It’s been reported that a 24-year-old lesbian mom from Zimbabwe was brutally murdered in Gauteng.
In a statement, FEW (Forum for the Empowerment of Women) said it first heard of the news of Ruth “Nickki” Chigowe’s death on 27 May.
Her unidentified lifeless body was discovered “stoned to death” in Maphanga section, Katlehong, a large township southeast of Johannesburg. It was only on 31 May that the organisation was able to confirm Chigowe’s identity.
A murder case has been opened at the Katlehong North Police station. No arrests have yet been made.
Zaheeda Munyai from Access Chapter 2 told MambaOnline that Chigowe came to South Africa in 2019.
“According to the information I have found from community members, her parents disowned her due to her sexual orientation,” said Munyai. “She then found a job in a tuckshop and started to rent a room at Holomisa.”
Munyai revealed that it’s been claimed that two weeks before she was killed, Chigowe and her girlfriend “received homophobic threats from guys around the area wherein they uttered that they both deserve to be raped and killed.”
To add to the tragedy, Chigowe leaves behind a one-year-old daughter. “There is an urgent need for a massive intervention in Katlehong,” said an exasperated Munyai. “LGBTI people live in fear and they can’t even disclose their relationships in public.”
A Mount Vernon woman is suing Grant County and its director of community corrections, claiming she was called a “bad lesbian,” among other derogatory terms, by staff members while under consideration for a job in 2013 and was eventually passed over because of her sexual orientation.
Terry Hanson, 54, contends county staff discriminated against her and violated her civil rights. In the suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Pendleton, Hanson claims Grant County has a “custom, policy or practice of engaging in sexual orientation discrimination.”
The claims come after another federal suit filed against Grant County in September by James Gravley, a former county parole and probation officer. Gravley claimed to have heard the comments made about Hanson, spoke out about what was said, filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and was later fired in retaliation.
In an answer filed in November to Gravley’s federal complaint, Grant County admitted an employee called Hanson one lesbian slur during a staff meeting to discuss job candidates, but it denies anyone called her a “bad lesbian” and other derogatory terms.
Both lawsuits ask for jury trials and an undisclosed amount of financial damages.
Decorated army veteran Yvonne Sillett will appear at the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide on Monday. Yvonne was driven out of the Australian Army over her sexuality three years before the government changed policy and allowed gays and lesbians to serve.
A Black gay woman who worked at a Tesla Inc. factory accused the electric-vehicle maker in a lawsuit of “festering” racism by ignoring the racial and homophobic slurs and physical harm she endured.
Kaylen Barker, a former contract worker who inspected brake parts, is the latest to complain that Tesla ignores discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and gender at its plants. According to her complaint, her abuse occurred even as Tesla defended another contract worker’s discrimination case in court — which the company lost and was ordered to pay $137 million in damages.
Fairness West Virginia reported that Technical Sergeant Kristin Kingery has filed a lawsuit alleging ongoing discrimination based on her sexual orientation and gender expression in the Air National Guard.
According to the complaint filed, Kingery was allegedly told by supervisors that her career would “suffer” unless she began wearing makeup and growing her hair long.
Documents say that the alleged harassment based on her sexual orientation and gender expression included Kingery being forced to try on a woman’s Honor Guard jacket in front of others to, “confirm that none of the women’s sizes would fit.” It also says that rumors of her “transitioning from female to male” were perpetrated by both colleagues and supervisors.
Rabia was just 15-years-old when she became engaged to a Taliban officer against her will in a small village in Afghanistan.
Now 22-years-old, Rabia has fled Afghanistan and has managed to get away from the man who made her adolescence hell. She is temporarily living in Pakistan, but she’s hopeful she will ultimately be able to claim asylum in either Canada or the UK so she can build a life for herself.
Like so many others, Rabia had no choice but to flee when the Taliban seized power. She is a lesbian, which makes her a threat to Taliban rule. To make matters worse, she knew the man she was engaged to as a teenager was still trying to track her down.
That’s why she and a friend – another lesbian – decided to travel to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“We had lots of problems because the Taliban stopped us along the way several times,” Rabia tells PinkNews.
Thankfully, Rabia and her friend managed to get into Pakistan with the help of a journalist who advocated for them at the border – but she wishes leaving was never a necessity in the first place.
