The Performer

The Performer

Audre Lorde

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Know Your Rights Day!

Good afternoon lovely people,

You are all well, I presume.

This is not another poetry is an update on what we've been up to!

Last week, Saturday 25th September, 2010, the gay, lesbian, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community convened at the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC). Main aim being, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) had finally produced several 'know your rights brochures' and the community was going through the content of the brochures and discussing it at length. There was the presence of lawyers that made the work easy by explaining what the constitution says and doesn't say about homosexuality.

Generally, I found it a rather interesting discussion which engaged the LGBTI community.
Sadly, the representation by women was much lower compared to the men who turned out in large numbers. For heaven's sake this was not an 'arrest them' meeting! An invite was sent out on facebook during the week, yet no one responded, not even ask questions...

Where are the LBT women? We love you and do not mind being your faces out there...but when will you also get a chance to be heard? When will you learn more about your rights...from the horses mouth' and not rely on third hand informers who distort the messages to suit their agenda?

Well, the 'know your rights' brochures are now out and in distribution...we will make sure they get to you...but we would also want to bring the women together and have the same facilitator take us through them, at least for the sake of those that were not present. Why? Most of the LB women survive on assumption...most of them assume that the fact that we're queer women, then we are not in much trouble legally, as the men would! Mmmmhhhh....know what? You're wrong!

It was however interesting to meet four members (two lesbian couples) of our community that have been closeted for many years. They were invited by a friend at the Human Rights Commission which was entirely commendable! I believe the fact that they even made time to be there was lovely! I just kept on congratulating them  for their courage...they, in turn were excited to meet other men and women that identified as gay, bisexual and transgender persons in Kenya.

It was also a pleasure being with one lady of courage, a lesbian that is engaged to her partner. The most amazing thing was...she had a baby bump! Yeah...oops! When she walked into our lively discussion and humbly sat "them" down, I kept slapping my eyes to reality... I stared her for too long till I felt guilty! I could not wait to engage in a conversation with her to ask all the questions that were trickling on my mind. During the 'meet the people' free drink hour, everyone milled around to congratulate her on her pregnancy that has about 4 more months before delivery. She will be organizing a baby shower sometime next month and I cannot wait to invite you to accompany us to give this couple all our love and support! I hope you can spare time for that one, huh?

Of course contacts were was in plenty...and socialization was the language spoken at the Commission grounds! I loved seeing all those smiley faces...dancing the evening away to uniquely selected music by one of our own queer women!

We surely need to have these events more often!
Having said that...It's time to get back to work! I'm glad I shared this with you! My fingers were itching to type out this excitement in the form of a brief 411.
Have yourselves a knowledgeable day and take care
Love you