Tag Archives: persecution

Russia: Julia Tsvetkova, lesbian feminist activist on the state campaign against her

My Body is not pornography Julia Tsvetkova

“I feel that today there are so many invisible female political prisoners: mothers, wives – women who bear an incredible burden thanks to political trials,” says Russian artist Yulia Tsvetkova, who’s been designated a political prisoner by the Memorial human rights association. “Political prisoners are heroes, but women are the invisible service staff.”

Tsvetkova, a theatre director, feminist and LGBT activist, has had time to reflect. In October 2019, she was interrogated in her hometown of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, and in November her social media posts led to her flat and theatre studio being searched for evidence of pornography. Tsvetkova was charged with spreading pornography and has been under house arrest since 23 November last year.

As part of the investigation, Tsvetkova has been accused of spreading “homosexual propaganda” among underage people and fined 50,000 roubles (£500). Tsvetkova has run several educational projects in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, as well as a youth theatre, online groups on feminism and sex education for young people and a Vagina Monologues group which celebrated the power and uniqueness of the female body.

In March this year, a district council reduced the charge against Tsvetkova and released her from house arrest on the basis that she would not leave the country. But Tsvetkova is still charged with spreading pornography for publishing illustrated educational material, for which she can be given a two-to-six-year prison sentence.

What’s happening with the persecution of activists and people who openly talk about sexual minorities, feminism, human rights and sexuality? To what extent do you feel that these issues are taboo in Russia and how this situation can change in the future?

I am the person who they started persecuting when I created The Pink and the Blue, a show about gender stereotypes which I put on at the Merak theatre. And I feel that this already says a lot.

I believe that a lot depends on culture, or rather, lack of it. For example, I needed an ambulance after my arrest and the medics that examined me asked about my case and also, whether I was a paedophile. These aren’t bad people; they just lack culture. People are curious – I can understand that: my case is unprecedented in our city. Because I have short hair, I’ve been asked four times on the street whether I’m male or female. When that happens, I feel shock and embarrassment. And people just don’t see that I’m embarrassed and that haircuts don’t define gender.

The question of my sexual orientation comes up at nearly every police interrogation. The need to physically examine me, for example, is all to do with the fact that I’m a lesbian. And as for my case, there seems to be an idea that the female body is public property. I’ve heard cops going on about how we should be having kids, not displaying our vaginas. But even if I wanted to display my vagina, it’s my right and my vagina.

Continue reading at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/yulia-tsvetkova-interview/

Related articles:

Update: Russian lesbian feminist fined for gay propaganda, still facing jail on pornography charge

Yulia Tsvetkova

Yulia Tsvetkova, who was charged with spreading “gay propaganda” among minors three times in less than a year, was fined by a court in the eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur on Friday (July 10).

Vladimir Putin and his government banned so-called “gay propaganda” in 2013, prohibiting the “promotion of nontraditional sexual relations to minors”. Under his rule, sharing information about LGBT+ people’s lives can earn a person a prison sentence.

Tsvetkova was prosecuted for her colourful drawings showing LGBT+ relationships. One of the drawings, called “A family where love is”, shows gay and lesbian couples with their children.

She was also investigated for running a social-media page called Vagina Monologues, which encourages people to share artistic depictions of vaginas in order to “remove the taboo”.

The 27-year-old is facing a criminal trial for the offence of pornography after posting drawings of vaginas online in this group.

If convicted on these charges, Tsvetkova faces six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2020/07/13/yulia-tsvetkova-russia-activist-fine-gay-propaganda-drawings-lesbian-gay-lgbt-families/ (Source)

Related articles:

Russia: two additional cases opened against lesbian activist Julia Tsvetkova

L2L Russia

Second case:

A second case was drawn up against Julia Tsvetkova, a feminist and artist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur, alleging promotion of “gay propaganda” among minors – because of the picture in support of LGBT families “Family is where there is love” and other materials in relation to this topic. RFI reported the news about Julia Tsvetkova on July 2.

Third Case:

A third case alleging promotion of homosexuality has been opened against artist and LGBT activist Julia Tsvetkova, as reported on her Facebook wall. The trigger for the case is the picture published by Julia for the flashmob #Yes I choose, which was launched on social networks in response to a video promoting amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation with the involvement of same-sex families.

