Author Archives: Liz

Serbian lesbian mothers – the closet and legal rights

Serbian Premier Ana Brnabic

Serbian society is unfamiliar with gay couples who have children. It is therefore rare. Apart from the legal obstacles, it is also practically impossible. Lesbian couples who do not want to or are unable to find a donor in their own circle must go abroad because there are no sperm banks in Serbia. For gay men it is completely impossible, because only married couples can adopt and same-sex marriage is not recognized. That does not mean that there are no gays and lesbians with children, but it is almost always hidden from the outside world. They lead a life like that of Natasa.
(Translated)

De Servische samenleving is onbekend met homostellen die kinderen hebben. Het komt dan ook weinig voor. Los van de wettelijke obstakels, is het ook praktisch bijna onmogelijk. Lesbische stellen die niet in eigen kring een donor willen of kunnen vinden, moeten ervoor naar het buitenland omdat in Servië geen spermabanken zijn. Voor homomannen is het helemaal onmogelijk, omdat alleen getrouwde stellen mogen adopteren en het homohuwelijk niet wordt erkend. Dat betekent niet dat er geen homo’s en lesbiennes met kinderen zijn. Maar het wordt vrijwel altijd verborgen gehouden voor de buitenwereld. Ze leiden een leven als dat van Natasa.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://nos.nl/artikel/2274048-servische-lesbienne-ik-ging-terug-in-de-kast-voor-een-kind.html (Source)

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Italy: Roman Scout Leader berates lesbian minors

Villa Torlonia Bacio

The story of an afternoon at Villa Torlonia ruined by the screams of a scout leader on a trip with a group of children, outraged by the kiss of two sixteen-year-old girls on the grass. An episode of homophobia: two intimidated girls and a friend of theirs trying to stand up to an overbearing adult who berated them for being ‘indecent’.
(Translated)

Il racconto di un pomeriggio a Villa Torlonia rovinato dalle urla di un capo scout in gita con un gruppo di bambini, indignato dal bacio di due ragazze di sedici anni sull’erba del prato. Un episodio di omofobia: due ragazze intimorite e un loro amico che cercavano di tenere testa a un adulto prepotente che le rimproverava per essere ‘indecenti’.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://roma.fanpage.it/omofobia-capo-scout-se-la-prende-con-due-ragazzine-che-si-baciano-vergognatevi/ (Source)

 

Chile: supermarket guard denounced for lesbophobia against lesbian couple

chile

Using Instagram, Movilh Chile denounced an act of lesbophobia, which occurred in a Tottus supermarket, where a security guard approached a female couple and said “Why are you causing havoc? Women can not say they love each other.” The women rebuked the security guard who, according to the item posted on social networks, does not respond to them or give them any attention, until they reached out to other supermarket officials who recognized their complaints. For Vannia Díaz and Fernanda Pereire, this situation is a lesbophobic act. “My partner and I were not even holding hands, nor kissing, and even though it has happened, it can not continue happening, neither because we are women nor because we are lesbians,” Pereire said.
(Translated by Carmen Garland)

El Movilh denunció un acto de lesbofobia, a través de su cuenta de instagram, ocurrido en un supermercado Tottus, donde un guardia se les acerca a la pareja de mujeres y les dice “¿Por qué se echan a perder? las mujeres no se pueden decir amor”. Las mujeres increparon al sujeto quien, según se observa en el registro publicado en redes sociales, no les responde ni les da la cara, hasta llegar donde otros funcionarios del supermercado reconociendo sus dichos. Para Vannia Díaz y Fernanda Pereire esta situación es un acto acto lesbofóbico. “Con mi pareja ni siquiera estábamos de la mano, ni dándonos un beso. Y aunque aquí fuese esto no puede seguir ocurriendo, ni porque somos mujeres ni porque somos lesbianas”, señaló Pereire.
(Original)

nue reading at: https://www.24horas.cl/nacional/por-que-se-echan-a-perder-guardia-de-supermercado-es-denunciado-por-discriminar-a-pareja-lesbiana-3190812 (source)

Lesbian Rights in the Declaration of Women’s Sex-Based Rights

Guest post by Tina Minkowitz

Tina Minkowitz is a human rights lawyer who mostly works on the rights of people with disabilities, in particular for the abolition of forced psychiatric interventions. Her LLM thesis Female Autonomy vs Gender Identity: a critical analysis of gender identity in CEDAW jurisprudence and the Yogyakarta Principles is available online and may also be of interest to readers.

Lesbian Rights

As a lesbian, it is important to me that the Declaration on Women’s Sex-Based Rights includes us explicitly.

The Declaration is an initiative by women to argue for our rights as a female sex, oppressed by gender as a system of male supremacy and sex stereotypes.  It is designed to counter the ideology of gender identity that maintains sex is irrelevant and only subjective identification with one or another gender matters.  This ideology, which harms women and girls by allowing men to access female-only spaces – both physical spaces and symbolic ones –  including those created by and for lesbians, has become increasingly influential in human rights discourse.

