Tag Archives: murder of lesbian

Chile: The Red Zone: A place where butch lesbians live in fear

chile.png

Three mysterious deaths and dozens of violent attacks on butch lesbians, or camionas, have put lesbians in Chile’s Fifth region on red alert.

“We call the Fifth region Chile’s red zone for lesbians because of María, Nicole and Susana,” says Karen Vergara. “There are many other attacks. Not as brutal or fatal as these but enough to land lesbians – especially camionas – in hospital. “We as lesbians are always on red alert in this town [Quillota]. Day and night, 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We feel under threat. As soon as you step out of your home you are in danger.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-48719453 (source)

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Chile: three years after her lesbicide, still no justice for Nicole Saavedra

Nicole Saavedra

 

Three years after her death, relatives, friends and women’s organizations together with LGBT collectives, demand that the Court criminalize the murder of Nicole Saavedra as a hate crime for lesbicide. The action is part of a series of activities coordinated at the national level in the framework of the so-called Month of Lesbian Visibility, which is commemorated each year by remembering lesbian women victims of lesbophobic violence where there is still no justice. … Nicole’s body was found on June 25, 2016 in Los Aromos Reservoir in Limache, with clear signs of having been tortured. Since the fateful date, those responsible for the crime have not yet been found.
(Translated)

(Original)

 

Continue reading at: https://m.elmostrador.cl/braga/2019/06/18/tres-anos-sin-justicia-para-nicole-saavedra-la-joven-asesinada-por-su-orientacion-sexual/ (Source)

I carry a list of their names

Mersiha

Mersiha (left) (Image courtesy of Dr Danica Anderson, with Mersiha’s permission)

 

A guest post by Dr Danica Anderson

I carry a list of their names

I will name her Mersiha for purposes of protection.

She must have been standing by the tall war weary grey and riddled with bullets apartment building. Otherwise, she would not have been able to unexpectedly show up in Sana Koric’s photo shop located on the ground floor of the building.

The door swung open making the bell ring out aggressively.  My back was to her – it is a shield to pitch away the spewing incoherent words that came out her mouth.

It felt strange with Sana standing at her register smoking on her cigarette as if the door being ripped open violently was normal. It was even stranger with Sana calmly greeting her as she would any customer or person- you know the typical question ‘how are you’ but didn’t want to be bothered with any answer.

Sana’s response made me turned around to look at intruder.  For a moment, I thought I didn’t hear the spewing incoherent words.  But, Mersiha’s agitation was shown with her arms raised and flaying with no apparent target. Somewhere in that moment her eyes locked with mine despite her being imprisoned in her mental illness tirade.   Mersiha saw I was listening intently to all she said and all her movements without fear.

I could not but help to see her and this registered deeply upon her.

But, I was questioning internally how this forgotten invisible woman is smothered with precursory greetings and ignored.  I wondered hasn’t there been someone who was questioning and curious about her life and how she got into a state.  I know in the aftermath of war, the small town- Novi Travnik being invisible meant everyone walks by her as if she did not exist.  Or murder her for being lesbian.

By seeing and listening to her, I discovered her collection of spewed incoherent sentences are underlined with an intelligence.

Abruptly, she said, “you do not live here….. I can talk to you”.

In that one extremely touching statement she said to me pointed unquestionably to the fact she was shunned and swirled in an ocean of silence.

I was vulnerably placed in the bearing witness mode in an instant.

I, also, knew if Mersiha could respond to me in those few moments a healing social collective would provide the environment for this woman to accept the trauma she experienced and still endures.

I hesitate with medications since I knew she certainly did not get any with the humanitarian aid agencies nor the money to have meds consistently. My internal witness was chattering that I had no medications to give only my clinical assessment and being a sister to women in need.   I already witnessed how lesbians are prescribed more anti-depressants and anti- psychotics which in all likelihood created the mental illnesses in the male medical model[1].  The male medical model is a pathologization another form swearing allegiances for patriarchal authority that rally to save normal[2] as heterosexual.

I knew to expect the unexpected in the region that experienced 100 years of war. Basically, I am in a war zone that never ends the hate and violence.  I knew from so many experiences in the killing fields across the globe that knowing their hidden truth can be very costly especially when their hidden truth is liberated.

I learned in each of these experiences that it’s critical to illustrate the importance of bearing witness especially in environments of hate and violence.  It allows the survivors to struggle with a vocabulary and relate their herstories to those who stand ready to hear their hidden truth.

I am not talking about testimonies either. Many war women crimes and war survivors encountered the modern day courts and rule of law call for testimony, a word that has its origins of males swearing on their testicles for their allegiances in patriarchal rule[3].  Given the patriarchal and manmade law there is no room for women’s breasts of nurturance and wombs to birth their narratives in order to complete the process of their survival.  Her life story is incapable of being repossessed and reclaimed.

The result is that the women survivors live in a dangerous hideout unable to leave and unable to have a coherent, integrated narrative of what happened and continues to happen for her.  Women survivors are erased and made invisible in the testimonies since they are without testicles to prove their truths of realities are self-evident.

I looked at Sana standing at her register steadily smoking.  I thought of the some twenty Bosnian Muslim women war crimes and war survivors I work with in Novi Travnik.   The female social collective is inherent with those women but many were uneducated, older women who lived through WWII and the Balkan War who are certainly strongly steeped in Bosnian male dogma for testicles swearing allegiances.

