Love Not Hate concerned about spike in LGBTI hate crimesWrite comment (0 Comments)
The Love Not Hate campaign, a nation-wide multi-partner initiative addressing violence against LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual and intersex) people, is alarmed at the recent spike in attacks against members of the LGBTI community.
On 18 December 2015, the mutilated and burnt body of a 21-year-old lesbian woman, Motshidisi Pasca Melamu, was discovered in Gauteng’s Evaton North. It is believed that she was also raped.
On 27 December, 30-year-old Phoebe Titus, a transgender woman, was knifed in the neck in broad daylight, allegedly by a 15-year-old in Wolseley in the Western Cape.
The month before, the naked body of 35-year-old LGBTI music student Bobby Motlatla was discovered in his Potchefstroom flat. He had been stabbed 39 times.
"Enough is enough. Every attack is one too many," commented Lerato Phalakatshela, Love Not Hate Manager at OUT LGBT Well-being. "We all need to work together to stop these hate crimes, be it by conducting marches, submitting memoranda or going to the media to help get our voices heard."
He welcomed recent reports that the long-awaited Hate Crimes Bill will soon be presented to Cabinet and then released to the public for comment.Read more ...
Cape Town Pride 2016Write comment (0 Comments)
ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH?
Cape Town Pride 2016 has a line up of fabulous events to challenge even the bravest of our numbers! With 18 EVENTS over the 10 day festival it’s sure to cater for the needs of the masses.
Some of the favourites are back for repeat performances such as; The Pink Party, Miss Cape Town Pride, DIVA’s and the Sports Day.
We also have some new events making an appearance this year which we hope will keep interested and thinking; 3 Movie Nights, Workshops, Pre-Pide Party, Memorial Service and the PELT Party.
It is only with the help of the City of Cape Town and the We The Brave campaign that we are able to put on such a hefty calendar of Events that truly speaks to the public.
Keep an eye out on their website for up-to-date information (www.capetownpride.org) or visit Cape Town Pride on Facebook
We are BRAVE ENOUGH, are you?
Iran's criticism of Saudi Arabia's executions is outrageous hypocrisyWrite comment (0 Comments)
By Peter Tatchell
Iran's criticism of the recent Saudi mass executions is outrageous hypocrisy. Tehran is also guilty of barbaric killing methods and, indeed, of putting to death eight times as many prisoners as Riyadh in 2014. It condemns Saudi Arabia for persecuting Shia Muslims, yet it persecutes Sunnis.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warned of "divine vengeance" for the execution of Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. His website carried an image comparing the Saudis to the fanatics of Islamic State (Isis), suggesting there was little or no difference between the two. Other Iranian officials denounced Riyadh for interfering in neighbouring countries.
On every count, the crimes Iran accuses the Saudis of committing are crimes Iran has also committed.
In 2014, Iran admitted to executing 289 people. However, unofficial reports, mostly from bereaved family members, indicate that at least a further 454 were hanged in secret without public acknowledgement. This makes a total of 743 executions, according to Amnesty International.
By comparison, Saudi Arabia executed 90 people in the same year – still a shocking roll call but only 12% of the number put to death by Tehran.
The Iranians condemn the preferred Saudi method of execution, beheading, as barbaric. It is inhuman, bloodthirsty and wrong – but at least it usually kills the victim swiftly.
In contrast, Tehran's methods are calculated to make death slow and painful. They include stoning to death; stipulating that the stones must not be too big, in order that the person does not die too fast. The regime wants to make sure the victim suffers a prolonged, agonising fate.
Likewise, when conducting hangings, Iran does not use the drop method, which causes near instant death. It practises slow strangulation, where the condemned person is hoisted on a crane by the neck and sadistically left to slowly asphyxiate, often writhing in agony for several minutes. There have been many cases of Iran executing men accused of the crime of being gay in this way. Iran also sometimes uses the "IS method" of throwing convictees off tall buildings.
Cyril ShevitzWrite comment (0 Comments)
It is sad how with our busy and fast paced lives we lose track of people and they are forgotten. This was brought home when I read a post on Mambaonline that Cyril Shevitz had died on Saturday 28 November. Nobody knew for sure what age he was although it is guessed that he was in his 80’s. In Jewish tradition he was buried the next day.
Cyril was a well-known figure in gay life in Johannesburg. He was reputed to be the organiser of a party in Forest own in 1966 where 350 gay men were arrested and which resulted in the criminalisation of gay sex.
He started his career as a male model before opening Cyril’s Wardrobe, a chain of clothing stores which extended across South Africa and even to a store in Beverly Hills.
Cyril was always friendly and engaging, he was always interested in what you were doing, who you were seeing and was always willing to give advice to those who asked. This meant that he knew everyone. Paging through his photo albums and listening to his stories was like reading a who’s who of the gay world. He is reputed to have known people such as Rock Hudson, Barbra Streisand. Liberace is rumoured to have played the piano in Cyril’s home in Greenside.
Cyril had a wonderful collection of Art, both sculpture and paintings, including works by Picasso, Andy Warhol and David Hockney. Sadly later life he lost a lot of money and had to sell off his treasured art collection.
Most recently Cyril will be remembered as one of the owners of the very successful Oh Bar in Melville which closed down in 2008
Anova embraces the approval of PrEP in South AfricaWrite comment (0 Comments)
The Anova Health Institute welcomes the move by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) after they officially registered the use of a combination of two antiretroviral drugs as a form of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication. This pill, taken daily by the HIV negative individuals, can drastically reduce HIV infection.
Prof James McIntyre, CEO of Anova, says: “This is a major advance in HIV prevention in South Africa, with the potential to save many lives. The evidence is clear, PrEP works if you take it. Not everyone will need or want PrEP, or require it forever, but it can provide almost complete protection against infection if taken consistently. Our challenge is to educate users and move rapidly to ensure access for those who need it.”
Dr Kevin Rebe, Specialist Medical Consultant at Anova’s Health4Men Initiative, says: “The approval of PrEP is a major step forward in the fight against HIV. It is extremely effective and safe to use. It can reduce the risk of HIV by more than 90% in HIV negative people who use it correctly. This announcement will greatly facilitate the work that Anova conducts in HIV prevention. Our challenge now is to create demand for PrEP and to work towards removing barriers to access.”
Anova, in collaboration with the Desmond Tutu HIV Research Unit, already has a PrEP demonstration project underway within state sector clinics. Anova is working to develop tools that will allow PrEP to be nurse-driven and scaled up by the Department of Health.
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