Lesbians are one of the groups of women most impacted by transgender identity politics.  There are no safe public spaces that we can take for granted – in countries where we had won a superficial tolerance, lesbians are being pushed out of our own spaces by men who claim that they are us, and if we do not want to have sex with them we are bigots.  We may have marriage equality, but we are caught between resurgent religious fundamentalism on the right, and a demand that we relinquish female-only space – whether bathrooms, showers, dormitories, sports, lesbian chatrooms and dating apps – on the left.  We are already marginalized in straight-dominant society, at risk of violence and ostracism for being lesbian or for not fitting the stereotypical patterns of women’s lives, appearance, behavior in a world that expects men to lead and women to serve them.

The Declaration recognizes that rights related to sexual orientation are necessary for lesbians to exercise our rights and says that men’s claims to be lesbians discriminates undermines lesbians’ rights and is a form of discrimination against women.

It specifically calls for the legal use of the term ‘woman’ to mean adult human female, and the term ‘lesbian’ to mean adult human female whose sexual orientation is towards other adult human females; and for the recognition of the rights of lesbians to assemble and associate on the basis of common sexual orientation, without including men who claim to have female ‘gender identities’.

It could have gone further perhaps, to call for women’s sexual autonomy and right to autonomous sexuality explicitly as one of the overarching rights (e.g. sexual integrity, as it does call for reproductive integrity).  It also could have addressed lesbians’ existence in violation of sex stereotypes.  Nevertheless, it has potential to bring lesbians into human rights discourse on our own terms, for us to expand on this space.  There are plans in progress for global consultation that may result in updating or additions, as more women become involved and the Declaration is translated into languages other than English.

The Declaration is not an official document of the United Nations.  However, using the language of human rights and making an argument based on UN human rights instruments gives us a basis to advocate to UN mechanisms like the Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.  This in turn can help to shape global political debates, and those in our own countries.

Read the Declaration at https://www.womensdeclaration.com and consider signing it to show your support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasaia, Spain: Lesbian fired for wanting to be a mother

Spain

The LAB union has denounced on Thursday the discriminatory situation that, in their opinion, a lesbian woman in Pasaia suffered from. According to a statement in a media release, a local bar has fired a woman “for wanting to be a mother.” The union explains that “since the company knew two of its workers were a couple, the relationship has been going wrong.” Thus, according to the union, “a few weeks ago, knowing that one of them was undergoing a fertility treatment, they have fired the other worker.”
(Translated)

El sindicato LAB ha denunciado este jueves la situación discriminatoria que, a su entender, está padeciendo una mujer lesbiana en Pasaia. Según señalan en un comunicado, un bar de la localidad ha despedido a una mujer «por querer ser madre». El sindicato explica que «desde que la empresa supo dos de sus trabajadoras eran pareja, la relación ha ido torciéndose». Así, según la central, «hace unas semanas, a sabiendas de que una de ellas se estaba sometiendo a un tratamiento de fertilidad, han despedido a la otra trabajadora».
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.diariovasco.com/oarsoaldea/pasaia/lab-denuncia-pasaia-despide-lesbiana-camarera-20190321185819-nt.html(Source)

 

The lesbian Nazi victims who allegedly did not exist: Elli Smula and Margarete Rosenberg

Ravensbruck Orb design

There are numerous publications on the fate of lesbian women who were imprisoned in the Ravensbrück concentration camp. In the last year, comments by a doctorate in history from Berlin caused a sensation, saying that there is no evidence for the actual detention and a whatsoever designed commemorative ball was thus falsifying the history. The LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg relied on this assessment in their remembrance work for women at the Ravensbrück Concentration Camp Memorial Site. … In the traditions of the ITS in Bad Arolsen, although no original access books of the former concentration camp Ravensbrück have been preserved, a few contemporary copies of these camp books have been partially preserved there. From these are two sides of the present complex of topics of great interest – namely the access list of November 30, 1940 : The admission reason for women numbers 11 and 26 was given as “lesbian”. These women are Elli Smula and Margarete Rosenberg, nee Quednau.
(Translated)

Zum Schicksal von lesbischen Frauen, die im Konzentrationslager Ravensbrück inhaftiert waren, gibt es zahlreiche Publikationen. Im letzten Jahr erregten Äußerungen eines promovierten Historikers aus Berlin Aufsehen, der sich damit zu Wort meldet, es gäbe keine Nachweise für die tatsächliche Inhaftierung und eine wie auch immer gestaltete Gedenkkugel sei somit geschichtsverfälschend. Der LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg berief sich bei der Erinnerungsarbeit für Frauen in der KZ-Gedenkstätte Ravensbrück auf diese Einschätzung. … In den Überlieferungen des ITS in Bad Arolsen haben sich zwar keine Originalzugangsbücher des ehemaligen KZ Ravensbrück erhalten, jedoch sind die wenigen zeitgenössischen Abschriften dieser Lagerbücher dort teilweise erhalten geblieben. Aus diesen sind zwei Seiten zum vorliegenden Themenkomplex von großem Interesse – nämlich die Zugangsliste vom 30. November 1940: In ihr werden unter den fortlaufenden Nummern 11 und 26 zwei Frauen mit dem Einlieferungsgrund lesbisch genannt. Bei diesen Frauen handelt es sich um Elli Smula und um Margarete Rosenberg, geborene Quednau.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.blu.fm/aktuell/community/lesbische-naziopfer-ravensbrueck/ (Source)

Further information: “Rioting” – dispute between LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg and activists escalated

Original articles:

Girlhood Interrupted – The Path of Desistance

Listening 2 Lesbians is excited to see a new space for lesbian voices in the creation of The Velvet Chronicle.