Sexually explicit lesbian videos showing a former star of the national women’s soccer team and her partner spread widely in Cameroon last week. In response, social media sites were ablaze with people claiming to be outraged. Online and off, discrimination and insults against LGBTI people in Cameroon intensified, and police made arbitrary arrests of several gay and trans Cameroonians.
The videos showing Gaelle Enaganouit, the former forward team manager of the Indomitable Lions, could put her at risk of prosecution under Cameroon’s anti-homosexuality law.
Article 347-1 of the Cameroonian penal code states: “Any person who has sexual intercourse with a person of the same sex shall be punished with an imprisonment of six (06) months to five (05) years and a fine of twenty thousand (20,000) to two hundred thousand (200,000) [CFA] francs” (about US $35 to $350).
According to the news website CoupsFrancs.com, the advocacy group Stand Up Against the Decriminalization of Homosexuality yesterday filed a complaint in court in Yaoundé, Cameroon, accusing her and Brenda Ahanda of the “practice of homosexuality”.
Reportedly Enaganouit has left the country and traveled to France.
LGBTI rights activists have noticed an upswing in violations of the human rights of LGBTI citizens, including five arbitrary arrests of gay and transgender people in Douala.
Activists have been forced to defend their personal security more rigorously.
Mix (pseudonym), a lesbian rights activist, stated: “I have been living in lock-up since the beginning of this story, I can no longer go out for fear of being attacked by neighbors and young people in the neighborhood. They call me Enganamouit’s sister, Mama Scissors.”
The national human rights watchdog project Unity and its member associations are urging Cameroonians to show more tolerance and have advised LGBTI community members to be cautious and discreet.
ROME, NOV 9 – A 20-year-old Tunisian-Italian woman was attacked by her father after telling her parents she was gay in the Marche seaside resort of Pesaro on Saturday, Il Resto del Carlino newspaper reported Tuesday.
The woman told her 53-year-old Tunsiain father and 58-year-old Italian mother she was a lesbian and was going out with a woman, the north-central Italian daily said.
When she was getting into her girlfriend’s car outside her workplace on Saturday afternoon, her father set on her, pulled her back by the hair and slapped her twice, the paper said, while her mother insulted her.
The woman was helped by a nearby hotel clerk who took her into the building and threatened to call the police if her parents tried to come after her.
Local police have opened a probe into mistreatment in the family. (ANSA).
Back in May, when the streaming platform Twitch announced the release of more than 350 new “identity tags” that could be used to sort streams into distinctive categories, Jess Bolden was excited.
The 25-year-old FACEIT Games Esports analyst, who lives between France and Italy with her female partner, streams the game Rainbow Six Siege, a largely male-dominated pursuit. Bolden was once Samsung team head coach for the game, which she streams under the name JessGOAT.
She figured she could use the new “lesbian” tag to show other lesbian gamers that her stream was a safe space for them. But, Bolden says, she felt conflicted. “I would look at the tag for that extra second, to question myself, and I’m usually confident in everything that I do,” Bolden says. “So there’s obviously a problem.”
Bolden’s hesitancy was justifiable. Twitch has been widely criticized for an ongoing scandal involving “hate raids” aimed mostly at its BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ users. These attacks are carried out by bots programmed to spam streamers’ chats with offensive messages. The conditions became so bad that Twitch users started a campaign — #TwitchDoBetter — to push for change, and at one point arranged a digital “protest” where streamers boycotted the platform in solidarity with hate raid victims.
In response, Twitch last month filed a lawsuit against two users allegedly behind many hate raids and, more recently, introduced chat verification.
While hate against streamers is common, lesbians feel they are the subject of both sexism and a specific kind of sexualization. “We get multiple DMs, like ‘I could turn you straight’ or ‘You haven’t found the right guy,’” says Baeu, an 18-year-old lesbian streamer from Florida who broadcasts to followers under the name Spoink. Baeu is a member of Lilac Lesbians, a Minecraft Championship team hoping to increase lesbian representation in gaming. (Input is withholding the last names of most of the streamers in this piece out of concern for their safety.)
“Even when I was underage, they’d still message me inappropriate stuff,” Baeu adds. “Twitch’s solution was pretty much: ‘Oh, well you have your messages open.’” She adds that multiple reports she’s submitted to the company about harassment have not resulted in any action against offending users.
