Kushaba Moses Mworeko

Sweden’s “Forcible sterilization” and Creating Change

Sweden: Transgender actress mourns her “forcible sterilization” – “Many countries typically seen as progressive on LGBT rights continue to mandate the practice.”

“’Forcible sterilization’ has been quietly practiced for decades in countries typically cast as progressive on LGBT rights: France, the Netherlands, Australia and a number of U.S. states still require it. Italy and Germany have just recently overturned similar legislation.”

Having just returned from Creating Change (3000 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender activists and allies, annually), I found this coverage of actress Aleksa Lundberg, a well-known Swedish transwoman, particularly ridiculous.

Although Swedish actress Aleksa Lundberg made her complete transition in her late teens, before her career, her birth gender just entered the public’s consciousness 4 years ago when she started telling her story to the press and on stage to take a stand against efforts to block the repeal of this heinous law.

Transwomen in Sweden cannot obtain their desired gender documentation (the completion and certification of their transition in the governments eyes) unless they undergo a full surgical removal of all male sex organs, while being prohibited from pre-freezing sperm for future use. These forced surgeries are a clear violation of human rights, something 50 Swedish transwomen, in a population of only 9 million, needlessly suffer every year.

This practice unfortunately harkens back to Sweden’s questionable medical research experiments on humans that didn’t officially end until the early 70s, as pointed out by Par Wiktorsson, president of the organizing committee for this year’s Stockholm Pride Festival.

“. . . the current law is reminiscent of eugenics programs that Swedish academics and doctors began to pursue in the 1930s and actually continued to practice until 1976.

“Supporters of the law don’t want the sterilization referred to as ‘forcible,’ but they didn’t want to call it that in the past either,” he says. “But . . . the state has always stood behind this demand with the threat of [withholding medical] treatment. It is shameful that we have forcible sterilization in the year 2011.”.

“Forcible sterilization” has been a practice for a century in America, notably in the southern states. Women and men, trans or not, are rightly seeking compensation as highlighted recently in North Carolina, where an intrusive state government shattered life aspirations of 1000s who were forced to undergo this despicable practice, by force and/or without informed consent. In the 60s, just being an unmarried teen mother was justification for sterilization.

‘They cut me open like I was a hog,” testified Eliane Riddick, who was sterilized by  North Carolina at age 14 under the premise that she was promiscuous and didn’t get along with others. “I couldn’t get along well with others because I was hungry. I was cold. I was a victim of rape.”

This is a practice that is disturbing especially to human rights defenders in this 21st century. I know that centuries ago, people didn’t have many choices in regard to rights and the governments were left largely unchecked. England exiled its own citizens, those deemed undesirable by the state, to primitive and barren lands 1000s of miles away. This business of creating a perfect world in places through erasure has been going on for a long time but civilization cannot stop banning practices like forced sterilization and others forms of disenfranchisement or it will stay in this modern dark ages.

“It infuriates me that a group of people think they have a right to tell another group of people what they can and cannot do,” Lundberg says.

As a human rights activist, I say, They don’t!”

It’s high time every lover of liberty and equality is coming together to denounce such heinous acts and continue to CREATE CHANGE.


HPV Alert! Stop! Breathe.

Recently people have been alerted to new facts about the Human Papilloma Virus, known as HPV, a sexually transmitted virus known to cause cervical cancer in women and other cancers, predominately in women but also in men. HPV really represents a cluster of over 100 viruses, most of which are not cancer causing. But now we know HPV can cause heart disease in women, also, and that both men and women are facing HPV strains that cause oral cancer (mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils). More information can be accessed at websites such as the Center for Disease Control, the National Cancer Institute, and the UK-based Mouth Cancer Foundation.

Increasingly, pre-sexual girls are accessing one of the proven preventative inoculations, such as Gardasil, parents protecting their children much like they would from from measles and mumps. There is now a new urgency for all pre-sexual adolescents, not just girls anymore but all boys as well, to get the anti-cancer vaccine.

Much like the onset of the AIDS epidemic, HPV seemed to arrive on our doorstep, incognito and caused by behaviors people enjoy, even crave.

