Commentary

For 1 million people, blog unmasks anti-LGBTI violence

A map of the whole world?  Well, yes, but it's actually a map of all the locations where readers of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog live or are traveling. Readers come from every country except perhaps North Korea and the territory of Western Sahara.

A map of the whole world? Almost. It’s actually a map of all the locations where readers of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog live or are traveling. Readers come from every country except perhaps North Korea and the territory of Western Sahara. About half of all visitors come from the United States, followed in popularity by the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

More than a million people have visited the Erasing 76 Crimes blog since its launch in March 2012.

The 1-million mark was passed on June 14, 2015, according to statistics compiled by the WordPress blog management system. Each of the 1 million is a unique visitor; repeat visits are not included in this statistic.

Wordpress statistics on June 14, 2015.

WordPress statistics on June 14, 2015.

Visitors have come from every country in the world. The greatest numbers come from the United States (324,959 views so far this year); the United Kingdom (66,960 so far this year); Canada (43,121); and Australia (19,327).

The blog would be much more effective if readers contributed to it instead of just reading it appreciatively. So far, the expenses of reporter/activists working in homophobic countries have been paid almost entirely from the pockets of the blog’s volunteer editor/publisher and a volunteer editor.

Click this image to contribute to the work of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.

Click this image to contribute to the work of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog.

With contributions from supporters, the blog’s coverage could be widened to more of the 76-plus countries where LGBTI people are unjustly imprisoned, beaten up, tortured and discriminated against.  Can you not spare $50 to support freedom from torture for LGBTI people abroad? How about $150?

Despite the personal risks in homophobic countries, this blog’s reporters work without pay.  Only their reporting expenses are reimbursed, such a bus fare to face-to-face interviews.

Their work informs people throughout the world.  Among the 76-plus countries with anti-gay laws that are the subject of this blog, the most visits so far this year came from:

  • India (7,015 views so far this year);
  • Malaysia (6,113 this year);
  • Jamaica (5,134);
  • Singapore (6,546);
  • Kenya (3,352);
  • Uganda (2,924);
  • Indonesia (2,621);
  • Nigeria (2,259);
  • United Arab Emirates (2,153);
  • Trinidad (2,020);
  • Russia (1,620 — as shown on the map above);
  • Pakistan (1,589); and
  • Saudi Arabia (1,585).

While those statistics are heartening, the more emotionally rewarding work of the Erasing 76 Crimes blog has been the opportunity to support the work of brave activists in violently anti-LGBT countries.

The family of Eric Lembembe visits his grave. (Photo courtesy of Camfaids)

The family of Eric Lembembe visits his grave. (Photo courtesy of Camfaids)

Activists in Cameroon cite the work of this blog, especially articles by  journalist/activist Eric Lembembe in 2012-2013, for focusing international attention on the plight of LGBT Cameroonians and helping the advocacy group Camfaids attract financing that allowed it to open an educational center, provide legal assistance to LGBT defendants, and provide nutrition for LGBT prisoners. Lembembe was murdered in July 2013.

Lembembe’s successor, writing under the pseudonym Erin Royal Brokovitch, has continued the tradition of hard-hitting exposés of anti-gay bias in Cameroon.

Activists in Zambia praise the blog for focusing international attention on the trial of two allegedly gay Zambian men who faced the possibility of life in prison on homosexuality charges.  They were acquitted in July 2014, after spending more than a year in prison.

Logo of the No Strings podcast

Logo of the No Strings podcast

More recently, the blog has worked to promote the No Strings podcast, which fights against homophobia in Nigeria; supported a Ugandan activist who needed eye surgery after a transphobic attack; and provides ongoing publicity and occasional editing help for Uganda’s Come Out Post-Test Club, which provides training, advocacy and health information for the sex-worker and trans community in the poorest sections of Kampala.

The blog has also worked with Jamaican activist/writer Maurice Tomlinson to try to make a difference for homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica and with “Erin Royal Brokovitch” to help Cameroonian track star Thierry Essamba, who was left homeless after he was ejected from the national team on suspicion that he was gay.

So far, those particular efforts have been in vain.  Police have dispersed those homeless Jamaican youths, not even allowing them to sleep in a drainage ditch. Sports organizations have tut-tutted about the treatment of Essamba without providing him any relief or even a ticket to the Gay Olympics.

Nevertheless, the fight goes on for justice for LGBTI people worldwide. Please provide financial help so the battle will be won soon.

 

 

2 thoughts on “For 1 million people, blog unmasks anti-LGBTI violence

  1. Pingback: 1 million visits to Erasing 76 Crimes blog in 2015 | 76 CRIMES

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