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World View:  Africa

Forging a representative gay liberation movement in South Africa

The history of gay liberation in South Africa reflects the history of the country: South African gays were divided along race, class and gender lines despite their common experience of sexual oppression.1 For decades, the public face of the South African gay liberation movement was white, middle-class and male and as a whole it failed to link itself to the broader liberation struggle. From today's vantage point the gay movement was at best equivocal in opposing apartheid, and at worst complicity in supporting it.

Interview by Raj Ayyar

I called Ruth Vanita on a lazy winter afternoon about a month ago. I had just finished reading Same-Sex Love in India, a book that she co-authored with Saleem Kidwai. Our conversation was less of an interview and more of a cozy, timeless cosmic chat of the kind that's called 'adda' in Bengali, which covers everything from cabbages to kings and spans centuries.

World View:  Brazil

This year, with music blaring from more than 20 sound trucks, hundreds of thousands of people danced and marched through Sao Paulo Sunday, June 2, in what was billed Latin America's biggest gay pride parade. Organizers attributed the huge turnout to the presence of heterosexuals who sympathize with the gay rights movement.

BUT, Brazil is still the World Champion in the murder of homosexuals.  Every 3 days a gay man, transvestite or lesbian is brutally murdered in Brazil.

Passing The Torch

What is Activism?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'Activism' as "a doctrine or policy of advocating energetic action", and an 'Activist' as "an advocate of activism". The Random House Dictionary furthers the definition of 'Activism', defining it as an "involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.". Thus one can see Activism as an attempt to change. This could be the changing of a government's laws or a public's attitude. It could be the attempt to change a countries method of disposing of waste, or the attempt to change a public's acceptance of homosexuals. With many people in the world starving, and others being killed in wars between nations and cultures, the world is generally considered to be an unfair place. It is natural, therefore, for people to try and change it to what they would consider to be a better place. The people who try and make this change are activists. There have been activists and activism for as long as there has been society. There is activism from the left side of the political spectrum, and activism from the right. There are activists demanding tighter gun laws, and there are activists demanding the right for any individual to carry a firearm. Every issue in today's society spawns activists of opposing views.

SistahFest 2001

My Children (aka TeamCocker) prevented me from staying over at Sistahfest this year.  But, they did not prevent me from driving up to ULOAH's new location for this year's Sistahfest 2001 -- Gardening the Soul: Recipes for Life.  Needless to say, though my time was brief, I was not disappointed and it was definitely worth the two-hour drive for me. 

The Entertainment:  The roster of entertainers was impressive and there was something for everyone.

FemmeNoir (c) 2003