Sana’s coolly smoking her cigarette and warm greetings to her enables a silence that in the end kills female social collective solidarity.   The killing silence is a jailer that has thrown away the keys to the cage. No matter of support, love and care is nurtured and if done it is in a repressed underground passive behavior.  My own hidden truth and that of the Bosnian female social collective I work with and love dearly are, also, complicit in this killing silence of women who are mentally and/or physically broken down.

It is more than that, I would discover later after hearing Mersiha’s story from Sana that “she was a crazed lesbian woman”.  I cringed when Sana spoke of what happened to her during the Balkan War.  I asked Sana why it matters that this woman is a lesbian when the violence towards women includes all daughters.

To remain authentic to myself and for these Bosnian women war crimes and war survivors I worked on their interpretation because it invariably plays a decisive formative role in who one comes to be, and in how a person lives their own life.  The so-called crazed woman according to the women war crimes and war survivors, the woman I encountered in Sana’s photo shop became untouchable – a lesbian that was not allow her to experience the traumatic events in her life without a witness, or her internal witness and she became trapped and warped in mental incapacities.

It matters because the murdering of lesbians sets an environment of terrorization for all women. We have mothers and their lesbian daughters who desperately want their daughters’ sexual agency quiet and unheard of to avoid the courts and rule of law call for testimony.    Women need to go deeper given that the alibi or being repatriated back home is the absence of death.  It is a quality of knowledge about their traumatic experiences and its relationship to struggle with death anxiety. In the end, it means being an insincere witness to themselves and her. We are unable to witness the violence in silencing lesbian’s reality of living in a world of hate.

To this day no one would want to publicly admit Mersiha is lesbian, it is for a very good reason.   Of the few lesbians I have met outside of Sarajevo city, the rural regions have many lesbians who have disappeared or camouflaged themselves. The same alibi is given when I ask where she is.  The universal response is – she has been repatriated back home.

The lesbians I searched for are the ‘disappeared’ and most likely murdered and tortured and raped.

I carry the names of lesbians asking authorities (all male by the way) – where did these women go?  Novi Travnik’s mayor, a short man in his early fifties told me right after I heatedly stated that these women have disappeared, “I knew we were in recovery when Novi Travnik had a beauty salon.  Maybe she will come back and get her hair done.”   I will spare you the expletives in my response to him.  But, I did say sramota- shame on you.

I ask the towns’ people randomly about the names of women who have gone missing.   The same response is given.   I walk away with bowed shoulders and in the beginning I would cry but now my female rage, a social justice burns ferociously.

Sana told me Mersiha and her partner traveled to many places before the war.   During the Balkan war Sana reported her partner left – abandoned her.   It was then, she had a break from reality.

Mersiha left her apartment and the door open.   Since it was war the entire apartment was ransacked.  Sana did not know where she went only that she was in town.   I took this to mean she lived on the streets.  It is unknown how her days were spent during the war and up until the time I encountered her in 2004.

After Mersiha left Sana’s photo office, I turned to Sana asking how the women I have come to know allow this happen.   I said to make this right, she needs Kolo Sumejia- a social collective and let’s work on that and see about getting her a place to live.  Of course, it was more of a demand.

I have a female rage shrouded with female social justice which set up my bravery to ask the small group of elderly women I work with to nurture and heal.  I knew I was shaming them- rather I was holding the women accountable for our killing silence which is painful for them and me.

Within few years, I returned to Novi Travnik and there Mersiha was sitting on a bench with an older woman, a friend who now share their apartment together.   While it was not a Lesbian partnership it was woman to woman, a female social justice that the women war crimes and war survivors in Novi Travnik do under the radar of male dominated society.

She smiled at me and waved her hand for me to come over to the bench.  I walked over and could not help smiling.   She introduced me to her friend saying she is better and on medications.   I turned to leave and she touched my arm.   I turned back and she said, you knew I existed.  You listened.

She is the only lesbian I found alive on my list of names.  I realized the female social collective did not give me an alibi – ‘repatriated back home’ when I asked after her.   I still ask about the other names on my list but it’s been over 18 years now.

What I learned after decades treating trauma across the globe is that I can’t change the world, erase the killing silences or save everyone.   My small act, my one response to witness and listen to one woman rippled into a female social collective that ended up healing her and many others.   I know it is only one name out of my list of names, one encounter and a dialogue that powerfully heals the experiences from those who have been victimized or subjected to it but, I heard a deeper truth not the killing silence or that alibi that she has been repatriated back home.

 

Bosnian Female Collective; a Human Geography

In Novi Travnik[4], Bosnia Herzegovina, I created the female social collective with the Bosnian women war crimes and war survivors.  The women named the social collective Kolo[5] Sumejia.  Sumejia is from the Quran, a female martyr.  The Ahmica-Vitez grandmothers and the Kolo Sumejia are the female social collectives where I would learn how they heal trauma and witness their grief and our own grief at the same time.

Only a few kilometers away from Novi Travnik is the village Ahmica-Vitez, the site of war crimes. Similar to Novi Travnik, a street divides the Ahmica Muslim enclave from the Croatians[6].  150 elderly and mostly women and children to infants were slaughtered in the Muslim morning call to prayer[7].  The war crimes here at Ahmica-Vitez was done by Croats not Serbs.

The human geography of the Balkan War and war crimes would have the grandmothers out in the field with their livestock which saved their lives but not their children and grandchildren.

If you drive another five kilometers away from Novi Travnik it is startlingly to the point of disbelief since Travnik is one of the most beautiful places in Eastern Europe.  Travnik is smacked in the middle of Mt. Vlasic’s soaring cliffs.  One road is the only entrance and exit that leads to Mt. Vlasic.  Blue Waters rage down from a stout Tower with stone walls witch’s castle and flows underground and then emerges above ground into Travnik. Austria’s Archduke Ferdinand drank coffee at the Blue Waters café in 1914.  The Mosque has its minaret on the wrong side due to the raging blue waters that roar through the town.