The “lesbian” tag has only increased harassment, according to Bolden. “‘I hate gays’ is probably the most common [comment],” she says. “Or people complaining that I’m a lesbian.” All of the streamers interviewed agreed that they had seen abuse aimed specifically at lesbians, ranging from statements like “of course you’re a lesbian — you’re fat” to assertions that the lesbian streamers were “going to hell” because of their sexuality.
A same-sex couple who were denied rental housing in Evansville because of their sexual orientation won their complaint this week against a company that says God, not government, is the final authority.
The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Human Relations Commission ruled in favor of Kimberly and Chasity Scott in their 2020 filing, while Myers Family Rentals, the subject of the Scotts’ complaint, was hit with $41,000 in civil penalties and damages.
While being shown the home in May 2020, the Scotts said they were asked by a Myers family member if they were “together, together” or “lesbian.”
“Yes, ma’am, we are. She (Chasity) is my wife,” Kimberly Scott responded.
After hearing this, Myers Family Rentals refused to make the home available to the Scotts, according to the couple’s complaint. It was filed a few days after the Scotts toured the home.
The Scotts said they moved to Henderson after being denied the rental property in Vanderburgh County.
According to the Human Relations Commission’s findings, Myers Family Rentals admitted that they “do not rent to people who choose to live as boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancés, male or female homosexuals, polygamous, polyamorous, or any other relationship that denies God’s requirement … that marriage be between one man and one woman.”
The Scotts said they were discriminated against based on Vanderburgh County’s Fair Housing Ordinance, which is a companion to federal and Indiana fair housing laws.
In 1925, Eve Adams, a Polish-Jewish émigré who had spent the past four years travelling across the United States selling leftist radical literature, opened a tearoom in Greenwich Village. Eve’s Hangout, as it was sometimes known, was situated in the basement of 129 MacDougal Street. The small, sparingly lit cellar quickly became a destination among the city’s bohemian contingents—artists, poets, activists, gay men, and lesbians. According to the Daily News, it was rumored that “men kept to one room, the women in another.” The Quill, a downtown periodical, summed it up, mockingly, as a place “where ladies prefer each other.”
One evening in June, 1926, a woman named Margaret Leonard walked into Eve’s Hangout wearing a tweed suit and carrying a briefcase. Adams took to Leonard, and, the next day, they met at Adams’s apartment and rode a taxi to Times Square to see a play. Later, Leonard would report that, in the car, Adams kissed her “profusely,” slid her hand under Leonard’s coat, and touched Leonard’s breasts. At dinner, they waltzed. That night, Adams told Leonard that she wanted to give her a copy of the book she had published the previous year, called “Lesbian Love,” a collection of biographical snapshots of lesbians Adams had known. They returned to her apartment, where Adams gave Leonard a copy and autographed it.
A few days after their outing, Leonard returned to Eve’s Hangout and revealed herself to be an undercover policewoman. Together with four other officers, she arrested Adams for “disorderly conduct”—a broad charge that referred, in this case, to Adams’s alleged sexual advances—and for having written an “obscene” book. After trials for each charge, Adams was sentenced to a year and a half in jail. When she completed her sentence, immigration authorities began deportation proceedings against her. (Although she had begun applying for naturalization in 1923, Adams was not yet an American citizen.) During the hearings, she pleaded to be allowed to stay, but, in 1927, she was sent back to Poland. Her days there were hard. In a letter to a friend, she described her “everyday worry” being “for a piece of bread.” “I cannot steal and I am a stranger-Jew here,” she wrote. She sustained herself on a Ten Cent Classics edition of Tennyson’s poetry, and she eventually managed to move to Paris. Adams’s passport listed her profession as “writer—woman of letters,” but, to support herself, she sold novels to American tourists on the street. After the Nazis occupied France, she tirelessly worked to find a way out of the country, but in late 1943 she was captured and sent to Auschwitz, where she was murdered.
“Lesbian Love,” though long since largely forgotten, might be the first ethnography of lesbians in America. Structured as a series of vignettes, the book—which Adams described as a “scientific literary contribution”—captures scores of women who flirted, courted, or were in love with one another, and some who played with the presentations of their gender. In the opening chapter, “Glimpses,” Adams writes of “a little rendezvous tearoom, late after dinner hour, where six or seven girls had gathered. One lone man sat silent in a corner. Whispers and love sonatas could be heard among the group of girls—occasionally laughter.” The group included women called Ann, Sara (who seemed to be Ann’s lover), and “May, the proprietress, known as Jim.”
