had to be canceled due to the COVID epidemic in the region. Vasyakina’s friend, feminist Daria Serenko, believes that the reason is different. According to her, “Orthodox activists” and security officials tried to expel Vasyakina from the festival “because she is a lesbian.” The organizers did not agree to expel her, allegedly leading to the entire festival being canceled.
В Тульской области отменили литературный фестиваль «Хомяков home» после жалоб православных активистов. Их возмутила одна из участниц — писательница и открытая лесбиянка Оксана Васякина.
Фестиваль должен был пройти в усадьбе «Богучарово», принадлежавшей основоположнику раннего славянофильства Алексею Хомякову. Однако организаторы сообщили, что мероприятие пришлось отменить из-за эпидемиологической обстановки в регионе. Подруга Васякиной, феминистка Дарья Серенко, считает, что причина в другом. По ее словам, «православные активисты» и силовики пытались выгнать Васякину с фестиваля «за то, что она лесбиянка». Организаторы не согласились, и потому якобы был отменен весь фестиваль.
As reported by Il Mattino, during the night of 24-25 August, a 40-year-old man attacked and beat a lesbian couple, originally from Nocera Inferiore and living together in Castel San Giorgio. … The reason for the blind aggression? Pure and simple homophobia. The man brutally beat them solely because they are lesbians. The Nocera Inferiore Attourney and the deputy prosecutor Angelo Rubano are certain of this. The 40-year-old, already known to the police, went to the home of the two women, convinced them to go outside and attacked them, kicking and punching them.
Come riportato da Il Mattino, nella notte tra martedì e mercoledì un uomo di 40 anni ha aggredito e picchiato una coppia di donne, originarie di Nocera Inferiore e conviventi nel comune di Castel San Giorgio. … Il motivo della furia cieca? Pura e semplice omofobia. L’uomo le avrebbe brutalmente picchiate solo e soltanto perché lesbiche. Ne è certa la Procura di Nocera Inferiore, e il sostituto procuratore Angelo Rubano. Il 40enne, già noto alle forze dell’ordine, ha raggiunto l’abitazione delle due donne, le ha convinte ad uscire all’aperto e le ha aggredite, prendendole a calci e pugni.
A new lesbophobic attack was recorded on August 24 in Castel San Giorgio, in the province of Salerno, where two 40 year old women in a relationship were kicked and punched by a contemporary already known to the police. He had gone to their home to punish them for their homosexual relationship.
During the struggle, one of the two women lost two teeth, while the other suffered bruises and abrasions. The violence continued even after the police arrived and found the two women on the ground bleeding….
Una nuova aggressione di matrice lesbofobica si è registrata lo scorso 24 agosto a Castel San Giorgio, in provincia di Salerno, dove una coppia di donne 40enni è stata vittima di calci e pugni da parte di un coetaneo già noto alle forze dell’ordine, che si è recato presso la loro abitazione proprio per punirle a causa della loro relazione omosessuale.
Durante la colluttazione, una delle due donne ha perso due denti, mentre l’altra ha riportato degli ematomi e delle escoriazioni. La violenza è andata avanti anche in seguito alle forze dell’ordine, che al loro arrivo hanno trovato le due donne a terra sanguinanti…
Homophobia has become a rallying cause for Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as it has for fellow populists Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Poland’s Andrzej Duda, who also rely on polarizing issues to whip up support. However, in a stunning rebuke of the Turkish strongman’s anti-gay rhetoric, Turks of all stripes came out in defense of Turkish Olympic volleyball star Ebrar Karakurt when she faced online abuse after posting intimate photos of herself with a woman on Instagram. …
Erdogan has taken to homophobic salvos of late and makes no secret of his disapproval for lesbians. “Let’s not dwell on what lesbians shmezbians say. Let us heed our mothers. The mother is the pillar of the family,” he said in February, at the height of mass protests over his appointment of a despised rector to Istanbul’s Bogazici University. Melih Bulu’s first order of business was to ban the university’s LGBT club.
Turkey’s interior minister has called gay people “perverts” and Gay Pride marches have been banned since 2016. Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women, a document that was championed by Erdogan in his reformist days, was justified on the grounds that it somehow encouraged homosexuality. The anti-gay messaging is also being spread by the powerful State Religious Affairs Directorate. Its president, Ali Erbas, claimed in a sermon last year that homosexuality “brings disease in its wake and causes generational rot and decay.”
Yildiz Tar, media and communication program coordinator for Kaos GL, Turkey’s oldest LGBT+ advocacy group, said she wasn’t surprised by the sea of support for Karakurt. “We have made huge strides. Turkey’s society is far more accepting of the LGBT+ community but the government has fallen behind society and is persisting in anachronistic and homophobic policies,” Tar told Al-Monitor.
Albro McLean, the man who raped his lesbian neighbour in an attempt to “make her a women”, has received a life sentence in the Western Cape High Court.
