It is surprisingly easy to develop this.
I am gay. A Ugandan. Living and working in Uganda. I have involved myself in the campaign to get ‘rights’ as we call them. Simply to have other Ugandans realize that we are also human beings. And also so that we can live without fear; of arrest, of blackmail.
Yesterday I had a run in with the Ssempa Brigade. I must admit that I was shaken out of my complacency. I was shaken out of the perennial thought that I will always be fine. Because I realized at that particular moment that I was potentially in danger.
Thinking about this can make me develop a persecution complex. Thinking all the time that people are out to get me.
At work, I have been observing something interesting. It concerns me personally.
When the campaign began, I told my immediate boss, and my final boss. They shrugged it off. When I was outed, I was worried, but it seemed to work out. That is until I suddenly found that I had to work less hours. Surprisingly, I have since found that some people working the bureaucracy did want me out. But there is a sticking point. Someone else does not want me out.
It has become a tug of war. With one person countering attacks to protect, and others doing what they can to influence the decision, and the possibility of me staying put. I am in between. I know I have most at stake, but I also know that I should not do anything about it.
Thinking of Ssempa, I am incessed at him, and the bishops of the Churches in Uganda are justifying their hate with their love of ‘family values’. Before I would have hit out at Christians, all and sundry. But now, I do not. The person who is protecting me at work is actually a ‘savedee’. A fundamentalist Christian, very active in Church. Why find it necessary to protect me while under attack by others who believe that I am a disgusting pervert? I do not know. We have made this kind of compact where we both know what is happening, but we do not discuss it.
Yet I am warmed by that attitude.
Similar to Desmond Tutu. Why does he have to take on the Archbishop of Cantebury? Yet he did.
So, who is wrong and who is right? Those who show respect for an ideal which I can only call humane? Or those who are using an ideal to bash me?
May I confess to being a tiny little bit confused? I do want to figure them out of course. Both the bashers, and those who take un-asked for risks on my behalf. And they help me to feel less like I am continuously under attack.