Friday, August 31, 2007

A Mistake, My Mistake

This morning (30/08/07), I was surfing the net. The blogosphere, as it is called. I got across this nest of blogging Ugandans. I was amused. Not seen too many of my type. I mean my country men and women.

Then I realised that they were discussing homosexuals. The debate that I have been so happy we instigated just a few weeks ago. And I settled down to read. By the end I was incensed. I felt dehumanised. Really angry. They were and are Ugandans. Most likely mid to high income earners, and they did claim to have at least some acquaintances in Uganda who are gay. But they sincerely did not believe that gay Ugandans are human. The humanity seems to stop when a person is defined gay. So, he has a contagious disease. They should come out so that the world knows them. So that they can keep us away from their children.

We are curiosities. We are something that is more than curiosities. We are rare things to be stared at and warn the children about. One said that she will keep her children away from us.

Now, as I write, one of my nephews is looking over my shoulder. He is a bright one. He is in P1, and now his brother comes near. And they are happy being near their uncle. Of course hate is learnt. These kids will not learn to hate me, until they are told to stay away from me. Or they may just as well learn to reject hate. They may say that their uncle is something that they respect. A human being. And they will think that if gay people are like me, then they cannot be bad people. That will be in the future.

I was fuming by the time I finished reading one blog entry. I must say I lashed out in anger. I was so ashamed of what supposed friends actually think about what I am.

But that was some time ago. I have cooled down now.

Dialogue is good. It is what I seek, that people may know more about me, and kind of beat the myths about my sexuality. Horrible hurtful myths. That is why we had the debate. That is why we came out and have started this media campaign. Because we are tired of the closets that seem to be a perennial part of our society.

But then I should not be hurt if there is something wrong with the way that they think. The very myths that I am keen to dismiss are the ones making me rail against these guys.

Ok. That was my mistake.

Have to remember that my strength, our strength does not lie in the numbers. Our strength lies in the rightness of our cause. Cony. But very very true.

So, if you are reading this blog and you are one of those Ugandan bloggers, remember, yes, I was incensed when I left that nasty comment. But it was also because you seem to think that because I am gay I am less than human. I have to tell you that I did not ask for this blessing like I did not ask for my dark skin. But because of the insight that I have into myself, I would not give it back for anything. Being gay is part of me, and it is part of what makes me what I am. It is such an integral part of my makeup that I will no longer satisfy my detractors by wishing it away. I will not act like Senator Craig, recently in the news. I will not be like Pastor Haggard. I am, and will remain gay and proud, a Ugandan.


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Time off for some Good loving

Well, I am a human being. So, even in the midst of the tension of this campaign, I find that I crave love. I crave the feeling of completeness that I find with my love with me. I find the need for some great loving.

Yesterday, I was shocked when I heard about Gaetano's suspension. I actually heard that he had been chucked from the station. And I was a bit put off. I was worried. I immediately told my immediate boss at work. Asked him whether he had any problem with my involvement in this whole homosexual issue. He was caz. That's Uganenglish for casual, slang for 'cool about it'. He offered to tell my 'boss of bosses'. I thanked him. Told him no. I would do the honours myself.

I mean, my boss of bosses and I, we have a bit of history. I think of him as a friend. And I think he once suspected me of being gay. No. I did not come on to him. Just that his outlook on the world is a bit different.

So, this morning, using MTN’s freebee airtime, I rang up my boss. He was cool. Pretty cool. And when I rung off, I went to tell my lover, who loves sleeping in. I jumped onto the bed and hugged him. When he asked me who I had been talking to, I just told him, the boss of bosses. Immediately he was tense. Wanted to know whether I had been fired!

I told him no. I was not fired. The boss was cool. He was not even aware of the fracas. He has not even been aware that there was much going on, and that it was concerning me in a way. And no, he had not had any hints of problems.

Cool of him. Very cool of him.

That has been a great start to the day. I mean, I feel alive. The tension I didn't know I had has gone. Course the pressure may become a nuisance. And he may be forced to give me some leave time. Especially if I become more identified with the campaign. But he has a temper, and a stubbornness, that I am counting on.

Well, I was supposed to be writing about my love.

After telling him about my boss, I wanted some good, good loving. He didn't.

We did have quite a session last night. Sorry guys, I am male and he is male, and when the hormones hit us, we don’t stop to think about it. And, as one guy so succinctly put it, we do it in our house.

So we had some good, good loving last night. And this morning, I was in a great mood. Wanted more sex. And he wasn't for it. (crazy him, complained later that he had not got the morning f….) Sure the broadcasting council will not censure this blog for its openness?

Now, I have just been watching him, naked, getting ready for work. I really felt in love. He asked why I was watching him. I told him my baby looks beautiful naked. Adam's suit really suits him. And I felt like holding him.

The goodbye kiss was particularly good. The feel of his body close to me, the feel of his bum in my hands, when I kneed it. The tongue duel and taste of his mouth.