“With the previous administration, the investigation took six months. Therefore, it is too early to talk about the protocol, the court and the fine in the context of the new case. Is it possible this case won’t reach court? I doubt it. My predictions are that they will dig and dig for everything they want. So far it works that way. What is this about? The fact that they are not far behind me? That the country is homophobic? That a shell can hit three times in one place? That all this is not ok? Why state the obvious? This is probably all I can say now. And also, that I will not choose a country in which three charges are laid just to oppose the idea that ​​“Family is where there is love,” Tsvetkova noted.

Second case: Continue reading at: The second protocol on “gay propaganda” was drawn up for the artist Julia Tsvetkova

Third case: Continue reading at: https://www.buro247.ru/news/lifestyle/7-jul-2020-yulia-tcvetkova-new-case.html (Source)

Related articles:

второй протокол:

На феминистку и художницу из Комсомольска-на-Амуре Юлию Цветкову составили новый протокол о «гей-пропаганде» среди несовершеннолетних — из-за картинки в поддержку ЛГБТ-семей «Семья там, где любовь» и других материалов на эту тему Вконтакте. Об этом Юлия Цветкова 2 июля сообщила RFI.

третий протокол:

На художницу и ЛГБТ-активистку Юлию Цветкову заведено третье административное дело о пропаганде гомосексуализма. Она сообщила об этом на своей странице в фейсбуке. Причиной послужила картинка, опубликованная девушкой в рамках флешмоба #ДаВыберу, который был запущен в соцсетях в ответ на ролик за поправки в Конституцию РФ с участием однополой семьи.

«По предыдущей административке проведение экспертизы заняло полгода. Поэтому говорить о протоколе, суде и штрафе в рамках нового дела пока рано. Может ли это дело не дойти до суда? Сомневаюсь. Мои прогнозы, что копать будут и накопают все, что хотят. Пока это работает именно так. О чем это говорит? О том, что от меня не отстали? О том, что страна гомофобна? О том, что снаряд может трижды ударить в одно место? О том, что все это не ок? Зачем проговаривать очевидное? Наверное, это все, что я могу сказать сейчас. А еще, что я не выберу страну, в которой за идею “Семья там, где любовь” с подачи ФСБ заводят уже третье дело подряд», — отметила Цветкова.

(Original)

Update: Protesters arrested in Russia for supporting lesbian activist

L2L Russia

Russian police on Saturday detained more than 30 people, most of them women, who were staging separate one-person protests in central Moscow against charges of spreading pornography levelled against a prominent LGBT activist, a monitoring group said.

One activist was also detained in St Petersburg, according to OVD-Info, which monitors law enforcement issues in Russia.

Earlier this month, police in the Russian far east charged Julia Tsvetkova, an LGBT and feminist activist, with spreading pornography via her pictures, she said on her Facebook page.

If found guilty, Tsvetkova may face up to six years in prison.

Continue reading at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/27/over-30-protesters-arrested-in-moscow-for-supporting-lgbt-activist-rights-group (Source)

Original article: Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Updates:

Germany: Ugandan lesbian wins asylum but no precedent set

Munich protest Ugandan trial

March 2020: A hearing at a Bavarian courthouse on Monday over the asylum application of a lesbian woman from Uganda was thrown out after she was granted her refugee status by federal authorities.

The judge decided that the 41-year-old asylum-seeker, who faces violence and prosecution in her home country, will not be deported.

The Bavarian court did not need to make a decision after the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees admitted that the woman qualified for refugee status at the trial.

LGBT+ people in Uganda can face life imprisonment for engaging in sexual relations, as well as discrimination in private and public spheres. An October 2019 proposed law — referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill — floated the introduction of the death penalty for LGBT+ people. The legislation was later voided.

Case ‘not a precedent’

Advocacy groups said that the case could act as a precedent for LGBT+ refugees in Germany and Europe. … However, the judge clarified that it was an “individual case” and did not mark a precedent for Ugandan or LGBT+ asylum-seekers.

Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-ugandan-asylum-seeker-spared-deportation-from-germany/a-52689706 (Source)

Germany: lack of protection for black lesbian refugees

L2L Germany

NGO figures indicate that in Bavaria around 95% of asylum applications made by black lesbian women are initially rejected by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

This contrasts with the general rejection rate of gay men of 50% and that of heterosexual women of around 30%. Although the numbers on LGBTI asylum applications are only an estimate because the BAMF does not separately register asylum cases from LGBTI people, these seem to show that lesbian asylum seekers in Germany are facing special challenges in their search for refugee protection.

