In a bed of Red Cross school for adult refugees are Nakiganda Hasifah. She is Ugandan and lesbian. Two properties, each of which is not spectacular, but in Uganda is the combination dangerous. She is only 23 years old but has already been in jail twice because of his activities as a human rights defender. During the first imprisonment was Nakiganda Hasifah raped and later gave birth to rape the man’s child. A little girl, she gave away one week after birth.
During the recent imprisonment she fled, and she is now in Denmark, where she has been for half a year, and she takes a day trip from Vipperød Asylum Centre for adult school in Frederiksberg.
“I feel safe in Denmark, but as soon as my homeland abolish its laws against homosexuals, I go back and fight on.Otherwise I have wasted my time, “says Nakiganda Hasifah as she tells the story of the work she has already done for the organization Uganda Health and Science Press Association.
“According to my own convictions, I have to speak, even if I’m a lesbian. ‘
Nakiganda Hasifahs voice has been the organization with the long name that was once simply called: Go Gay. But in recent years increased attention on homosexuality are organizations which make propaganda for homosexuality was illegal. Nakiganda believe, however, that there is propaganda, but on ordinary awareness about freedom and rights.
Uganda is not only to suppress sexual minorities and reduce their already limited rights. Many other African countries and countries in the rest of the world steps up its efforts against homosexuals. In Russia you follow in the footsteps of Ugandan and tightens laws against homosexuality. There are also trying to make gay propaganda illegal, and it seems to be inspired by the Ugandan legislation. In Middle Eastern countries takes homophobia to. In Iran they refuse flatly that the phenomenon of homosexuality even exists. Generally, the reluctance of non-Western parts of the world has increased in the past 10 years.
In September 2012, a new UN resolution pushed by China and Russia. Resolution’s objectives is to protect ‘traditional values’. Resolutions are not legally binding, but several experts in the field then expressed the concern that ‘traditional values’ can be interpreted very differently from nation to nation and can open a backdoor for the oppression of sexual minorities as gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“There are some fault lines that have come out more clearly in the last few years.Right Turned and conservative forces are struggling now more openly against sexual rights in general and gay rights in particular, “says Tania Dethlefsen, which is International Director of Family Planning. Bridal lines, as Tania Dethlefsen describes is part of a broader value and geopolitical power struggle. The groups that rely heavily on religious and right-conservative ideas, facing groups that are fighting for equal rights for all. Roughly speaking, it would read as a struggle between ‘the good’ and ‘evil’, but homo resistance is more nuanced than that.
In the West in recent decades has been a lot of gay rights. Marriages have been allowed and taboos broken. But development has not occurred synchronously throughout the world, and it can seem overwhelming when you are confronted with it through television or the Internet. This is the opinion leader of the legal program at the Institute for Human Rights Fergus Kerrigan, who is currently working on a project for the Danish Foreign Ministry, where he is studying LGBT rights in South Africa, Kenya and Burkina Faso.
“However, what we have fought long for the West, you get slammed in the face.There are not just talking about growing opposition to homosexuality, but also about some reactions to what you see, “said Fergus Kerrigan.
Stay out around
In Africa, the colonial past thought of as causes of gay resistance should be hedged.Originally, the African tribal societies are not restrictive for sexual minorities.
During the colonial period was a more puritanical humanity but pulled down over many countries, and homosexuality was regarded as unclean and destructive. A real threat to society’s survival. Despite the African countries’ independence today it is held by the legacy of the colonial masters.
“Now the old colonial masters reformed their laws and made it illegal to be gay.But in the former colonies, legislation is not changed – and now is exactly the law has become an ideological battleground. Now do you use it paradoxically to say that the old colonial masters come and decide again, “said Tania Dethlefsen and explains that something has happened in the balance of power between the rich countries and the developing countries:
“Developing countries will no longer put up with anything. There has been inflated to the geopolitical balance of power. There is a strong tendency for those in power in the South think, ‘They must be fucking no longer come and tell us what we should do.’ “
Nakiganda Hasifah have marked the position on his own body. Her upbringing was never easy, but after she as 16-year-old was caught kissing another girl at the boarding school, where she went to school, bumping her world together.
“My partner and I were kicked out of school – but only after we had received our punishment.”
About the school’s punishment says Nakiganda Hasifah nothing, but she is silent for a moment, shaking his head and claps once in the hands before she goes on:
“My family would not have anything to do with me, so we were left to ourselves.Two 16-year-old girls on the streets of Kampala is not an optimal situation. “
Nakiganda Hasifah it moved later with his girlfriend home to his family when the parents here were more sympathetic to the two girls. But even here they could be safe for gay opponents.
Had creates unity
Homosexuality has thus become a symbol of all that is western and western eyes ‘free’. But opposition to the West is not only used to mark geopolitically. Within countries may in many ways be beneficial to have a common enemy.
“The very old identifications to mobilize against a common enemy is something that brings coherence to a community,” says Tania Detlefsen as part of the explanation of why countries such as Russia, Iran and Ukraine also relate so critical to homosexuals .
Fergus Kerrigan believes that in many countries need an ideology that provides a common enemy.
“Homosexuality is a topic that can mobilize people. It is a topic that many people have a kind of instinctive gut feeling against. It seems very cynical and as a way to mobilize people. And it’s easy to use as a political value match against the West, when the taboo topics that people do not feel comfortable talking about being criticized by the West, “said Fergus Kerrigan.
On the way to better times
Although the West liberating development has helped to make living conditions difficult for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people in non-Western countries, it has also inspired. More and more activists as Nakiganda Hasifah take the fight for rights up. And Bank Ki-moon is the first UN Secretary-General took the sexual rights up.
But one should according to Fergus Kerrigan careful – from the West side – not too much pressure on.
“The legacy of the colonial era creates of course a huge sensitivity. You risk doing more harm than good if you behave insensitive to African values. The prevailing attitude among African government units and NGOs is that you need time and allowed to work with this in its own way. If, from the West requires too much at once, you only get backlash that might do more harm than good, “said Fergus Kerrigan, but believes that one should take action if people are killed or threatened:
“You may like to note the different positions, but you can deliver the message in different ways. It is up to diplomacy to pursue a diplomatic dialogue. Both parties must be careful not to let themselves be dragged into a rhetoric that can get caught in. The quiet dialogue, recognizing that it takes time, there must be room for. “
Nakiganda Hasifah leads his fight on from Denmark. Here she works with Amnesty International and a group of asylum seekers, which also belongs to sexual minorities. In December, she was the keynote speaker at a demonstration against the law against homosexuals in Uganda.
Nakiganda Hasifah know that if she ever return to Uganda, she risks with the current legislation three years in prison if the government finds out that she has spoken publicly about homosexuality. And if the death penalty for homosexuality enters into force, it is not only family, friends and education, she has lost in its battle to be allowed to be who she is. So she may also lose their lives.
But Nakiganda Hasifah am an optimist, and from the sofa in Frederiksberg she says quietly, “ We shall stop att problem. ”
Catarina Nedertoft Jessen