I do love the guy. Sometimes it surprises me that I can be so much in love so long since I met him. But I love him. And he loves me. I am really sorry for Nsaba Buturo and Ssempa. They just don't get it. They will never really get it.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


A mind closed to the leech of knowledge,

A heart hardened to love’s tender flower,

A soul deadened to the warmth of humanity

Eyes that will not see,

Ears that will not hear,

A mouth overflowing with hate’s logic.

Nsaba Buturo

gug 22/08/2007

The Empire Strikes Back

When I got into work today, I got an sms. A popular radio presenter has apparently been sacked, or suspended because of the fact that he welcomed Victor to his programme. I don’t know how true it is. And I am wondering about that, because it is pretty independent, the station that is.

Yet it is a fact that he welcomed Victor to the programme. And the ‘crew’ as they call themselves, was pretty welcoming and positive. I know there are some stations which Victor has been leaving in tears, because of the hostility from the public and the presenters. But some have been very positive. They allow a debate to go on. They don’t think they should not discuss the taboo subject.

Nsaba Buturo last week talked about one radio presenter and Victor. He cannot hurt Victor personally. But he has indirectly hurt all of us through making Gaetano Kaggwa to lose his Capital FM job. If he has.

But I can think of one positive lining to that cloud. I can. Can we use it?

Meanwhile, I also have to make sure that the state does not squeeze me under its mighty boot. I am pretty nimble. Let me see whether I can slide out from under it.

We shall overcome. Someday.


A Debate Stirred

I don't know whether I have been dreaming. On one hand, we have done something which has not been done before. Forced the people of Uganda to talk about our sexuality. To confront the fact that we are different from the rest, and still the same as them. And we are crossing swords with government ministers, the state and the church! And we are nothing. Ugandans, ordinary Ugandans, many of us not well read, many of us hiding what we are. We are very, very few in number, and the public is much against us. But we are forcing a debate. Simply because we are determined enough to!

Now, it is funny. I am getting this niggling thing that we are winning despite the sense of losing. Check out this opinion in the Monitor. The Futility of Fighting Homosexuality. And it is a Ugandan writing that!!!! I guess he is a little bit biased because he is a law student working in human rights. It is a fact that many of those very lawyers view us like most Ugandans do. They think we are mad.

And I love, and hate this interview by Nsaba Buturo. The guy really believes we are less than animals. It is very funny. He is completely convinced of the rightness of his cause. But he is advocating for no rights for homosexual Ugandans, because they are homosexual. Let them leave the country. Uganda will be cursed if homosexuals are legalised. It is abominable.

I wish I could spit him out. I mean, I am a Ugandan. I will rather die than be thrown out of my country. This debate here shows to the full what he really thinks. I am a bit puzzled by the illogic of his thought processes. He is not senile. He is a PhD, but mate, his logic defies er… reason!

Thanks for the courage of Julie Victor Mukasa. She is realy doing something commendable. A politician in the lady there. (She may hit me if she sees this!!!) But it is true. Stirring such a bold course through LGBT politics is not something easy. But she is a firebrand. And she wants to be treated, just like all other Ugandans. Nsaba Buturo would give her help to get asylum somewhere else. But she is a Ugandan. She wants to stay in her country. Talk about David vs Goliath! The giant seems a bit puzzled at the persistence of this biteme. It just will not go away.

We shall overcome, someday!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Mob Justice

Muslim youth belonging to the Tabliq movement in Uganda have confirmed they plan to set up 'Anti-Gay Squads' to fight homosexuality.

This is something that worries me more than all the threats from Nsaba Buturo and Ssempa. Mob justice. The anger of the mob stirred up to action. Vigilantes

I have known it for a while. I hate it. It is something that is primeval, and somehow, we have allowed a culture of it to grow in Uganda. The most important reason is the apparent 'ineffectiveness' of the police. Corrupt, ineffectual, bribery prone. A menace. So the citizens take the law into their hands.

This is a 'moral' police style vigilante force. The tabliqs in Uganda are the equivalent of Afghanistan’s Taleban, or maybe the Al Quadae. No. That is not a good development. But possibly we can fight against it with the forces which we do have. Our brains, and of course the laws of the land.

Poor kuchus, they seem to invite the forces of the world against them wheresoever they are. But, we shall overcome. Someday.


Not yet over!

It's a fact that many think that the campaign for gay rights in Uganda has been resoundingly defeated.

It is not yet over. I sincerely believe that we are yet to deliver our best. That is tall imagination, with the poll saying that 95% of Ugandans do not support it. But the fact is that we are not counting on popularity. We are counting on the resounding defeat of ignorance by cool clear logic, something which our 'enemies' seem very far from. We have to agree that it is them who, following a clearly and un-repentantly homophobic agenda have contributed to the success of the debate. For we wanted a debate. We have got a debate. Now, soon, it is time for us to show what cool logic is behind us.

