Constant threat

Logo ASWATHuman Rights Organization “Aswat” on the current situation of LGBTQI in Morocco.

Aswat is an independent non-profit group in Morocco, working on gender and sexuality issues related to sexual minorities. The group pursues a peaceful commitment to fight against discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, transsexual and intersex in Morocco. The group operates two pages on facebook, “collectif Aswat” and “Aswat Magazine LGBT” and a website.  Guido Schäfer of Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation has conducted the interview on June 1st, 2016. (Deutsche Übersetzung)

Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation (HES): The German parliament has decided on May, 13 to put Morocco on the so called list of “safe countries of origin”. In case this change becomes effective, this means for Moroccan applicants for asylum that a summary procedure applies in Germany which reduces the deadlines for decision, appeal and deportation each in general to one week only. This would significantly reduce the chance of a fair procedure. How safe is Morocco for LGBTQI?

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Projekte

Equal footing?

The Yogyakarta Alliance: A postcolonial course of action

deutsche Fassung des ArtikelsYogyakarta-Allianz-2015

No offense, but your countries came to our countries and violently took what wasn´t yours and left gay people outlawed.” This statement by Kenyan lawyer Imani Kimiri at a meeting of the Yogyakarta Alliance crystallizes the asymmetrical relationship between the countries of the North and the South.

Her position is informed by postcolonial theory. It sees colonialism as a major source of current global power relations, and a major reason behind the persecution of homosexuals in many African states. It seeks to move beyond the categories of thought that were typical of colonialism. It is indebted to deconstructionism, and critically examines the foundations of power. It is a call to critique the self, and to reflect on privileges and power relations. It focuses on representations, namely on ideas and images of the Other, plus the resulting interactions. 


With great concern”

Badr BaabouInterview with Badr Baabou, president and co-founder of “Damj” on the current situation of LGBTQI in Tunisia (Interview auf Deutsch)

Hirschfeld Eddy Foundation (HES): Hello Badr. Tunisia is the only country in which one has the impression that the so-called Arab spring, which started in Tunisia in 2010 with so much hope, has led to an improvement in the human rights situation. How has this impacted on the situation of LGBTQI?

Badr Baabou: Unfortunately, the situation of the LGBTQI community is not good. LGBTQI still experience discrimination in everyday life, violence and arbitrary arrests. To be gay in Tunisia, is a crime and will be punished under Tunisian law. Under article 230 of the Penal Code, sodomy is punishable with three years prison (Note: also same-sex sexual acts are understood under sodomy in many Arab countries, especially between men).

HES: And this provision is applied in practice?

Badr: On 6 September 2015 a young student was jailed based on article 230. The wording of the provision does not clearly state whether the accused must be immediately caught in a sexual act or whether it is sufficient if he is merely suspected to have had sex with the same gender. The legal system in Tunisia can revert to instruments such as the “anal test” to confirm the accusations. Such a “medical investigation” was carried out in the case of Marwen to prove previous repeated anal penetration. Marwen was sentenced to one year in prison. But Marwen was not the first victim that was persecuted because of article 230. 


Regenbogenempfang in lettischer Hauptstadt

 Jörg Steinert vom LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg mit dem deutschen Botschafter Rolf Schütte LSVD Berlin-Brandenburg zu Gast

Am 28. April 2016 veranstaltete der deutsche Botschafter in Lettland, Rolf Schütte, einen Regenbogenempfang in seiner Residenz in Riga. Der Einladung folgten lettische LGBT-Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten, Engagierte der Baltic HIV Association, die bekannte Journalistin Rita Rudusa sowie die Botschafter der Niederlanden und von Kanada. Zugleich zeigte die weitestgehende Abwesenheit der lettischen Abgeordneten – mit nur einer Ausnahme –, wie wenig Zuspruch das Thema Homosexualität in Lettland nach wie vor erfährt. Die Gespräche am Abend bestätigten diesen Eindruck, weder aus Politik noch aus Zivilgesellschaft gibt es Zuspruch für die lettische homosexuelle Emanzipationsbewegung. Besonders stolz sind die Aktivistinnen und Aktivisten daher auf den EuroPride, der 2015 in Riga stattfand, obwohl er von drei Viertel der Menschen in Riga abgelehnt wurde, so eine Umfrage des lettischen Zentrums für soziologische Forschung SKDS. Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle und Transgender in Lettland sind daher besonders auf internationale Kooperationen angewiesen. Bereits 2010 hatte die Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung  die Konferenz „Human Rights and Homosexuality – Past, Present, Future“ unterstützt. Dabei konnte u.a. das Buchprojekt „Forced Underground. Homosexuals in Soviet Latvia“ realisiert werden.

Der Regenbogenempfang in der Botschafterresidenz wurde mit einem persönlichen Grußwort des Geschäftsführers des Lesben- und Schwulenverbandes Berlin-Brandenburg, Jörg Steinert, eröffnet:

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

We’re just getting started!” Discussing a postcolonial course of action for LGBTI

Oumar Diallo, Leiter Afrikahausdeutsche Fassung des Artikels

On 11 November 2015 the Afrikahaus hosted a panel discussion on LGBTI project work. Organized in conjunction with the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, the panel used examples from different African countries and focused on the question: “How is postcolonial work for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) possible?” The panelists were independent scholar Dr. Rita Schäfer, Uta Schwenke from the board of the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD), and Naana Lorbeer from Queeramnesty Deutschland. The moderator was journalist Pascal Thibaut.