Chiara

Chiara Canaan
The Velvet Chronicle

“The view from my window is of the house next door, and a little winding road that leads to a local co-op… I wish my life, like this view, could’ve been so simple.

When I was fifteen, I had a girlfriend who used to hold my hand in the halls. Our song was “I Will Wait” by Mumford & Sons. And when it ended, I got lost in screens, in an alternate reality. It’d be three years till I found my way. My childhood was interrupted. I can’t change that—but I can fight for other young people, in the hope that they might not have to go through the same thing. ”

Continue reading more of Chiara Canaan at: http://thevelvetchronicle.com/path-of-desistance-childhood-interrupted/ (Source)

Being lesbian in Sri Lanka

kirtika-sri-lanka.jpg

“When I was 14 years old I realised I totally liked women. The other party was an English teacher. But at that time there was no word “lesbian” around me, only confusion. No one told me. Or everyone treated homosexuality as something that should not be.”

She has found the word “lesbian” that represents her mind on the Internet, but that was not yet common. When I confessed to my parents, they said, “It’s a transient illness,” and her parents also cried or got angry. Then she spent her teens without telling anyone.
(Translated)

自分が完全に女性が好きだと気が付いたのが14歳のとき。相手は英語の先生だった。でもその当時は自分の周りには”レズビアン”という言葉はなく、ただ混乱するのみ。誰も教えてくれなかった。というか誰もが同性愛はあってはいけないものと扱っていた。

彼女はまだ一般的でなかったインターネットでなんとか自分の心を表す”レズビアン”という言葉を見つけた。両親に打ち明けると「それは一過性の病気」と言われ、彼女の両親も泣いたり、怒ったり。それから彼女は誰にも打ち明けることのないまま10代を過ごした。

(Original)

Brazil: Businessman confesses that he killed lesbian uber driver because she refused to have sex

Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira

Suspected of killing driver Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira, Parsilon Lopes dos Santos said on Wednesday that he committed the crime after the victim refused to have sexual intercourse with him after a private race. According to the Civil Police, he still raped the woman after killing her. 

Vanusa, a 36-year-old nursing technician and driver, was found dead Sunday night, in Jardim Copacabana, in Aparecida de Goiânia, in the Metropolitan Region of the capital. Hours earlier, her car was found on a city street and passed by expertise. Parsilon was arrested on Monday.
(Translated)

Suspeito de matar a motorista de aplicativo Vanusa da Cunha Ferreira, Parsilon Lopes dos Santos disse, nesta quarta-feira (23), que cometeu o crime após a vítima se negar a manter relação sexual com ele depois de uma corrida particular. Segundo a Polícia Civil, ele ainda estuprou a mulher após matá-la.

Técnica em enfermagem e motorista nas horas vagas, Vanusa, de 36 anos, foi encontrada morta na noite de domingo (20), no Jardim Copacabana, em Aparecida de Goiânia, na Região Metropolitana da capital. Horas antes, o carro dela foi achado em uma rua vicinal da cidade e passou por perícia. Parsilon foi preso
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.folhamax.com/mundo/empresario-confessa-que-matou-motorista-de-aplicativo-porque-ela-se-recusou-a-ter-relacoes-sexuais/194502 (Source)

More information: http://www.umoutroolhar.com.br/2019/02/juliana-pereira-conta-que-o-assassino-de-sua-namorada-era-obcecado-por-ela.html

Refugee lesbians at the mercy of the German bureaucracy

Success Johnson and Diana Namusoke

[Diane] Namusoke, 48, and [Success] Johnson, 27, are two lesbian women from Uganda and Nigeria respectively, who have come to Germany in search of asylum. They’ve explained — first to the police officers who picked them up, then to the aid workers at the refugee centers where they were transferred, and then at their asylum application interview at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) — that they feared for their lives in their home countries. That as a lesbian woman, nowhere was safe. And now they’re in acute danger of being deported back to the places they have desperately been trying to escape.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-asylum-seekers-at-the-mercy-of-german-bureaucracy/a-47935658 (Source)

Discrimination against lesbians in Polish Volleyball

Znam osoby, które nie mogą powiedzieć o swoim homoseksualizmie, bo boją się, że stracą miejsca w swoich reprezentacjach narodowych. W siatkówce działa agent który zapowiadał, że przygotuje listę lesbijek i osób biseksualnych. Ja pytam w jakim celu?! Przecież to jest patologia – mówi siatkarka Katarzyna Skorupa.
(Original)

