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/
The Home Office has granted refugee status to a prominent Nigerian LGBT activist, ending a 13-year battle over her right to remain in the UK.
Aderonke Apata, 50, says she knew she was gay from the age of 16 and was persecuted in Nigeria. She has been recognised internationally for her human rights work, and recently received Attitude magazine’s Pride award.
Apata arrived in the UK in 2004 but did not immediately claim asylum on the grounds of her sexuality. Until 2010, lesbian, gay and bisexual asylum seekers were often forcibly removed to their home countries if it was deemed safe for them to “live discreetly”.
In 2012 she filed an asylum claim but was considered by the Home Office to be lying about being in a lesbian relationship. Apata appealed, but was told by the judge: “What is believed is that you have presented yourself as a lesbian solely to establish a claim for international protection in an attempt to thwart your removal … It is considered that your actions are not genuine and simply a cynical way of gaining status in the UK.”
Continue reading: https://www.theguardian.com/
Original post: UK lesbophobia endangers asylum seeker
A gay woman who was unlawfully deported from the UK has described how she was gang-raped and has lived in perpetual fear since being sent back to Uganda six years ago.
The British government was ordered by the High Court this month to help the 26-year-old return to the UK on the grounds that its decision to reject her asylum claim was unlawful. The landmark ruling could open the door to thousands of similar challenges.
The Ugandan national, who is set to return on Monday, has also talked about the trauma of getting pregnant and having a child, who is now four months old, as a result of the sexual assault she suffered.
Continue reading: https://www.independent.co.uk/
Posted in News
Tagged corrective rape, Hate crimes, lesbian erasure, Lesbian refugees, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in Uganda, Lesbophobia, male violence against women, seeking asylum, sexual assault, violence against lesbians, violence against women
[Diane] Namusoke, 48, and [Success] Johnson, 27, are two lesbian women from Uganda and Nigeria respectively, who have come to Germany in search of asylum. They’ve explained — first to the police officers who picked them up, then to the aid workers at the refugee centers where they were transferred, and then at their asylum application interview at the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) — that they feared for their lives in their home countries. That as a lesbian woman, nowhere was safe. And now they’re in acute danger of being deported back to the places they have desperately been trying to escape.
Continue reading at: https://www.dw.com/en/lesbian-asylum-seekers-at-the-mercy-of-german-bureaucracy/a-47935658 (Source)
Posted in News
Tagged child custody, Deportation, Diane Namusoke, Lesbian Mothers, Lesbian refugees, Lesbians in Germany, Lesbians in Nigeria, Lesbians in Uganda, Rape, seeking asylum, sexual assault, Success Johnson, violence against lesbians, violence against women
‘From day one we already got threats. In one way or another the news spread very quickly that a lesbian couple was staying in the center. Since then, we are being chased and spitting at our feet. Once they threw balls at us, which caused me to suffer scrapes.But it quickly became a lot worse, “says an emotional Gona.
The couple say she feels unsafe. ‘Our first room was completely behind the asylum center, far away from the employees. If something went wrong, it took a long time before an employee could come on the spot. ‘ They say it did not help that they were so far away from the employees. ‘In the evening only two staff members are present for the complete asylum center. If it goes wrong here, then all help will come too late. ”
They were offered another room. But when they went to visit, the residents who stayed in the new hallway did not want to let them through. “A lesbian couple is not welcome in their ‘department'”.
Continue reading at: https://zizo-online.be/article/13252 (Source – Dutch)
Lesbian couple victim of LGBT violence in asylum center ZiZo-Online (Translated pdf – English)
A Ugandan asylum seeker who was staying with the nuns of Missionaries of Charity in Amsterdam, was not allowed to return to the shelter after she revealed that she is a lesbian and helped with the Canal Pride Parade.
Continue reading at: https://nltimes.nl/2018/08/07/amsterdam-nuns-kick-lesbian-asylum-seeker-protest-planned (source)
In Texas, supporters of 23-year-old asylum seeker Laura Monterrosa say she was put in solitary confinement for 60 hours at the T. Don Hutto detention center outside Austin in order to pressure her to recant her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a guard. ICE says Monterrosa was under “medical observation.” But she later made a strange call to her lawyer from an unusual phone number. Grassroots Leadership shared a recording with Democracy Now!