Mt Vlasic serves as the backbone of the town, actually the protector of the town. And the thousands of internal displaced people (IDPs) – refugees in their own country would flee to Travnik.

During the Balkan War (1991-1993) over 5,000 women- IDPs, refugees and those from the rape camps fled to Travnik[8].  Snipers were able to kill some. The women talked about how their mothers and grandmothers’ covered up their windows and knew how to outlast the sieges and sniper kills to the market via their wood stoves and their fermented and home canned goods.

In other words, after three world wars -100 years of war – intergenerational trauma conjures up the survivor skills not thriving skills. It also conjures up the women’s silence on their own daughters’ sexual agency, not just Muslim women but, especially, if lesbians or haven been raped.

The rape survivors knew from before the war how Travnik was geographical situated to protect IDPs – refugees.   We do know in the Balkan War rape camps held elder women- mostly educated with doctorates and/or held high positions with a majority of Muslim young women.  There is talk that many of the educated women were lesbians but it is never spoken about or referred to in most media and research.

From my kolo informed trauma work not just in Bosnia but across the globe, lesbians’ trauma events and trauma response comes from their unassimilable experiences since their commitment to the truth of their realities is a journey with the ultimate difference-the otherness of living and otherness of death.

Two outstanding elements stood out for me in the literature about these rape camps showing the killing silence; no mention or few children of rape were born and no mention of Lesbian women.   The extremes of what women endured and lesbians are not in the written historical accounts and if chronicled it is rare.  The otherness of women’s lives, their sexual identity and sexual agency cannot efface the gynocide (mass murder of women).  But it does demand a repossession of her witnessing her loss and suffering when she recounts the experience of otherness, separation and loss.

Since, there is no mention or witnessing lesbians among the 5,000 women rape survivors and refugees I decided to detail traces of their lesbian lives at the local communities I found myself in. Even the UN statistics did not have Lesbians enumerated and they were most likely folded into the women category[9].  Of course it is fine to have lesbians noted as women – true women who in my tacit knowledge[10] is our first mother who had to be lesbian and all women have the capacity for parthenogenesis[11] (self-birthing).

While the women category for Lesbians is accurate what occurs with this specific exclusion is how violence against lesbians in the former Yugoslavia and in the Balkan war and rape camps is excused and not held accountable.   It is a killing silence- a gynocide given a green light to this very day.

I do know that lesbian human geography before the war and during the war and in the aftermath is a continuous hell.  Yet, something did change in the aftermath of war when I and the Bosnian women war crimes and war survivors acknowledged that she exists along with a female social collective that committed to witness her life and their lives.  The killing silence is eliminated with the female solidarity and collective that allowed for witnessing her existence, her trauma while being in sisterhood.

Similar to the geographical extreme contrast between the Ahmica-Vitez, Novi Travnik to the mother town Travnik’s beauty, Travnik gives the impression of not being scarred or severely wounded from the century of wars. But the hidden truth are women’s suicides by flying off their dreary apartment buildings to their deaths.  This occurred in Novi Travnik-actually everywhere in the aftermath of the war.  The killing silence had their suicides classified as accidental.

At the very least, Novi Travnik’s ghetto like aftermath fits it’s an ugly munitions factory – a target during the Balkan War.  The ugly munitions factory is where Mersiha worked as an engineer.  Her human geography and environment are the backdrops of smudged soot colored apartment buildings before the war and after the war.  The buildings’ acne are the grenade impacts creating craters accompanied with millions of bullet holes that make no pattern- bullet holes are pitched in every direction.  The environment and backdrop of the buildings is why I never saw Mersiha standing near the building when she stormed into Sana’s photo shop.

I realized how the environment and human geography of hatred and violence camouflaged Mersiha physically and also spoke of how blindness is entrenched in the killing silence.

One half of the town is Muslim and the other half is Croatian.  Actually, the main street is the dividing line where Croat soldiers and snipers would lean out their windows and shoot at the Muslim population.  How she survived the snipers in the surrounding hillsides killing anyone attempting to go get food is unknown.  The Croatian side looks like another town in Eastern Europe- unscathed and plugged into the western world where funding and clean up was done in about 5 years.   Not so, for the Muslim side.  A cup of coffee on the Croatian side is about $2.00 but on the Muslim side 50 cents to a dollar[12].

Since the homosexuals are the preferred male gender it stands to reason that most lesbians and women are the hardest hit in the century of wars.   This is made possible with the governing entities and military to include the International criminal court for Yugoslavia tribunal[13].  The latter, blames the feminists for their advocacy of women’s sexual agency.   This did not stymie the use of public space and talk about the trauma endured by lesbians. Lepa Mladenovic, Serbian feminist activist wrote to Women in Black group Joan Nestle:

“From the beginning of wars in this region from ’91 I felt that I have to invent Ten thousand ways to let my lesbian desire breathe. At some moment during the last 8 years it was not easy for me to put in words how do I feel when making love with a woman and in the back there is a radio with the news of war. Killed, or expelled or other fascist acts. In my room, I would not be able to stand up from the bed, leave the desired bodies and switch off the news, also because I thought the respect to the killed I will show by not switching off the radio.”[14]

However, homosexuality was the door that opened to public awareness for the former Yugoslav provinces Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia in 1977.  According to Tajana Greif, an author (LL25- History of Slovenian Lesbian movement) and LGBTI activist reported ““It is only after that that homosexuality was able to enter public discourse and public space.”