 

In Memoriam: Lesbian Murder Victims (March 2019 Update)

Lesbians in Memoriam

We honour the following sisters:
  • Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (2019) – Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Thuthukile Mabasa (2018) – Capetown, South Africa
  • Nicole Saavedra (2016) – Valparaiso, Brazil
  • Sidney Loofe (2017) – Nebraska, USA
  • Anne Mikaelly (2018) – Brasilia, Brazil
  • Unathi Bixa (2017) – Capetown, South Africa
  • Charlene Ranstrom and Brenda Warner (1988) – Nashua, New Hampshire
  • Cassie Hayes (2018) – Southport, Mercyside, England
  • Marielle Franco (2018) – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Elke W. and Beate N. (2016) – Gersthofen-Hirblingen, Germany
  • Anisha and Joey van Niekerk (2017) – Magaliesberg, South Africa
  • Kaladaa Crowell (and her 11 year-old daughter, Kyra Inglett) (2017) – West Palm Beach, Florida, USA
  • Noxolo Xakeka (2018) – Lwandle, South Africa
  • Kerrice Lewis (2018) – Washington, D.C., USA
  • Shanta Myers and Brandi Mells (and Shanta’s two children, Shanise Myers and Jeremiah Myers) (2017)  – Troy, New York, USA
  • Josanne Maria Almeida da Silva and Ana Paula da Silva Pereira (2017) – Manaus, Brazil
  • Quezia Kassya (2017) – San Paulo, Brazil
  • Georgann Lee Smith (2009) – Sarasota, Florida, USA
  • Ana Flávia Leitão (2017) – Cataguases, Brazil
  • Irani Ribeiro de Medeiros (2017) – Várzea Grande (Mato Grosso), Brazil.
  • Felicia Dormans (2017) – Mount Holly, New Jersey, USA.
  • Lyndsey Vaux (2016) – Wigan, United Kingdom

Continue reading at: http://inmemoriamlesbian.blogspot.com/

TO KILL A WOMAN, YOU DON’T NEED MUCH – THE STORY OF A CHECHEN LESBIAN WHO FLED FROM RUSSIA

To kill a lesbian in Chechnya

My family learned about my orientation from my girlfriend. She told my family – I do not know why. She is not a Chechen. After that, I started having problems, and I stopped communicating with her. I ran away from home twice. The first time I ran away, I was actively searched. Where I am hiding, my girlfriend told my relatives. After that, one of the brothers came for me, and we went home. My mother was unhappy with this. She told her brother: “Why did you bring her home? You should have shot her somewhere in the forest, as we agreed. ” But the brother did not do it – my father forbade him to do it.
(Translated)

О моей ориентации домашние узнали от моей девушки. Она рассказала моей семье – не знаю зачем. Она не чеченка. После этого у меня начались проблемы, и я перестала с ней общаться. Я дважды убегала из дома. В первый раз, когда я убежала, меня активно искали. Где я скрываюсь, моим родственникам рассказала моя девушка. После этого за мной приехал один из братьев, и мы поехали домой. Моя мама была недовольна этим. Она сказала брату: «Зачем ты привез ее домой? Ты должен был ее где-нибудь в лесу расстрелять, как мы и договаривались». Но брат этого не сделал – мой отец запретил ему это делать.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.currenttime.tv/a/chechen-lgbt-refugee-monologue/29769095.html

Lyon, France: 8 girls assault lesbian policewoman and her partner

France: https://mapswire.com/

Violent alleged homophobic assault in Lyon (Rhône). A gendarme and her companion, aged 20 and 23, were attacked Friday evening [15 March 2019] in front of the shopping centre of Part-Dieu, by a gang of eight girls. One of the victims was wounded in the face with a sharp object, a cutter according to the police.  Around 7:45 pm on Saturday, the couple was walking hand-in-hand when a group of girls addressed homophobic slurs. One of the victims replies that she is a gendarme in Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) and warns teenagers that their behaviour is a crime. But instead of calming the situation gets worse. The gang of girls beats up the couple and the girlfriend of the police officer is hit in the face with a sharp object. “She was scarred. The slash begins under the left eye and ends under the ear, “says a source close to the case. The girls run away in the neighbourhood.
(Translated)

Violente agression présumée homophobe à Lyon (Rhône). Une gendarme et sa compagne, âgées de 20 et 23 ans, ont été agressées, vendredi soir devant le centre commercial de la Part-Dieu, par une bande de huit jeunes filles. L’une des victimes a été blessée au visage avec un objet tranchant, un cutter d’après la police. Vers 19h45 samedi le couple se promenait main dans la main lorsqu’un groupe de jeunes filles leur adresse des insultes à caractère homophobe. L’une des victimes répond qu’elle est gendarme à Nancy (Meurthe-et-Moselle) et prévient les adolescentes que leur comportement est un délit. Mais au lieu de se calmer la situation s’envenime. La bande de filles passe le couple à tabac et la petite amie de la gendarme essuie un coup au visage avec un objet tranchant. « Elle a été balafrée. L’estafilade commence sous l’œil gauche et finit sous l’oreille », précise une source proche de l’affaire. Les filles prennent la fuite dans le quartier.
(Original)