He was convicted for “corrective rape”, despite pleading not guilty to charges of rape and assault with aggravating circumstances, in the Wynberg Regional Court. …
During his appeal, his lawyer argued that the sentence handed down was disproportionate to the offence and that the court overemphasised the seriousness of the offence, at the expense of personal circumstances of the accused.
State advocate, Liezel Scholzel dismissed the argument: “Rape is a very serious offences constituting, as it does, a humiliating, degrading and brutal invasion of privacy, dignity and the person of the victim. It is regarded as a cancer within the society. Not only did the appellant rape the complainant, but he did so with a further motive and out of prejudice that he had against her sexual orientation, causing further serious emotional trauma to the complainant.
“This type of rape has been informally termed as ’corrective’ rape. Corrective rape is not the same as ‘mere’ rape in that it is committed based on prejudice and intolerance. Hate crimes, by nature, cause greater harm than ordinary crimes because they increase the vulnerability of the victims as they are unable to change the characteristics which made them a target,” she said.
She asked that the courts send out a clear message that those types of attacks would not be tolerated.
A refugee because of homophobia and violence in Mozambique, Lara was assaulted and saw friends being killed and raped for their sexuality. Since 2013, she has lived with her wife and child in São Paulo. … “He punched me in the face, I’ll never forget it,” recalls 37-year-old businesswoman Lara Lopes, referring to one of her memories of life in Mozambique, Southeast Africa, when she was attacked by a man in the street for being a lesbian. Another vivid memory was the day her own family excluded her from dinner. “I never forget the day I went to dinner at my aunt’s house with my cousins. They excluded me, put me in a corner by myself and forbade their women to talk to me”. Both episodes were based on the same reason: homophobia. … Her father, who was very involved in sport, heard other people talking about Lara and left the family because of his daughter’s sexuality. “He always heard something, but he never came to talk about it. One day he left the house, he didn’t tell anyone and when my mother tried to find out why, he said that I was using drugs, but I never did that in my life. I soon understood what was happening”, she says.
In addition to her father’s abandonment, prejudice, according to her, is part of a society strongly influenced by Christian religions, predominantly evangelical ones. “They cursed and yelled in the street, I sometimes heard it, without even knowing where the person was. Sometimes the person would throw something from the top of a building on our heads – there were people who would throw water”.
Other than that, Lara saw even more violent forms of homophobia in the country where it was a crime to be gay until July 2015. “In the south they do a lot. Two friends of mine who couldn’t stand the verbal abuse were murdered. I sometimes ask myself: if I were still in Mozambique wouldn’t that be me?”, she asks.
One of the cases she remembers was the day when a man attacked her at the end of a football game. “It was in a public field in the center of the city, called Campo do Estrela. It’s normal for men to hint, but there are people who swallow it, my friends don’t. The guy wanted to start a fight with us, he went for it completely, cursed us with a lot of names, he punched me in the face. And I’m absolutely sure that if he sees me today, he’ll remember it very well”, she says, disgusted. “These are things you can’t forget, they’re kept there in a little drawer”, she laments.
State violence Homophobia is a legacy of colonialism that prevails to this day in at least 30 African countries which retain the criminalisation of same-sex relationships, or otherwise restrict non-heteronormative sexual practices, according to information from the 2019 State-Sponsored Homophobia report, produced by International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA).
Mozambique, which was a Portuguese colony, broke away from its Penal Code that penalised LGBT people in 2015, but no protection was granted in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity, says the report, which also pointed to the Mozambican state’s refusal to register the NGO Lambda Moçambique, which deals with LGBT rights”.
Lambda has been in a legal battle for more than 10 years to be legally recognized by the Mozambican government, despite being the first association for the defense of sexual minorities in the country. The entity’s performance was also part of Lara’s life. “Despite being dangerous, I have always lived with LGBT people, I was part of the direction of Lambda, which is still not accepted by the government. It is not an easy task. Religion influences so much, especially the evangelicals. They think they are the owners of the truth and position themselves as God. My wife’s mother is an extreme evangelical, for example.”
Refugiada por causa da LGBTfobia e da violência do Estado de Moçambique, Lara foi agredida e viu amigas sendo mortas e estupradas por sua sexualidade. Desde 2013, ela vive com a esposa e um filho em São Paulo … “Ele me deu um soco na cara, nunca vou esquecer isso”, lembra a empresária de 37 anos, Lara Lopes, ao se referir a uma das memórias de sua vida em Moçambique, sudeste da África – ela foi agredida por um homem na rua por ser lésbica. Outra recordação viva em sua mente foi o dia em que a própria família a excluiu de um jantar. “Nunca esqueço o dia que eu fui jantar na casa da minha tia, entre primos, eles me excluíram, me colocaram num canto sozinha e proibiram suas mulheres de conversarem comigo”. Ambos os episódios têm o mesmo motivo: LGBTfobia. … O pai, que frequentava muito o meio do esporte, ouvia outras pessoas falando de Lara e abandonou a família por conta da orientação sexual da filha. “Ele ouvia sempre alguma coisa, mas nunca chegou para conversar a respeito. Um dia ele saiu de casa, não falou para ninguém e quando a minha mãe procurou saber o porquê, ele falou que eu estava consumindo drogas, mas eu nunca consumi na minha vida. Logo entendi o que estava acontecendo”, conta.