Women and children are particularly vulnerable

This is especially true for black lesbian women of African descent who often experience forms of LGBTIQ-hostility such as social ostracism, racism and (sexual) violence.

In line with a recent EU directive, Germany recognises violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity as grounds for asylum. In addition, with the ratification of the 2011 Istanbul Convention, Germany recognises that gender-based violence can be a persecution and that refugee protection should therefore be guaranteed. Indeed, women and children, along with victims of sex trafficking, are considered the most vulnerable and vulnerable in the European asylum system.

As the 2019 statistics from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees show, over 50% of heterosexual women in Germany have successfully achieved refugee status as victims of gender-specific persecution (forced marriage, FGM, honour killings, rape, domestic violence or forced prostitution). However, lesbian refugees are struggling to show the violence and human rights violations they have experienced to receive protection of asylum.
(Translated)

NGO-Zahlen deuten darauf hin, dass in Bayern etwa 95 Prozent der Asylanträge, die von Schwarzen lesbischen Frauen gestellt werden, beim Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (BAMF) erst einmal eine Ablehnung erfahren.

Dies steht im Gegensatz zu der allgemeinen Ablehnungsrate von schwulen Männern von 50 Prozent und der von heterosexuellen Frauen von etwa 30 Prozent. Obwohl die Zahlen zu LSBTI-Asylanträgen nur eine Schätzung sind, weil das BAMF Asylfälle von LSBTI nicht gesondert erfasst, scheinen diese jedoch zu zeigen, dass lesbische Asylsuchende auf der Suche nach Flüchtlingsschutz in Deutschland besonderen Herausforderungen gegenüberstehen.

Frauen und Kinder gelten als besonders schutzbedürftig
Dies gilt insbesondere für Schwarze lesbische Frauen afrikanischer Herkunft, welche oft Formen von LSBTIQ-Feindlichkeit wie soziale Ächtung, Rassismus und (sexuelle) Gewalt erfahren.

In Übereinstimmung mit einer kürzlich erlassenen EU-Richtlinie erkennt Deutschland Menschenrechtsverletzungen aufgrund der sexuellen Ausrichtung und der Geschlechtsidentität als Asylgrund an. Darüber hinaus erkennt Deutschland mit der Ratifizierung der Istanbuler Konvention von 2011, dass geschlechtsspezifische Gewalt eine Verfolgung darstellen kann und daher Flüchtlingsschutz gewährleistet werden soll. Tatsächlich werden Frauen und Kinder zusammen mit den Opfern von Sexhandel als die schutzbedürftigsten und am stärksten gefährdeten Personen im europäischen Asylsystem betrachtet.

Wie die 2019 Statistik des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge zeigt, haben in Deutschland über 50 Prozent der heterosexuellen Frauen erfolgreich den Flüchtlingsstatus als Opfer geschlechtsspezifischer Verfolgung (Zwangsheirat, FGM, Ehrenmord, Vergewaltigung, häusliche Gewalt oder Zwangsprostitution) erlangt. Lesbische Geflüchtete kämpfen jedoch darum, erlebte Gewalt und Menschenrechtsverletzungen für den Flüchtlingsschutz geltend zu machen.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/gesellschaft/queerspiegel/asylgrund-homosexualitaet-fehlender-schutz-fuer-schwarze-lesbische-gefluechtete/25938886.html (Source)

Egypt: Arrested and tortured for waving rainbow flag, lesbian Sarah Hegazi dead at 30

Sarah HegaziCAIRO — When the openly gay frontman of a hugely popular Lebanese pop group strutted onto the stage of a Cairo summer festival in 2017, rainbow flags lifted in the air, and something sparked inside Sarah Hegazi.

As a lesbian in a country where homosexuality is taboo, and gay people are routinely persecuted by the authorities, here was a glimmer of freedom. Beaming with joy, she raised both hands in the air and hoisted her own rainbow flag aloft. A friend captured the moment on camera.

