Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Mandela's LGBTQ advocacy falls on deaf ears
by Rev. Irene Monroe

This article shared 4764 times since Wed Dec 18, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

As the world mourns the passing of Nelson Mandela—who was oftentimes affectionately referred to by his Xhosa clan name "Madiba," or as "Tata" ( Father )—I, too, like so many LGBTQ activists across the globe, give thanks for his unwavering support on behalf of our civil rights.

During his tenure as president, Mandela modeled for the world what an LGBTQ-inclusive democracy entailed.

For example, under Mandela, South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The country was the fifth in the world—and the first on the motherland—to legalize marriage equality. While in office Mandela appointed an HIV-positive gay man, Edwin Cameron, to the nation's highest court. And long before his son, Makgatho Mandela, 54, died of AIDS, Mandela was the country's most vocal and visible HIV/AIDS prevention advocate campaigning against both its stigma and silence.

But, sadly, Nelson Mandela's LGBTQ advocacy and his impact on the motherland as well as African diasporic countries and communities across the globe have shown little or no light.

Much of the opposition to LGBTQ rights deriving from these countries and communities around the globe ( Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the Americas ), when not fueled and funded by Western right-wing anti-gay Christian groups, was that no credible heterosexual Alpha male role model could possibly exist and also be African of a royal patriarchal warrior/chief lineage.

But as a former boxer and son of the chief of the Xhosa-speaking Tembu tribe in South Africa, Mandela was the quintessential paragon of African royalty, Black power and Black masculinity. However, Mandela's forward thinking and actions neither tamped down nor stemmed anti-gay rhetoric, murderous acts or anti-gay witch-hunting.

For example, to hear of human-rights abuses in Uganda is, sadly, not new. The country's anti-homosexuality measure, dubbed the "Kill the Gays bill," criminalizes same-sex relations.

David Kato, father of the Uganda's LGBTQ-rights movement, didn't live to receive either punishment. On a list of 100 LGBTQ Ugandans whose names and photos were published in an October 2010 tabloid newspaper calling for their execution, Kato was murdered in January 2011.

Throughout Africa, there are numerous stories of anti-gay bullying, bashing and abuses of its LGBTQ population. None of us will forget that Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe, who treated his LGBTQ citizens with torturous action, has yet to be brought to justice.

If truth be told, Mandela's advocacy has shown very little light, even in his country—the one country you don't expect to hear anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and human rights abuses. But South Africa has a serious problem with its LGBTQ population, and especially with lesbians. And one method employed to remedy its problem with lesbians is "corrective rape."

Corrective rape is a hate crime that, for the most part, goes unreported and unprosecuted in South Africa. And, these rapes are the major contributor to the HIV/AIDS epidemic among South African lesbians.

In the Caribbean, Jamaica is not the most anti-gay island country; it's just simply the most infamous for its anti-LGBTQ crimes.

Anti-gay sentiment in Jamaica goes unchallenged, in that a person can simply speculate about a persons' sexual orientation or gender identity and then plot to kill him. The intent to murder LGBTQs is unabashedly announced without fear because the police won't protect them from mob-led murders and violence. As a matter of fact, the police incite the country's anti-gay frenzy—by either being present and inactive during these assaults or by following and watching the members of the LGBTQ community.

And in Jamaica, like other anti-LGBTQ friendly countries, anti-gay violence drives the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Here in the United States, Mandela's LGBTQ advocacy was primarily ignored by most Black churches and their cadre of anti-gay African-American ministers who professed to have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil-rights era.

In 2013 our first Black president, Barack Obama, was like Mandela in modeling and legislating on behalf of LGBTQ rights, with measures like the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"; the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act; and the repeal of DOMA, to name a few. But there is still a huge vocal and visible anti-LGBTQ contingent of Black Christian ministers and churches.

Some of these ministers support LGBTQ civil rights but draw the line on same-sex marriage. They say their opposition to same-sex marriage is a prophylactic measure to combat the epidemic of fatherlessness in Black families. In scapegoating the LGBTQ community, these clerics intentionally are ignoring the social ills behind Black fatherlessness, such as the systematic disenfranchisement of both African-American men and women, high unemployment, high incarceration and poor education.