Notice that Bosnia Hercegovina is not listed. The Balkan War genocide and gynocide to rape camps forms a denial narrative by not listing in the statistical women categories lesbians.   In fact, there is perhaps a shred of historical narratives or some witnessing that declares lesbians were targeted in the bloody war.

Lepa Mladenovic resisted the temptation to push away the news on the radio and to not fall into the killing silences.  Instead Lepa reconstitutes the lesbian desire to breathe and make love with a woman, a witnessing of her own trauma along with many lesbians in the radio broadcast that most likely did not cite lesbians.  What mattered was that Lepa knew from the concrete details that in the women category was the lesbian category.


Dr. Danica Borkovich Anderson founded and directed The Kolo: Women’s Cross Cultural Collaboration (The Kolo: WCCC) focusing on intersecting women’s collaboration, representation, and advocacy for social justice to halt violence against women internationally and nationally. The Kolo: WCCC promotes and provides women’s trauma counseling, treatment, and gives the opportunity to “train the trainer,” preparing lay persons to facilitate the ongoing work. The Kolo: WCCC presents a feminist perspective coupled with cross cultural practices that enable women in war torn regions, such as Africa (Sub-Sahara), Afghanistan, Bosnia, India, and Sri Lanka to become self-sustainable in their communities.


 

[1] Sexual heatmap- “But something proverbial hit the fan when the press release included the fact that there were early and consistent reports that antidepressants could change sexual orientation from homosexuality to heterosexuality. Impossible we were told. You will lose all credibility making these claims.

The first report of this effect is tucked away in the very first English language article on the discovery of the antidepressant effects of imipramine by Roland Kuhn. Imipramine we now know is a potent serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Kuhn was a country doctor, more a psychotherapist than a psychopharmacologist. He was conservative in attitude. His explanation for what was going on was that some homosexual behaviors stemmed from depression and relieving this helped “normalize” other behaviors. He didn’t celebrate the issue but he may have been pleased – in line with dominant thinking at that time.” https://rxisk.org/the-sexual-heatmap-2/

[2] Saving Normal- “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life as ‘part mea culpa, part j’accuse, part cri de coeur’.Frances’ arguments about the dangers of inflating psychiatric conditions and psychiatric diagnosis are persuasive – maybe more so because he honestly admits to his own role in developing such an inflation. He is keenly aware of the risks of diagnostic inflation ‘because of painful firsthand experience’, he writes. ‘Despite our efforts to tame excessive diagnostic exuberance, DSM-IV had since been misused to blow up the diagnostic bubble’. He is particularly concerned about the exponential increase in the diagnosis of psychiatric conditions in children, writing: ‘We failed to predict or prevent three new false epidemics of mental disorder in children – autismattention deficit, and childhood bipolar disorder. And we did nothing to contain the rampant diagnostic inflation that was already expanding the boundary of psychiatry far beyond its competence.’ https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reclaiming-childhood/201407/review-saving-normal-0

[3] “In ancient Rome, two men taking an oath of allegiance held each other’s testicles, and men held their own testicles as a sign of truthfulness while bearing witness in a public forum. The Romans found a word to describe this practice but didn’t invent the practice itself. Other primates had already been doing this for millions of years. Two male baboons who cooperate with each other by forming aggressive alliances against other baboons frequently fondle each other’s genitalia. This behavior has nothing to do with sex but it’s a social ritual that primatologists call a “greeting.” The behavior of ancient Romans and male baboons can be explained by the Handicap Principle, an evolutionary theory according to which the most effective way to obtain reliable information about a partner’s commitment in a relationship – whether a political alliance, a romantic relationship, or a business partnership – is to impose a cost on the partner and assess the partner’s willingness to pay it.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/games-primates-play/201112/testify-comes-the-latin-word-testicle

[4] I do want you to know that “Novi” translated from Bosnian means new in English.  The reason for naming it Novi Travnik is due to the mother town named Travnik located about five kilometers away.

[5] The Serbo-Croatian word kolo is very old and is most likely older than Sanskrit.  The kolo original meaning is the wheel and the Slavs call their round folk dances- kolo.  It also means to be in a circle.   I selected this word to evade the patriarchal symbols and return to the true meaning of the circle.

[6] The ethnic divides in former Yugoslavia: Croatians are Catholic, Serbians are Serbian Orthodox and Muslims are Bosniaks.

[7] The Ahmići massacre was the culmination of the Lašva Valley ethnic cleansing committed by the Croatian Community of Herzeg-Bosnia’s political and military leadership on Bosniak civilians during the Croat-Bosniak War in April 1993

[8] “The seizure of Jajce appeared to confirm the Serbian leaders’ determination to press forward with their offensive, despite pledges to seek peace and to stop fighting for control of wide areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Serbs were a minority before the war. In Jajce and the surrounding county, Serbs accounted for 19 percent of the population of 45,000 people in the 1991 census, with Muslims accounting for 39 per cent and Croats 35 percent.