And I have a feeling that something done yesterday is the lynchpin, the turning point of it all. But then, I have been known to dream of milk and honey when I am starving. Used to do that in boarding school!

My personal odyssey is ongoing. And it is so much more fun than true fiction.

I told of the time that I went and told my older brother that I am gay. And the fact that he did not know, but still did not reject me. It is important because he is a Pentecostal church pastor, a 'conservative' Christian, a fundamentalist. And he did not reject me.

Well, Sunday he was to see Dad. Came with the whole family.

I was leaving the house, with my partner. We both noticed that my brother was nearby. I shouted out, greeting him.

My lover was all nerves. He knew that I had told big bro that I was gay, and he knew that there was much riding on his acceptance, or rejection. And lover man was all nerves. And I was not sure. After all, big bro had not communicated since we had talked.

Big bro called out to me, greeting me. I told him that we were leaving for a prior appointment, and he came towards us. Now came the great thing. He came towards me, beaming with joy. When he saw my lover, he greeted him with open joy. I was anxious, he buried me in a hug. And held out another hand to my lover, knowing that he was my lover.

I was overwhelmed. I was literally speechless. It meant much to me. It meant much to my lover, because this was my family welcoming my lover, knowing that he is my gay male lover. Wow!

We went to my father's house to greet my brothers family. We did it. but my mind was still in a spin. I am still thinking how great it is that one can get out and be normal. And be out and known by family? A gay Ugandan out of the closet! Wow


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Battle lines Drawn


First week of the campaign gone. An interesting week. Personally, and on the public front. For the public, fickle as ever, the need for 'new' news is taking over. What happened last week is something already in the past.

We cannot claim all the victory. The publicity has been fueled by those who hate us. Those who have much to gain from the homophobia. Pastor Sempa, I can figure out. A populist, pandering to the American right. He is obsessed with opposition to the 'gay agenda'.
The Church of Uganda, in its schismatic form is very much at logger heads with us. Wish I could get Desmond Tutu's letter to the primates and publish it in the local papers here! We are constrained by the very fact that the general public simply does not know what is happening in the rest of the world. That tends to mean that they get the govt or official view, without the debate.
Nsaba Buturo. This guy has more than a personal agenda. He is hate, dignified. He is convinced that there should be no debate. It irks him that there is a debate. And he does want a Nigeria style law. This interview is quite revealing Rights for the pentecostal churches. Taking more away from the homosexuals.
And of course the government, and the big man himself. Its a lie that he would even think of opening to us!

The fact that 95% of our countrymen are against us is a worrying thing. We have been assured that the police will most likely not act on us. We are not sure about the 'other security forces', which tend to work outside the law. But the fact is that there is something we have to consider. So called 'mob justice'. We can be lynched, if the public is stirred up sufficiently. And that is why the hate filled church sermons, the outing on radio and TV and the publishing of the names and places of work and residence is particularly a problem.
The record for mob justice is not encouraging. And a homosexual is a very nice person to draw the ire of a public that does not trust the police. They have been asking why we are not arrested!!

But that is the negative side.

On the positive, we have a debate. A very serious debate. We can hit back with the truth to undermine the many lies that are being aired. And they are many, and challengeable. And they are something which the likes of Sempa and Nsaba Buturo believe we cannot challenge. We need to work on this part of the strategy. Because that is the way to go. And we have a huge gun that has not realy featured. HIV.

Personally, I have noticed that my workmates are talking. And the people in my neighbourhood are talking about it. But no one approaches me. And now I know that they know, I am just a figure on the streets to them who is a known homosexual. Was talking to a brother of mine. He was telling me about the day that Dad came to warn me about police looking for me. Apparently the old man was not happy about the publicity. But then, blood proved thicker than the anger. And he did come to warn me.

Empowering it is. Living with my lover as an openly gay couple. In Uganda. An open secret. Everyone that I seem to care about knows! Yes, some suggested I run and hide, and I told them, including the brother that I was talking to yesterday that that was not on my mind. Rather, I was thinking of talking on TV about it. Now, that did throw him.

Interesting. A few years back I would have run and hid. Today, I will not. Rather, I talk about it. Empowered by my 'unofficial' outing. The fear is usually more than the actual bad things happening. But I am in a pretty privileged form. I am very independent, financially, mentally, and in my thinking. Not so many others.

This weeks should prove something interesting. We seem to have retreated. At least I think our detractors so believe. But have we?

Some of us are scared. So scared that they are actively working against the campaign! Well, we are human beings. Never expected to have the same kind of desire or dedication. But to fight to stay in that closet! Some we shall have to drag out screaming and kicking. Time we got out. And yes, we are asking for something that is normal, because we are normal human beings. To be left in peace. To have the same right to information like all other Ugandans. To have the same access to HIV prevention as the rest of Ugandans.

