1) Take it one day at a time 2) Surround yourself with positivity 3) Create a dream board 4) Ask yourself what you want, and make realistic goals accordingly 5) Reward yourself 6) Acknowledge your attributes 7) Recognize your progress 8) VISUALIZE ACCOMPLISHING YOUR GOALS
She first insisted she was a boy at the age of 2. “I am a boy” became a constant theme in struggles over clothing, bathing, swimming, eating, playing. Eventually, a psychologist diagnosed gender identity disorder. Now Tyler ‘s parents allow him to live as a boy, and the 5-year-old is reveling in his new identity.
So the events of these past couple of weeks have me wondering why we don’t have an Occupy Kenya movement as is seen taking place in other countries worldwide. Unemployment is beyond stats and the Kenya shilling is at an all time low which in turn means high food prices, fuel prices, high every price; can I say Domino Effect. Living conditions are deteriorating and the few voices I’ve seen/heard so far try to protest this are trying but with little to no avail since no solid changes have been made in stabilizing the shilling. To add salt to injury, the Kenyan government has set aside Ksh. 383 mil to build ‘A HOUSE’ and yet Kenyans had to come together as Kenyans for Kenya to save the lives of those hardest hit by hunger and malnutrition.
We walk around calling ourselves Kenyans and how we live in a free and fair society yet women and members of the LGBTQ community still struggle to fight (on a daily basis) for basic human rights and recognition. Everything from Inheritance to Marriage and as sad as it is to say Divorce is geared towards the dominant male race, and this does not include the ‘gays’; it’s frustrating and beyond tiring. We turn on the TV to see/hear NEWS on what this politician said where and yet our country is being ‘stolen/annexed’ from right under our noses, and our neighbours aren’t even being discreet about it. From the Northern borders all the way to inside the capital city, we are losing our country.
We are currently at war with Somali’s Al Shabaab and as much as we want to convince ourselves it’s because of the threat they pose to fellow Kenyans, truth be told it’s more about the damage they are doing to our tourism revenue by kidnapping holidaymakers aka foreigners. Kenyans have been sidelined to the point of no return by our very own leaders and yet we go about everyday as if life couldn’t be better. But what’s sadder still is the fact that it’s we who keep electing those same officials.
My thing is this though; those officials are there and should be there for the better part of 2012 unless an impeachment takes place. That being said, are we supposed to sit back and watch all these misgivings befall us and PRAY them away? What happened to FAITH WITH ACTIONS? And faith aside, what happened to general concern for our fellow countrymen? It’s time we take action; out leaders need to realize that we are NOT okay with all the nonsense they are at in the name of politics. We need to UNITE as Kenyans, WORK as Kenyans and BUILD this country as Kenyans and this needs to start with that one step in the right direction.
I’m not talking of a movement of a couple of people, I’m thinking tens of thousands, we have the numbers and only we know what we go through on a daily basis. When will we get tired of our leaders hefty salaries for nothing done while the hard workers get peanuts in return? Think about it, the hardest workers in our society are the manual labourers (those who push mikokoteni ‘wooden carts’ or brick layers) and yet come the end of the day, several hundred Kenya shilling bills grace their pockets, that is, of they were lucky. This needs to stop and only we “KENYANS UNITED” can see to it.
So, early this week, Kenya was graced with the premier of its very first online LGBTQ magazine “IDENTITY”. Telling you I’m excited doesn’t even come close as this is a major step in the right direction especially in voicing the voiceless LGBTQ who walk these streets every day. This premier comes only a few weeks after Freedom in Speech, a website that also serves as a voice for the LGBTQ in Kenya was re-launched; which I guess makes for two major steps in the right direction huh! For those of you who haven’t had a chance to get a copy of IDENTITY, I’m embedding a link http://issuu.com/denisnzioka/docs/identity_magazine_premier_issue-october_2011 and will greatly advice you to look/read through. I will also link the Freedom In Speech website www.freedominspeech.org to give you a broader scope of the strides being made by the LGBTQ movement here in Kenya.
Back to IDENTITY; and given a chance to state what came to mind while reading the articles, I’d take hours so I’ll instead share my comments on the article that greatly moved me. It was the one that features young boys who sell their bodies for survival with one stating how he sold his for as little as Ksh. 100.00 ($ 1.00) to cater for school fees among other basic essentials. As this article didn’t have a mentioned contributor, I give props/commend the activist who met with the boys (some as young as 12 years old) and ultimately advised them on safer sex practices as well as health centres that offer free medical check-up and medication, even taking them to be examined. Saying I was hurt was an understatement as it still pains me even as I write this and I keep trying to figure out what can be done to assist them. Life is hard, I know, but these are children and their clients most probably are not; it hurts greatly.
That said, hope the articles ring true to you and while you’re at it, comments, suggestions and corrections are greatly welcome.
Just to set the record straight, by “OUT” I hope you all know what I mean coz clearly one of the men in attendance didn’t; and guess who had the misfortune of seating next to him, me, talk about tough luck. Anyway after several awkward glances across the auditorium, he looks at me and asks, “Do you notice that all the couples are of the same gender?” Thinking I was definitely hearing my own things, he continues with, “This gayism and lesbianism is becoming too rampant in Kenya.” Gosh! The blank look I gave him followed by a; what are you doing here and better yet how did you find out about this function?