Muslims and Croats were among the refugees streaming into Travnik today down the only road not blocked by Serbian troops, a dirt track used by Jajce’s defenders to run supply convoys through the mountains at night. A BBC reporter said that the refugees were arriving in Travnik, 20 miles southeast of Jajce, covered in mud, wet from heavy rains, and limping with fatigue after spending most of two days on the trek. The reporter, Alan Little, said in a radio account that some refugees reported that Serbian fighters opened fire on the refugees from positions overlooking the road. https://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/31/world/30-mile-refugee-line-is-seen-in-bosnia.html

[9] Bosnia-Hercegovina continue the onslaught of omitting or excluding Lesbians- “Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo Open Centre, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights organization, documented 23 cases of hate speech and incitement of violence and hate and two crimes and incidents motivated by prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the first three months of 2016. The reaction of authorities to these incidents is generally inadequate. There was no progress in police investigations into the 2014 attack on a film festival that Sarajevo Open Centre organized.

In its annual progress on Bosnia and Herzegovina published in November, the European Commission highlighted the failure of authorities to amend the constitution, in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and to implement rulings by the Constitutional Court. The report also identified inadequate legal protection for LGBTI persons and the failure of authorities to protect adequately the rights of minorities and to ensure media freedom.” https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/06/23/human-rights-watch-country-profiles-sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity.”

[10] Wendy Wheeler’s The Whole Creature Book-Wheeler argues that art and culture advance through intuited embodied knowledge. Tacit bodily knowledge- our genome and thousands of generations of ancestors’ lived experiences. https://books.google.com/books?id=LFDEK8QyNhkC&pg=PA102&lpg=PA102&dq=Wendy+Wheeler+tacit+knowledge+definition&source=bl&ots=DL4so92U3e&sig=ACfU3U1vLriIQlHrx0kcc6JIaOSVpSTlGw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwia-9ymgrrgAhXpr1QKHff9AWsQ6AEwAnoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q=Wendy%20Wheeler%20tacit%20knowledge%20definition&f=false

[11] “It’s a theme as old as science fiction: A world without men. The story is a familiar one: lesbians living together in an all-women utopia, loving, raising families and their own food. No men are needed, even in the creation of children. There’s a word for creating children without men: parthenogenesis, but it’s never applied to humans. Parthenogenesis, or virgin birth, is defined as reproduction without fertilization. It occurs naturally in some plant and insect species. It does not occur naturally in mammals, but like many other procedures developed in modern medicine, it can now occur with the assistance of scientists.” https://www.liveabout.com/parthenogenesis-do-we-need-men-anymore-2170724

“The newspaper article unfortunately mentioned that such children would have to be daughters (it would have been interesting to see whether or not any sons were claimed, but, if so, they could not possibly be parthenoforms). Ultimately, 19 women presented themselves along with their daughters as examples of “virgin birth.” Eleven of these did not profess that no father existed, but were under the mistaken impression that the search was for a hymen intact after conception (but long since broken in birth). The remaining eight pairs were examined by Balfour-Lynn (1956), who blood typed mothers and daughters and found antigens present in six daughters that were absent in their mothers, clear evidence of genetic differences. In another pair, the mother had blue eyes and the daughter brown eyes, indicating genetic differences. In the single remaining case, “Mrs. Alpha and daughter,” there was apparent genetic identity in blood groups and several other genetically determined traits including electrophoretic analysis of serum. The probability of such a close match between a mother and daughter produced by heterosexual reproduction was less than one chance in a hundred (P < .01).” http://www.zo.utexas.edu/courses/thoc/virginbirth.pdf

[12] In my book Blood & Honey: The Secret Herstory- Balkan Women War Crimes and War Survivors, the narratives of Bosnian women war crimes and war survivors.

[13] Challenging Bosnian Women’s Identity as Rape Victims, as Unending Victims: The ‘Other’ Sex in Times of War “Still, while the ICTY‟s view of the use of rape in the Bosnian war was groundbreaking and lauded as a great success by many feminists, Engle argues that on some level the ICTY, influenced by feminist thinking, has inadvertently functioned to limit the narratives about women in war, denying much of women’s sexual and political agency (Engle, 2008, 942). Engle contends that many feminists treated at least some women as victims only, rather than as people capable of political and sexual agency during the war (Engle, 2005, 780). My research was prompted by the recognition that many important narratives of women’s agency in times of war have become silenced and ignored” https://vc.bridgew.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1027&context=jiws

[14] ibid

Brazil: lesbian tattoo artist murdered

Joyce Cristina Vargas da Silva

Photo from Facebook

The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro found the body of the tattoo artist Joyce Cristina Vargas da Silva , 31 years old. Black woman, lesbian and passionate about tattooing. She had been missing since Monday, May 27, after going out with friends from a LGBTQ + nightclub, to Papa G Nightclub . According to the cousin of the victim, the friends left and Joyce decided to stay a little longer. … Agents of the Capital Homicide Division located her corpse near the rails of the Madureira train station, in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro. The information above is from O Globo newspaper and SBT Brasil . Still, according to what was disclosed by social networks there were signs of rape and the indication that the murder has lesbophobic motivation.
(Translated)

A Polícia Civil do Rio de Janeiro encontrou o corpo da tatuadora Joyce Cristina Vargas da Silva, 31 anos. Mulher negra, lésbica e apaixonada por tatuagem. Ela estava desaparecida desde a segunda-feira, 27 de Maio, após sair com amigas de uma boate LGBTQ+, a Boate Papa G. Segundo o primo da vítima, as amigas foram embora e Joyce resolveu ficar um pouco mais. … Agentes da Divisão de Homicídios da Capital localizaram o cadáver próximo aos trilhos da estação de trem de Madureira, na zona norte do Rio de Janeiro. As informações acima são do jornal O Globo e do SBT Brasil. Ainda, segundo o que foi divulgado pelas redes sociais havia sinais de estupro e a indicação que o assassinato tenha motivação lesbofóbica.
(Original)