Time is for us to be not more, not less, but just human. To assert our humanity. Thats it. Thats all.


Friday, August 24, 2007

The struggle

The Struggle has just begun,

a Nigeria style law in the offing;

no talk, no meets, no walks, no dances-

all rights taken away,

instead of a few granted

the Struggle has just begun.

gug 24/08/2007

Times of Revolution!

They are challenging times. Challenging to me individually, but also generally speaking.
Once I thought that I would have nothing to fear. Now I have known fear, and been forced to think of contingency plans.

Yet, despite the fact that there are problems on the ground, the issue of openly debating homosexuality in Uganda is exhilarating. It is consuming my mind, and what I am doing all the time. I was ambushed. In a way. Maybe it should have been predictable. But the passion of the population is not. Of course few support us!

Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity Nsaba Buturo. There are guys who sincerely believe that we kuchus are a threat to them. He is not acting on corruption. He is not acting on the thieves. But he feels strongly that it is a god given duty for him to stir up hatred against gay Ugandans. To block their very efforts to talk. To block the debate. As minister of information, he managed to gag the very independent minded government paper at that time. Now, he is targeting the independent media. He wants it stopped. We should not be given a forum. We should not talk. We should not be allowed. The only allowed message on the media should be about the evils of homosexuality! And he wants a Nigeria style law. Take away basic human rights from homosexual Ugandans. Make it a crime to write this blog.

And the media is hugely in the hands of the church. They own TV stations, and fm stations. And theirs is a message of hate. They have decided to target individuals. No, the discussion is not about the issues. But the individuals.
So, the Monitor Reporter is under attack. Because she reports objectively, thus promoting homosexuality. The activists are being haunted. The masks are being slipped off. And when known, the pastors are reading the names on the media. Gosh, how puny is our strength compared to them! They have everything!

Yesterday I went to see the guys. And gals. Brave they are. But it is taking its toll. In Kampala at the moment, being recognised as a trans is not a blessing. One gal was forced off a bus. They didnt want to travel with this abomination.
They are not sleeping well. They are moving from place to place.
And the gay community is also scared. Stop the campaign. It is blowing apart our closets!


But it simply has to be done. The closets are killing us. We need to get out of them and realise that we are gay human beings, gay Ugandans. There is nothing like dying in silence. We shall raise the brouhaha.

And more. Now we turn to HIV.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


It is a funny thing. Fear, that quizy feel in my stomach.

Yesterday, I was in fear. Real fear. Yet I could not admit it to myself. But I could not eat. And my partner was in fear too. Expecting to be arrested! Funny thing. Yet on the other hand, I realised that we have been so high profile that it is hard for us to be arrested for what we are doing. We are just using our freedom as Ugandans to talk about homosexuality positively.

Yeah, I know Nsaba Buturo is against any freedoms for kuchus like us. But the media houses are receiving us. And we are talking and talking, and I feel that, few as we are the hate that is coming from the other side is too virulent.

But I sat down (or paced up and down) and asked myself how I can be attacked. Various ways. And I am vulnerable against a ruthless state machinery if it is used. So, I thought about insurance. What to do in case of an attack. Contingency plans. Yes, I do have to insure myself against these attacks. Because they will come, especially if I go ahead and take a more prominent attacking role.

Anyway, I have to talk to my lover, just in case. Contigency planning. A very necessary thing, but wow, how the odds are shiveringly short. Yes, I can disappear. Just wiped off the face of this lovely earth. If I do, I will have gone. Dont cry for me. Life is short, just remember the good times alone!

But lets not be morbid. I will have many more years and live to bore you more with my lousy blogging. Gosh, it is hard but necessary to think about the what if.



Well, it was a day to remember. A day that was.

Came morning, we knew that a anti-gay demonstration was planned. It had been announced in all the churches, and we were of the opinion that something hot was going to happen.

During the day, our ears were tuned to the FM stations. We wanted to know what was happening in town. I did not go to town. My lover passed through briefly, worried about what would be happening. We had planned to shift some of the more suggestive literature to someone else’s house. We fear the knock on the door. But well, this is our country.

News about the demonstration filtered in. first that it was cancelled, then that it had been turned into a rally at the place. And they were loud.

How many were they? I think about 100. Not the ‘hundreds’ that were expected. But we were not to be left in peace. (as we requested!!!!).

So, Sempa spoke, and Nsaba Buturo spoke and all was as expected. What was not expected was the vitriol against a reporter who has been reporting objectively. Maybe because she is not Ugandan!!!!!

So, because of that, they want her out of the country. Buturo is particularly vitriolic about not giving homosexuals any media space. His homophobia should be aired, but not the opinion of the homosexuals. He wants us gagged, and bound, while he whips us to death.

That we cause AIDS!!!!!!! God in heaven. What bullshit!

