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Monday, October 15, 2012

We are Them, They are Us.

In early October, BlackPast.org launched, with support from the Pride Foundation, a new section on the history of African Americans and people of African descent in other parts of the world who are LGBTQ (Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Queer). This is a major milestone in affirming the rights and humanity of all. It is unfortunate that all LGBTQ people do not find this support from their fellow citizens. To understand just what peril so many people face who just want to live their lives in peace with those they love, this map of Africa is an eye-opener.

Same-sex sexual activity legal
  Same-sex marriage recognized
  Other type of partnership (or unregistered cohabitation) recognized
  Foreign same-sex marriages recognized
  No recognition of same-sex couples
Same-sex sexual activity illegal
  Penalty
  Life in prison
  Death penalty
(to see a breakdown by country of this data, go to this link here)
 There is a rich history in literature and the arts by and about LGBTQ African Americans and Africans in the diaspora. Many of these are found at this link on BlackPast.org
An excellent place start reading is Shade: An Anthology of Fiction by Gay Men of African Descent
A second choice is Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Fiction
For another list of fiction and contextual description, check here.
And finally, a moment of silence for all those hounded to misery and death by hate and ignorance.
Two references appeared in the news today (months after this post appeared) that will give the reader some more current information. The first link is to a series of articles in allAfrica.com, the online news service.  The second article was in the Seattle Times reporting the fine line US diplomats and President Obama have to tread when promoting gay rights in African nations.

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