 

Continue reading at: http://www.frrrkguys.com.br/tatuadora-e-assassinada-no-rio-de-janeiro/ (source)

Costa Rica: lesbian forced to wear dress then brutally murdered

Stephannye Paola Castro Mora

(November 2018)

Those who knew Steph [Stephannye Paola Castro Mora] said that she had a style of dress, and that she never wore dresses or skirts. Hence, the psychologist who has evaluated this case on account of the hatred with which her murderers tried to humiliate her before killing her, putting a dress on her. “In this particular case not only hate, intolerance and excessive anger toward the sexual orientation of the victim are denoted, but also the imposition of their own code and how he (or the murderers) think must express the sexuality of a woman (with a dress)” commented Ana Yancy Benavides. …
We are filled with rage at the murder of this young woman who worked as a security guard, a girl who was the target of deranged just because of her sexual orientation, because she did not fulfil the heterosexual and feminine “codes” that the lesbophobes wanted to see in them.
(Translated)

Los que conocían a Steph decían que tenía un estilo muy propio de vestir, y que jamás usaba vestidos ni faldas. De ahí que la psicóloga que ha evaluado este caso de cuenta del odio con el que sus asesinos intentaron humillarla antes de matarla, poniéndole un vestido. “En este caso particular no solo se denotan odio, intolerancia y enojo desmedido hacia la orientación sexual de la víctima, sino también la imposición de su propio código y como él (o los asesinos) piensan debe expresarse la sexualidad de una mujer (con un vestido)”, comentó Ana Yancy Benavides. …
Nos llena de rabia el asesinato de esta joven mujer que trabajaba como guardia de seguridad, una chica que fue el blanco de desquiciados sólo por su orientación sexual, por no cumplir los “códigos” heterosexuales y femeninos que los lesbófobos querían ver en ellas.
(Original)

Continue reading at: http://www.mirales.es/asesinan-a-una-chica-lesbiana-e-intentan-humillarla-poniendole-un-vestido/ (Source)

U.K: Brothers murdered lesbian after homophobic abuse report

glenda

Two brothers have been found guilty of stabbing a woman to death after she reported a homophobic attack by a group they were linked to.
Glenda Jackson was found in a blood-soaked hallway at flats in Grayson Mews, Birkenhead, on 30 September 2018.
Prosecutor Gordon Cole QC said she had called police at 01:44 and told the 999 operator she had been subjected to homophobic abuse and suffered facial injuries.
She told attending officers she had been attacked by the people in a flat where the Curtis brothers had been sleeping and was recorded on a body-cam stating that her attackers had told her if she “dared do anything she would be killed”.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-48092027 (source)

Guatemala: two lesbians murdered for being lesbian

Guatemala

Source: Ontheworldmap.com

On Wednesday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala condemned the murder of two women in the municipality of Jalapa, 99 kilometers east of the capital, on which there was a “lesbophobic” message.
(Translated)

La Oficina de la Alta Comisionada de la ONU para los Derechos Humanos en Guatemala condenó este miércoles el asesinato de dos mujeres en el municipio de Jalapa, a 99 kilómetros al este de la capital, sobre las que había un mensaje “lesbofóbico”.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.elespanol.com/mundo/20190424/asesinan-mujeres-guatemala-lesbianas/393460855_0.html (Source)

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

lyra.jpg

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

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

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

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

 

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

U.S: Man arrested for the murder of lesbian DJ Salina “Salamander” Rivera

dj

A 21-year-old man was being held without bond this week after being charged on March 15 with the murder of lesbian DJ Salina “Salamander” Rivera, 27, who was found shot to death three days earlier outside her residence in Hyattsville.

Fox 5 News interviewed a woman who identified herself as Rivera’s girlfriend who asked not to be identified or have her face shown on camera.
“She was beautiful and soft and kind hearted and strong and just and fair and understanding and all she ever wanted was peace,” the girlfriend told Fox 5 News in describing Rivera.

Continue reading: https://lgbt.10ztalk.com/2019/03/19/
md-man-arrested-for-murder-of-lesbian-dj/
(source)

Fundraiser for Salina Rivera’s funeral costs:  https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-arrangements-for-salina-rivera

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

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)

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)

 

Brazil: two ex-police charged with murder of lesbian activist politician Marielle Franco and her driver

Marielle Franco

Two former police officers have been arrested over the murder of the Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco, two days before the first anniversary of her death, which prompted international outrage. Franco, a groundbreaking politician who was born in one of Rio’s largest favelas and became a voice for disadvantaged people in the city, was killed in a drive-by shooting along with her driver, Anderson Gomes. She had criticised police killings in the favelas where she grew up and took part in a 2008 state legislature inquiry into the paramilitary gangs that dominate large areas of Rio state. Known as militias, these groups often include police officers. The suspects were identified as Ronnie Lessa, a retired military police officer, and Élcio Vieira de Queiroz, a former police officer.
Continue reading at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/12/police-officers-arrested-murder-brazilian-politician-marielle-franco

Original article: Protests held across Brazil after lesbian Rio councillor shot dead

South Africa: still no charges over brutal rape and murder of lesbian

South Africa

Cape Town – Almost six months after the rape and murder of a young Gugulethu woman, community and gender activist groups are still shocked at the lack of progress in the investigation. Now they fear those who killed Thuthukile Mabasa might never be brought to justice. Community leader Nuse Mpetha said they believed Mabasa was raped and murdered because she was a lesbian. And their attempts to find answers into Mabasa’s death has only yielded more questions.