It was the start of her undoing. …

Although homosexuality is not technically illegal in Egypt, gay people are subjected to deep-rooted societal prejudices and are frequently prosecuted by the police under laws that criminalize “debauchery.” Undercover police investigators use aliases to roam popular dating apps to entrap and arrest gay men. Others are arrested from cafes or the streets on the basis of their appearance.

Concerts are also a focus of law enforcement.

Even before she attended the event headlined by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in 2017, Ms. Hegazi’s life had undergone dramatic shifts. She had shed the head-covering veil that she had once worn, and had begun to embrace her identity as a gay woman.

At the concert she felt liberated, she told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, because “I was declaring myself in a society that hates all that is different from the norm.”

Ahmed Alaa, a law student who also waved a flag, later called the experience “the most beautiful five minutes of my life.”

But once the photo of her waving a flag went viral on social media, Ms. Hegazi was inundated by hate-filled comments, including death threats, said Mostafa Fouad, her lawyer and friend.

Popular television hosts amplified the mood: “How can the homosexual’s flag be raised over Egypt’s pure land?” said one. Another, Ahmed Moussa, denounced “this debauchery, this shame, this crime.”

Days later, armed security officials arrived at Ms. Hegazi’s home and took her to a detention center run by the National Security Agency, a feared arm of Mr. el-Sisi’s security apparatus. Officers questioned her religious beliefs and asked if she was a virgin.

She was blindfolded and taken to a foul-smelling interrogation room where she could hear people groaning with pain. A piece of cloth was stuffed into her mouth. She was tortured with electric shocks, she later said in interviews.

Continue reading at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/15/world/middleeast/egypt-gay-suicide-sarah-hegazi.html (Source)

Original articles:

 

Aram Bolandpaz: a lesbian TV reporter fighting for her community in Iran

Aram_Bolandpaz

By Aram Bolandpaz

To be an openly proud member of the LGBT+ community working as a journalist and presenter is a unique opportunity.

It has enabled me to report on the issues I care about the most. My work primarily focuses on human rights and edgy stories. That includes reporting on LGBT+ life inside Iran and the experiences of the LGBT+ community more broadly in the Middle East.

You see, LGBT+ rights in Iran have come into conflict with the Iranian penal code since the 1930s.

Post-revolutionary Iran forbids any type of sexual activity outside of a heterosexual marriage. Moreover same-sex sexual activities are punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment, or execution.

In the Middle East, Iran is one of five countries to punish same-sex relations by the death penalty. The others are Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, and Sudan.

When it comes to the lesbian and bisexual community inside Iran, the punishment for same-sex conduct starts with lashes. But on the fourth ‘offence’ the court can give the death penalty.

Continue reading at: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/how-this-lesbian-tv-reporter-uses-journalism-to-fight-for-the-lgbt-community-in-iran/ (Source)

Russia: Lesbian artist faces six years jail for creating innocent pictures

Yulja_Tsvetkova-ls-main-800x597

A lesbian artist has spent months under house arrest and is facing fines and six years jail, just for publishing innocent images in Russia.

Yulja Tsvetkova faces three separate trials. Under the first, Russia has charged her with ‘pornography’, with a penalty of up to six years in prison. Moreover, she also faces two trials for LGBT+ ‘propaganda’ – with a fine of 50 million rubles (€600 $625) for each one.

But despite all this, Tsvetkova told GSN that she would continue her artistic work and fight for LGBT+ people.

In the pornography case, Tsvetkova posted a drawing of a vagina in a social media page about body positivity. The page features many figurative and artistic images of vaginas. They wouldn’t look out of place in an art gallery and certainly aren’t pornographic.

In addition, the 26-year-old published articles on queer culture, supporting LGBT+ youth and discrimination for LGBT+ people in Russia on a social media group. That earned her one charge of distributing LGBT+ ‘propaganda’.

The other ‘propaganda’ charge came after Tsvetkova drew an illustration of a lesbian and gay couple with kids.

Continue reading: https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/this-lesbian-artist-faces-six-years-jail-for-creating-innocent-pictures/ (source)

Updates:

 

South Africa: Teen boys raped lesbian to “correct” her sexuality

L2LCapeTown

While party-goers celebrated at Cape Town Pride Festival this weekend, three men held a lesbian captive and raped her nearby.

Police believe the suspects gang-raped her with the excuse they were ‘correcting’ her sexuality.

