Friday, December 09, 2005

Christian Homophobia

In Holland, with the general anti-islam tendencies in society, a lot of right-wing people seem to be lying waiting for an act of homophobia done by Muslim people to publish it and start condemning Muslims. Fact is that homophobia has been and will stay in most societies. In some cases done by young men trying to proof their virility, in other cases by sexist men trying to own the sexuality of women in their surroundings, and in other cases it is condoned by religion. The three monotheist religions all condemn homosexuality, and people for different reasons will be aggressive towards homosexual people. In some cases people will be killed because of their sexuality. This happened this year a couple of times in Iran, which was given big exposure in the Dutch (gay) media. But December 1st this year for the second time this year an active gay men, Steve Harvey, has been killed in Jamaica, by people claiming to be Christians. Steve Hardy has been working in the HIV and Aids field in Jamaica.
Vey often, the murderers in Jamaica use the same arguments homophobic people in Muslim societies do: our religion doesn’t accept that and that gives us the right to kill a homosexual person. It is wrong, in all cases. Normal thinking people, like me, would say that each person has the right to live his life the way he chooses. And religious people that read the Holy Books should know that ‘thou shall not kill’ is also a very important passage in the same book.

Mr. Harvey, thanks for your courage and good work during this life. May God and all saints receive your spirit!

More information at Christian Aid

UNAIDS Condemns Killing of AIDS Activist in Jamaica
Geneva, 7 December 2005 -- UNAIDS condemns the recent killing of Lenford “Steve” Harvey, a Jamaican AIDS activist who, since 1997, worked tirelessly with the Jamaica AIDS Support to contribute to the response to the AIDS epidemic.
Steve Harvey’s death is a profound shock and loss not only to the AIDS movement in Jamaica and the Caribbean, but to the whole world. UNAIDS expresses its sincere condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Steve Harvey will be remembered as an extraordinarily brave and committed activist, who, irrespective of the dangers of his work, represented the interests of people living with HIV and those at risk of infection. His courage was inspiring and his capacity to reach out to those in need outstanding, providing them one on one counseling, and access to HIV and AIDS information and services.

UNAIDS is confident that the Government of Jamaica will investigate Steve’s death to ensure that those who committed this hideous crime are brought to justice.
UNAIDS reiterates its support for the strengthening of efforts by the Jamaican government to address homophobia and other causes of stigma and discrimination, which are fuelling the spread of AIDS not only in Jamaica but across the Caribbean.

Legal and policy reform have an important role to play in ensuring that human rights of all are respected, and also in helping to change broader social values and in setting standards. It is freedom from fear and discrimi­nation that will finally empower individuals and communities to act, to mobilize their resources, and to respond collectively and positively to the AIDS epidemic.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

How I got to know Aids

On May 22 1997, during the "3rd International Conference on Home and Community Care for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, Amsterdam, 21-24 May 1997" I had a retransmission of the radio program I was doing called Global Perspective at the local lesbian gay radio station MVS. Due to that reason, my colleague Andre and I decided to have the program in English and invited a participant at the conference as our studio guest. I had a personal column each month and for this special retransmission I wrote my column about how I learned about Aids as a teenager in Curacao. A couple of days later I do my share for the World Aids Day.

How I got to know Aids
It must have been during the ‘school vacations’ in July, when school closes for six weeks in Curacao. The year must have been 1983 or 1984. My cousin Sharela was spending the holidays with us. While all of us, my brother, sister and me, were young and innocent and just leaving primary school, Sharela was already at the ‘big children school’. She knew about things like sex and masturbation. And about how to get pregnant, or preventing that of happening. One night I was reading the evening newspaper and saw a picture of a man in a hospital bed. Another man was holding his hand. Sharela, our big cousin, read the article with the picture and lectured us in her way: ‘Oh, that man there is dying of Aids. He got ill!’

I asked Sharela what Aids was. She told me: Aids is a disease man that are homosexuals get!’ We put the newspaper away and continuing dancing, at the beat of Michaels Jackson’s Billie Jean. At the age of thirteen I was more interested in trying to imitate the dance moves of the video clip of Billie Jean then in a ‘disease man that are homosexuals can get’.
I didn’t know at that moment that the fact I loved watching other boys in swimming suits made me a homosexual. Aids became familiar to me before homosexuality did.

Maybe one year after the newspaper incident the Aids prevention campaign of the Curacao government started. A cartoon was published in the newspaper picturing a man and a woman flirting. At the end the woman says to the man that she would only do it with a condom. Because of Aids. Later the famous youth band Name made a song about it: Para Sida, e ta kibra bo bida/ Stop Aids, it ruins your life.

