[OSM-talk] [HOT] LGBTQ people at HOT Summit?

Rory McCann rory at technomancy.org
Fri Feb 23 21:05:51 UTC 2018


I always presumed this was caused by people not considering it, rather
than active malice. Straight privilege, eh? :)

Yes there are limitations with holding events in NA/Europe, both legal
(immigration systems) and practical (higher relative cost). SotMs'
scholarship programmes are attempt to acknowledge and address this. And
we should do better, and keep these barrier(s) in mind. There are
countries in the global south, in Africa, where homosexuality is legal BTW.

Some concrete, constructive suggestions:

Inform any/all LGBTQ attendees that they need to go to Narnia (i.e. deep
in the closet). This might be impossible for some (e.g. trans people).
People should consider locking down their social media accounts, and
consider what apps or photos they have on their phones. One run in with
the police, and they look at your phone, and it's game over. (I didn't
do this when I went to Tanzania, but I did when considering going to Iran).

First option: Make this a no-LGBTQ event. Remove references to "sexual
orientation" and "gender identity" from the CoC. Allow homophobic and
transphobic harassment/abuse/insults at the event.

Second option: Try to make this event as LGBTQ-friendly /as possible/.
Reword the CoC to demote "sexuality" & "gender identity" sections to
reflect this, and acknowledge that not all (homo/transphobic) incidents
are actionable. i.e. Allow certain amounts of homophobic or transphobic
insults/etc at the event.

Your CoC already says police will only be contacted if the complainant
wants it, that's good. I suggest another rule: "Don't report any
attendees (& friends/family) to the police for LGBTQ activity"[0].

In the last few months, the Tanzanian government[1][2], and police, have
announced a crackdown on gay rights, and they're implementing it.
Arresting LGBTQ people[3][4], and owners of venues[5], which host
pro-LGBTQ events, and shutting down NGOs which promote LGBTQ

Can you trust the venue to not inform the police? If there's a dispute
and you want to remove someone from the event, what will any local
security staff, or local volunteers, do with those threats hanging over
them? Be conscience that if you get the police involved in any incident,
the accused might points out a homosexual in the mist to deflect
attention & discredit your organization.

LGBTQ people can go to Tanzania. But the organizers ability to enforce a
CoC in this area is severely limited. This is why you cannot continue to
call it a (LGBTQ) safe space.

Good luck.



[0] Specific wording. A general "don't call police" enables abusers

[1] 'Seeds of hate' sown as Tanzania starts LGBT crackdown. The
Guardian, 8 August 2016

[2] Tanzania suspends HIV/AIDS programs in new crackdown on gays.
Chicago Tribune, 23 November 2016

[3] Lesbianism lands four people in Mwanza court. The Citizen, 9
December 2017

[4] Police arrest woman in Tanzania over video of same-sex kiss.
Reuters, 2 December 2017.