The fm stations were on the ball. They aired what they could. They shouted, denounced, laughed, jocked. One announcer was put on the ball, she was very negative. And someone asked her, what she wanted done. She sputtered and spluttered. Maybe jail, maybe what? She ended up saying nothing, but that ‘something’ should be done. We have been accused of pedophilia, rape, murder, being un-African, unscriptural, etc.

But later in the day was the shock. We had met with someone else as planned. And here comes my dad, to warn me that the police was looking for us. I was shocked. Not the police looking for us, because that I did not think would happen. But that he knew, and felt that he had to break that knowledge so that he makes sure that he warns me.

I was touched, and shocked. Took some time to recover. My lover is reminding me that I was not able to touch supper.

We had a lively discussion, with other guys too. All kuchu, all apprehensive at the debate occurring in the country. We all agreed that the debate was necessary. But Kagaba was not staying at his home. And we were not comfortable in our beds. But the silver lining on the cloud, the gold heart of it all, is the fact that my dad knows, and has known for some time that I am homosexual. He had not said anything about it to me, but he felt it necessary to come warn me about possible police arrest. Sweet. Time soon to find out how thick blood is. I love my family!!!!!!


Daddy knows!

I feel stupid, a fool! I mean, I have been agonising about telling him about my homosexuality. And when I decided that I would tell the family, I determined, everyone but him!!!

And he shows me he knows in the most touching of ways. He is a man of the world, is my old man. He has seen me live within a stone’s throw of his house all this time, with my lover. And somehow, he figured it out, or was told.

So, when the fracas about homosexuals in Kampala engulfed the city, it was hot on the airwaves. And Nsaba Buturo has been breathing fire, and Sempa the brimstone. So the parent picked up his courage to come tell his son that the police are looking for us!!!!!

I have been blind. Very blind, yet it has always been my hope that they have been reading my hints everywhere. They did, and acted like they had not. Only Mom to tell, if she doesn’t know!


They Know!


Here I was, all ready to start telling my family that I am gay, and surprise, surprise. Turns out that they have known! I feel embarrassed. I thought they were blind; turns out I am the one who is blind! What a lesson in life!

But it means that some things which have not been happening now have to happen. Reckonings to pay. Now, I am relieved. I do not have to tell people about me, after all they know. I just have to ask them what they are going to do about it. Now that I know that they know! Twisted logic. The knowledge of my ‘blindness’ or supposed blindness has been a mist that I weaved myself. Otherwise, it was already on the cards. My brothers and sisters knew. Fact is that they have been discussing it. Wow! I feel cheated. I am going to hold a few accountable for that!

Now, big things. Does my dad know? He is enough a man of the world to know. And he may as well know. Does my mum know? She actually might. I have to trace this knowledge which has apparently spread while I was too blind! I think Mom may know!!!!!!!!

One sister has kindly suggested that I go hide somewhere. I have told her that once upon a time I would have done exactly that. But now, I don’t think I am so evil that I should reinforce their rejection of me. Matter of fact, I don’t think I am evil. And then comes to my aid the stubborn characteristic I am said to have. I know I am not bad. That knowledge is going to be put severely to test, because some pretty insistent people are going to tell me how bad I am! Quarrels within the family where we will agree to disagree. But I am not rejecting my birthright. I am what I am. If they had not known, as I am sure they could not have known for many of the years that I was not so open they would not have challenged me on that. Now that they know, my gay pride will come to the fore. To stand my ground and claim my right as a human being and a member of the human family! No half measures about that.

But it promises to be a battle to consider. Though I have to be cautious not to consider everyone any enemy before they so declare. After all, they have not rejected me overtly, even when they knew!

Wow, again. How this changes everything! I just don’t know what to think, less what to do!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Out without being Out

I am out, without being out. I outed myself, yet, I am not out. Just the daily hypocrisy that our world is.

I have lived for years knowing that I was gay. It took me some time to accept that fact which was daily staring me in the face. Then it took me time to go on the search for others like me. I fell in love and have lived with another man, in full view of society for more than five years. I once wrote an article and had it published in the New Vision in my names, and nobody noted anything strange about that. I was outed once in a rag of a paper some years ago. It seems like wilful blindness.

I was at the press conference. I was noted as having been there. Matter of fact I was so tied to what happened that it is incredible that someone outside Uganda did out me. But those inside the country still doubt!

Maybe it is necessary for me to climb the minaret of the New Mosque on Old Kampala and out myself. To gain the satisfaction of people not doubting my homosexuality!

Joke. I would not do it. I don’t think people have a right knowing that I am gay. That is my business, which (somehow is the business of society, and my community and the government). It is my business with my lover. And I do dread having to come out.

Yet it is funny. There is a real sense of freedom in being able to live the double life in the open. I mean, so many people now suspect that I feel a relief that those who suspect dare not ask, and those who do not suspect are too blind.