Continue reading at: https://www.iol.co.za/weekend-argus/news/lesbians-murder-still-unsolved-nearly-six-months-later-19815745?fbclid=IwAR0Zkp4OhXNs6o47pBeREhlPj07qkRDXA04EEbG-eZXoccgQkRjtmo0DwOI

2018 in review: Listening 2 Lesbians

 

By Liz Waterhouse

As 2018 draws to a close, we look back on lesbian news through the year. The articles located, written and shared were assessed by location, issue and perpetrator or source of the issue. Community responses to articles were also reviewed.

 

LOCATION

 

In 2018 Listening2Lesbians found and shared 152 stories from 35 countries of the world, with 146 of these articles country specific.

The USA was the greatest source of stories with 65 pieces, as many as the next 18 countries combined. 

The USA and United Kingdom were reported on 76 times, exactly half of the total articles for the year. This stark overrepresentation of the USA and the UK reflects various factors including a cultural dominance which is mirrored in media resourcing and output as well as our current reliance on English language media.

In the context of existing analyses of global lesbian experiences, the stories we were able to source this year do not adequately represent the reality of lesbian lives around the world.

There remain overwhelming gaps in representation, with 135 countries or territories never having been reported on by Listening2Lesbians. In 47 of these 135 unreported countries, homosexuality is strictly or defacto illegal and it is implausible that discrimination, harassment and persecution of lesbians do not exist in these countries.

The underreporting of lesbian experiences in these countries is almost certainly exacerbated by the (LGBTI and mainstream) media focus on other groups within the LGBTI community. It has been a source of frustration in 2018 how often lesbians are not included in reports on legal changes, persecution and their effects even when it is evident that they will be affected, and that their experiences will be further exacerbated by cultural expectations of and pressures on women and the punishment levied against women who do not meet these cultural norms/sex roles.

Listening2Lesbians will continue working to discover, document and share the experiences of lesbians in these countries as part of our commitment to global lesbian wellbeing.

 

ISSUES

Discrimination and harassment were the dominant issue reported in 2018, representing 47% of the global stories reported in the English media.

Physical and sexual violence against lesbians, including murder, represented 30% of reported stories with persecution a further 16%, often including stories of lesbians seeking asylum to escape it.

 

Issues reported 2018 global

This breakdown is not globally representative with the USA breakdown between discrimination and harassment and persecution significantly different to that in the rest of the world. Discrimination and harassment in the US represent 61% of the stories with persecution representing just 5%.

 

For the rest of the world, minus the USA, discrimination and harassment represent just 36% of the stories in 2018 with persecution representing 24%.

Physical or sexual violence, including murder, was reported at similar rates of approximately 30% of the stories.

It seems likely that there would be further variation across the regions of the world but there is not yet enough data held by Listening2Lesbians to assess it in greater detail.

 

HOSTILITY SOURCE

After looking at what happens to lesbians, and where, the next question is who – who is manifesting this hostility and opposition to lesbians, what is the source of the abuse.

Stories reported in 2018 were coded for source and while some of the assessments are subjective, the intent was to provide insight into the nature of the opposition to lesbians.

Global data was considered first, with governments the global primary source of hostility and opposition to lesbians (28% of the reports). Individuals and strangers were not far behind at 23% of the reports.2018 hostility source chart global

 

The USA vs global minus USA data was also assessed, with the results reflecting a similar variation as noted in the reported issue breakdown.

Mirroring the discrimination-harassment vs persecution focus of the issues reported charts, the source charts show a marked difference between the USA and other countries. It is possible that this variation would be greater with more comprehensive data for countries with potentially greater overlap with the USA (such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand).

2018 hostility source chart usa

 

 

The USA hostility source data shows relatively low levels of reported family and friend hostility, with strangers and individuals the dominant hostility source. Government is an additional notable hostility source, with discrimination the primary issue.

2018 hostility source chart global - usa

 

For countries other than the USA, Government remains the primary hostility source at 34% of stories, with persecution the dominant issue. Individuals and strangers remain a significant hostility source in non-USA countries with elevated rates of community and family- and friends-based hostility. The hostility resulting from family and friends and individuals and strangers for non-USA reports is predominantly physical violence, including murder. Persecution is notable in the community-based hostility for non-USA reports.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The data on both the source of hostility and nature of the hostility demonstrates a difference across the global lesbian experience, with a focus on discrimination in the USA, and a significantly elevated rate of government persecution and interpersonal hostility in other countries.

Additional data in future years will allow for enhanced analysis of these variations.

While there remains social and legal hostility in a variety of countries, the situation of lesbians in countries with profound violent social opposition and government persecution is evidently of a different nature to that of lesbians facing harassment and discrimination, with civil remedies available to them and a state which will not punish them on reporting a crime.

Civil remedies and greater community acceptance do not appear to have resolved the issue of interpersonal violence which remains consistent at approximately 30% of reports across the board. An assessment of the magnitude or severity of the interpersonal violence cannot be made with the current data.

RESPONSE TO THE NEWS

In 2018, the Listening2Lesbians story with the most individual views was California: Court update on alleged murder of lesbian couple and adult child.

The most shared blog post (from WordPress) was U.S: Man Breaks Woman’s Spine in Anti-Lesbian Hate Crime.

The Facebook post with the greatest engagement was the personally devastating announcement of my partner and Listening2Lesbians powerhouse Lisa Mallet’s death: Listening2Lesbians Mourns loss of Lisa Mallett.