Discussions of hostility and violence against lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) differ based on the country in question. South Africa, for example, has one of the world’s most progressive constitutions, yet sees considerable violence against lesbian women. Many African countries criminalize homosexual relationships. Almost all of these laws were introduced during the colonial period. In light of this background, how is it even possible to pursue postcolonial project work for LGBTI rights? 

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

Human Rights for All? Not Yet.

The Yogyakarta Principles need an intersex update 

deutsche Fassung

Human rights apply to all humans, or so it is said. For centuries, however, what this really meant was that human rights applied only to men, and only to those men who were not enslaved or colonized. The fact that human rights now apply to women and people of color, for example, is due to the success of the women’s and civil rights movements.

The Yogyakarta Principles were formulated in 2006 by a group of international human rights experts who had gathered in the Indonesian city of that name. Its 29 principles clarify what human rights mean with respect to sexual and gender minorities. The Yogyakarta Principles are a set part of human rights work. They describe what states would have to do if human rights were in fact applied to people independently of their sexual orientation or gender identity.


What about intersex people?

The letter “I” is being added ever more frequently to the acronym LGBT. The “I” stands for intersex people, who are pathologized and stigmatized by the medical category “Disorders of sexual development” (DSD). On account of anatomical, hormonal or chromosomal features, intersex people are viewed as neither completely female nor completely male. Intersex bodies are outside the binary gender system, which can lead to serious medical and legal consequences. Parents are pressured to approve gender-assignment operations and hormonal treatments. Babies, children and adolescents have a gender imposed upon them.

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Veranstaltungen

Can African Diaspora organizations in Germany facilitate dialogue between the global North and South on LGBTIQ human rights?

Talk by Tsepo Bollwinkel on 27 November 2014 in Berlin as part of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation’s Crossings & Alliances series in cooperation with the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD Bund e.V.)

Artikel in deutscher Fassung

Download talk German Version (PDF )

Download talk English Version — (PDF)


Can African Diaspora organizations in Germany facilitate dialogue between the global North and South on LGBTIQ human rights?

Tsepo Bollwinkel

Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone between and beyond constructions of gender,

I am pleased and grateful to have the chance to speak to you this evening. Thanks are due to the organizational efforts of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation, and especially to Sarah Kohrt. Thank you to the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD), which is not only my social/political home in the black community in Germany, but has also come a long way to be co-hosting events such as this one today. Thank you also to Ise Bosch and her Dreilinden organization. Ise, you have played a large part in turning my personal prejudices against white people, especially those with a feminist or queer bent, into more nuanced and peaceable perspectives. Ten years ago I would not have given a talk on this topic to white people. But your respect and your deep reflections on human rights have opened my eyes and heart such that I can now recognize allies like you. This talk is an extended version of a position paper of the same title but with a different focus that I wrote for last year’s Rainbow Philanthropy Conference.

Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung Projekte Veranstaltungen

Wie ist eine postkoloniale Arbeit für LSBTI möglich? — How is postcolonial work for LGBTI possible?

Diskussion am Beispiel von Projekten in verschiedenen afrikanischen Ländern — Fotos/Discussing examples from different African countries — Photos

Fotos: Caro Kadatz / Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung


Von Mubarak bis Sisi: LGBT in Ägypten

Veranstaltung in der Kölner LSVD-GeschäftsstelleVortrag im Rahmen von “Crossings and Alliances”

Please download an english version of the talk here

Im Rahmen der Veranstaltungsreihe „Crossings & Alliances“ der Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung berichtete am 25. August Ibrahim Abdella über die aktuelle Situation von Lesben, Schwulen, Bisexuellen und Transmenschen (LGBT) in Ägypten. Die Veranstaltung in der LSVD-Bundesgeschäftsstelle in Köln war mit fast 40 Personen gut besucht, sie fand in Kooperation mit baraka, dem rubicon und dem Jugendzentrum anyway statt.

Ibrahim ging der Frage nach, wie die verschiedenen Regimes (Mubarak-Diktatur, Regime des Obersten Rates der Streitkräfte, Muslimbruderschaft und Präsident Mursi sowie Sisi-Diktatur) mit LGBT umgegangen sind und umgehen. Anschaulich schilderte er die Ereignisse der letzten Jahre und spannte den Bogen von der „Queen Boot“-Affäre 2001, als 52 Männer verhaftet wurden, über die ägyptische Revolution 2011 und dem Militärputsch vom Juli 2013 bis heute. 


Organisationen der afrikanischen Diaspora in Deutschland als Vermittler?

Fotos der Veranstaltung aus der Reihe Crossings & Alliances


Dokumentation des Vortrags von Tsepo Bollwinkel, gehalten am 27. November 2014 in Berlin im Rahmen der Veranstaltungsreihe Crossings & Alliances der Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung, in Kooperation mit der Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD Bund e.V.)
Talk by Tsepo Bollwinkel on 27 November 2014 in Berlin as part of the Hirschfeld-Eddy Foundation’s Crossings & Alliances series in cooperation with the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD Bund e.V.)

Fotos: Caro Kadatz