Além do abandono do pai, o preconceito, segundo ela, faz parte da sociedade influenciada fortemente por religiões cristãs, predominantemente as evangélicas. “Xingavam e gritavam na rua, eu ouvia às vezes, sem nem saber onde é que a pessoa estava. Às vezes a pessoa jogava alguma coisa do alto de um prédio na nossa cabeça, tinha gente que jogava água”.
Fora isso, Lara viu formas ainda mais violentas de LGBTfobia no país em que era crime ser homossexual até julho de 2015. “Chamam a pratica de estupro em pessoas LGBTs de ‘violação cura’, ou ‘violação correctiva’, que agora na África do Sul eles fazem muito. Duas amigas minhas que não aguentavam os desaforos foram assassinadas. Eu às vezes me pergunto: será que se eu estivesse em Moçambique não estaria nessa estatística delas duas?”, questiona.
Um dos casos lembrados por ela foi o dia em que um homem a agrediu ao final de um jogo de futebol. “Foi em um campo público que fica no centro da cidade, chama-se Campo do Estrela. É normal os homens mandarem indiretas, só que tem gente que engole, minhas amigas não. O cara estava com vontade de criar briga com a gente, ele foi pra cima, com tudo mesmo, xingou a gente um monte de nome, ele me deu um soco na cara. E eu tenho a certeza absoluta que se ele me ver hoje, ele vai se lembrar muito bem disso”, conta, revoltada. “São coisas que não tem como você esquecer, está lá guardado numa gavetinha”, lamenta.
Violência do Estado A LGBTfobia é uma herança do colonialismo que impera até hoje em ao menos 30 países africanos que persistem em manter como crime as relações entre pessoas do mesmo sexo ou em restringir práticas sexuais não heteronormativas, segundo informações do relatório Homofobia Patrocinada pelo Estado 2019, produzido pela Associação Internacional de Gays e Lésbicas (ILGA).
Moçambique, que foi colônia portuguesa, se desvencilhou de seu Código Penal que penalizava pessoas LGBT em 2015, mas nenhuma proteção foi concedida em relação à orientação sexual ou identidade de gênero, diz o relatório, que também apontou a negação do Estado moçambicano em registar a ONG Lambda Moçambique, que trata dos direitos LGBTs “.
Lambda está há mais de 10 anos em uma batalha jurídica para ser reconhecida legalmente pelo governo moçambicano, apesar de ser a primeira associação de defesa de minorias sexuais no país. A atuação da entidade também fez parte da vida de Lara. “Apesar de ser perigoso, eu sempre convivi com pessoas LGBTs, fiz parte da direção da Lambda, que até agora não é assumida pelo governo, não é uma tarefa fácil. A religião influencia ainda mais, principalmente na parte dos evangélicos, eles se acham os donos da verdade e se colocam na posição de Deus. A mãe da minha esposa é evangélica extremista, por exemplo”.
As women, lesbians will be subjected to the brutal sex based oppression imposed on them by the Taliban, as well as being subjected to the brutal penalties for homosexuality, worsening the already dire position of lesbians in Afghanistan.
Those who concern me most, as a journalist who reported on the last takeover by the Taliban, are the women, girls and LGBT+ people of Afghanistan. It would be impossible to overstate the terrors they each face, now, simply by the mere fact of their existence in a male-dominated, cis-het society in which they have no real place and in which they are at best second-class citizens with no autonomy. Reporters in Afghanistan are already detailing the threat. And if they weren’t, the Taliban leadership has itself been succinct: Sharia law — Islamic law, religious law — will define everything in Afghanistan going forward. Within that construct there is no room for female, queer or trans autonomy. Imposition of the death penalty for homosexuality has been classified as judicial murder of gay and lesbian people; a form of genocide. Yet it is, according to Afghans and human rights advocates, imminent. On August 16, Nemat Sadat, the first gay Afghan to come out publicly, tweeted: “It’s not hyperbole to say that the Taliban will do what Nazis did to homosexuals: weed them out and exterminate them from Afghan society. Please help.” Last month, Gul Rahim, a Taliban judge, told the German newspaper Bild that, “There are only two penalties for gays: either stoning or they have to stand behind a wall that falls on them. The wall must be 2.5 to 3 meters [about 10 feet] high.” I have reported on “corrective rape” and honor killings of lesbians for various publications. I reported on lesbian asylum seekers fleeing Sharia law to the U.K. and stringent new asylum laws here in the U.S. NGOs have reported for years that gay men and lesbians have been raped as punishment–which the U.S. government knows. “[Gays and lesbians] continued to face arrest by security forces and discrimination, assault, and rape,” said the U.S. State Department’s country report on Afghanistan in 2020.