Nsaba-Buturo commented that they know us. That he was miffed because the police did not arrest us. Well, we are.

I have thrown out too many signals. They will catch on. But it is a fact that society in Uganda is blind, blind, blind. Great that we can use that blindness. I am like a person with multiple personalities. All are out in the open, yet some never realise what is and what is not.

May they leave us in Peace!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

How it feels; Coming Out

Well, so this is how it feels being under pressure of outing? A funny feeling in my stomach. The head seems to be overly active. I am finding it a problem to convince myself to get out of the house. I am wondering who has heard it now. Or when the ones I see will hear of it. And I am kind of impatient. Why is it that my mind is so consumed by my possible outing but everyone else seems not to have an idea of what is going on with me? I mean, the whole world should be a storm now, if I go by what is happening in my mind!

Its good that the world is not like that.

The religious leaders were shocked at the press conference. One of the Moslem ones decreed we (kuchus) should be killed. That the Quaran says so. And the Christian ones weighed in with their own condemnation of the abomination of homosexuality. Only the Pentecostals missed an easy quote. But maybe the quote from Pastor Ssempa was unprintable! And the good Minister for Ethics and Integrity, the homophobe Nsaba-Buturo wondered how come this was allowed to happen. I have a feeling that it caught them flat footed. They just did not think that gay Ugandans would be coming out at this moment in time. I think the ethics minister would have wanted the police to stop the press conference. Come to think of it, it took place about a km from the Central Police Station in Kampala! He is supposed to meet the Minister of Internal Affairs (in charge of police) for urgent consultations.

The Inspector General of Police was more cautious.

And on the personal front, a sister wanted to know whether that was me in the papers. Guess the process of coming out is going apace. In the nervous mood that I am in, when my dad gave me the cold shoulder yesterday I thought it was because of the news that was consuming my consciousness! Later I settled down. It was a different matter. Of course he will get to know, sooner or later. But don’t I hope it is much, much later!!!!!!

Why don’t they leave us in peace?


Friday, August 17, 2007

The Un-reported Facts

Yeah, by now the whole world knows. How gay Ugandans, Kuchus went out and held a press conference. And they did it in masks and talked about HIV and discrimination and being in hiding. It was published in the papers. The New Vision, held back by the government policy could not but hold back. The Monitor is more expressive. For example, there was none of the obligatory mention of the law which is the official symbol of oppression and criminalisation.

But there were a lot of unreported facts.

I was there. I saw. I witnessed, and I was impressed. Deeply impressed by the energy of these few people. I was deeply impressed by the fact that they did organise and were able to pull it off. The opposition to them is considerable. Not only are there problems amongst them, coming out to themselves, but there is a problem coming out to the world.

There was quite a bit of the untold story in the papers' records. Of course, in keeping with my 'anonymous' self, I was invisibly visible. Maybe for a little while longer. But not much longer I think.

Julie Victor Mukasa. Out for the entire world to know. The architect of the conference. The leader, and a pretty effective one. A man in a woman’s body, she told us. And she was mesmerising as she uttered the un-utterable words. Shocked the reporters, I could see. A few others were unmasked, but the majority were in masks. And the masks were telling. Not the black, 'Hamas' like masks. But some more comical, effectively hiding the faces but not the persons. I could recognise them, though not others!

The language of delivery was Luganda. That was an impressive strategy. We are told that we are not Ugandan. That homosexuality is not Ugandan. And as the kuchus of Uganda claimed their birthright, they did it in the mother tongue of a number of them. It was impressive. The word 'abasiyazi' is like a curse word at the moment. It means homosexual in Luganda/Lusoga. And they used it, bravely, repeatedly, making sure that they were not hiding in semantics. I winced the first few times. It was shocking to my socialised self. I have grown up as a product of my culture. But soon it grew normal to my ears.

Brenda Kizza. A trans-gender. She featured in the news last weekend. And she came out. A man in body. A woman in mind, and she claimed it, calmly, openly, shocking the reporters. This is a patriarchal society. A woman claiming a man’s mentality is taken to be not so unusual. A man claiming a woman’s mentality is shocking. She talked, the voice cracking. She showed the dentures that had replaced broken teeth. Talked about the months of imprisonment, and the beatings that she has suffered at the hands of the police. She is a woman in a man, and the trans-status makes her an easy prey. She talked of how she was forced to suck the penises of two policemen in order to release her.

What of the supporters, Beatrice Were, wowing always in the background. Sarah Mukasa, frank feminist. And one lady who was HIV positive and talked of the shame that it was the government of Uganda which was suppressing HIV prevention efforts for homosexuals in Uganda. I was touched.

There is too much which was done in those few hours. And it has had an impact on me. Personally, as well as generally. A few kuchus I talked to were disdainful. They think we are not ready to have this done. But hell, it is high time that it was done. It is great that I am alive to see it done.