The  era of AIDS started with people losing their lives thinking they were bewitched, the etiology hidden, and its spread seemingly chaotic. Eventually researchers drilled down adequately to identify the risks involved in certain behaviors: engaging in unprotected sex with an infected partner, sharing intravenous needles with an infected partner, or receiving a transfusion of infected blood. Researchers are desperately seeking a vaccine and recently have made encouraging progress toward that goal.

HPV infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa, such as the vagina, penis, and anus, and now its transmission orally has been proven indisputably. We are at the stage now where researchers are identifying risky behaviors, and a public health campaign has begun to ensure every pre-sexual boy and girl has access to preventive vaccination. Everyone who engages in oral sex, gay and straight, must consider oral sex a potential danger zone, and we have to learn to protect ourselves and others, again.

All I am saying is this cancer causing virus shouldn’t take us by surprise like HIV did. Let us be vigilant, and do our part to make sure pre-sexual girls/women and boys/men receive their life-saving HPV inoculations. Let’s talk about it wherever we are. Thank heaven, we now have advanced research and technology. We will survive.



Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo Calls for Compassion

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.  Dalai Lama

The other evening I received an email inviting me to meet the man commonly refered to as the ‘Desmond Tutu’ of Uganda – Bishop Christopher Senyonjo. Bishop Senyonjo’s unfailing support for the LGBTI people cost him his job in the Anglican Church of Uganda and everything else but his integrity. To his fellow Anglican Bishops and church leaders, he is a useless, good for nothing person, BUT to the LGBTI community, he is a savior and that is what keeps him standing. When the Kampala tabloids called for the hanging of LGBTI Ugandans, they included his picture.

He has been aggressive in his fight against the Ugandan Parliament’s “Anti-Homosexuality Bill,” which calls for imprisonment and death. Against all odds, he has gone on to create a safe space where the LGBTI/straight allies find refuge while the rest of the population turns against them: St. Paul’s Reconciliation And Equality Centre-Kampala.

St. Paul Reconciliation Centre pursues a holistic approach to the challenges in Uganda, providing essential services while also seeking systemic change and fostering genuine reconciliation for LGBTI persons and other marginalized groups. Its programs include business development, HIV education and services, counseling, and support for expanded schools, LGBTI advocacy and dialogue, an LGBTI legal resource team, and a sanctuary safe house for activists who frequently need to go into hiding.

Whenever he is around town, I get to see him, and over the weekend had another opportunity to listen to him speak at All Souls Episcopal Church in Washington, DC. Throngs listened to him talk about Compassion and call for all people to be tolerant of everybody like Jesus was.

He thanked Americans for their good heart and for sacrificing their huge taxes towards helping the disadvantaged populations around the world, including but not limited to the LGBTI community in Uganda.

Anyone who wants to contribute to this cause…please visit the center’s website.

“The only weapon we can use to fight our battles isn’t guns, atomic bombs, or missiles, but compassion.” Bishop Christopher Senyonjo


Human trafficking

A voice is a human gift; it should be cherished and used, to utter fully human speech as possible. Powerlessness and silence go together. — Margaret Atwood

Back in 2009 while in Uganda, I found myself involved in a scam that fell neatly in the stereotype that Nigeria is the NO.1 source of scammers. I am not sure about that but I was conned by a South African-Nigerian. His name was Nick Oppenheimer, a supposed COO of a family business in South Africa.

He promised to offer me a job. He told me that it would be easier to start with owning shares in the company and because I was poor, he offered to buy shares for me, which he “did” through this address:  Barnard Jacobs & Mellet Holdings Ltd,  24 Fricker Rd, Illovo, Johannesburg  2196 .

Apparently, huge amounts were paid for stock in my name and I started receiving trade alerts of this nature Mr. MOSES MWOREKO KUSHABA,  Petrosa shares of 4400 units have been credited to your A/C registered with us.  Barn Mell Ltd.

I was then asked to send some money to my  account through an Inter-Bank transfer in Lagos, Nigeria, after which, my employment letter would be sent to me by Mr. John Cray.

I was so excited and borrowed $100 to send to Lagos, and subsequently I received the employment letter. Then I was asked to send more money.

Nicky, my supposed boss to be, was on a tour of the company’s business in Nigeria. He told me he would pass through Uganda to take me to South Africa.

While in Nigeria, I talked to “him” on phone and he started telling me to send more money. At this point, I began to investigate the company.