IN SUMMARY

The pattern of engagement with Listening2Lesbians stories shows that violent individual attacks garner the most attention, particularly where those attacks occur in the first world. It was notable that, as in previous years, some significant stories of personal trauma and persecution did not appear to capture the imagination of Listening2Lesbians readership, mirroring a phenomenon well established in the mainstream media.

Crimes and hostility against lesbians seem under reported relative to the mainstream and LGBTI populations in both media sectors which is broadly in line with previously identified trends. The stories which were reported predominantly focus on crimes against lesbians in the English speaking first world countries. Additional stories were located through thorough reviews of English-speaking local media around the world.

In addition to sex, race and class remain significant factors in what is reported (and how), and also appear to influence the community response to those reports. Social and legal structures which prevent lesbians from reporting crimes and hostility against them exacerbate these tendencies, with language barriers inhibiting a deeper investigation of the experiences of lesbians as reported in the non-English media landscape.

As with reporting on crimes against women more generally, there remains little interest in reporting and responding to institutional, family or communal violence or persecution, which appears to be the dominant global lesbian experience as reported in 2018 once the USA data is excluded.

Listening2lesbians remains committed to broadening the information reported on the global lesbian experience, with our focus remaining on seeking to highlight the experiences of profoundly marginalised lesbian communities around the world.

 

Contact information:

Liz@listening2lesbians.com 

 

Posts from 2018:

 

U.S: Burlington man charged with the murder of lesbian

Mary-McBroom-Obituary

A man was arrested Tuesday afternoon, the day after a woman was shot and killed.

Eric Douglas Moore, 20, of Burlington, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Mary Elizabeth McBroom.

Continue reading at: https://www.greensboro.com/news/crime/
burlington-man-charged-with-murder-in-death-of–year/
(source)

U.S: Lesbian ‘dismembered after being tricked into Tinder date with couple who wanted a threesome’

Lesbian dismembered 'after being tricked into Tinder date with couple who wanted threeway'

A woman was murdered and her body dismembered after she was tricked into a Tinder date with another woman whose secret boyfriend wanted a threesome.

Continue reading at: https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/13/lesbian-dismembered-tricked-tinder-date-by-couple-wanted-threesome-7628037/  (source)

 

California: Court update on alleged murder of lesbian couple and adult child

Wright Reed family

By DZ

Dana Rivers (formerly known as David Chester Warfield) was arrested on November 11, 2016 and charged with three counts of murder; arson of an inhabited space; and possession of metal knuckles. When police arrived after midnight at the burning home of Patricia A. Wright and Charlotte Ku’ulei Reed, a lesbian couple, they reportedly discovered Rivers exiting the home covered in blood.

According to police, Rivers was carrying knives and ammunition while attempting to flee on Reed’s motorcycle. Reed and Wright were found murdered along with their 19-year-old son, Toto “Benny” Diambu-Wright, one of their three children. The two women, known to friends as Pat and Char, had been repeatedly stabbed and shot to death; Benny had also been fatally shot. According to Officer Hector Jimenez, Rivers “began to make spontaneous statements about her involvement in the murders” while being detained by police.

On July 5, 2017 Rivers entered a plea in response to the charges: Not Guilty on all counts. Rivers also plead to deny each instance of Special Allegations and Special Circumstances related to the case, such as multiple murders and use of a deadly weapon.

Though there has been steady courtroom activity related to the case over the past year, media coverage been extremely scarce. Some reports have stated a possible motive involving a “property dispute.” Speaking under condition of anonymity, community sources say their knowledge of Rivers’ contact with Ms. Reed could suggest different possible motives. One source commented, “A property dispute is something like, ‘I want your motorcycle.’ And there was an attempt to take Char’s bike, but it seems more like an afterthought. If it was just about the motorcycle, then none of the rest of this had to happen. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Rivers is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA. Rivers appeared in court for a Pretrial Hearing at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, CA on January 8, 2018 for a Pretrial Hearing and was then scheduled to appear for a Preliminary Hearing on January 22, 2018. Court records initially reflected that Rivers was represented by Defense Attorney Bonnie Lynn Narby. According to more recent records, Rivers has engaged an experienced criminal defense attorney–Timothy B. Rien of Rien, Adams & Cox.

Records list the District Attorney for prosecution as Christopher David Cavagnaro. During the January 8 Pretrial Hearing, Melissa Eileen Adams, Managing Partner of Rien, Adams & Cox, appeared in court to represent Rivers, and a D.A. who did not appear to be Mr. Cavagnaro appeared for the prosecution. During the proceedings, an additional Preliminary Hearing was scheduled for March 6, 2018.

On March 7, a Further Preliminary Examination was conducted; following that were another Arraignment and additional Hearings. Rivers last appeared in court on May 15, 2018 for a Disposition & Setting (D&S), and is next scheduled to appear on June 27, 2018 for another D&S.

Prior to being arrested for these crimes, Rivers had been best known as a transgender activist. Formerly a member of the Navy, Rivers had become a journalism teacher at a Sacramento area high school. After being fired for discussing personal matters related to gender transition with students, Rivers sued the school board and won a settlement. Additionally, Rivers participated in organized actions against the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, a predominantly lesbian cultural institution (p44).

Patricia Wright, known as Pat, was a beloved public school teacher; Charlotte Reed, often called Char, had a successful hair salon catering especially to a clientele of trans people. Both women graduated from Mills College. Benny Diambu-Wright was a Berkeley High School graduate who, according to his brother, wanted to become a nurse. Pat, Char, and Benny are survived by family, including Reed and Wright’s two other children, as well as their extended family, friends, and communities.

References:

Wright Reed family.png