( Gabriello Cruz, singer Name)

I got acquainted with the disease, and the fact you could get it through sex.

It must have been years later, maybe after my migration to Holland in 1989, that I heard about risk groups affected by Aids etc. I became a homosexual and became sexually active and learned to use condoms. Sometimes I still remember the newspaper incident.
It is funny to see at this moment, that in my voluntary work, I’m working with the black gay group Strange Fruit, trying to set up a support group for black and migrant people infected and affected by HIV and Aids. The support group has started with social meetings and is called Together We Live!. Strange Fruit organized it together with the Amsterdam section of of the Dutch HIV Association.

I know now that Aids is not ‘a disease man that homosexuals are get’. But any way, Sharela, the cousin who knew it all, later became pregnant at a moment she didn’t wanted it. Even people that knows a lot, have more things to learn. So do I.

May 22 1997

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

35 th Birthday part 2

My dear friend Andre, whom took a lot of pics left early, so was missing on the picture on the first post about my 35 th Birthday. Here's Andre with me.

And below my bestfriend Judith, whom also left early with our Vincent.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Power, hard to handle?

Talking about power-abuse and suppression has always been a tricky thing. One moment you're a victim, the next one you can be the perpetrator. It's wise to also take the next issue in account.
Amerindian fury at discrimination
Amerindians in Guyana have said they are being racially discriminated against by the country's two main ethnic groups, Afro and Indo-Guyanese.
These claims of racial discrimination come against the backdrop of a long history of strife between the two main ethnic groups which make up the majority of GuyanaÂ’s 700,000 citizens.
The Amerindians, Guyana's indigenous people have taken their claims of sexual, social, economic and political exploitation to the Ethnic Relations Commission.
Toney Jones, the Chief of Chiefs for Upper-Takutu/Upper Essequibo Administrative Region in southern Guyana nearer Brazil told BBC Caribbean Radio the alleged sexual exploitation of Amerindian females by Afro and Indo Guyanese, who they call coastlanders, is a major problem.
"When these police from outside - even our own indigenous brothers - come here, we need to know if they are single or if they are married," he said.
"Because they come here and say, 'I don't have a wife' and the next thing you know three or four children will come and the woman is left with the children for her to fend for them and this is not fair."
This raises the issue of whether the Amerindian women who are allegedly exploited are underage or are adults are engaging in consensual sex.

Education campaign
Ethnic Relations Commission chairman Juan Edghill said the allegations will be investigated but he doubts whether the Commission can do much if two adults have agreed to sexual intercourse.
He believes that much will depend on public awareness and education, targeting the Amerindian communities.
"That will be out of our jurisdiction. We can't get into adults' lives and tell people who to sleep with or not to sleep with," he said.
"If you like the headmaster or the police officer, the ERC can't come in and determine that if itÂ’s consensual," Edghill said.
"But if it's a case that we're seeing a widespread situation where men come in to communities, make children, disappear and it's a burden on the social services of that community to take care of those children then education and internal mechanisms would have to be approached, it canÂ’t be an ERC approach."
Mr Jones said the Amerindians are also tired of being exploited by politicians in the run-up to general elections a time he calls the 'Mango Season'.
His comments come as the country gears up for the 2006 General Elections and politicians are visit Amerindian communities to try and secure votes by making promises and showering communities with gifts.
"Politicians come here and all you hear is 'who bad, who this, who that' all the time in our communities, election after election," the Chief of Chiefs said.
"What you find is you have a divide, so in between elections, we're ok but when the elections are coming near, the divisions begin and that is not a healthy situation."
The Chairman of the Ethnic Relations Commission wants to see this practice come to an end, and urged the Amerindians to cast their votes based on issues.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

35 Birthday and Black Magic Woman Festival

I celebrated my 35 Birthday last November 8 the. I was joined by my good friends and brother for this occasion. On the picture best friend Judith is missing and also Andre. They left earlier.
From left to right, back: Julien (bloodbrother), Ytel, Laurindo, me and Alexis; front: Collin, Barbara and Vincent, who was one week visiting from Curacao. The picture was taken by Jessica, with the blue shirt on the second picture below.

