Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-06-09



LGBTI solidarity in Africa discussed at community forum
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times

This article shared 5163 times since Mon Jun 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

LGBTI solidarity in Africa was the topic of a forum focused on advocacy, support and accompaniment at the Episcopal Church Center June 14.

About 40 people attended the event that activist Brent Holman-Gomez moderated. Holman-Gomez works within the welcoming church movement, immigration equality and the Gay Liberation Network.

Speakers included Rev. Judith Kotze, lesbian minister and director of Inclusive and Affirming Ministries ( IAM ) South Africa; John Adewoye, a gay Nigerian-American, founder of Courage Nigeria and the Center for Integration and Courageous Living, co-founder of Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program ( CLASP ), and a former Catholic priest; and Victor Charles Aweke, a bisexual Nigerian-American currently working with the Center for Integration and Courageous Living and CLASP.

Kotze remarks focused on what is happening regarding LGBTI discrimination and anti-LGBTI laws in Africa. She explained that since we live in a global village that is connected via social media governments in African can't get away with enacting anti-LGBT laws in a vacuum. This has given LGBTI people in Africa a safe virtual space to share their stories with each other and that has led to education, encouragement, and a way to find hope, noted Kotze.

The recent anti-LGBT sentiment in Africa is a direct result of evangelical Christians in the U.S. and other nations exporting their homophobia to the African continent, said Kotze. Kotze explained that although South Africa has the most liberal constitution in terms of LGBT equality there is still a persistence of corrective rape among black lesbians.

"In this global village we don't have the luxury to step aside and ignore what is happening in Africa. ... We need to stand in solidarity so we can make the journey towards LGBTI equality together," said Kotze.

Adewoye spoke about the pathways that exist for persecuted LGBTI people in Africa to find safe havens elsewhere in the world including the U.S. The reason why Adewoye said he came to the U.S. was to be free from being gay meaning his goal was to undergo "conversion therapy". Instead, Adewoye explained that his world opened up the longer he was in the U.S. and he was able to fully embrace himself and come out as gay.

"The new wave of anti-LGBT rhetoric and actions is pushing educated and skilled people out of Africa," said Adewoye. "What is happening to African LGBTI people can happen to any of us when we step outside of LGBT friendly nations and enter nations that have anti-LGBT laws."

Adewoye noted it is still difficult to get an asylum visa approved for LGBT people coming to the United States and other LGBT-friendly nations, adding that the situation needs to change.

Aweke's presentation highlighted the health concerns that persist due to persecution of LGBTI people in Africa. In 2010 Aweke along with others in his native Nigeria started an HIV positive group for gay men so they could talk about their HIV status. The lack of education surrounding HIV/AIDS and condoms in Africa is persistent, said Aweke.

Aweke explained that threats of violence due to the work he was doing on behalf of HIV positive gay men forced him to flee his country. The question Aweke posed was what can we do as individuals to help the LGBTI community in Africa.

A Q&A session and breakout discussions on worldwide/church advocacy, U.S. policy and Chicago re-settlement followed the panelist's presentations.

During the worldwide/church advocacy discussion the issue of accompaniment and its full meaning were explored by the group. They talked about the ways that US activists can link arms with LGBTI friends in Africa. The US policy group discussed immigration reform as it pertains to LGBT asylum seekers and the Chicago resettlement group spoke about the needs that CLASP has in the areas of housing, meal prep, transportation, and funding as the number of asylees increases.

A reception and screening of the documentary film Call Me Kuchu—about the last year of David Kato's ( Uganda's first openly gay man ) life—took place after the forum. IAM and CLASP received all the proceeds from the reception and film screening.

Forum collaborators included the Chicago Coalition of Welcoming Churches, CLASP, Gay Liberation Network, IAM South Africa, St. Luke's Lutheran Church Logan Square and Truth Wins Out.

See and for more information.

Also eee: Africa-focused forum

examines theology, queer reality, by Jason Carson Wilson.