I sent an inquiry to the actual organization about my accounts status, and quickly learned this was a scam. During that same time, there were many employment agencies that were recruiting people for jobs in UAE, and in talking to my friends, we remembered this. This ended my search for employment in those companies.

Human trafficking is real. Desperate situations put people in compromised situations leading to suffering, like Masud’s story. Many end up as domestic slaves or indentured sex workers.

Masud was 12. His parents were persuaded, tricked, to let him be taken from his home in Bangladesh to a new life in England. He was sold, “Trafficked.”

He left his home with an unknown man who travelled with him to London then onto the southwest where he was abandoned in an Indian restaurant. To survive he worked in the restaurant, lived in one of its small store rooms, sleeping next to jars of chutney and bags of onions. Sometimes when there was no work he was forced to sleep on the streets. He was not able to go to school and his life was controlled by the restaurant owners.

When he was 28, with the help of STOP THE TRAFFIK, he contacted the local police and immigration team who helped him to obtain a passport and identity documents, resulting in him being able to return to Bangladesh.

Stories like Masud’s are happening all the time, making people trafficking the world’s fastest growing illegal trade.

Let’s take a moment and look at the statistics from UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking.

1.4 million – 56% – are in Asia and the Pacific

250,000 – 10% – are in Latin America and the Caribbean

230,000 – 9.2% – are in the Middle East and North Africa

130,000 – 5.2% – are in sub-Saharan countries. An estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) at any given time as a result of trafficking.

270,000 – 10.8% – are in industrialised countries

200,000 – 8%- are in countries in transition

Sexual Trafficking – The Facts – VIDEO

These helpless people need a voice. There are many operators just like “Nicky” out there who need to be exposed and dealt with to avoid more stories like Masud’s.

The State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2011 provides a detailed account on this issue.

What do you think of when you hear the term “human trafficking?” Do you know someone who is in your country as a result of it? Tell us your ideas for solving this most horrid aspect the the global culture of sexual violence?


Image by Steve Weaver, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License.
Image Description; An exhibition set up in Trafalgar square from September 22nd to the 30th 2007 by the Helen Bamber organization to highlight and lobby the government to the shocking trade of sex trafficking and enslavement happening on our doorsteps. To find out more and to sign a petition go here.

Call for Justice

In 2006, I went to Congo and was fascinated to see observe what I had been taught in school about the eruption of volcano mountains.

People in this part of the country have been experiencing unending wars. Wars in and out, whether they are from within or out, or their own making or imposed on them. On top of the wars, then the eruption of the Virunga Mountains covering the whole city, ending in Lake Kivu. Luckily enough, people didn’t die because they were warned in advance but nothing of the property left behind was recovered.

The airport was very busy not with local passengers but the MONUC –United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The so-called peace keepers.

I still don’t understand the UN’s role, if it’s to protect citizens, why people are still dying in large numbers without anything being done. Why doesn’t the UN declare DRC a crisis area. People in this area have suffered for too long!

Much attention has been put on the Ivory Coast, North Africa, and the Middle East, crises that are just months old. The only thing they are good at is changing the mission’s name, which I think becomes more confusing to the local people. It’s now MONUSCO, United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Silence has killed people and it’s high time people stepped up — the media, the International community, every person. Listen to the outcry of the Congolese. Remember, their’s is one of the richest African Countries in minerals and natural resources, and war, famine, and poverty enable those in power who would exploit us and the others who stand by silently. Just my opinion.

Please take a look at this documentary for more.

What Sexual Freedom Means To Me – Kushaba Moses Mworeko

To me Sexual Freedom is the inherent liberty of people to embrace our God-given, beautiful, and sexy bodies, sexual organs, feelings and acts.

I look  at myself  as “a free and empowered person” working to emancipate LGBT and HIV-positive people in Uganda, Africa, and elsewhere from a life of bondage into a world of freedom, liberty, diversity, and respect for all experiences.

As adults, mature people, productive citizens, and observers of the law can we have sex with whomever, whenever, wherever,however we want?

Can we lay a foundation for the young and the generations to come to have and enjoy all the human rights including sexual freedom they are entitled to?

Is it possible to liberate those people still in bondage, unempowered, suffering at the expense of traditional belief systems?

The resounding answer is: “Yes We Can!”

When we KNOW what we DESERVE what we DESIRE we are able to pursue our desire with boldness and determination.

-Kushaba Moses Mworeko