On 1 August 2021 Listening2Lesbians provided submissions in response to the following from the Commission on the Status of Women:
“Any individual, non-governmental organization, group or network may submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world. The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.”
Information was provided to the UN on incidents dating back approximately 2.5 years across the 57 countries we have reported on in that time.
Legal, social and familial punishment of lesbians for failing to conform with the expectations imposed on women illuminates the status of women around the world. Homosexuality is understood to be a breach of sex-based expectations. Strictly enforced sex roles are accompanied by increased consequences for those who break them, individually or collectively. Lesbians, or women read as lesbians, are doubly punishable for their non-conformity, both overt and inferred.
Listening2Lesbians is not an expert on these countries and provided this information to augment and support the information provided by women from individual communities. We can only provide information on cases we have been able to locate and based our submissions solely around the available facts. Please note that we welcome corrections and updates.
We are painfully aware of the many communities not represented.
Anyone with information on missing communities is invited to contact us with information on reporting violence and discrimination against lesbians in their community.
Natalí fears for her life and that of her mother. They live together in an apartment in the northern area [of La Florida] and she is certain that her neighbors want to evict them for her being lesbian. She has reported them for harassment and threats in court. For a month she has had a panic button that, she says, she has used on several occasions. “They physically and verbally assaulted us. They tell us that they want the apartment and that we must leave here,” she said.
Her 64-year-old mother was one of the first residents of the La Florida monoblock apartments and Natalí has lived there since she was born 35 years ago. According to her, in 2019 the harassment began. The final straw which resulted in her seeking justice was a neighbour threatening her with a firearm. “I got to my house and a neighbor came out, verbally abused me and told me I had to go. He pulled a gun from his waistband and put it to my head. My mum heard noises and opened the door. I took advantage of his distraction to escape and enter my house,” she recalled.
Natalí teme por su vida y la de su madre. Viven juntas en un departamento de zona norte y asegura que sus vecinos las quieren echar por lesbiana. Los denunció por hostigamiento y amenazas en la Justicia y desde hace un mes tiene un botón antipánico que, asegura, usó en varias oportunidades. “Nos agredieron física y verbalmente. Nos dicen que quieren el departamento y que nos vayamos de acá”, contó.
Su madre, de 64 años, fue una de las primeras adjudicatarias de los departamentos del monoblock de La Florida y Natalí vive ahí desde que nació, hace 35 años. Según contó, en 2019 empezaron los hostigamientos. El límite que la llevó a la Justicia fue la amenaza con un arma de fuego de parte de un vecino. “Llegué a mi casa y un vecino salió, me insultó y me dijo me tenía que ir. Saco un arma de su cintura y me la puso en la cabeza. Mi mamá escuchó ruidos y abrió la puerta. Yo aproveché su distracción para escapar y entrar”, recordó.
5 June 2021: The Viva Shopping Center publicly apologized in compliance with the Constitutional Court’s ruling T-068 of 2021. According to the ruling, “there is a pattern of discrimination aimed at people of the same sex who express affection in public.” The ruling is a response of the Constitutional Court to the case of a couple of lesbian women who are members of the LBT women’s collective “Rare not so Rare”.
El Centro Comercial Viva pidió disculpas públicas en cumplimiento de la sentencia T-068 de 2021 de la Corte Constitucional. De acuerdo a la sentencia “existe un patrón de discriminación que tiene como objeto a las personas del mismo sexo que realizan manifestaciones de afecto en público”. El fallo es una respuesta de la Corte Constitucional al caso de una pareja de mujeres lesbianas integrantes de la colectiva de mujeres LBT “Raras no tan Raras”.
On Tuesday night (15 June)Angela Ro Ro posted an outburst on her Instagram profile about the homophobic attacks she continues to receive on social networks. The singer, who is a lesbian, criticized the “haters” and made an appeal on behalf of the large number of people who are also affected by this type of discrimination. “I’m tired of being a lone victim. Unfortunately, there are many victims. Leave us alone. We are not martyrs. We are being human. Angela Ro Ro with great pride. Gay pride forever,” she said in the message.
Angela Ro Ro publicou em seu perfil no Instagram, na noite de terça-feira (15), um desabafo sobre os ataques homofóbicos que continua recebendo nas redes sociais. A cantora, que é lésbica, criticou os “haters” e fez um apelo em nome do grande número de pessoas que também são afetadas por esse tipo de discriminação.”Cansei de ser vítima solitária. Infelizmente muitas são as vítimas. Deixem-nos em paz. Não somos mártires. Somos serem humanos. Angela Ro Ro com muito orgulho. Gay pride forever [orgulho gay para sempre, em inglês]”, disse na mensagem.
On Saturday afternoon, a video circulated on the internet showing Eddy Demarez making homophobic remarks towards the Belgian Cats as they arrived at the airport. The reporter said “there is only one straight on the team.” Not knowing he was on the air, he continued to say revolting things, comparing Billie Massey to “a mountain. Have you ever looked at her? She’s a colossus,” he said to a colleague before continuing his inappropriate monologue by making an inappropriate joke about Emma Meesseman and continuing to attack other players.