Now officers have arrested two boys, aged 14 and 17 for the attack. But a third suspect is on the run and investigators are vowing to track him down.

The attack happened late on Friday (28 February), just hours before the main party of the Cape Town Pride Festival. The party on Saturday was a highlight of the South African city’s LGBT+ annual celebrations.

Colonel Dawood Laing, commander of Grassy Park station in Cape Town told the Daily voice the victim was a 25-year-old woman.

She was walking to a shop in Lotus River on Friday, shortly after 10pm, when one suspect approached her. The man, who she knows, said someone wanted to speak to her at a house in Duiker Avenue, a few minutes walk away.

She went with him to a ‘hokkie’ or shack behind the main house. Once there, three men held her. Laing says they are all members of the Dog Pound gang – a well-established, violent Cape Town gang.

Laing says one of the teens put his arm around the woman and told her he was in the mood for sex.

‘He then threw her down to the floor of the hokkie and pulled off her pants. He sodomised her and the other two suspects also both sodomised her and they let her go.’

He says the traumatised woman ran home but found her family sleeping and waited until Saturday morning to report the matter.

Laing adds: ‘She went to her girlfriend who called the police and a case was registered.

‘She was taken to the hospital and officers went on the hunt for the suspects on Monday morning.

‘They found two of the gangsters, aged 14 and 17, while the third suspect is on the run.’

Continue reading: https://www.gaystarnews.com/
article/teen-boys-gang-raped-lesbian-to-correct-her-sexuality/
(source)

U.K: Lesbian sisters given temporary reprieve from being returned to Pakistan

pakistan

Two sisters say they are “relieved but worried” after they narrowly avoided being deported to Pakistan where they say they face the threat of LGBT-based violence.

Samina, 52, and Nazia Iqbal, 48, from Stockport, were scheduled to be taken out of the country on Saturday night from Manchester airport after a judge said it was not “credible” that they are gay [sic], despite the sisters being publicly out for 20 years.

The pair were due to leave on a flight at 9pm on Saturday back to Pakistan but after being questioned by Sky News the Home Office appeared to make a U-turn on the decision as the sisters were not put on the plane.

When contacted by Sky News to ask why the sisters were being deported a spokesperson said that “each case is considered on its merits”.

The Iqbal sisters were not told they would not be put on the flight and only realised they were not leaving when Sky News informed them that the plane had taken off.

The following day the pair were moved to the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre, which has been criticised over treatment of detainees, something the Home Office has previously said has been improved upon.

The pair are now in limbo awaiting a bail hearing on Tuesday.

Continue reading: https://news.sky.com/story/scared-gay-sisters-given-temporary-reprieve-from-being-returned-to-pakistan-11943744 (source)

U.K: ‘How do I convince the Home Office I’m a lesbian?’

angelbus

Angel fled Zimbabwe in fear of her life after police found her in bed with another woman five years ago. It’s taken most of the time since then for her to convince the Home Office that she is gay and will be persecuted if she returns. But how do you prove something you spent your life trying to hide?

In 2015, Angel found herself in an interview room in the north of England with a Home Office official whose job was to work out whether she was lying.

“How do I know I am a lesbian? How old was I when I knew? Who did I tell?” Angel recalls being asked.

“It is as if the Home Office expect a date and time.”

For seven hours, the interviewer picked at the threads of her life story.

The secret relationship with a girl at high-school and the betrayal of a family member she confided in about it.

Her forced marriage to an abusive husband in her 20s and the young daughter she had left behind in Zimbabwe.

Being raped by two men in her 30s who intended to “straighten her up”. And then, a few years later, the brutality from police when they discovered her in bed with a woman at a house-party.

Continue reading: https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-51636642 (source)

Spain: expulsion of Moroccan lesbian from migrant centre condemned

Melilla CETI

A Melilla migrant association, Prodein, denounced, Monday, the expulsion of a young Moroccan lesbian from a migrant reception center, as well as the assaults she allegedly suffered after sleeping on the street, Spanish news agency Europa Press said.

The last assault she suffered was on Friday, January 17, when she was threatened and injured in the hand while trying to protect herself from someone who reportedly attempted to stab her in the chest.

“The young woman expelled from CETI de Melilla (…) is sleeping on the street, where she has been subjected to several assaults for not accepting sexual advances”, Prodein’s president José Palazon told the same source.

