I was at work, when my lover came. His face was long, and he had a newspaper. The early edition of Sunday's Red Pepper. He gave it to me, opened to a page for me to read. I read, looked up at him, a little stunned.
I have been expecting it. Outing, being outed, the Ugandan way. That means the Red Pepper. It is a rag. I don’t buy newspapers. Very simple reason. I spend less than five minutes going through them, and pick up all the necessary details in that time. I just find it easier to read the news online. If it is there.
But the Red Pepper, I do not read. Because it is just not worth the paper it’s printed on. Fact.
It has the most sensational headlines, and aims to publish the most ridiculous stories. With a minimum of accuracy, I may add.
About a year ago, they went out of their way to publish a list of those they said were gay people. They had quite a bit of problems, because of it. Since we outed ourselves this time, they kept a low profile. They have not been talking about the issue. That is, until today’s exclusive. The names of gay people.
Gay Ugandans outed by the Red Pepper again. The usual scenario. Enough information for you to suspect someone, but a hint here and there so that you cannot be sure. One of the facts wrong, or not exactly right. So that you cannot sue them, so that you cannot clean them out for libel.
For some reason they have not as yet put it on their online edition. They are lazy that way, but it may be that it is their strategy. Gay bashing is popular in
It matters. For this campaign, my lover has been a reluctant ally. For the simple reason that I am taking too high a profile in it. It makes him uncomfortable. He would rather have not. And of course it exposes him too. Because he is my lover. Now, that fear has been realised. I feature, or at least I think I do!
It matters. How many people are innocently being tainted? I don’t know, because I do not know all those listed.
And those who are not 'innocent'? Those who are gay and Ugandan? They have done nothing wrong, just that they are gay, and Ugandan, and the Red Pepper wants to sell and cash in on the novelty of being believed that they have an exclusive. So, jobs may be lost. And children disinherited. The Tabliq anti-gay brigade, which I had nervously laughed off because they don’t know us, they can easily start the gay bashing nightmare. Lynching. Stirring up the mass to mete out ‘mob justice’.
Yes, it matters. It has been rumoured that the reason that Gaetano was censured alone on the radio show was because certain influential people like Nsaba Buturo suspect him of being gay. Because he was positive, not negative like the other 2 people hosting the talk show. Mere suspicion of a different sexuality may make him lose his job there. And the Nsaba Buturos’ believe that a homosexual should have no rights of speech, debate, public hearing, or anything. A homosexual is fair game. It is a fact that the police only made calming noises when the Tabliqs talked of forming their 'anti-gay' brigade. In a country where 197 people were lynched last year alone according to police records. Because a gay human being is less than a human being. We are fair game.
It matters. We went to bed early. My lover was not tired, spent a restless night. In the morning he had a migraine. Usual for him when he is stressed out. But now he has come up fighting. We have been 'outed' before, and now that it has happened again, we have to face the music. Nothing like experience to rely on.
For the Red Pepper, they are going on to other juicy stories. They promise more next Sunday. For those who have been exposed, we begin to pay. Blood and tears. Yet freedom is the pot of gold at the foot of that rainbow.
To all Kuchus out there; We shall overcome. Someday.