 

Continue reading at: http://www.leparisien.fr/faits-divers/lyon-une-gendarme-et-sa-compagne-violemment-agressees-a-la-part-dieu-17-03-2019-8033466.php (Source)

Tegucigalpa, Honduras: Lesbian taxi driver murdered

BRENDA-LORENA-ALVARADO-MONTOYA

A woman was found dead this Saturday morning [2 March 2019] in a solitary place located near the detour to the village of Cofradía, about 12 kilometers from Tegucigalpa, on the road to the department of Olancho. The corpse of Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (31) presented several bullet wounds, according to police officers who arrived at the scene of the crime, alerted by residents of the area.
(Translated)

Una mujer fue encontrada muerta la mañana de este sábado en un paraje solitario ubicado cerca del desvío a la aldea de Cofradía, a unos 12 kilómetros de Tegucigalpa, sobre la carretera hacia el departamento de Olancho. El cadáver de Brenda Lorena Alvarado Montoya (31) presentaba varios impactos de bala, según agentes de la Policía que llegaron en un inicio a la escena del crimen, alertados por pobladores de la zona.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.latribuna.hn/2019/03/02/encuentran-mujer-muerta-en-la-salida-hacia-olancho/ (Source)

Additional news source: https://www.laprensa.hn/sucesos/1263873-410/mujer-taxista-encontrada-muerta-carretera-olancho

Brazil: murders of lesbians increased by 237% in 3 years

marielle-franco-and-monica-benicio.jpg

Between 2014 and 2017 the murders of lesbian women increased by 237%.  The study ” Murdered by lesbophobia – The stories that no one has” made by “We – Feminists Dissidences” collective, shows both how crimes have increased and also that in most cases the murdered women were young and black.
In Brazil, lesbian women face many dangers, it goes beyond lesbophobia, it is also machismo, misogyny and racism. “Lesbians are sexually and affectively exclusively with women, but the main lesbian killers in Brazil are men,” says Cinthia Abreu, member of the World March of Women and March of Black Women of São Paulo.
(Translated)

Entre 2014 y 2017 el asesinatos de mujeres lesbianas aumentó un 237%. El estudio “Asesinadas por lesbofobia – Las historias que nadie cuenta”, hecho por el colectivo “Nosotras – Disidencias Feministas”, además de mostrar cómo han aumentado los crímenes demuestra que en la mayoría de los casos las mujeres asesinadas eran jóvenes y negras.
En Brasil las mujeres lesbianas se encuentran ante muchos peligros, va más allá de la lesbofobia, también es el machismo, la misoginia y el racismo. “Las lesbianas se relacionan sexual y afectivamente exclusivamente con mujeres, pero los principales asesinos de lesbianas en Brasil son hombres”, afirma Cinthia Abreu, integrante de la Marcha Mundial de Mujeres y Marcha de Mujeres Negras de São Paulo.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.mirales.es/el-asesinato-a-mujeres-lesbianas-en-brasil-ha-aumentado-un-237/ (Source)

Perpignan, France: Lesbian barred from accompanying toddler in Emergency Department files complaint

France: https://mapswire.com/

A lesbian couple went to the police of Perpignan on Sunday afternoon after a nurse barred access to the pediatric Emergency Department to one of them, who is not the biological mother of their 3 year old son, but has parental authority.

Continue reading at: https://sivtimes.com/a-lesbian-mother-forbidden-to-accompany-his-3-year-old-son-to-the-emergency-room/15076/ (Source)

Chechen lesbians: murdered, abused and assaulted just like the gay men

This is a translation of an article by Ilya Panin at the Aids Centre Russia. The article is located here and IP for the original article is fully retained by the original writer. A condensed version of the original article is also produced on the original site.

Translation was undertaken by Phil S and we thank her for her generous support.

In Moscow on the 10th February, on the day of human rights, human rights advocates presented “a report on the results of the amount of violence received by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in the Northern Caucasus in the Russian Federation.” Aids.center is publishing the proceedings, as well as the discussion with a Chechen lesbian about the proceedings with LGBT people in the Russian Caucasus.

The presentation of the report was carried out in complete secrecy: the centre of Moscow, a basement room. Such scenes are more suited to signing secret protocols and journalists have been asked not to name the place where the presentation took place, nor the authors of the study, in their notes, nor their names – the organizers seriously fear for their own lives.  And they have reason to fear – one of the female respondents, whose evidence was used for the document, recently died. In the village, where she lived, they said that she “poisoned herself”. One still hasn’t been in touch.

There still exists a serious stigmatisation of LGBT people in Russian society, especially in the North Caucasus republic, where the situation deepens with traditional and religious aspects.