This Friday the Black Magic Woman Festival is starting on Friday with a concert by jazzsinger Denise Jannah with three singing guests. The festival, this year celebrating it's tenth anniversary, is the only festival in Holland with black women on the stage presenting different art forms: theatre, music, literature, visual arts, film and debate. More info

A very special guest this year is Valerie Mason-John, visiting from London. She has been invited to the festival due to her fiction debut Borrowed Body, a novel about a young black girl, growing up in fosterhomes in white Great Britain. She will be reading on the Poetry and Literature evening Tuesday November 15th. Tickets only 5,00 euro's, 020- 695 29 11

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Antillianen spelen De Zwarten

Antillianen spelen de Zwarten: The Antileans play The Blacks. The following piece is about a new intepretation of the famous play from Jean Genet. A play about the thoughs of whites about blacks and vice versa. The play is shown October 21 and 22 in Holland.

Antillianen spelen de Zwarten is een bijzonder stuk in de regie van Helene Pieter, waarin een groep Antilliaanse theaterspelers een absurdistisch stuk van Jean Genet op de planken zetten. Een stuk over zwarten over witten, en witten over zwarten. Ik heb het stuk kunnen zien april dit jaar en was aangenaam verrast. Niet alleen om de vaak aangrijpende spel van de (voor een deel) onervaren spelers, maar ook om de prachtige vormgever. De bekende beeldend kunstenaar Juan Carlos Tajes maakte voor deze voorstelling bijzondere maskers.

Onder de spelers zitten een paar bekenden. Mijn Tambú- collega Desiree Martis speelt erin, Sergio Belfor, de jongeman uit Rotterdam die zich kandidaat stelde voor het jongerenraad bij de Verenigde Naties en de beknde beeldend kunstenaar Rudy Martina.

De Antillianen spelen de Zwarten op vrijdag 21 oktober in Concordia in Den Haag.
Voor de voorstelling in Den Haag zijn er vanaf donderdag 13 oktober kaartjes à 13 Euro verkrijgbaar bij Toko Gouw, Rijswijkseweg 680, in Den Haag. Tel.: 070-4157755.

Op zaterdag 22 oktober spelen ze in Rasa in Utrecht.

U kunt luisteren naar een reportage van een repetitie, uitgezonden april 2005 bij de NPS Radio. Met dank aan journalist Mike Baal, die zijn site beschikbaar stelde, kunt u de reportage horen. Ga daarvoor naar

Mike Baal werkt als journalist. Bezoek om meer over zijn journalistiek werk te zien.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

To be a terrorist!

Wednesday I visited a debate on the treatment of minorities by the Chinese government.
Mrs Rebiya Kadeer (centre with picture) was one of the speakers that intrigued me a lot. This lady was a respected businesswomen in the autonomous region where the Uguir people lives. The Chinese government call her a terrorist. This because she stands for the right of her people to talk their own language, have their own religion, and educate their children the why they choose.

On August 22 we commemorated the Slave rebellion of the slaves in Curacao that started on August 17th, 1795. The main leader was known as Tula. One speaker at another commemoration stated that if Tula lived today, he would be called a terrorist. I'm sure that would happen. It happened to Mrs Kadir. The people in power decide which acts are terrorists ones, and which are official 'performance'. Mrs Kadeer was put into prison for her activities (as was Nelson Mandela, to mention just one). The Chinese rulers have the legal right to label her activities as terrorism, to judge her and they also imprisoned her. The same happened to the slave rebellion leader Tula. At the end he was killed. The Dutch colonial rulers in Curacao at that time had the right to call him a 'rioter', to judge him and his companions and to kill him, in a very cruel way.

I was impressed by Mrs Kadeer because of her stance. She stood there in De Balie in Amsterdam, using her own language (that had to be translated), made her statements and give examples of the things happening to her people back home. After she was released from prison this year she fleed to the US.
I hope I will have the strength and courage people like Mrs. Kadeer and Tula have, to stand for my the things I believe, even when the official rulers decide to call me a terrorist, which give them the right to punish, and at the end even kill me. Like they killed Tula.

China: The Next Generation - Forgotten minorities

Do China’s minorities celebrate? This evening you will be introduced to China's minorities. You will find out how Chinese authorities cope with minority-issues and will be informed first hand on the difficulties that these groups experience in their daily lifes.