Laura Monterrosa: “I wanted to call you, because I wanted to tell you that everything I had said was false, and I was forced to tell you that, because, if not, they were going to lock me again in that room, and I didn’t want to be locked again in that room.”
Continue reading at:
“I’m happy. So happy,” Angela says, two days after authorities halted her deportation at the last minute.
The 21-year-old lesbian was scheduled to be deported on Jan 18, 2017, after Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board denied her request for asylum here.
Just 24 hours before she was scheduled to be deported, Angela was granted a stay of removal, allowing her to remain in Canada and appeal her case. “When I got the news I was relieved,” she says. “I wasn’t scared anymore of going back home.”
Continue reading at: https://www.dailyxtra.com/lesbian-refugee-says-shes-relieved-to-still-be-in-canada-at-least-for-now-72880 (Source)
Lazia Nabbanja had claimed asylum in the UK on the grounds that she would face oppression in her home country, but her bid was rejected by the Home Office last year. Despite her providing evidence of her sexuality, Ms Nabbanja’s lawyers told The Independent that Home Office officials used alleged inconsistencies in the details of her relationships to suggest they did not believe she is gay. Photos and videos of her attending gay pride marches have been widely shared on social media and she has been featured in Ugandan newspapers, prompting fears she could be arrested or attacked as soon as she returns to her home country.
Continue reading at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lesbian-uganda-women-deportation-home-office-lazia-nabbanja-gay-laws-a8123581.html (Source)
SITTING IN AN interrogation room at Dulles International Airport, Ella was paralyzed with fear. Terrified by the uniformed immigration officials lobbing questions at her, the 23-year-old Ugandan woman could think of only one thing: “I can’t go home.”
One year earlier, Ella had been caught in her village in bed with her female partner. Rounded up and taken out into the streets, she and her partner were forced to march naked through the village while being taunted, jeered at, and burned with searing paraffin oil. Police intervened to stop the mob from killing the women, but they arrested both Ella and her partner on charges of immorality. She was beaten in police custody.
Continue reading at: https://theintercept.com/2017/11/04/uganda-lesbian-us-asylum-seeker/ (Source)
A lesbian asylum seeker attempted to take her own life in order to stop herself being deported from the UK.
Nneka Obazee, 34, was meant to be flown on a charter flight to her home country of Nigeria but she overdosed on pain medication which led to her hospitalisation, according to activist group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants.
Continue reading at: Lesbian woman from Nigeria attempts suicide shortly before Home Office tries to deport her | The Independent (Source)
A Nigerian woman accused of lesbian sex has escaped to Canada after surviving an attack by thugs who she said were sent by her ex-husband. The attack and her escape occurred after she was released from police custody following her arrest on homosexuality charges at her ex-husband’s instigation.
Continue reading at: Nigeria: Thugs attack ex-wife suspected of lesbian affair | 76 CRIMES (Source)
Posted in News
Tagged compulsory heterosexuality, Discrimination, Hate crimes, homophobia, Lesbian Mothers, Lesbians in Canada, Lesbians in Nigeria, Lesbophobia, seeking asylum, Threats of violence, violence against women
Some of the safety measures are hard won. In May, Baranova was helping a lesbian who came to Moscow with her husband, a gay man. Marrying another gay person has long been a way for queers in Chechnya to create a life. But the relationship was strained, and once they left Chechnya they planned to separate. The woman was terrified that her family would pursue her, so Baranova arranged for her to leave Russia. A few hours before Baranova was scheduled to pick the woman up to go to the airport, she got a voice message from her. She still has it stored on her phone, and I got the impression that she had listened to it repeatedly. It began with ambient noise. “See, it sounds like she is on her way somewhere,” Baranova said.
“I’m going to try to get rid of this number,” the woman said. “But, if you get any calls from it, please don’t take them. Goodbye.”
Baranova went to the meeting place that she and the woman had arranged, and waited for several hours. The woman never showed up. In mid-June, news came that the woman had died in Chechnya, apparently from kidney failure. Her friends assume that she was poisoned by her family.