Mandela's LGBTQ advocacy and his impact on the Motherland as well as African diasporic countries and communities across the globe has for the most part fallen on deaf ears.

We all need another Mandela to help us evolve.

But as Obama stated in his eulogy to Madiba "We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again."

This article shared 4764 times since Wed Dec 18, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Gay News

VIEWPOINT War in the 21st Century: mercenaries, private military companies, private armies 2023-05-20
- In 2022, $407 billion of the Pentagon budget—representing half of that year's funding —were obligated to private contractors, of which a significant number were Private Military Companies (PMCs) involved in ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Telling the world about my mental health disorders 2023-05-04
- Over the years, coming out as a lesbian hasn't been that hard for me—because I was always too busy hiding something else. Confessing queerness can be a breeze compared to revealing mental illness. But I decline ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT German bishops endorse blessings of same-sex couples: Ancient rituals retturn 2023-03-31
- This March, at a national meeting of leaders of the German Catholic Church (referred to as a synod), a document titled Blessing Ceremonies for Couples who Love Each Other" received overwhelming support: 176 votes in favor, ...

Gay News

Editorial: In praise of Drag Story Hour 2023-03-14
- Drag Story Hours have really come to the fore in our political consciousness in the last few years, as the radical right has strategically targeted events raising the visibility of individuals who are gender-nonconforming, transgender or ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The scrutiny of Kamala Harris 2023-03-07
- President Biden had a cancerous lesion successfully removed from his chest last month, which was just now reported. At 80, questions continue about Biden's fitness to serve a second term. But questions also abound concerning Vice ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Patriarch Kirill: Darth Putin's Altar Boy 2023-03-01
- Christianity—based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, who preached love as the most important expression of religion—has often been co-opted and distorted to support wars, persecutions and ...

Gay News

Opinion: LGBTQ+ candidates are there as Chicago politics prepare to shift 2023-02-08
- The exhausting Chicago election cycle continues. Once the midterm and gubernatorial races were resolved this past November, the Windy City was already midstream in campaigning for the 2023 municipal elections Feb. 28 (with runoffs April 4). ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT The FBI, Loaves of Bread, Corruption, and Reform 2023-01-25
- When I was 13 years old I used to ride shot gun with my uncle A. on his Italian bread truck deliveries. My job was to enter the store with him and remove the old, stale loaves of bread while he ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Democrats and trans issues, political wins, gay bars, HIV drug 2023-01-08
- Republicans and Democrats differ widely in their views on gender identity and transgender issues—but there are notable differences among Democrats, too, especially by race and ethnicity, according to Pew Research. Overall, 60% of U.S. adults say ...

Gay News

Letter to the Editor: Pope Benedict XVI passes away 2023-01-02
- The Rainbow Sash Movement mourns the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on Dec. 31 in the Vatican. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, known most recently as the pontiff who renounced the papacy—but who was situated squarely ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT It's The End...again and again and again ... 2023-01-01
- Jesus thought the end of the world would occur during his lifetime.* As Jesus hanged dying on the cross, he had to deal with the fact that the world had not ended. Paul thought he understood ...

Gay News

Dignity USA: LGBTQ+ Catholics recall Pope Benedict XVI's reign as causing LGBTQ+s tremendous damage 2022-12-31
-- From a press release - Dec. 31, 2022. The passing of former Pope Benedict XVI "marks what is, hopefully, the end of a long, painful era for LGBTQIA+ Catholics, our families, and the entire church," said Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of ...

Gay News

OPINION Remember the youngest victims of anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination 2022-12-19
- On Dec. 13, the Ohio State Board of Education voted 10-7 in favor of a non-binding resolution opposing proposed changes to the federal government's Title IX protecting LGBTQ+ students. It was just one more blow for ...

Gay News

Respect for Marriage Act passage important step but not equity says LGBTQIA+/ally Catholic group 2022-12-09
-- From a press release - Dec. 8, 2022. DignityUSA, the nation's foremost organization of Catholics working for justice, equality, and full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ people in our church and society, is pleased that both houses of Congress have now passed the ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess 2022-11-18
- The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...


Copyright © 2023 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
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     
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.