“The Mestdaghs, one is a lesbian, the other is not. Carpréaux is a man.”
Sporza and VRT have announced the immediate suspension of Eddy Demarez who will no longer comment until further notice.
Ce samedi après-midi, une vidéo a circulé sur internet. On y voit Eddy Demarez tenir des propos homophobes envers les Belgian Cats alors qu’elles arrivaient à l’aéroport. Le journaliste prétend “qu’il n’y a qu’une hétéro dans l’équipe.” Ne se sachant pas à l’antenne, il continue ensuite à tenir des propos nauséabonds en comparant Billie Massey à “une montagne. Tu l’as déjà bien regardée ? C’est une colosse”, déclare-t-il à l’un de ses confrères avant de poursuivre son monologue malsain en réalisant un jeu de mots douteux sur Emma Meesseman ou en continuant à attaquer d’autres joueuses.
“Les Mestdagh, une est lesbienne, l’autre pas. Carpréaux est un homme.”
Sporza et VRT ont annoncé la suspension immédiate d’Eddy Demarez qui ne commentera plus jusqu’à nouvel ordre. (Original)
Just a few hours after the Olympic Games’ Opening Ceremony, the volleyball champion [Katarzyna Skorupa], gave an interview to the Polish outlet Przeglad Sportowy. Katarzyna Skorupa was speaking openly about her homosexuality and how the sports world is still bigoted. “Homosexuals are often discriminated against by clubs or federations. Sometimes a lesbian is the second choice, even if her performance on the pitch indicates that she should be the first”, Skorupa declared loudly. She specified that since she openly stated that she’s a lesbian, “I made choices and I have paid for them”.
Just last March, the volleyball player clearly stated on the pages of the weekly Wprost that she was discriminated against not only on the pitch, but also in everyday life. “We live in a xenophobic, homophobic and closed society.” (Translated)
A poche ore dalla cerimonia inaugurale dei giochi olimpici, la campionessa di pallavolo ha però rilasciato una intervista al portale polacco Przeglad Sportowy Katarzyna Skorupa parlando apertamente della sua omosessualità e di come il mondo dello sport sia ancora bigotto. “Gli omosessuali sono spesso discriminati da club o federazioni. A volte una lesbica è la seconda scelta, anche se il suo atteggiamento in campo indica che dovrebbe essere la prima” – ha detto a gran voce la Skorupa che da quando ha dichiarato apertamente di essere lesbica ha precisato “ho fatto delle scelte e le ho pagate”.
Proprio lo scorso marzo, la pallavolista dalle pagine del settimanale Wprost aveva chiaramente dichiarato di essere stata discriminata non solo in campo, ma anche nella vita di tutti i giorni. “Viviamo in una società xenofoba, omofoba e chiusa.
Claudia had to leave El Salvador because her life was at risk. There she was in danger as a woman and as a lesbian – dual reasons to die she says. For this reason, she is now taking refuge in a country that constantly feels alien to her, although it protects her human rights. She is free, but she feels lonely. Given that, she hopes that in El Salvador LGBT people will not always have to give up something, everything, just to live without fear.
Claudia, who for security reasons prefers to remain anonymous, is an activist and human rights defender. In this interview, she talks about the implications of being an LGBT person in a country like El Salvador, where, among other things, hatred, violence and impunity reign. In addition, she explains how the actions of governments which, far from progressing, insist on going backwards, affect the LGBT community. And she explains what it means to live in a place where human rights aren’t an aspiration but a fact. That place, of course, is far, far from being El Salvador. …
What does it mean to belong to the LGBT + community in a country like El Salvador?
Death. That is what it means to be part of the LGTB community in El Salvador. …
Did your departure from the country have to do with your being a rights defender or your sexual orientation?
It was both. I can’t reveal many details, but it was the violence in El Salvador that forced me to leave. I’d continue the fight, but what would that cost? Perhaps my life? Saying: “No, enough is enough” was a super difficult decision, but it was because of crime, the lack of rights and, above all, because of the violence experienced by the LGBT community. There is a horrible widespread violence, in all aspects and in all sectors of the population.
Would you return to El Salvador?
Because in El Salvador we are light years away from changing our mentality. We have nothing there. I don’t have a future in El Salvador. And I would not return to lose the freedom that I now have. I am a refugee woman. Two months after I arrived here, my brother was murdered in El Salvador. El Salvador hurt me a lot. I am proud to be a Salvadoran lesbian woman, very proud to tell everyone that I am from El Salvador. However, the living conditions that I have in this country I would not have there as an LGBT woman. I cannot do anything. And it is a very difficult situation because I love my country. I would like to be in my country and not here where I am, but there I have no guarantees of anything. (Translated)
Claudia tuvo que salir de El Salvador porque su vida estaba en riesgo. Aquí, corría peligro por ser mujer y por ser lesbiana. Eso le valdría, dice, estar muerta dos veces. Por eso, ahora se refugia en un país que, aunque le garantiza derechos humanos, no deja de parecerle ajeno. Es libre, pero se siente sola. Y, ante eso, anhela que en El Salvador las personas de la población LGBT+ no tengan que renunciar a algo, a todo, para poder vivir sin miedo.
