Queer Notes: September-October 2016

From the September-October issue of News & Letters

by Elise

Brave people gathered for a Pride beauty pageant at Club Venom nightclub in Kampala, Uganda, only to be arrested, detained, beaten and undressed by police. East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Sexual Minorities Uganda, Chapter Four Uganda and Uganda Pride Committee were among the human rights groups who condemned the police raid and brutality. The detainees were finally released without charges. In Uganda, people merely perceived as having same-sex relations can be imprisoned for life.

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Hande Kader being brutally hauled out of a gay rights parade by police. Photo: http://sendika10.org/

Activists took to the streets of Ankara, Turkey, outraged over the murder of Transgender woman, sex worker and activist Hande Kader, who was well-known for marching for Queer rights. Protesters demanded that authorities find her murderer. Transgender rights organization Transgender Europe reports that Turkey is the most dangerous European country for Transgender people.

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About 1,500 Queer people and their allies in Kathmandu, Nepal, protested during Gai Jatra, one of Nepal’s largest festivals, because many of their communities continue to discriminate against them. Last year saw a beam of hope when human rights protections were written into Nepal’s Constitution, banning discrimination against sexual and gender minorities by the state or the judiciary.

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Caster Semenya at the 2012 Summer Olympics

Caster Semenya won gold in the 800 meters at the 2016 Rio Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport set aside the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF) limit on naturally occurring testosterone for athletes to compete in women’s events. The Court ruled that IAAF had not presented scientific proof that female athletes with naturally high testosterone levels have a significant advantage over their peers. Intersex and all women athletes will no longer undergo testosterone-level tests, nor be forced, as Semenya had been, into treatment to reduce elevated testosterone levels in order to compete.

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