Palazon said the young woman fled her home when she was 16, after her father wanted to marry her to a 50-year-old man. He also allegedly “locked her up to treat her from homosexuality”. (sic)

 

Continue reading at: https://en.yabiladi.com/articles/details/88165/melilla-denounces-expulsion-moroccan-lesbian.html (Source)

A Queensland Herstory project – telling the stories of 8 older lesbians

A Matter of Time Heather Faulkner

A spotlight is being shined on LGBT rights — or, more accurately, the historic lack thereof —  in the Australian state of Queensland. The beam is in the form of an upcoming book, North of the Border, by cross-media storyteller and documentary photographer Heather Faulkner. The book builds on Faulkner’s doctoral thesis research project, A Matter Of Time, and through six years of interviews and photography, tells the stories of eight lesbians who grew up in Queensland. The women range in age from their mid-50s to 70s.

“I want older lesbian and gay readers to know that their stories are important,” she told The Huffington Post. “That what they lived through matters.”

Faulkner realized that no one had investigated the Queensland lesbian experience before, especially not in a documentary. “So I decided to do it,” she said.

She describes a Queensland under the rule of Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen (the longest serving premier of Queensland) from 1968 to 1987 as an ultra-conservative state where women’s rights were minimal. Domestic violence was rife and women needed male signatories to purchase things like refrigerators or to get a bank loan; indigenous rights, homosexual rights, education, disability rights, environmental rights, etc. all needed redressing.

“Those who didn’t fit the government-prescribed norm — straight, white, married with children, Christian and conservative politically — didn’t fit in at all. This included feminists, homosexuals, aboriginals, academics, environmentalists, unmarried women or single moms,” Faulkner said. “The government made demonstrations illegal, a policy that resulted in several mass arrests … known demonstrators were ostracized from work places, spied on, bullied or beaten by police,” she describes.

Continue reading at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/telling-the-story-of-the-lives-and-loves-of-older-lesbians_n_55fb19e1e4b08820d917e311(Source)

2019 in review: Lesbians in the News

 

By Liz Waterhouse

2019 Lesbian News Summary

In 2019 Listening2Lesbians expanded our coverage to challenge the previous dominance of English stories to better report global lesbian experiences. This shift saw an increase in news reported, with information from additional countries in 10 languages.

It remains difficult to find comprehensive reports of lesbian experiences given the legal or social situation in many countries; largely disinterested mainstream and specialist media; and various language barriers including a reliance on freely available news translation services and sometimes limited use of the word lesbian by victims, police or media.

The news that was reported in 2019 indicated significant continuing opposition to or punishment of lesbians, particularly in religiously conservative regions. The increasing conservatism and religiosity in some of these areas is of particular concern for lesbians who are subjected to both homophobia and sexism, as well as the intersection of the two.

LOCATION – CHALLENGING THE ANGLO DOMINANCE

2019 Stories by Country

 

In 2019 Listening2Lesbians found and shared 258 news stories from 53 counties, up from 152 stories from 35 countries in 2018.

Reports from the USA and United Kingdom dropped as a percentage from 50% of stories to 26% of location specific stories.

In 2018 we identified the dramatic over-representation of news from the USA and UK, based both in the cultural dominance mirrored in media resourcing / output and our reliance on English language media.

In an attempt to better track global lesbian experiences, we expanded news searches from only English to include daily searches in English, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It is hoped that this search can expand in coming years. Any readers who can assist are requested to contact us.

This expanded news search resulted in news posted in 10 languages in 2019 with 55% of news posted solely in English, 23% in Spanish, 6% in both French and Italian and 3% or under in Portuguese, German, Chinese, Polish, Dutch and Russian.

There remain significant gaps in representation, particularly in countries where homosexuality is strictly or defacto illegal (45 of the 123 countries never reported on by Listening 2 Lesbians). A lack of reported news from these countries cannot mean a lack of discrimination, harassment and persecution of lesbians in these countries.

The under-reporting of lesbian experiences in these countries is almost certainly exacerbated by the (LGBTI and mainstream) media focus on other groups within the LGBTI community. Lesbians continue to be omitted from 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 and sex roles.