Claudia, quien por seguridad prefiere mantener el anonimato, es activista y defensora de derechos humanos. En esta entrevista, habla de las implicaciones de ser población LGBT+ en un país como El Salvador, en el que, entre otras cosas, reinan el odio, la violencia y la impunidad. Además, explica cómo afectan a la comunidad LGBT+ las acciones de los gobiernos que, lejos de avanzar, se empeñan en retroceder. Y cuenta cómo se vive en un lugar en el que los derechos humanos dejan de ser una aspiración y se convierten en un hecho. Ese lugar, claro, está lejos, muy lejos de El Salvador….
¿Qué significa pertenecer a la comunidad LGBT+ en un país como El Salvador?
Muerte. Eso significa ser parte de la comunidad LGTB+ en El Salvador. …
¿Su salida del país tuvo que ver con que usted es defensora de derechos o con su orientación sexual?
Fueron las dos cosas. No puedo revelar muchos detalles, pero fue la violencia en El Salvador la que me sacó de ahí. Yo estaría en pie de lucha, ¿pero cuál sería el costo de eso? A lo mejor sería mi vida. Decir: “No, basta ya”, fue una decisión súper difícil, pero fue por la delincuencia, la falta de derechos y, sobre todo, por la violencia que se vive para la comunidad LGBT+. Hay una violencia generalizada horrible, en todos los aspectos y en todos los sectores de la población.
¿Regresaría a El Salvador?
¿Por qué no?
Porque en El Salvador estamos a años luz de cambiar de mentalidad. No tenemos nada en ese país. Yo no tengo un futuro en El Salvador. Y no regresaría a perder la libertad que ahora tengo. Soy una mujer refugiada, y a los dos meses de haber llegado acá, en El Salvador asesinaron a mi hermano. El Salvador me duele mucho. Yo estoy orgullosa de ser una mujer lesbiana salvadoreña, pero orgullosísima de decirle a todo el mundo que soy de El Salvador. Sin embargo, las condiciones de vida que tengo en este país no las podría tener allá siendo una mujer LGBT+. No puedo hacer nada. Y es una situación bien difícil porque yo amo mi país. Quisiera estar en mi país y no aquí donde estoy, pero allá no tengo garantías de nada.
Insulted and beaten bloody for looking too much at the attackers’ girlfriends. The subject of the latest homophobic violence was a young woman who was with her partner last Friday in the Roman Gay Street, which is the main road of San Giovanni which connects the Basilica to the Colosseum. She was there to spend a few hours quietly, having a relaxed drink and a chat with her girlfriend. She could not imagine the turn that the evening would take. It was an ending, unfortunately, which is similar to the many others that have been increasing in number recently throughout Italy, from north to south, in a series of offenses and attacks against the LGBTQ community.
After the attacks in the Neapolitan area, in Milan, and in Tuscany, this most recent one happened in the heart of the capital a few days ago. This incident was reported by the actor Pietro Turano, activist and vice president of the Roman chapter of Arcigay. On his Facebook page he recounted the episode he partially witnessed. A young lesbian was targeted by two contemporaries who allegedly first verbally abused her and then attacked her with a small knife, wounding her in different parts of her body. (Translated)
Insultata e colpita a sangue per uno sguardo di troppo rivolto alle fidanzate degli aggressori. Protagonista dell’ultima violenza omofoba una ragazza che lo scorso venerdì si trovava insieme alla sua compagna nella Gay Street romana, ovvero lo stradone di San Giovanni che collega la Basilica al Colosseo. Era lì per per trascorrere qualche ora tranquillamente, a bere un bicchiere e chiacchierare in totale relax con la sua ragazza ma non immaginava minimamente la piega che avrebbe preso la serata. Un epilogo, purtroppo, simile a tanti altri che negli ultimi tempi si stanno moltiplicando un po’ in tutta Italia, da nord a sud. Con una sequela di offese e aggressioni contro la comunità Lgbtq+.
Dopo gli attacchi nel Napoletano, a Milano e in Toscana l’ultimo nel cuore della Capitale qualche giorno fa. A denunciarlo l’attore Pietro Turano, attivista e vice presidente dell’Arcigay romana. Sulla sua pagina Facebook ha raccontato l’episodio del quale è stato in parte testimone: una giovane lesbica presa di mira da due coetanei che l’avrebbero prima insultata e poi aggredita con un coltellino ferendola in diverse parti del corpo. (Original)
Unknown people threw paint over the walls of the bar, with the sole intention of erasing murals showing the faces of victims of lesbophobic murder.
The LGBTIQ Chueca Bar, located in Rancagua 406, Providencia commune, suffered a lesbophobic attack at dawn on Thursday [22 July], an attack which was denouced by the Homosexual Integration and Liberation Movement (Movilh).
