Fw: [BRC-NEWS] Homophobia Contributes to Persecution (fwd)

jenyan1 jenyan1 at uic.edu
Sun Apr 22 11:24:00 MDT 2001

>does anyone on the list know anything about homosexuality in precolonial
>Africa? Who is the "Johnson" the following article makes reference to?

I'm replying to your personal email address as I have already posted a lot
this week (and I do recall the unfortunate example of Vannessa).

Based on what I know, I think that the article you forwarded hits the nail
on the head. For example, I don't think that there is any real historical
evidence that gays were systematically or widely persecuted throughout
precolonial Africa. In fact in my language there is a word "abwoc" which
refered to cohabiting men.

Much of the trouble lies with the christian missionaries were literally
the ideological and cultural arm of colonialism. They established the
schools and generally did their best to impose Victorian morality (sic) on
the societies. The missionaries also were the first people to give a
written record of the oral traditions (or Africans who first recorded these
traditions were usually missionary educated). In this way much of the oral
tradition has been passed through a missionary filter. Dare I say, this
reconstruction of history has had a profound influence on the way we see
ourselves and our past.

So much for precolonial history. The article is also correct to describe
recent upsurge in state sponsorship of homophobia as symptomatic of the
ideological and political bankruptcy of the pseudo republics and the
elites who run them.

Patriarchy and the oppression and exploitation of African women is another
urgent issue which is usually passed over in silence.



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