Category Archives: activity news

Fiyabo: The Story of Nigerian Gay Christian Davis Mac-Iyalla

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Fiyabo by Davis Mac-IyallaDavis Mac-Iyalla wrote his story down in a book: Fiyabo. On 7th January 2014, the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, enacted some of the most extreme anti-gay laws on the planet. For example, holding hands with someone of the same sex, or being a member of a gay support organisation can earn you up to ten years in jail. This has been done with the hearty approval of the Nigerian Anglican Church. In practice, widespread mob violence against gay people has ensued, with horrific abuses of human rights. Davis Mac-Iyalla is a Nigerian settled in UK, and an Anglican Christian, who lived and worked in Nigeria until he was forced to flee in 2006. He was one of the first Nigerian gay men to come out publically and has campaigned for the rights of LGBTI people for over twenty years. He co-founded Alliance Rights, the first gay and lesbian network in Nigeria, and in 2005 founded Changing Attitude Nigeria, the Nigerian wing of the international organisation Changing Attitude, which supports LGBTI Anglicans. He is a lay reader, a Knight of the Church of Nigeria, and in February of 2008, received the “Bishop Desmond Tutu Award for Human Rights and Social Justice” from the World Pride and Power Organisation . In 2008, following imprisonment, torture, violent attack, and a string of death threats, he was forced to flee Africa for the UK where he continues his fight for human rights. In Davis’ native language, ‘Fiyabo’ (the title of this book), means ‘Survivor’. Davis and his LGBTI brothers and sisters are survivors. They fight and continue to fight to make fellow Nigerians and fellow Africans understand that being gay is not un-African, nor un-Nigerian, nor ungodly, but simply the way some people are.

Davis Mac-Iyalla and Jan Beddeleem on Tyne Cot Cemetry in 2009

Davis Mac-Iyalla and Jan Beddeleem in 2009 on Tyne Cot Commonwealth War Graves Cemetry and Memorial to the dead and the missing of the First World War.

“Davis has done a magnificent job exposing the victimisation of gay people in Nigeria – a victimisation that is incited and endorsed by the Anglican Church of Nigeria.” Peter Tatchell, British human rights defender. “I hesitate to call anyone a saint – that is really God’s busness. But for me Davis displays the qualities, beginning with the great humanity, that we associate with such campaigners as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, and Peter Tatchell.” John Henson, Baptist Minister and author of ‘Good As New’, ‘The Gay Disciple‘, ‘Make Christmas Real’ etc. “Davis’ new book will touch the hearts and minds of all who read it.'” Ifalade Ta’Shia Asanti, Award-winning journalist, Activist and Author.

Davis Mac-Iyalla 2009 drawing by by Jo Veldeman

Davis Mac-Iyalla by artist Jo Veldeman – 2009

Davis Mac-Iyalla was invited to vist Belgium by WISH vzw in 2009 and visited Belgian and European MP’s as well as different NGO’s. It was a mutual enriching experience and in chapter two, page 70 of the book he reflects on this journey to Brussels and Flanders.  Read the dutch interview Davis gave that time to the daily newspaper De Morgen here

Order the book here.

Notorious Ugandan gay activist driven into asylum

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John Abadallah Wambere, a prominent Ugandan gay activist aka Long Jones, who was featured in the documentaries Call Me Kuchu and “Missionaries of Hate,” filed for asylum today in the United States.

John -AKA Long Jones - WambereWambere has been an activist for 14 years, as a co-founder of Spectrum Uganda Initiatives, through which he has worked to ensure the safety of the LGBTI community, reduce stigma, assist LGBTI Ugandans under arrest, and educate about HIV. He has continuously advocated for tolerance and equality, his exile became inevitebaly.

On his journey around the globe to seek support for the Ugandan LGBT community,  he came to Belgium september 2013 and march 2014 to meet with different NGO’s and politicians.  Uganda’s LGBTI community has been under escalating public, political, and physical attack in recent years, culminating in the passage of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and its signing into law on February 24, 2014 by President Yoweri Museveni. Long Jones, is one of the people that inspired hundreds of people to protest against this evolution. He has been a role model for many.

“This has been a very, very difficult decision for me,” Wambere said. “I have devoted my life to working for LGBTI people in Uganda, and it gives me great pain not to be with my community, allies, and friends while they are under increasing attack. But in my heart, I know it is my only option, and that I would be of no use to my community in jail.”

John was outed as gay by newspapers, harassed by strangers, received death threats from anonymous phone calls, evicted from his home, and beaten up.  Now,  under the new law,  he also faces life imprisonment should he return.

WISH2.be who welcomed other activists in exile under its members is convinced that John made an adult and mature decision in very difficult circumstances. We urge people not to judge the person for the simple reason that he searched protection when under extreme threat, and we hope that he can still be an inspiring father for the community in Uganda. Knowing Long Jones we know this is not the end of a journey, neither an opportunistic choice, this is a broken life saved.

Read the article by Colin Stewart here:

Prominent Ugandan gay activist seeks U.S. asylum

Read more about his file for asylum here.

 

 

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Brussels PRIDE 4 EVERY 1 QUESTIONED: Alternative 4 PRIDE OUT NOW!

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“Bring your true colours and let them shine with us!”

A new call has been launched to weight more on the real political objectives of the Belgian Pride. With the pride taking place one week before the elections, there’s a big chance that the pride will be very colourfull, especially the colours of political propaganda machines might be overwhelming. For the first time after years of consensus, there’s a call launched to make the claim more political and more audible. A facebook page has been launched and an open letter prepared:

“Want to bring a new dynamic to “The Pride” and make it more inclusive? Join our parade of LGBTQI, feminist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, body positive and crip organisations; human rights activists; and associations for HIV/STD prevention! Make sure your voice gets heard and help our sparkling collective to show the enormous diversity of our identities, desires, practices, stories, projects and demands.
The ‘Alternatieve Pride Alternative’ wants to repoliticize the LGBTQI discourse used by the Pride and aims at anchoring our struggles in the broader fight against all systems of oppression (sexism, racism, capitalism, etc.).”

Discover the demands at www.facebook.com/notes/apa-belgium/alternatieve-pride-alternative-nl/1395334160750206 (Dutch version) or www.facebook.com/notes/apa-belgium/alternatieve-pride-alternative-fr/1395326024084353 (French version).

If you want to co-sign the call please contact the organisers before the 10th of May 2014 at apabelgium at gmail.com.

The signed letter will be handed to “The Pride” on the 17th of May 2014.

“Feel free to bring your different colours, exciting reflections and refreshing ideas and join us as a sympathizer on the 17th !”

Members of the Alternatieve Pride Alternative:
Amnesty International, le Club du 23, Fat Positivity Belgium, Garance, Genres d’à côté, Genres Pluriels, Merhaba, queerpunxbelgium, Université des Femmes.

LOGO WISH2.be