Thursday, August 16, 2007

I am not evil

I did it! I went, and told my brother that I am gay.

Interesting. I was very jittery. I was fearful. I was very apprehensive about what would happen. Maybe I was justified, or I may not have been, but I did it, and I was not eaten alive! Maybe I should have had a bit more faith in the strength of his love for me. But then, that is the reason that I did go and tell him first, of all my family.

The day dawned beautiful. Sunny, bright, and my mind was clear. Tried to work at home for some time, but my concentration was off. A neighbour's pre-wedding party, kasiki, had kept us awake through most of the night. And I was full of nervous expectation.

Left for the taxi park at ten. And had to search through the New Park and then go to the Old Park. I waited for the vehicle to fill, and then a long one and a half hour journey. The road was good, but I knew I was deep in the village by the time I disembarked. Its amazing how much we tend to live in the city and believe everyplace is like it.

I was expected, a guest of honour. The brother, as friendly as ever. We connected, again, like we used to. In a way we do, and did have a special friendship. And it had not gone stale. We reminisced a lot, remembering thousands of things. After all, we had not had that kind of meeting for more than ten years. I saw his younger son, who I had not seen in a long while, the wife and others. They slew the fatted calf in my honour.

At first I was not really ready to reveal why I had come. Was a bit fearful. He did not press. We talked.

After lunch, I raved up my courage. Told him I had something to tell him. But I wanted out of the house. I did not want anyone to hear what I had to say!!!

We went out. I took my time, as we had a brief walk through the countryside. It is beautiful Uganda. A lush wild green, tamed by man but just. It was relaxing, a far cry from Kampala’s hustle and bustle.

At last I told him. Said I am gay. A homosexual.

He was silent. For such a long while that I thought I had done it. He was going to throw me out or something violent. But I guess he was trying to find his feet. He had not expected it of me. And he had not expected that kind of thing at all. Anything but that.

Took him about another fifteen minutes. Then he started asking questions. Its amazing, most people in Uganda are so clueless that even the very basics have to be spelled out. I did my best. But it was draining.

We talked. He questioned, wanted to know how it started, whether I was abused, or taken advantage of. I could see where his mind was leading, and carefully blew the theories out before they were fully formed. Then he focused on my faith, or the lack thereof. But I had a reply to that.

At last he seemed to focus. Told me that he had heard me through, but to him his basis was the Bible as the word of God. That it said of homosexuality that it was an abomination. I looked at him, told him that I could not control how others thought about me. Then I said something which though not thought out before hand struck him hard. I told him that I did not control what others thought about me, but I knew that I was not evil.

He stopped. It stumped him and I realised it. He knew I was not evil.

The jury is out, because I bet he is not really decided on how to react. Ominous it was that he did not ask us to pray. He is that kind of person. Maybe he thought it was not appropriate.

But we left each other with smiles.

I don’t want to lose him. However far apart we may seem sometimes. And even on this thing. He is my brother and was a constant presence in my childhood. I hope I do not lose him. But I realise though I am anchored, he is the one at sea without an anchor. Wish there was something like PFLAG here. But there is none.

I will hope for the best.


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