The owners of the building said that “in a clearly premeditated and calculated act”, three people, as yet unidentified, painted the walls of the building white to erase murals with the faces of Nicole Saavedra and Ana Cook, both murdered in lesbophobic attacks, “as well as the mural that showed a woman of African descent, a non-binary person and a drag king”.
“These acts make us feel more and more unsafe. Chueca is a space created for lesbians, a safe place for dissent and where solely women work. Clearly, this is intimidation.” (Translated)
Desconocidos lanzaron pintura sobre la fachada del lugar, con el único ánimo de borrar pinturas con rostros de víctimas fatales de la lesbofobia.
Un ataque lesbofóbico sufrió la madrugada del jueves el bar LGBTIQ+ Chueca Bar, ubicado en Rancagua 406, comuna de Providencia, hecho que fue repudiado hoy por el Movimiento de Integración y Liberación Homosexual (Movilh).
Las dueñas del recinto precisaron que “en un acto claramente premeditado y calculado”, tres sujetos, aún sin identificar, pintaron de blanco la fachada del recinto con el fin de borrar pinturas con los rostros de Nicole Saavedra y Ana Cook, ambas víctimas fatales de la lesbofobia, “al igual que el mural que mostraba una mujer afrodescendiente, una persona no binaria y una drag King”.
“Estos actos hacen que cada vez nos sintamos más inseguras. Chueca es un espacio creado para las lesbianas, un lugar seguro para la disidencia y donde trabajamos puras mujeres. Claramente, esto es amedrentamiento.” (Original)
Requests for a memorial token to commemorate lesbian prisoners in the former Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp have been submitted as far back as 2012. Now the management of the Ravensbrück Memorial and the Board of Directors of the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation have finally approved the installation, as announced by the foundation in a press release on July 14th.
The memorial is to be in the shape of a ceramic ball which will be permanently placed on the new memorial area on the former camp wall in spring 2022, as part of the observance of the 77th anniversary of the camp’s liberation. The inscription reads: “In memory of all lesbian women and girls in the Ravensbrück and Uckermark women’s concentration camps. They were persecuted, imprisoned and even murdered. You are not forgotten.”
Heated Debate: Have Lesbians Been Persecuted?
This decision was preceded by a decade-long dispute over recognition of a lesbian memorial. Applications for a memorial had been rejected by the Brandenburg Memorials Foundation for a long time on the grounds that, according to the criminal law of the Nazi state, only men were criminalized for homosexual acts and brought to the concentration camp for this. There was no comparable persecution of lesbian women under criminal law in Germany. The LSVD spokesman at the time, Alexander Zinn, therefore claimed that a memorial sign for lesbian women would create the “myth of lesbian persecution”.
As Marion Lüttig, head of the Lesbenring, explained in a press release today, how lesbian women and girls were considered “because of their independence they were considered to be ‘degenerate’ and anti-social during the Nazi era. They were psychiatricized, forced into prostitution in camps and imprisoned.” Lesbian acts were also punishable in the camps. The suffering and persecution of lesbian women under National Socialism have only been dealt with in part, to this day. This is also due to the difficulty of getting such research projects funded at all, as historian Claudia Schoppmann told our sister magazine Victory Column in 2018.
Lesbian Ring: “Undignified debate has finally come to an end”
LesbenRing board member Marion Lüttig was delighted with the decision: “We are relieved that the unworthy debate about whether lesbians have ever been persecuted and the years of rejection of a memorial sign are finally over. With the decision of the foundation to install the memorial orb, over three quarters of a century after the liberation of the camp, the suffering of lesbian women and girls is finally made visible. “
The LesbenRing criticizes the fact that lesbian history is hardly present in the historiography of mainstream society. The persecution and murder of lesbian women during the Nazi era was and is still denied. “To this day, the massive hostility towards homosexuality, in the context of which the traditional testimonies are shaped, determines the politics of rememberance and research.” (Translated)
Bereits seit 2012 liegen Anträge für ein Gedenkzeichen vor, das an lesbische Häftlinge des ehemaligen Frauen-Konzentrationslager Ravensbrück erinnern soll. Nun haben die Leitung der Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück und der Vorstand der Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten einem entsprechenden Antrag doch noch zugestimmt. Das gab die Stiftung in einer Pressemitteilung vom 14. Juli bekannt.
Das Gedenkzeichen soll die Form einer aus Keramik gestalteten Kugel haben und im Frühjahr 2022, im Rahmen der Feierlichkeiten zum 77. Jahrestag der Befreiung, auf dem neuen Gedenkareal an der ehemaligen Lagermauer dauerhaft niedergelegt werden. Die Inschrift lautet: „In Gedenken aller lesbischer Frauen und Mädchen im Frauen-KZ Ravensbrück und Uckermark. Sie wurden verfolgt, inhaftiert, auch ermordet. Ihr seid nicht vergessen.“
Hitzige Debatte: Wurden Lesben verfolgt?