Continue reading at: The Gay Men Who Fled Chechnya’s Purge | The New Yorker (Source)
Posted in News
Tagged Discrimination, Hate crimes, homophobia, L.G.B.T. Network, Lesbian Murder Victims, Lesbians in Chechnya, Lesbians in Russia, Lesbophobia, persecution, seeking asylum, Threats of violence, violence against lesbians, violence against women
A Room of Our Own
A Feminist/Womanist Network
“Lesbian sexual identity and choice is being eroded, erased and elided. This is being done by the literal obliteration of lesbians by state-sponsored violence, by the “corrective rape of lesbians” (imagine the 12 year old Pearl Mali being given the worst sort of reparative therapy by her very own mother), by the harassment and violence, by the firings (lesbians face more job discrimination than any other group within the LGBT alliance), by the enforced and compulsory heterosexuality of every society on earth. Aderonke Apata has been forced, by men, to provide not just spoken testimony and a pending marriage license, but also a sex tape of her having sexual relations with her partner to “prove” her lesbianism to the men who want to erase that aspect of her identity–the very identity that puts her and millions of other lesbians at risk of imprisonment and/or death.”
Continue reading Victoria Brownworth and other contributors to A Room of Our Own at: Erasure: The New Normal for Lesbians by @VABVOX – A Room of Our Own (Source)
AND MORE Victoria Brownworth at: https://www.victoriabrownworth.com/
Posted in Blogs We Love
Tagged A Room of Our Own, Aderonke Apata, Ciara Murphy, compulsory heterosexuality, corrective rape, Discrimination, Freedom from religion, Hate crimes, homophobia, Jackie Nanyonjo, Keshema Tulloch, language matters, lesbian erasure, Lesbian history, lesbian identity, lesbian voices, Lesbians in India, Lesbians in Ireland, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Kyrgyzstan, Lesbians in Nigeria, Lesbians in Russia, Lesbians in Saudi Arabia, Lesbians in South Africa, Lesbians in Sudan, Lesbians in Sweden, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., Lesbians in Uganda, Lesbophobia, Maria Barin, Pearl Mali, persecution, Roisin Prendergast, seeking asylum, Threats of violence, Victoria A. Brownsworth, violence against lesbians, violence against women
Elam, who is representing Amponsah together with attorney Nitzan Ilani, said, “Now it is clear that the great suffering that Mavis endured from the Population Authority, including illegal incarceration of many months, and major legal expenses, was unnecessary. We asked two years ago to interview Mavis in her own language, as is required by court rulings and the procedures of the Authority itself. But the Authority refused. Thus it is operating against the law and forced us to appeal to the Appeals Tribunal just to compel the Authority, two years later, to act according to the law.”
Continue reading at: Rejected for choosing ‘lesbian lifestyle,’ Ghana refugee gets new asylum hearing in Israel – Israel News – Haaretz.com (Source)
Some of the questions asked by the migration board include: “Would you describe yourself as lesbian or gay?”, “When do you feel that you became sexually interested in other people? How do you think about this?” And “For me, this sounds like a form of sexual exploitation of you, and not one Equal sex relationship”
“I did not understand anything. No one told me what to expect. What I would do or say, or at least give me some guidelines,” she said.
Lucy further alleges that her life is in danger because her name has been released as a lesbian in the infamous Ugandan Tabloid Red Pepper among 200 other African lesbians.
Continue reading at: Kenyan lesbian fails Swedish ‘gay test’ – Entertainment News (Source)
Paradzai Nkomo’s emailed description of her situation is succinct and shocking. She is Zimbabwean and has been in Britain for 15 years. First her application for asylum was rejected and then her request to be deported home was also refused, leaving her stuck in limbo.“It’s difficult to integrate as I am not permitted to work. Conversation becomes repetitive because of not doing anything apart from looking out of a damp, drenched window day after day. Hiding malnutrition under borrowed clothes,” she writes. “A quest for freedom has now turned into a hellish nightmare. I feel as though death may be the only way out of this.”
Continue reading at: Asylum limbo: the woman who can’t stay in Britain, but can’t leave either | World news | The Guardian (Source)
A Nigerian woman held at Britain’s most infamous immigration detention center has pleaded with the authorities not to send her back to her home country, where her ex-husband is allegedly waiting to kill her.