Freedom of expression and religion continue to be a sensitive topic in China. The global war on terror has made the problems of minorities only harder. Besides Uighur human rights activists and exile community representatives, ITC (International Campaign for Tibet) and the UNPO (Organization of non Represented Peoples) will participate in this program.
Since the september 11 attacks in the United States, the Chinese authorities have used the global 'war on terrorism' to justify their crackdown on ethnic minorities who are pressing for greater autonomy over there historic regions. Arrests of so-called 'seperatists, terrorists and religious extremists' continue. Many of those charged with 'seperatist' or 'terrorist' offences face questionable trials and are reportedly sentenced to death.
One of the largest minorities - the Uighurs - live in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), located in the Northwest of China. The region once made up the central portion of the legendary Silk Road. The Uighurs are Turkish speaking people and primarily Muslim. At the moment, millions of Chinese immigrants control the region politically, economically and culturally. The Uighurs are suffering unemployment, discrimination and restrictions on their religious and cultural freedoms. A problem similar to the situation Tibetans increasingly face.
Speakers:Uighur speaker:Mrs. Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent Uighur human rights activist.
ITC (International Campaign for Tibet) speaker:Tsering Jampa Executive Director ITC Europe
UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization) speaker:Mr. Marino Busdachin General Secretary of the UNPO

In cooperation with:Amnesty Internationalprotest together with Amnesty on:
ITC (International Campaign for Tibet) (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization)
Wednesday October 5th 20:30hrs 10 euro discount 8 euro 4 euro Int. Student Discount

Saturday, October 01, 2005

In the following piece I talk about my visit to my island Curacao, the same week of a Cultural week, in which I saw a very nice performance by Grupo Kara. They turned the story of a very known traditional poem into a modern theatre performance. Culture is alive!

Mi a bai Kòrsou. Tabata un bishita basta kòrtiku. Mi a bai solamente un siman pa hasi un investigashon pa mi trabou. Un kolega a kompaña mi i nos a kombersá ku diferente hende. Mi isla ta keda algu bunita i tabata un eksperensha nobo di eksperensha Kòrsou dor di wowo di mi kolega ku ta Ulandes. E siman ku nos tabata na Kòrsou tabatin e tremendo Siman di Kultura, ku Kas di Kultura a organisá

Den kuadro di e siman aki mi a bishita e obra Buchi Fil di Grupo Kara. Esaki ta un grupo di hóbennan aktor ku ta aktua den nan tempu liber bou di guia di Giovanni Abbath. Algun aña promé mi a mira e poesia konosí aki di Pierre Lauffer hibá esenario na Den Haag. Grupo Kara a hasi algu impreshonante ku e historia aki. Nan a trese na un manera nobo, ku masha tiki teksto i hopi moveshon, ku músika, ritmo i baile. Na un manera rítmiko Grupo Kara a presentá por ehèmpel e esena ora Buchi Fil mester a ‘rosa e mondi’ den un koreografía masha bunita. Mi kolega ku no ta komprondé Papiamentu por a sigui henter e obra. Ta bon pa ora bo bishita Kòrsou eksperensha e tipo di kosnan aki tambe.

Den Siman di kultura Kòrsou ta mustra orguyoso ku su tradishon i kustumbernan. Tin un enfoke basta grandi si riba folklor i arte tradishonal. Mi ta komprondé hopi bon tambe ku esaki ta importante. Di e manera aki henter e pueblo ta partisipá. Pero tabata un ‘eye opener’ di mira na ki manera moderno Grupo Kara a trese nan obra. Esaki tambe ta kultura. E kultura bibu. Giovanni Abbath a skohe tambe pa enrikesé e historia. Den e vershon aki Mosa Nena ta bira un individuo ku su mes pensamentu. Nos ta mira Mosa Nena ninga, i despues aseptá e amor di Fil. Mosa Nena no tabata solamente un muhé deseá dor di hòmbernan i despues bendé. E biaha aki nos ta mira tambe un idea di kiko Nena lo por a hasi despues ku nan a bend’é.
Tabata bon di a mira e kosnan aki ku mi mes wowonan.

Buchi Fil

This is a play based on the poem by Pierre Lauffer. It is the tragic story of a slave, Buchi Fil, who lived and worked on the plantation of Knip. He was known as a strong person; in body and in mind. He falls in love with his negrita Mosa Nena. The plantation owner and a man called Bomba, plan to sell Mosa Nena to an overseas buyer. Tey think that selling and sending Mosa Nena away will break Buchi Fil's heart and make him lose all his strength.

Un siman ta muchu tiki. Ta solamente un dia nos tabata tin chèns pa bai laman i mi a skohe pa kore bai Banda abou, kome na un snèk na Barber i bai landa na Kenepa, e playa faborito di mi hubentut.

Visit to Curacao

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Getting online

Hello everybody,

I'm getting online. I mean at last I'm trying to publish online. In the next months I will try to enrich the web with my writings: poems and columns. Please comment.


Marlon in Amsterdam
Posted by Picasa