Vorangegangen war ein jahrzehntelanger Streit um die Anerkennung lesbischen Gedenkens. Anträge für ein Gedenkzeichen waren von der Stiftung Brandenburgische Gedenkstätten lange abgelehnt worden – mit der Begründung, dass nach dem Strafrecht des NS-Staats allein Männer aufgrund homosexueller Handlungen kriminalisiert und dafür ins KZ gebracht wurden. Eine vergleichbare Verfolgung lesbischer Frauen nach dem Strafrecht gab es in Deutschland nicht. Der damlige Sprecher des LSVD, Alexander Zinn, behauptete deswegen, mit einem Gedenkzeichen für lesbische Frauen würde die „Legende einer Lesbenverfolgung“ geschaffen.
Wie Marion Lüttig, Vorständin des Lesbenrings, heute in einer Pressemitteilung ausführte, galten lesbische Frauen und Mädchen in der Zeit des Nationalsozialismus allerdings „durch ihre Unabhängigkeit als ,entartet` und asozial. Sie wurden psychiatrisiert, zur Prostitution in Lagern gezwungen und inhaftiert.“ Auch standen in den Lagern lesbische Handlungen unter Strafe. Das Leid und die Verfolgung lesbischer Frauen im Nationalsozialismus sind bis heute nur lückenhaft aufgearbeitet. Auch aufgrund der Schwierigkeit, entsprechende Forschungsprojekte überhaupt finanziert zu bekommen, wie die Historikerin Claudia Schoppmann 2018 unserem Schwestermagazin Siegessäule erzählte.
LesbenRing: „Unwürdige Debatte hat endlich ein Ende“
LesbenRing-Vorständin Marion Lüttig freute sich sehr über die Entscheidung: „Wir sind erleichtert, dass die unwürdige Debatte, ob Lesben je verfolgt worden seien, und die jahrelange Ablehnung eines Gedenkzeichens endlich ein Ende haben. Mit der Entscheidung der Stiftung für die Gedenkkugel wird das Leid von lesbischen Frauen und Mädchen über ein dreiviertel Jahrhundert nach der Befreiung des Konzentrationslagers endlich sichtbar gemacht.“
Der LesbenRing kritisiert, das lesbische Geschichte in der Geschichtsschreibung der Mehrheitsgesellschaft kaum präsent sei. So wurde und werde die Verfolgung und Ermordung lesbischer Frauen in der NS-Zeit geleugnet. „Bis heute bestimmt die massive Homosexuellenfeindlichkeit, von der die Mehrheit der überlieferten Zeugnisse geprägt ist, Erinnerungspolitik und Forschung.“
In Arzano (in the metropolitan area of Naples) two young women aged 21 and 23 were allegedly first approached by a man who had seen them kissing in the car, who then verbally attacked them, slapping the younger woman.
Arcigay Napoli denounced the attack, explaining that they had received a letter from one of the two girls: “I am contacting you,” one of the two young women wrote, “because we need help. I was lucky enough to fall in love with a beautiful woman. We were in the car, in the usual alleyway below our house. An angry and hate filled man approached us, screaming at us. Despite my calm answer, while my girlfriend was starting the car to get away, the man slapped me twice, threatening to set fire to the car with us inside if we showed up again in the same place”. (Translated)
Ad Arzano (nell’area metropolitana di Napoli) due ragazze di 21 e 23 anni sarebbero state avvicinate da un signore che le aveva viste baciarsi in auto e successivamente le ha aggredite verbalmente schiaffeggiato poi la ragazza più giovane.
Lo denuncia Arcigay Napoli, spiegando di aver ricevuto una lettera da una delle due ragazze: «Vi contatto – ci scrive una delle due ragazze – perché abbiamo bisogno di aiuto. Ho avuto la fortuna di innamorarmi di una bellissima ragazza. Stavamo in auto, nel solito vicoletto sotto casa e un signore con tanto odio e rabbia si è avvicinato urlando contro di noi e nonostante la mia risposta pacata, mentre la mia ragazza stava facendo partire l’auto per allontanarci, il signore mi ha aggredito con due schiaffi, minacciando di dar fuoco all’auto con noi dentro se ci fossimo ripresentati nello stesso posto». (Original)
The Observatory against Homophobia (OCH) has denounced a lesbophobic attack against a 31-year-old woman in a municipality of Tarragonès. As ACN has learned, the events took place on July 8 when the woman was on a terrace of a bar, when soeone in front of her in the bar began to verbally abuse her with also insulting gestures. Among the insults spoken, he said ‘shitty dyke’. (Translated)
El Observatorio contra la Homofobia (OCH) ha denunciado una agresión lesbofòbica contra una mujer de 31 años en un municipio el Tarragonès. Según ha podido saber ACN, los hechos tuvieron lugar el día 8 de julio cuando la mujer se encontraba en una terraza de un bar y una persona del bar de delante empezó a insultarla con gestos. Entre los insultos proferidos le dijo ‘bollera de mierda’. (Original)