Sudan: Breaking News – LGBT Has Hit Sudan

Published: August 18, 2011

Concerned by the entrenched homophobia (along with severe prejudice towards LGBT people in general) within Sudanese society, Ghareeb considers what explains the persistence of extreme intolerance.

There is a Sudanese website called Rumat Alhadag which posted in 2009 an article about the establishment of the Sudanese LGBT Association Freedom Sudan and its goal to improve the rights of LGBT individuals in Sudan. A quick analysis of the replies to this article reveals the following:
There were 39 replies (repetitions were not counted)

– While only four replies reflected positive attitudes toward homosexuality and homosexuals, 33 replies displayed a negative (many times very aggressive) attitude toward the issue. However, one reply acknowledged its existence without showing a clear attitude and another one only displayed a surprise feeling

– Words used to describe homosexuals included ‘dregs’, ‘decadents’, ‘immoral’, ‘animals alike’ and ‘salacious’, with calls to ‘be expelled to an empty jungle’, ‘buried alive’ and ‘pursuit by authorities’.

Before the establishment of the LGBT association in Sudan (Freedom Sudan) in 2006, homosexuality was a taboo subject and not many people dared to talk about it publicly and if they did so they would then have to face fierce and sometimes personal attacks from the society members. Even if they displayed a judgmental negative attitude toward the issue they would probably be labelled with descriptions like ‘profligate’ and ‘excitement seekers’ and accused with ‘attempting to distort the image of Sudan’.

Sexual behaviour in Sudanese culture is strongly linked to honour (the honour of the individual and the honour of the group are inseparable) and the concept of ‘honour’ is a great and dangerous deal here in Sudan; it pushes many people to lie even to themselves if it was necessary in order to protect it. That is why these attempts to talk freely about homosexuality were met by such enormous denial and aggressive attack. Even until now after it has started to become less and less a forbidden subject, many people still think that this issue shouldn’t be discussed openly and should be dealt with secretly by security measures only. After all (according to these voices) these ‘deviants’ represent only a very small and closed group in Sudan and no one supports them.

Full text of article available at link below –

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