Queer women of the caucasus 1

Illustration 1 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The violence suffered from law enforcement officers
Physical: 14%, sexual: 10%, psychological: 38%

 

In 2017 the leading Russian media published material detailing the kidnappings, violence and torturing of gay men in Chechnya, they mentioned practically nothing about LGBT women: “the first wave of treatment was against men. The treatment of women remained invisible,” one authors states.

In total, twenty-one residents from Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia took part in the study. One of them was a transgender woman. Five more, who were contacted by researchers, refused to participate.

Not leaving the accommodation, we speak to Kamilla, not her real name, but she asks to call herself this. A Chechen woman, she was born not far from Grozny. In a village which she has asked us not to publish. She has already lived in Moscow for 2 years.

Queer women of the caucasus 2

Illustration 2 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
33% attempted suicide –
copyright “Queer Women in Northern Caucasus” project 2018 funded by Genrich Bellya (Moscow)

 

Short hair, sports jacket, leggings. She speaks very quietly, her lips tightly pursed. She’s a lesbian and the only member of the study daring to talk to the reporters in person.

“In Grozny, my friends and I had our own small community of ‘non-traditional orientation’. We met in a flat, we hung out together. It’s not like we were drinking, we would simply simple and talk. Talk quietly. Now 70-80% of the guys and girls have left the republic. Only those with children and families have stayed,” she says. “The police came for some of those who stayed, but they were released in exchange for bribes. No one admitted to what they “are”, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us. So, it’s a miracle that we were saved. People collected money, brought it to the flat, as a ransom. Then they ran.”

 

Queer women of the caucasus 3

Illustration 3 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother came home from work and started to look for me. He found me with a girl. We were walking in the street. He started to brutally beat me, he beat me on the head, on my face…in the street. My cousin (male) took me home. My brother said that he would kill me, take me to the outskirts of the city and simply kill me there. I was a shame to the family and a constant problem” (CH. R)
38% told us of honour killings of their relatives and (female) friends

 

The Guardians of Islam

Kamilla is now around 35 years old. 29% of those surveyed during the study stated that they had suffered from sexual violence. Researchers in these situations shared the sexual violence in their families and with their spouse. Kamilla escaped this. But she did not escape the loneliness and isolation that many homosexual women face upon leaving their familial home.

“I can’t cut ties with my mother, because we are very close,” Kamilla says so quietly, that you can barely make out the words. “During my time here, I have even gone home to see her twice. I miss her. I haven’t come out. But my mum always sees my way of life: that I socialise with girls. She has never insisted that I stop all this, only got upset, that I don’t live like everyone else. My (female) cousins got married long ago, they had several children, even those younger than me. It upsets her. The male half, of course, knows nothing.”

“No one admitted to what they ‘are’, because if we admitted it, they would simply kill us”

Due to the specific way of life and risks associated with it, ‘coming out’ is rarely done in North Caucasus.  More often, there is an ‘outing’ when an acquaintance, former partner, relative or neighbour tells others about the “non-traditional” sexual preferences or gender identity of someone.

Only one women from those who agreed to talk to researchers came out to her family, but her fate is now unknown: she went missing after a while and all contact has been lost.

“When people are outed, they become outcasts. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Life after this in the Republic is not an option. In every case, you need to leave,” Kamilla verifies. We speak right in the corner of the room, in a safe space, where no one can find us, there are only a few people in the room. But even in this setting, distrust and tension can be felt.

“When I came to study and work in Grozny, my brother blamed me for not living with my mum in my hometown, but I was always bored with my classmates. At this point, I started to become friends with girls through the internet and to travel to a friend in the neighbouring republic.”

Queer women of the caucasus 4

Illustration 4 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
24% victims of religious torture
38% witnesses of honour killings of their relatives, friends, acquaintances

 

The more I tried living on my own, the more pressure and threats I received. In Chechnya, it is believed that the male half of the father’s line is responsible for the girl. The same nephews or cousins on the father’s side.

“Now I’m trying to leave the country, I’m waiting for a response. But as far as I know, they can also reach me abroad,” Kamilla continues, carefully choosing her words, “it happened to my friend, they even wrote about him in the paper, he got to know some Chechens online, went on a date, and they turned out to be “Guardians of Islam” and pushed him into a car. Thankfully, he wasn’t a Chechen, but from a neighbouring republic. Otherwise everything could have ended badly, and so he was released.”

 

Undercover marriage

As a rule, underlined by the authors of the report, after relatives learn that a member of the family belongs to the LGBT community, the family is considered to be ‘disgraced’. The purity of the reputation happens through “honour killings”, a practise which is still carried out in Northern Caucasus. 38% of the respondents who participated in the study said that they had not only heard of “honour killings” but personally knew acquaintances or (female) friends who had been killed in this way “due to behaviour that disgraces the family.”

Queer women of the caucasus 5

Illustration 5 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“One of them said that I needed a “purifying of demonic blood” ritual. To do this, my parents pierced the skin of my back with needles, and made small outlines on my arms and legs. They took such a thing…a vacuum, to get the blood. After this I was put in a bath with very salty water and I had to lie there” (CH R)
Undergoing the practice of “chasing out of Djinns” – 24%

 

Forced marriage is an alternative form of “purifying the reputation”. Of the respondents, nine admitted that they were or had been in forced marriages. Seven of the eight women who had gone through a forced marriage, said that their marriage took place after their outing. That is, after relatives received confirmation of their sexual orientation from third parties: for example, through correspondence or personal photographs.