 

ISSUES

Discrimination and harassment were the dominant issue reported in 2019, representing 46% of the global stories reported in the English media.

Physical and sexual violence against lesbians, including murder, represented 37% of reported stories with persecution a further 11%, often including stories of lesbians seeking asylum to escape it.

Issues reported 2019 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 represents 77% of the news items and persecution is not represented. This represents a shift from 2018 when 61% of the stories reported discrimination and harassment and persecution was present in 5% of the stories.

Physical or sexual violence, including murder, represented only 14% of the stories, down from 31% in 2018.

Issues reported 2019 USA

For the rest of the world, minus the USA, discrimination and harassment represent just 40% of the stories in 2019, marginally up on the 36% in 2018. Persecution stories decreased from 24% to 13%. 

Physical or sexual violence, including murder, represented 41% of the stories, up from the 29% in 2018.

Issues reported 2019 not USA

 

HOSTILITY SOURCE

News stories reported in 2019 were coded for source of hostility, abuse or discrimination to provide insight into the nature of the opposition to lesbians.

Global data was considered first, with individuals and community hostility increasing from 35% in 2018 to 55% of 2019 reports. Government hostility and discrimination dropped as a percentage from 28% in 2018, the single largest source, to 9% in 2019.

2019 hostility source chart global

The USA vs global minus USA data was also assessed, showing significantly lower community hostility than global reports but a mirrored increase in business hostility (approximately 10% difference in both).

2019 hostility source chart USA

 

The USA hostility source data shows no publicly reported hostility from family and friends and little government hostility.  Public sphere hostility represented 66% of hostility in USA stories (education, business and individual/stranger hostility combined), an increase on the 50% reported in 2018.

2018 hostility source chart global - usa

2019 hostility source chart not USA

Government as a formal source of hostility decreased from 34% to 10% in global reports that excluded the USA. It is hard to know whether this represents a variation in incidents or reporting, or a variation in the source countries included in the 2019 news reports.

For countries other than the USA, community and in individual/stranger hostility rates are significantly higher than in 2018 reports (from 14% to 25% and 19% to 35% respectively, a net increase in 26%). The stories reported in 2019 challenge the idea that lesbians do not experience street violence, with butch or gender non conforming lesbians particularly subjected to harassment, violence and murder.

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

The data gathered in reporting discrimination and violence against lesbians around the world in 2019 shows significant variation across the global lesbian experience, reinforcing our need to focus on the communities we do not hear about.

Given the fragmented and unreliable nature of reporting on crimes against lesbians, it is difficult to draw any conclusions from the limited reports we have, however, it is evident that the experiences of living in countries with deep and clearly expressed social and legal opposition to lesbians differs from that of lesbians facing discrimination and harassment in states with civil remedies and protections. The increasing conservatism and windback of legal protections in various jurisdictions around the world is of particular concern.

Civil remedies and greater community acceptance do not appear to have resolved the issue of interpersonal violence which represents approximately 36% of the 2019 reports, an increase on 30% in 2018.

RESPONSE TO THE NEWS

In 2018, the Listening2Lesbians story with the most individual views on WordPress was Brazil: murders of lesbians increased by 237% in 3 years, also the Facebook post with the greatest engagement.

In general, responses mirrored patterns evident in 2018, namely that reports of harassment or discrimination against white lesbians in the USA or UK received consistently higher engagement than reports of even murder of lesbians of colour, particularly those outside English speaking first world countries.

While this is disappointing it is not unusual. Listening 2 Lesbians will continue to respond by seeking to focus particularly on finding reports of non white lesbian experiences.

AREAS NOT REPORTED ON

Listening2Lesbians has largely not reported in depth on:

  • Harassment of lesbians in relation to views of gender identity
  • Inclusion or exclusion of mothers on birth certificates in various jurisdictions
  • Access to in vitro fertilisation treatment

In particular, lesbian experiences in relation to gender identity is a specific area with dedicated sites better suited to this focus.

 

POSTS FROM 2019:

 

South Africa: Lesbian, Madonnah James, beaten and brutally murdered

Madonnah-James-murder.jpg

The brutalised body of Madonnah James, a 32-year-old lesbian woman, was found dumped in a field in Bloemfontein’s Namibia township.

According to family members, Mabatho Maradonnah James, known as Madonnah, was last seen alive on the night of Friday 29 November. It’s believed that she’d gone out to buy cigarettes with an unknown man.