[5] Zanzibar police nab 20 over homosexuality. Daily News, 17 September 2017

[6] State suspends NGO supporting gay marriages. Daily News, 21 October 2017

[7] Nchemba: We’ve no room for gays. Daily News, 26 June 2017,

On 16/02/18 22:55, Rachel Levine wrote:
> Dear Rory,
> *
> Thank you for bringing up this important issue. We recognize the very 
> legitimate concern you raised and deeply regret any challenges this may 
> present to some in our community. This was not our intention.
> When our working group made the decision, we were proud to announce the 
> first ever HOT Summit at one of our project sites, and the first ever 
> HOT Summit in Africa. One of the primary reasons for the decision was 
> inclusivity: with a number of our colleagues and community members being 
> unfairly denied visas in the last two years, this was a unique 
> opportunity to rotate the Summit to a non-North America/Europe location. 
> Our goal was simply to welcome so many of our friends and community 
> members who may have been previously left out; at the same time 
> fostering the growth and expansion of OpenStreetMap and FOSS in Africa.
> Community input was requested at all stages of the process as we began 
> meeting more than three months ago. This included open group meetings 
> and a community survey in which over 110 people participated. 
> Unfortunately, this is the first time the issue has been raised and 
> highlights the importance of increasing diversity of all kinds in the 
> HOT and FOSS4G communities and Working Groups.
> We will take the following actions based on your message:
>   *
>     Review the code of conduct to make sure it communicates correctly
>     (we welcome you and others to help with this and/or join our Working
>     Group)
>   *
>     Add specific travel guidance to the website on safety and security
>   *
>     Make a commitment to ensure this is part of the discussion when
>     deciding the location for all of our future Summits, invite others
>     to join and help discuss
> Again, we welcome help and participation from all community members in 
> making the event as inclusive as we, as a combined FOSS4G and HOT 
> community, possibly can. The joint vision behind locating the Summit in 
> Africa is indeed inclusivity and opening opportunities for traditionally 
> underrepresented groups. HOT strives for equal opportunities and 
> inclusivity in all our projects and activities. If you’d like to join 
> Summit Working Group, you can do so here: 
> https://groups.google.com/a/hotosm.org/d/forum/summit
> We are also happy to answer questions from any individuals who may not 
> want to message a public list. Please reach out to summit at hotosm.org 
> <mailto:summit at hotosm.org>.
> - The HOT Summit Working Group and FOSS4G 2018 Organizing Committee
> *
>         On 16 Feb 2018 11:10 am, "Rory McCann"
>         <rory at technomancy.org<mailto:rory at technomancy.org>> wrote:____
>             Hi,
>             So the HOT Summit is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. But, erm,
>             it's illegal
>             to be gay in Tanzania[1]. Travel advice from the UK[2] and US[3]
>             governments repeats that: "Homosexuality is not tolerated".
>             The code of conduct for this conference[4] is (mostly)
>             excellent, it
>             covers "sexual orientation". But that's impossible in a
>             country with
>             such laws.
>             (IMO) this conference cannot be a safe space for LGBTQ
>             people[5]. We
>             have the strange situation of HOT saying "This is a safe
>             space for LGBTQ
>             people, but follow the law which makes your existence
>             illegal"[6]. I am
>             flabbergasted at how HOT can think this can be a safe space,
>             and HOT
>             runs the risk of looking like they don't know what a safe
>             space is...
>             There's nothing wrong (IMO) with a CoC adapted to local
>             laws[7]. But
>             please be honest. The conference venue is homophobic. HOT
>             should delete
>             the "sexual orientation" parts from your CoC. SotM Africa
>             2017 in Uganda
>             had a similar CoC[8], and similar laws. There is talk about
>             (good) CoCs
>             being mandatory for events, and if this is what passes as a
>             CoC, then
>             we've already given up.
>             There's an argument about how far to go ("This country's
>             anti-discrimination law doesn't go as far as my home
>             country! Racist
>             country!"), but I think there should be *a* line. Let's talk
>             about that.
>             "Illegal to be gay or trans[9]" is (IMO) a good line for
>             LGBTQ issues.
>             It looks like limiting LGBTQ attendance wasn't a deal
>             breaker for HOT,
>             or that diversity/inclusivity just isn't thought about much,
>             which is sad.
>             -- 
>             Rory
>             [1] Technically same-sex sex is illegal, and so is having a
>             same-sex
>             spouse
>             https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Tanzania<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Tanzania>
>             [2]
>             https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/local-laws-and-customs<https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/local-laws-and-customs>
>             [3]
>             https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Tanzania.html<https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Tanzania.html>
>             [4]
>             http://2018.foss4g.org/code-of-conduct.html<http://2018.foss4g.org/code-of-conduct.html>
>             [5] Same-sex sex is illegal in TZ, along with having a same
>             sex spouse.
>             I haven't see anything on trans laws, but I think we can guess.
>             [6]
>             https://twitter.com/hotosm/status/964252343318532096<https://twitter.com/hotosm/status/964252343318532096>
>             [7] I propose: "If the event covers a region where it's legal to
>             be gay, then the event cannot be held in a place where it's
>             illegal to
>             be gay." This makes SotM Africa (or global SotM) in Uganda
>             wrong, but SotM Tanzania in Tanzania OK. "SotM East Africa"
>             in Uganda would be OK.
>             [8]
>             https://web.archive.org/web/20170710101126/http://sotmafrica.org:80/registration/code-of-conduct/<https://web.archive.org/web/20170710101126/http:/sotmafrica.org:80/registration/code-of-conduct/>
>             [9] "illegal to be trans" is often laws against
>             "crossdressing". This is
>             happening now in Aceh, Indonesia, and the modern Gay Pride
>             parades
>             sprung from such a law in New York, USA in 1969.
>             (I've been to Tanzania a few times, and it's a great
>             country, Dar &
>             Zanzibar are wonderful tourist destinations, and I totally
>             recommend the
>             area. But LGBTQ folk need to be careful.)
>             On 14/02/18 01:49, Tyler Radford wrote:____
>                 Dear HOT Community,
>                 You are invited to the 2018 HOT Summit at FOSS4G, August
>                 29-31in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania!
>                 This year we again had a great selection of potential
>                 locations for the HOT Summit and were faced with a hard
>                 decision as we were very keen to have a joint event with
>                 both the OpenStreetMap and FOSS4G communities. As a
>                 first time chance to hold the Summit in a HOT project
>                 location, and through a wonderful partnership we are
>                 pleased to bring the HOT Summit to FOSS4G this year. HOT
>                 will lead the “Widening Access and Humanitarian Mapping”
>                 conference track. We welcome you to Tanzania -- home to
>                 our flagship Ramani Huria and Data Zetu projects.
>                 The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial
>                 (FOSS4G) conference is the yearly gathering of the OSGeo
>                 community and this year they are looking to bring impact
>                 stories to their audience. With humanitarian and
>                 disaster response use of FOSS, especially in regards to
>                 geospatial, the HOT community brings an amazing showcase
>                 to an already impressive conference program. We can’t
>                 wait to see the collaboration between these open
>                 communities.
>                 Key Dates:
>                    *
>                      Coming Soon: Discounted Ticket Sales for HOT community
>                    *
>                      March 21: Presentation Submission
>                 <http://2018.foss4g.org/programme.html<http://2018.foss4g.org/programme.html>>Deadline
>                    *
>                      August 27-28: FOSS4G Pre-Conference Workshops
>                      ​​
>                    *
>                      August 29-31: FOSS4G and HOT Summit Main Conference
>                    *
>                      September 1-2: FOSS4G Code Sprints and Community Events
>                 Stay tuned to http://2018.foss4g.orgformore information
>                 on FOSS4G and the HOT Summit.
>                 --The 2018 HOT Summit Working Group
>                 *
>                 <https://donate.hotosm.org>
>                 _______________________________________________
>                 HOT mailing list
>                 HOT at openstreetmap.org<mailto:HOT at openstreetmap.org>
>                 https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot<https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot>____
>             _______________________________________________
>             HOT mailing list
>             HOT at openstreetmap.org<mailto:HOT at openstreetmap.org>
>             https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot<https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot>____
>         _______________________________________________
>         HOT mailing list
>         HOT at openstreetmap.org<mailto:HOT at openstreetmap.org>
>         https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot<https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/hot>____

More information about the talk mailing list