However, events do not always take such a serious turn. Needles to say, open marriage between LGBT people in the Caucasus is forbidden. But family-imposed marriages with the “right” husband can be both a form of punishment and salvation, often being the only way a woman can live relatively normally, without arousing suspicion.

“I still have a tense relationship with my relatives, they believe that I need to come home and get married. I was proposed to not once but twice. They gave out my number, sent grooms,” Kamilla recounts her personal life.

“In the event of an outing, the person becomes an outcast. The family tries to influence them, either physically or morally. Living in the Republic after this is not an option. You need to leave in any situation.”

“To those who are sent, I can’t respond sharply or rudely, as I don’t want to arouse suspicion. There’s technology. We need to break contact slowly with these young men. It’s stressful, of course. But it could be worse. There are families where a father and brother have ordered it, and the girl cannot get out, because a girl must submit to an adult. That’s not happened to me,” she explains.

“Undercover marriage” is a fictitious marriage which often takes place between a homosexual man and woman, so that they can appear to their parents as a “fully-fledged” traditional family.

“I attempted this,” Kamilla says, “we met through the internet. He knew everything about me, I wasn’t against it. In time we became friends. Fictitious marriage is a saviour for women. She can’t go anywhere alone, she can’t travel alone, and she can’t live alone. Men, if they’re not suspected of being gay, have more possibilities to move. But if there are suspicions that the guy isn’t like everyone else, that he isn’t interested in the opposite sex, that there are no dates, it’s not so easy…rumours spread quickly. That’s why they try to marry, to reassure the family. My marriage didn’t happen because at the very last moment the guy got HIV.”

Such legalised forms of relationships give a feeling of security, the authors of the report say, however, patriarchal foundations often hit and this is a fact in a fictitious marriage. Not only heterosexual men but also gay and bisexual men continue to try to completely control their wives, using violent practises, despite the forced and feigned nature of the partnership itself.

Queer women of the caucasus 6

Illustration 6 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
Psychological condition of LGBT women, having lived through violence and hate speech
29% self-harm
43% suicidal thoughts
33% attempt suicide

 

Fear of Djinns

It may seem strange that in traditional Caucasus society the practise of “chasing out the Djinns” is still carried out, it is customary to ‘correct’ or ‘heal’ LGBT people through rites of exorcism.

Researchers explain that even parents with a higher education often converse with “specialists on chasing out Djinns.” Moreover, women themselves often believe in the diabolical essence of their desires: a “male djinn” living inside them and the like. The process of expelling the Djinns, after their sexual orientation had been discovered by relatives, had been suffered by 5 out of 21 respondents.

In general, the authors of the report underline that the stigma, the general atmosphere of fear in which homosexual in the Caucasus live, often doesn’t allow them to seek help in time, even in situations of mortal danger. 100% of the respondents in this study claimed to have experienced both physical and psychological violence.

Queer women of the caucasus 7

Illustration 7 from “the report on violence against queer women of the Caucasus”

Illustration translation:
The outing and coming out of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in their families in the Northern Caucasus
“My brother sat next to me on his knees, he gave me a pistol…he was crying, I swear, he was crying and he was saying, “I gave father my word that I would not kill you. I beg you, shoot yourself, and just shoot yourself!” and…like a zombie, I went up to him and I gave the pistol to him and I said “you want it, so kill me yourself. I’m not going to shoot myself.” And he said, “If you kill yourself, all this will end, we will tell people that it was an accident” (Ch.P) 

14% survived a direct order to commit suicide.

 

“Even if this report doesn’t change anything and nothing else happens, it’s important that we share it, it’s important that you hear us,” Kamilla concludes towards the end of our conversation, “it’s important that there are people with whom we can just share this with. Someone we can trust. In our region, we know about violence, we have nowhere to turn to, there are Russian laws, but nobody complains about the fact that they’re not complied to. It’s a completely different world there. In traditional families, the person must either live with their relatives or have their own family. Otherwise you will be alone, an outcast, and most of us simply do not have the freedom of choice. What we can wear, who we can talk to, how we can live and in which city, with a male or female partner. Women must be women, men must be men, and everyone has their responsibility. But, nevertheless, I dream of having the freedom to choose”

For the first few days after the presentation, the authors didn’t publish the report online, fearing for their own safety. Today, it went out on an overseas site. Unfortunately, to date, those who are at risk of being exposed are not only those who do not fit into the “traditional” ideas according to local customs, but also human rights activists, researchers and journalists covering “uncomfortable topics”, often beyond the law, discussing the lives of the people there.
The Caucasus.
Where human rights do not exist.