Continue reading at: Lesbian asylum seeker says ex-husband will kill her if Britain deports her to Nigeria — RT UK (Source)
Lesbians in the News 30 October 2015
Guyana loses Woman of Courage Zenita Temall Nicholson
Guyanese LGBT activist, Zenita Temall Nicholson died on October 26th. Temall Nicholson was honoured last year by the US Embassy in Georgetown as an International Woman of Courage. She was the Country Coordinator for Caribbean Vulnerable Communities/PANCAP Global Fund, and past Secretary on the SASOD Board of Trustees (Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Guyana).
On presentation of the Woman of Courage award in March 2014, Temall Nicholson was described as being “an energetic, effective and passionate advocate at both the national and international levels for the principle that both women’s rights and the rights of lesbian, gays, bi – sexual and transgender persons are human rights, deserving of equal attention and protection”.
Guyana remains the only country in South America where homosexuality remains illegal and is punishable by imprisonment, with additional laws criminalising gender non conforming dress, although men may cross dress or express their gender identity as long as it is not for “improper purposes”. Women may wear trousers but do not appear to be covered by the same ruling enabling cross dressing.
As reported in a 2012 report to the UN CEDAW Committee, Guyanese lesbians remain subjected to harassment and sexual threats, compulsory heterosexuality, compulsory femininity and/or gender conformity.
Zenita Temall Nicholson’s activism will be missed in a country which requires significant improvements to secure the safety and wellbeing of lesbians, and our thoughts are with her family.
Arts & Entertainment
- Curve magazine will contain an in-depth story on lesbian erasing in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in their January issue.
- Listen to author Michael Helquist discuss his new book about Marie Equi; lesbian doctor, activist and anarchist.
- Follow bloggers Wandering Wives, a UK lesbian couple that sold everything they owned to travel the world.
- Copies of Blood and Visions: Reconciling with Being Female by Autotomous Womyn’s Press are now available at Green Woman Store. It includes writing by ten womyn who stopped their transition from female to male.
- Listen to the recording of “The Sounds of MichFest 2015: a Radio Documentary of the 40th and Final Fest” on WORT. It can be found under “Access Hour” in the archives from October 26th.
Laws, Politics and Policies
- State Representative Celia Israel, the first out lesbian lawmaker in Texas, isn’t letting her colleagues get away with using Christian religious beliefs about homosexuality to run her state. In an episode titled, “God and Governing” produced by The Texas Tribune, Israel speaks out against turning Texas into a theocracy.
- The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), has released a report showing that 70% of the geographic area of the United States lacks any city, county, or state employment protections for LGBT people.
- The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission in Kenya is seeking donations to complete several human rights cases, including a petition to seek freedom of association and registration of LGBTIQ organizations, challenging forced HIV testing and a class action suit to decriminalize consensual adult sex regardless of sexual orientation.
- Simone Bell, the first black and openly lesbian state lawmaker in Georgia is resigning after accepting a position with Lambda Legal.
- Homosexuality remains illegal in at least 76 countries – more information is available on the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.
Social and Health Issues
Crimes against Lesbians
- A lesbian couple vacationing in Hawaii was attacked and arrested by a police officer that didn’t like their public displays of affection in a grocery store. Taylor Guerrero and Courtney Wilson spent three days in jail before charges were dropped. The Honolulu Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. Wilson and Guerrero have filed a lawsuit against the officer for discrimination.
- A Welsh lesbian is speaking out after her attackers received a slap on the wrist for verbally and physically attacking her in north Wales in July. 44-year old Jackie Hatton-Kesketh says the attack left her unable to continue working at her job and contributed to the breakup of her 12-year relationship.
- The leading scorer in the history of international soccer, Abby Wambach, announced her retirement on October 27th. Wambach finishes her amazing career as the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, only the second American to win the title since Mia Hamm (2011 & 2002).
- Jamaica held its first Montego Bay Pride on October 25th and announced it was a complete success. The event included music, networking, a 10-minute Flash Stand in front of the Summit Police Station and a speech by leading Jamaican activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers.
Lesbians in the News compiled by Liz and Lisa.
If you have any other stories, corrections or comments, please add them below or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted in News
Tagged compulsory heterosexuality, corrective rape, Hate crimes, Lesbians in Guyana, Lesbians in Jamaica, Lesbians in Kenya, Lesbians in Taiwan, Lesbians in the U.K., Lesbians in the U.S., LGBTI community, Michfest, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, persecution, representation, seeking asylum, violence against women