This article shared 5163 times since Mon Jun 16, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Goodman Theatre reopens with School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play
--From a press release - (Chicago, IL) School is back in session! Goodman Theatre returns to the stage with the Chicago-premiere production of the Off-Broadway smash sensation, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play. Full casting is below. Written by ...

Gay News

WORLD Anti-LGBTQ crimes, conversion therapy, out prime minister, Pakistan school
In England, police are treating the painting of a homophobic slur on an LGBTQ Pride mural as a hate crime, the BBC reported. The wall in St Helens, Merseyside, which was painted by volunteers and artists ...

Gay News

THEATER Goodman's 'I Hate It Here' to stream July 15-18
Goodman Theatre's streaming-in-real-time Live series will conclude with I Hate It Here, written by Ike Holter and directed by Lili-Anne Brown. I Hate It Here appears July 15, at 7:30 p.m.; July 16, at 7:30 p.m.; ...

Gay News

DANCE Joffrey Academy seeking submissions from minority applicants for competition
The Joffrey Academy of Dance, Official School of The Joffrey Ballet, has announced a national call for ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab and Native American) artists to submit applications for The Joffrey Academy's Twelfth Annual Winning ...

Gay News

Black Ensemble Theater, African American theater companies across country form new national alliance
--From a press release - [CHICAGO, IL] — In an effort to share knowledge, resources and strengthen the infrastructure of the Black theatre landscape in the United States, the country's independent Black theatre building owners ...

Gay News

President Biden signs historic hate crimes bill into law
WASHINGTON — Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, released the following statement after President Biden signed into law the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which included the Khalid ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian author Amanda Kabak to release hate-crime novel July 20
Lesbian author Amanda Kabak—a Chicago native who now resides in Lakeland, Florida—is releasing the novel Upended on July 20. In Upended, Maddie, a driven entrepreneur, finds her world thrown into disarray when she survives a hate ...

Gay News

Refugee Coalition of East Africa calls for attention to anti-queer violence
--From a press release - On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia will be observed worldwide, followed by many celebrations of Pride in the month of June. We at the Refugee Coalition of East Africa will raise ...

Gay News

WORLD Caribbean group, hate crime, 'Queen of the Pacific,' volcano wedding
A Caribbean advocacy group launched a fund to help LGBTQ people who have been impacted by the eruption of a volcano on the island of St. Vincent, The Washington Blade reported. The Eastern Caribbean Alliance for ...

Gay News

Hate mail threatening Obamas, Biden, Harris sent to DuSable
The Secret Service is investigating six threatening letters sent to the DuSable Museum of African American History that mention President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Obama family, among others, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...

Gay News

WORLD Namibia ruling, U.S. embassies, Kenya refugee camp, trans teen
Namibia's High Court ruled against a gay couple battling to obtain travel documents for their twin daughters, born to a surrogate in South Africa, after authorities refused to do so on the basis the infants were ...

Gay News

Senate passes COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, NMAC responds
--From a press release - April 22, 2021 - Following is a statement from NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata on Senate passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. "NMAC applauds the Senate passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in an ...

Gay News

Former 'Bachelor' comes out as gay
In a Good Morning America (GMA) interview that aired April 14, former Bachelor Colton Underwood came out as gay, Entertainment Weekly reported. "I've [run] from myself for a long time, I've hated myself for a long ...

Gay News

Bennett, Noriega named to Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes
On April 13, Gov. JB Pritzker announced appointments in his administration—including noted LGBTQ Chicagoans Jim Bennett and Mona Noriega to the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes. Bennett currently serves ...

Gay News

WORLD Uzbek activist, hate-crimes report, Ghana arrests, Chely Wright
Uzbek activist Miraziz Bazarov was hospitalized after he was attacked by unknown men hours after his public event was disrupted by dozens of aggressive men in Tashkent, reported. Physicians at the Tashkent Traumatology Hospital said ...


Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.