May 23rd, 2010
|emma_rainbow||10:59 am - Trans Erasure in Malawi|
It makes me so angry that my nation put the laws in place that have imprisoned Steven and Tiwonge - and that Western media continues to smother their voices.
Tiwonge is not a man - they are not a gay couple. Tiwonge is a trans woman.
My people and their homophobia imprisoned them, and my people and their transphobia/white privilege has silenced their voices and misgendered Tiwonge so that they can push for equal marriage. Our struggles should not eclipse their struggles, we should fight for our rights equally.
Spread the word - to your newspapers, to your LGBT+ organisations, to every friend you have; Tiwonge is a woman.
This should strengthen and unite our communities, but it is, yet again, silencing trans voices to speak up for gay ones.
You can write to them here:
Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, Prisoners, Chichiri Prison, P.O.Box 30117, Blantyre 3, Malawi
Current Mood: angry
You're right. I had only read one article of several which made clear Tiwonge is a woman. This whole thing is so messed up anyway. I would like to ask the Malawi government why they're so afraid, why they feel like their culture is so fragile if two people pledge their love for each other. I would like to ask them why they invoke tradition, when it was British rule that established all the homo and trans phobia and there was nothing in prior traditional culture which would have prevented their love.
Yes, trans people are once again not recognized. Rage ON!! Get the word out!!!
Some what you said treads dangerously close to being imperalistic and ethnocentric. Especially:
I would like to ask the Malawi government why they're so afraid, why they feel like their culture is so fragile if two people pledge their love for each other. I would like to ask them why they invoke tradition, when it was British rule that established all the homo and trans phobia and there was nothing in prior traditional culture which would have prevented their love.
It is convient for you, a Westerner and citizen of the US, to snipe at the homophobia and transphobia present in other cultures and countries which you are not a member or citizen of. Meanwhile, your own culture was, until recently, not that much better regarding the same issues. Human rights is paramount of course, but be aware that you might be coming off as "better than thou" (and thus, imperalistic) with those kinds of statements.
You also show a complete disregard for the reprocussions and ugliness of colonialism that has had a HUGE impact on many nations in Africa and in other parts of the world.
If you have questions or comments, please email the mods.Edited at 2010-05-24 01:14 am (UTC)
Tiwonge is a woman and it's enraging to have them cast as a gay couple.
You've put this more clearly and succinctly than I could. May I repost it in my journal with credit? (Since all posts here are f-locked, I'll err on the side of caution and not do so unless I hear from you.)
If you noticed, I made the settings on this post public - feel very free, repost repost repost! :)
I did not notice that. Thanks!
I've filled in a complaint about the misgendering in the BBC articles, and e-mailed my MP asking that the British government do something a bit more... pro-active than "express[ing] dismay".