Friday, 8 March 2013
Here's a website which deserves more attention
A few days ago I read a fascinating report by the Caribbean gay activist Maurice Tomlinson. It explained how, slowly but surely, LGBT rights were improving on the island nation of Barbados.
This sort of story tends to not get widely read. And that's because it doesn't tend to get reported in mainstream media, nor even in gay media. For one thing it is too nuanced, you have to explain stuff at length, and it doesn't really 'hang' on one event.
Other topics do have outlets which do this sort of knowledgeable, backgrounded and internationalist reporting: Foreign Policy Magazine or The Economist immediately spring to mind. But LGBT stories? Not so much.
So I was pleased to discover that Tomlinson's report wasn't just circulating on activist lists and amongst the NGOs, it was published on a website I'd never heard of which has stacks of similar reports.
76 Crimes is named for the countries around the world which criminalise homosexuality. Current stories include one by a Ugandan updating on the situation with the 'Kill the Gays' bill, how activists in Cameroon are teaching health workers about gender identity and sexual orientation and another report on similar work in Singapore.
The website is the work of American journalist Colin Stewart but much of its contributions come from writers from all around the world. Stewart has pulled together some of those contributions for the book, 'From Wrongs to Gay Rights', money from which funds the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports activists in many of those 76 countries.