Original Russian article: https://spid.center/ru/articles/2223 (Source)

 

Madrid, Spain: Lesbian couple defends themselves against lesbophobic attack

Celia and Capucine

Only one day after more than 300 thousand women filled the centre of Madrid with sorority, vindication and cries of equality and justice, only the day after women, and especially lesbian women, fought for the cessation of the lesbophobia and discrimination based on sexual orientation,  unacceptable lesbophobic aggression occurs. … This story happened on Saturday in the neighborhood of Salamanca. Celia, from Madrid, was walking with her Belgian girlfriend, Capucine, and they told us that the events took place: “It was 8 o’clock in the afternoon and we were in Goya street 17. In that portal there is a kind of corridor that leads to a interior patio that has shops. We were walking and we went to see them. While we were at the entrance of the portal, Capucine came and kissed me, but let’s go, a peck, nothing that would attract attention or anything. At that moment the doorman of the building comes out of his box and shouts at us that we can not be there, ‘outside’, he tells us. I thought that since I was just leaning against the wall I might have hit a switch or something, and that was why he was reprimanding us. We looked back and there was nothing, so the second we understood that we were getting attention for being a couple. ”
(Translated)

Tan solo un día después de que más de 300 mil mujeres llenaran el centro de Madrid de sororidad, reivindicación y gritos de igualdad y justicia, tan solo al día siguiente de que las mujeres, y en especial las mujeres lesbianas, lucháramos por el cese de la lesbofobia y la discriminación por orientación sexual, se produce una agresión lesbófoba inaceptable. … Esta historia ocurrió el sábado en el barrio de Salamanca. Celia, madrileña, paseaba junto a su novia belga, Capucine, y así nos han contado que transcurrieron los hechos: “Eran las 8 de la tarde y estábamos en la calle Goya 17. En ese portal hay una especie de pasillo que conduce a un patio interior que tiene tiendas. Nosotras estábamos paseando y nos metimos para verlas. Mientras estábamos en la entrada del portal, Capucine se aceró y me dio un beso, pero vamos, un pico, nada que llamara la atención ni nada. En ese momento sale de su garita el portero del edificio y nos grita que no podemos estar ahí, ‘fuera’, nos dice. Yo pensé que como estaba justo apoyada en la pared quizás le había dado a un interruptor o algo, y que por eso nos estaba reprendiendo. Miramos para atrás y no había nada, así que al segundo entendimos que nos estaba llamando la atención por ser una pareja”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.mirales.es/pareja-lesbianas-valiente-agresion-madrid/ (Source)

Argentina: lesbian singled out for smoking after kissing partner to face court

Argentina

The event that took place occurred around noon on Monday, October 2, 2017, when Mariana (25) went to accompany her wife Rocio Girat (23) to take a bus to the Constitución station in downtown Buenos Aires. When they arrived, it started to rain and hail, so the girls took refuge in the subway station. Mariana lit a cigarette and, according to witnesses, was not the only one. But while he was smoking, he did something else: he kissed Rocío. That was enough so that, in the midst of all the smokers, Metrovías employee José María Pérez approached only her and told her that smoking was prohibited there. She rephrased: she told him there was no sign to indicate that and remarked the fact that she was not the only person doing it. The employee of Metrovías looked for Jonatan Rojo, an officer of the City Police, with whom Mariana kept the same discussion in an increasingly elevated tone. From the beginning, the conversation with Rojo was violent: he said “kid” and he treated her as a male. “Mariana reacted to this situation and reproached them that the only reason they were reprimanding her and not the rest was because they were two women kissing each other. There were other people smoking and other people kissing, but they were the only lesbians, “said Teszkiewicz.
(Translated)

El hecho que se ventilará ocurrió cerca del mediodía del lunes 2 de octubre de 2017, cuando Mariana (25) fue a acompañar a su esposa Rocío Girat (23) a tomar un colectivo a la estación de Constitución, en el centro de Buenos Aires. Cuando llegaban, empezó a llover y a caer granizo, por lo que las chicas se refugiaron en la estación de subte. Mariana encendió un cigarrillo y, según testigos, no fue la única. Pero mientras fumaba, hizo algo más: besó a Rocío. Eso bastó para que, en medio de todos los fumadores, el empleado de Metrovías José María Pérez se acercara sólo a ella y le dijera que allí estaba prohibido fumar. Ella retrucó: le dijo que no había ningún cartel que indicara eso y remarcó el hecho de que ella no era la única persona haciéndolo. El empleado de Metrovías buscó a Jonatan Rojo, un efectivo de la Policía de la Ciudad, con el que Mariana mantuvo la misma discusión en un tono cada vez más elevado. Desde el inicio, la conversación con Rojo fue violenta: le decía “pibe” y la trataba en masculino. “Mariana reaccionó a esta situación y les recriminó que el único motivo por el que la estaban reprendiendo a ella y no al resto era porque eran dos mujeres besándose. Había otras personas fumando y otras personas besándose, pero ellas eran las únicas lesbianas”, dijo Teszkiewicz.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.elciudadanoweb.com/inicia-el-juicio-contra-una-joven-por-besar-a-su-pareja-en-una-estacion-de-subte/ (Source)