Thursday, October 13, 2011

Targeting the Invisible World Of Men Who Have Sex With Men

via Outwords, by Peter Carlyle-Gordge

Ask any outreach worker in the fight against HIV transmission and you’ll find one of the hardest at-risk groups to reach is MSM, or men who have sex with men.

Men in this group don’t necessarily identify as gay. Some may be married to women and have families. Some may simply avoid defining their sexual orientation and it is often hard to pinpoint where they gather or connect.

Now, if reaching the MSM group is challenging here, consider its near impossibility in such homophobic places as Africa, a place still plagued by superstition, repression and an outright burning hostility to any sexual practices beyond the vanilla heterosexual variety. In many Islamic countries such as Iran and Iraq, being attracted to the same sex may bring instant death by a mob, or less instant death after a shameful “trial” in an Islamic court, which may sentence you to be hanged, often in public.

Attitudes to same-sex attraction in Africa aren’t much better, with a nasty, often violent reaction to same-sex couplings – an official kind of homophobia that is encouraged by the Neanderthal and ignorant Catholic and Anglican churches. Indeed, the current worldwide Anglican communion is deeply split on same-sex rights, thanks largely to the Archbishop of Canterbury kowtowing in fear to the outspoken black African bishops who despise homosexuality and claim God does, too.

You don’t need to go far to stack up evidence of this official homophobia. The president of Iran famously came to the U.S. and told a university audience that same-sex dalliances did not exist in Iran. The evidence in the form of beatings and hangings of gay men tends to undermine his insane statement.

Read the rest.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

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