Viva to all the brave kuchus who risked the stigma in the country to put a face to homosexuality in Uganda. May they be left in peace.

HIV Prevention in Uganda

One thing really bothers me about HIV prevention campaigns in Uganda at the moment. They are purely and shamelessly driven by the morals of ‘good sex’. Does it work?

Someone has decided what constitutes good sex, and that is what is being promoted, in the name of HIV prevention.

For example, the current fad is that older men are preying on younger girls to have sex. So, campaigns are under way to target ‘something for something love’ and ‘cross generational sex’. It is being funded by the AID from the American Peoples (USAID)! Sorry, I was wrong. It is PEPFAR.

Sorry to all Bushites, but his influence is lasting more than a generation in Africa. Problem with these campaigns is that for me as a gay man, gay sex is considered immoral. So when will they decide to mount an HIV campaign for gay men in Uganda? They have not yet!

PS. Please, please, look at the spread from Daily Monitor today. Stupendous!


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.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Loveless Virtue

For 25 years a man lived with his love. In sickness and health, in poverty and riches. Then crippling ill-health struck, and his parents came. They banished the lover from his life- for a child they now claimed their son to be.

For two years the lover fought, till he won- visiting rights but not custody. Quoth the mum, I would rather my son remain sick for good, than he have his lover back. Because he is a homosexual. Check out the comments page too.

The blindness of prejudice-

the willful deception of hate;


Loveless virtue here resides-

in strongly forted forts,

minds unyielding steel,

ugly grey granite walls.

Unbending, unknowable, barren,

not a flower, not a bloom to ever know,

Beware of loveless virtue

gug 14/08/07

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Why Police are not arresting Kuchus

You have too much to read;

If you will but read this-

So fare you well, friend, for now;

Catch this wave, surf it and read!

Gug 11/08/07

Why Police are not arresting (homos) kuchus.

Gay Testimonies; We are persecuted.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Coming out to my Brother

I am planning something momentous. I am going up-country tomorrow to tell my brother that I am homosexual. That I am gay.


The simple reason is that I have got to the point when I have to shape up to my responsibilities. It is tough news to break but my relatives have to know. At least some need to. And the sooner the better.

Family dynamics. They are particularly sensitive in this case.

A traditional African family we are. My father had children from at least six ladies (that I know of). My brother is my dad’s first borne. I am the second borne.

I am the favoured son. The prospective heir. The prospective head of the family with my dad gone. And Dad is a clan leader. All are issues that I have to consider.

It would not have been a big problem if I was someone different. This is the 'what if' section. What if my brother had been the favoured son? I would not have felt the need to come out to him.

What if I was willing to act on my bisexual instincts and marry a woman? I would have children and would not feel under pressure to reveal the difference in my sexuality.

What if I was less independent and less likely to take my own path? I would be married already, with multiple children to have joy in. And a lady that I would have to cheat on seriously.

But all those are possibilities which could have been in a different universe.

What is, is that I am gay. I am a human being who is lucky enough to know what I am. And I am willing to take this bold stroke.

My brother, he is my elder brother. A half-brother actually. He likes me. We were pals growing up, something which was almost unlikely because I was a favoured son, the favoured son. He is the elder. I know that he loves me.

He is married, with 3 sons. Something which my father has great pride in. The grandsons who are to make the clan bigger.

And my brother is a Pentecostal pastor. A fundamentalist Christian. With a church that he leads up-country.

How will he react?

Almost since I came out to myself, I have tended to draw away from my the rest of my family. It was instinctive. Other things featured. A younger brother knows, and he is not so happy about my orientation. I love my brothers and sisters. I do love my elder brother. But I sincerely do not know how he will react when I tell him that I am gay.

I am known for being 'stubborn'. When I choose a way, I stick to it.

Will he chase me away from his home, his family? Will he listen to me? Will he throw me out?

I have to cover myself. I will extract a pledge from him not to reveal what I am to tell him, before I tell him. I know he would honour it, however he reacts to what I tell him.

But I am going to tell him that I am gay. And that I live a gay life. And that I do have a partner of 7 years, who I love. And that I do love my brother too.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Diet of Love

Last night, it was drizzling. Or was it? It was certainly colder than usual.

For some reason I also felt more amorous than usual. Guess I sometimes switch it off, having to live with my lover. Of course we fight, (who doesn't?), but that rarely interrupts a full diet of love.

Came back late from work. I needed to finish off a few things, so I told him I would find him in bed. He was tired. Didn't insist. Went to bed and even shut the door. Did not call me more than 10 times and fell asleep.

When I joined him, I was not feeling sleepy. Lay in bed awake for some time till I felt the tang of cold. I scooted up to him, and damn. He felt incredible. I felt like I wanted to wrap myself around him. Just to soak in his body heat, to augment mine. Usually, he does that instinctively, seeking my body heat. So much that he crowds me to my side of the bed, even when asleep. This time it was like I was pushing and he was pushing, till we ended up in the middle of the bed, wrapped around one another like Siamese twins. With maximum skin contact. It felt good. I drifted off to sleep, till he started pulling away, and we tagged our way to his end. I woke up when we were in the middle and still intertwined. And he was whispering sweet nothings into my ear.