A man in France is on trial for allegedly raping and torturing his lesbian sister and her girlfriends. Samy M reportedly lured his sister and her friends to the river Drôme, where he sexually abused and tortured the women. He is said to have used a razor to cut a ‘permanent smile’ on his sister’s girlfriend’s face. Her scars are still evident and will likely disfigure the victim for life.
Samy M has been on trial since Monday, September 27, at the Drôme Regional Court in Valence for the December 2018 crimes. As mentioned, he abducted and raped his then 24-year-old sister, who had left the family home in Bourg-de-Péage a month earlier, Les Observateurs reported. The man attacked his sibling after finding out she was having an intimate relationship with a woman, thereby going against the doctrine of Islam. Samy M was armed and hooded when he forced the victims to a deserted place, beat them, forced them to kneel down, and subsequently carved deep cuts on both cheeks of his sister’s girlfriend with a razor. “I will make you smile forever,” he allegedly told them, per the victims’ testimony in court.
Once again, lesbians at Kakuma camp in Kenya at Block 13, along with the other refugees, are in danger, as they have suffered a fourth arson attack this year.
On August 16, the block was awakened by what sounded like gunshots. When they arose, they were met with the smell of petrol fumes all over their compound and they noticed huge amounts of it all around the shelter where the children sleep.
Police were called. They refused to come out to investigate before daylight. Thankfully the children were moved.
The police told them to leave the petrol containers as they were evidence. It turns out the petrol wasn’t just around the children’s shelter.
An hour later, the entire block was alight. From the time this was all reported, it took two-and-a-half hours for the police to show up. The station is five minutes away.
Every single bit of shelter they had left there burned to the ground, as did everything inside them and near to them.
They, quite literally, have nothing left. Twenty-five children and their mothers are now without any shelter.
There is absolutely nothing to protect them from the burning African sun, or the torrential downpours when they come.
They have no food, clothing, shelter, toiletries, or any other essentials to survive even at night.
All of their documentation and IDs as well as any personal belongings are gone. They have been left with only the clothing on their backs.
The intent of these violent crimes is clearly to kill and injure the LGB&T community in Kakuma.
A young female gay [sic] couple was brutally attacked and beaten by two men in the Estonian capital, Tallinn, in the morning of 8 August.
The horrific attack took place in the borough of Mustamäe, at a food shack near the Szolnok bus stop.
According to Postimees, the women – 20 and 18 years old – had gone to buy French fries at the food shack in the morning of Sunday, 8 August, when they encountered three men, of whom one felt the necessity to call them “lesbians” and laughed at them.
One of the victims, whom Postimees calls Emma, but admits it’s not her real name, told the newspaper that she got angry at the men and told them to pipe down. According to the newspaper, one of the attackers started to strangle Emma after that.
“He held my neck firmly, my girlfriend tried to push the guy away. /…/ The men started to beat us with their hands and feet. Two of them were beating us and the third one was just looking,” Emma told Postimees. According to the victim, it later emerged that one of the men who attacked her had previously been involved in martial arts, and was over seven feet tall – “like a bear”.
Anueta Madison-Vanderbuilt’s partner joined her with coffees while shopping in Cragieburn Coles on Thursday. The pair then exchanged a quick kiss. Immediately afterwards, Anueta heard a man complaining in a loud voice, “Calm down, calm down.”
She initially thought he was talking to his kids but then realised he meant the comments for her and her partner. When she asked the man about his response, he complained about his children seeing the kiss.
“I choose what I want my kids to see, when they grow up they can choose what they want.
“When I come to a shopping centre, I would like to see a nice calm environment.”
As the conversation continued, the man threatened the women and lunged at their phone.
“If you record it, I’ll actually wipe your phone out of your face, because I’m not in the mood today.
A same-sex couple is trying to use the Paycheck Protection Program to sue a Christian school that kicked out their daughter.
The school says the five-year-old girl can’t start kindergarten there because she has two mothers.
Normally, a private religious institution doesn’t have to comply with anti-discrimination laws.
However, attorneys for Sara Evans and Brittney Hudson argue that the school has to accept those laws because it accepted federal funding.
“These are emergency federal dollars that have come through to private entities that are used to getting away with discrimination like this,” said their attorney, Leslie Briggs. “They only do so because they are private entities that aren’t beholden to federal rules. If you take that federal money, that all changes.”
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.
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”.