Black lesbians live in terror - report

2011-12-05 18:36

Johannesburg - Black lesbians and transgender men in townships and rural areas face a climate of discrimination and violence, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday.

"A segment of the South African population lives in terror and feels like there is no one to turn to, including the police," a HRW director Graeme Reid said in Johannesburg.

Reid, who heads the organisation's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender rights programme, was speaking at the release of a report on violence and discrimination against black lesbians and transgender men.

The report found the abusers of people known or assumed to be lesbian, bisexual, or transgender acted with near-total impunity.

The report entitled "We'll Show You You're a Woman: Violence and Discrimination Against Black Lesbians and Transgender Men" is based on interviews with more than 120 individuals in six provinces and over a number of years.

Reid said the study was done to improve the lives of those affected by discrimination.

"We are not asking for a lot. We are asking that people can live their lives in a manner of their choosing, according to their sexual orientation and their deepened sense of gender identification... And to do so without discrimination and the constant threat of violence."

Another HRW official, Dipika Nath, said existing laws and policies on sexual orientation had failed to protect people or provide redress.

"Police, prosecutors, and the courts need to make effective implementation of these laws and policies a priority," Nath said.

  • TamaraSays - 2011-12-05 19:06

    Yet more proof that our constitution is not worth the paper it's written on.

      Fred - 2011-12-05 19:49

      When the president is a homophobe then you can expect this to happen.

      Omnivore - 2011-12-06 09:09

      @Tamara -- WRONG. Sadly, though, it's treated as such.

      TamaraSays - 2011-12-06 10:45

      Noble ideals that are not put into practice are not noble.

      Helen - 2011-12-06 15:17

      Did you not perhaps think they use subgrade loo paper to write the constitution on they are full of crap.

  • Spyker - 2011-12-05 19:10

    "...Black lesbians and transgender men in townships and rural areas face a climate of discrimination and violence..." "..."A segment of the South African population lives in terror and feels like there is no one to turn to, including the police..." The above are far more applicable to the minority white SAcan rural community.., in fact, if you take a look at the fenced fortifications of the entire white minority, it applies to the SAcan white minority at large. This is rather where Human Rights Watch's focus should be - it is the greatest CRIME-AGAINST-HUMANITY, in SA, since the British Concentration Camps, of the early 1900's.

      Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-05 19:19

      Is it really necessary to hijack every article with race and politics? Why can't we unconditionally worry about the topic at hand? I'm sure lesbians do not hijack farm murder articles with their problems

      Spyker - 2011-12-05 19:45

      Johncarlos..., Yours is an opinion I rate higher than others. Sure, I made it a race issue.., AGAIN... And I will, ad nauseam, to the point that it will become impossible to ignore, albeit probably be impossible to stand, to... As it remains the pivotal matter for everything that is wrong with SA today. Not for a moment did I expect it to be an "easy to digest" matter, so if you want me to apologise.., well, need I respond... "Race" is then in fact where it all starts, where the xenophobic monster is created-, fed- and nourished: ie by the ANC's campaign of polarising the SAcan society, for the gains of select dynasty, only. The antiquated methods of governing people like sheep, I am sure, most people were convinced, came-and-went by 1994. Sadly though, today, the SAcan society is being [quote] 'hijack'-ed [unquote] by a stone-age mentality that seeks no more than to "DIVIDE an RULE" - sounds chillingly similar to what was here before '94, does it not..?

  • Johncarlos ? Biza - 2011-12-05 19:15

    Sad that our country is so full of drama, tomorrow morning this will not be remembered by readers, despite its huge importance.

  • markus.hegewisch - 2011-12-05 19:18

    Things take time... Time for the ignorant to understand! BUT this time at the cost of MANY Gay, Bi, Lesbian or Transgender people of the rainbow nation?

  • Call_Of_Muti_3 - 2011-12-05 19:20

    The average IQ of rural Africans is around 70, making them functional retards to begin with. Add ignorance and prejudice, and it's a dangerous combination. Black lesbians should start their own militias. Police in townships are recruited from the same ignorant, sexist, racist groups of idiots who carry out "corrective rape". Rape is rape. The police are incompetent, or unwilling to intervene in these attacks. Nothing would brighten up my day more, than if I read a news report about black lesbians shooting and killing a dozen or so attackers.

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