It is great to love. Great to love and be loved back.

I don't think I deserve him, the way he loves me, so unreservedly. I don’t think I can give so much of myself to him like he gives of himself to me. It seems incredible. He is passionate, I am cautious. I never believe that it will last, even years after we met. He believes in 'till-death-us-do-part', so passionately that I am almost cresting that wave with him. He makes me feel good. He makes me feel whole. He makes me feel loved.

He soaks me in a full diet of love, and don't I love it!


Monday, August 6, 2007

Personal Convictions

Yesterday there was a seminar for kuchus. Of a sudden the gay community in Uganda is moving by leaps and bounds. They are organising. We are organising, and the impetus is coming from us.

Kuchus are like kuchus everywhere. We are what we are. Gay, and fun loving. We are more likely to attend a party than go to a gay pride event. And organising in Uganda has been plagued by secrecy and the fact that many people fear coming out and embracing their sexuality. Too many constraints, which apply to me as well.

But a leadership is emerging. It is under pressure. But it is genuine, as opposed to many who have been out shouting when in actual fact they are not kuchus!

I was not able to attend the seminar. But I had a personal renaissance in thinking which has been buoying me on since yesterday.

I sat down to read a lot of 'medical' literature about sexuality. You know medical literature. Tough words, incomprehensible meanings which one has to master. An insistence on exactness of meaning which beats less science oriented thinking. I accessed the 'emedicine site' and searched on sexuality. Read three articles 'Sexuality: Gender Identity', 'Sexuality: Sexual Orientation' and 'Homosexuality'.

After I had swam through the words and oriented myself and come up for air, I was exhilarated. I mean, all this stuff was out there and I knew it, but I did not really know it!!!!

I wanted to understand more, and tackled 'Homosexuality' on Wikipedia. And that gave me a wealth of information that I found personally enlightening.

I knew all these things. But in an abstract way. Maybe I was due refreshment on my self knowledge as a homosexual. Maybe it is the fact that, even though we do not sense much overt hostility the internalised level of attack on our selves as homosexuals is considerable, and that once in a while I want to read, to refresh myself on what I am.

I found myself singing. It reminded me of the day that I affirmed myself as gay. I did not tell anyone. I just said it aloud and stopped hiding something which was so glaringly visible to my mind. And I was so deliriously happy that it buoyed me on for more than a year!

Yesterday, I could not help telling my lover about it. I even told him that I do not want to hide anymore. I felt like climbing the minaret of the Old Kampala Mosque and singing that I am gay, a homosexual!

Caution. I had to caution myself. There are medics who believe the homophobia. There is the case of the head of the Islamic Medical Association in UK and of course Bush's Surgeon General nominee at the moment. Maybe their minds can be changed. But it is great to sweep the mind with the refreshing clarity of science. And to know that science does move people, especially doctors.

And something else. If I am to come out, which I want to do as sensationally as possible, I have to tell my relatives first! I owe it to them not to hear it on radio or TV.

Tough thing to do. But then I will be able to sign this blog in my names. Not as …


Thursday, August 2, 2007

A Return

Yes, there has been a gap. A big one, a considerable one.

I have been procrastinating. It seems too big a task, to start writing again. Then someone rang me to tell me about the blog. I thought he knew about it, but apparently he had not read it. Most people tend to be put off by prose! He was laudatory. I was encouraged, and I thought, yes, I will write again. I will put down more of my daily thoughts and ruminations.

So, why the gap?

I am of a mind not to explain. After all, the blog is mine (Ahem!!!!) And no one is going to force me to bare my thoughts. I do it (compulsively) of my free will!

Ever watched a child learn to walk? The uncertainty, the stumbling wide gait, the falls and cries. That is me. Yet I am no child, though I will claim that as a human being I have the right to fall and the sheer stubbornness to try and stand again.

Oh yes. I fell.

I stumbled and fell. Rolled downhill and was bruised and battered at the end. Fell into the muck and nearly drowned, barely keeping my head above the stinking putrefying essence of it. But I did not drown. I am still alive. The spark of life still burns in me, and that is something.

Ever thought of life as the sheer continuity of life? That flame. Once it is extinguished, then it is gone. Before it is extinguished, it still burns. And it may gutter and falter, or may turn into a brush fire. When it still is, whether it still is, that is what is important.

I will fall, and get up. Battered, bruised, aching. But if I am still alive, life goes on. And like the child learning to walk, sometimes I will cry in utter frustration, other times I will glee with joy as I land on my bum. But I will always get up and stumble on.

So, to all out there, welcome a bright new day!