You see, Kenya was having its first ever OUT FILM FESTIVAL, featuring films and documentaries from all corners of the world that tackled coming out and acceptance amongst other topics. Pretty cool huh! And the best part was the attendance, especially on the first day, where allies and members of the LGBTQ community showed up in thrones forcing many to either stand or stay outside awaiting available seats or space. This was clearly a good thing and a proud moment for me. The event was only going to last two days and by its close, all I could think of is when and where the next one would be staged. ((LOUD and PROUD))
Back to my seatmate, well I managed to give him my two pence on acceptance, being open minded and not following, blindly, what the society at large had to say. “Sit back, watch and enjoy and if you honestly don’t feel comfortable, you are allowed to leave.” Did it surprise me that he chose to stay? Not really, and did it surprise me that he was there the next day, bright and early, seated front row and centre and didn’t leave until the very close? NO. You see, this man was either in his mid 40s or late 30s early 40s and as much as he tried to pull the “My culture does not accept this and feigned ignorance of what he was attending” I knew better and thus handed him a Gay Kenya brochure (who by the way were the organizers of the event ‘KUDOS’) and let him be, I see a future member in the works lol!
So, the festival is over and we’re heading home, the topic on everyone’s lips is what this festival would lead to ((PRIDE FESTIVALS)) and the works :) talk about things already looking brighter and of course more colourful for the country huh!
Sitting here trying to come to terms with my emotions; anxious one day, happy the next, confused at some points and goal oriented at another. My current emotion, “living in my own truth” i.e. if it qualifies as an emotion. For years I’ve never really been able to put to words what causes or makes me have certain stands in my life. One thing is certain though, I’m stubborn and as stubborn as stubborn gets, with ideals and opinions that I work hard at not going back on. So what next? I sit here, thinking about why I’ve chosen to be vocal (in my own right i.e.) on the LGBTQ movement in my home country Kenya. Why have I picked a path that I know for sure will only lead to resentment and distaste from others? Well that’s where living in one’s own truth comes in. I see no fault in other’s being true to themselves, accepting themselves and living loud and proud. Heck! I expect the same for me, so why should someone else be denied that at the expense of what the society at large expects. And if you were wondering, I’m not one to follow what the society says let alone does, I believe everyone has their own mind for a reason and should thus be used. We are not puppets and even puppets get some downtime from all that acting. Why should people be forced to live one lifestyle and yet deep down they know what they want and aspire for themselves? ((Live in one’s truth))
Recent investigations have found that a man working on Michele Bachmann’s campaign for president has ties to the harsh antigay movement in Uganda, possibly including its horrific “Kill the Gays” bill.
Peter E. Waldron, an evangelical pastor, has been running outreach to faith-based communities for Bachmann’s campaign. A journalist recently discovered that he was once imprisoned in Uganda for a supposed terrorist plot. This inspired a little more digging on the part of the media.
It turns out Waldron was also spotted visiting the church of pastor Martin Ssempa, an extremely antigay evangelical known for provoking violence against gays and lesbians. From the Advocate:
Ssempa is well known for inflaming violence against gay people in Uganda, even screening gay porn to incite backlash. While no one is reporting that Waldron actively helped push for the “Kill the Gays” bill that is even now still being considered by the country’s parliament, Rice says that Waldron regaled Ssempa’s congregation with stories and seemed like a minor celebrity. Waldron spoke about his time in the military (which Waldron strongly implied was CIA-related), his visit to the White House, and he bragged about being cozy with the Ugandan president.
Michele Bachmann, of course, does plenty of her own antigay spewing and her husband has become infamous for his ex-gay conversion therapy clinic.
This is not a joke. This is actually terrifying and could even be dangerous. She’s working with someone who allegedly worships an advocate of gay genocide? And she’s somehow one of the leading Republican candidates? Legitimately one of the scariest things I’ve read lately.
In Jewish law, gay marriage is still not considered a true marriage. So a rabbi from the West Bank has figured out his own way to help out gays and lesbians who want children and families.
For six years, Orthodox rabbi Areleh Harel has been officiating marriages between gay men and lesbians. He says it’s the most moral way to give LGBT people the families they want without breaking Jewish law, and he’s working on an online matchmaking service to expedite the process for some people.
Some believe this is a good thing, that gay men and lesbians can live “normal” lives without breaking any rules. Others say it’s harmful, that marriages aren’t based on love and that parents are essentially lying to their children.
The condemnation of homosexuality in Orthodox communities in Israel has historically been so strong that many gay Orthodox Jews have felt they had two choices: remain in the closet or stop being religious. That mind-set has changed in recent years as leaders of Jewish Queer Youth, an “Ortho-gay” organization based in Manhattan, began connecting with burgeoning gay-rights groups in Israel, offering support and advice.
Orthodox rabbis continue to point to Leviticus 18: 22 as proof that God does not accept homosexuality. The verse reads, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination.” Harel concurs, saying, “You can’t change the laws of the Torah. This is what God wants. If God wanted gay people to live together, he would come down and tell us.”
This is a really interesting piece of journalism and it’s a story you don’t hear very often. Give it a read if you’ve got a few minutes. When you’re done, what did you think?