Her body was discovered the next morning near her family home, where she’d lived with her younger brother and sister.

Madonnah had been stoned until her face was unrecognisable. It’s also suspected that she’d been raped. Her funeral was held on Saturday.

Continue reading: https://www.mambaonline.com/
2019/12/18/lesbian-woman-madonnah-james-brutally-murdered-in-bloemfontein/
(source)

U.S: After Being Beaten and Raped, Lesbian Asylum Seeker Faces Deportation

deport.jpg

A 20-year-old Ugandan woman is at risk of deportation after attempting to seek asylum in the United States.

According to a recent story by Rolling Stone, the woman, identified only as Margaret, traveled from Uganda after coming out as a lesbian. As a result of her being public about her sexuality, she was “raped and repeatedly beaten.” Margaret reached the Juárez, Mexico–El Paso, Texas border after a lengthy and dangerous trek spanning several months.

Although Margaret didn’t have her documentation — or any personal belongings, since they all had been stolen while she was on the Mexican side of the border — she successfully was able to enter the U.S. last month. However, on Wednesday she was told devastating news.

“U.S. officials had determined that, despite being a lesbian from a country in which it is illegal to be one, and despite having already suffered beatings and a rape, Margaret had no ‘credible fear’ or any way of knowing what would happen if she were sent back,” Rolling Stone reports.

An appeal has been filed and Margaret may receive an immigration judge’s ruling as early as next week.

Continue reading: https://www.out.com/news/
2019/10/20/after-being-beaten-and-raped-lesbian-asylum-seeker-faces-deportation
(source)

Uganda: Doctor assaults patient after discovering she is a lesbian

girl2-1.jpg

A Ugandan doctor beat his own patient after learning during a consultation that she is a lesbian, broke her skull, dislocated her arm, and threw her out of the hospital amid renewed calls for a new Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Continue reading: https://76crimes.com/2019/10/20/cruelty-ugandan-medical-doctor-brutally-assaults-own-patient-on-knowing-she-is-lesbian/ (source)

Guatemalan lesbian fled death threats and corrective rape

Marveny Suchite

Marveny Suchite hurriedly left Guatemala last November. She later told an American official that she had received death threats for being a lesbian, according to the formal notes taken by the authorities, to which Reuters had access.

Her mother warned her that there were people who were going to look for her, she told Reuters, explaining that they were “macho.” Suchite fled that day.

She had been beaten and raped before, first by close members of her family and then by strangers in an alley where he was ordered to “stop” being gay, according to the official’s notes that review asylum procedures.

She says she got pregnant after the attack in that alley and then, when she tried to report the rape to the police, they laughed at her.
(Translated)

Suchite dejó apresuradamente Guatemala en noviembre pasado. Más tarde le dijo a un funcionario estadounidense que había recibido amenazas a su vida por ser lesbiana, según las notas formales que tomó la autoridad y a las que Reuters tuvo acceso.

Su madre le advirtió que había personas que irían a buscarla, dijo a Reuters, explicando que eran “machistas”. Suchite huyó ese día.

Antes ya había sido golpeada y violada, primero por miembros cercanos de su familia y después por extraños en un callejón donde le ordenaron que “dejara” de ser gay, de acuerdo a las notas del funcionario que revisa los procedimientos de asilo.

Cuenta que quedó embarazada tras los ataques en ese callejón y que luego, cuando intentó reportar la violación ante la policía, se rieron de ella.
(Original)

Continue reading at: https://lta.reuters.com/articulo/eeuu-migrantes-caravana-lgbt-idLTAKBN1WP2QZ (Source)

India: Lesbian couple in Ajmer seek protection from kin

ajmer.png

Two women, wanting to get married, sought police protection against their families in Ajmer on Tuesday because their families are opposed to their alliance. Both the women want to live together and have vowed to marry in future.
The two 20-something graduates have been friends since the past four years, the police said. At first, their families were happy to see their friendship and were glad that they were focussing on their studies instead of men. But when the parents learnt that the two are lesbian, both the families protested and allegedly threatened the girls with dire consequences.

Continue reading: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
/city/ajmer/lesbian-couple-in-ajmer-seeks-protection-from-kin/articleshow/71284821.cms
(source)