Sunday, September 30, 2007

Myanmar, Burma

In Burma, Myanmar, they call it now. A people’s revolution? A military dictatorship, for 45 years. Cannot imagine that misery. Amin, Lutwa, Okello, those are more than enough for me, for my lifetime. Yet I am not to die tomorrow, so more I will see.

I was thinking of the people in Burma, and those in Tiananmen’s Square, of guns shooting into crowds, of tanks running over human flesh. Sad.

GW. Bush said Saddam Hussein had killed all the Mandelas in Iraq. Mandelas. But these sung heroes need companion unsung heroes. Let’s remember these unsung heroes.

Once in a while,

the extreme darkness lifts,

and life tosses up a,

de Klerk, Gorbachev;

not unlike the Mandelas;

fair men that turn the tide,

to sanity from madness,

though unfated they are-

Abubakar of Nigeria, Zhao Ziyang;

men from the cloth of iron

that a heart of flesh show,

light in a darkness shine.

©GayUganda 29 Sept. 2007

May one such rise up amongst the generals of Myanmar, may Burma know peace and freedom in my time.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Poem for Cindy

This poem is for Cindy. At least with you I do not risk mis-understanding, do I? Gerald has snubbed me, for now!

Of the poem, just one of those things. I was looking out over the valley where I live. Somethings have come up and I find that my income may be compromised. (Possibly 'Red rug' fall out, outed, but what the hell!). This poem came to mind, and I penned it down, and named it 'Perception'. For some reason I felt like sharing it with you.

So, I did. Or I do now. Impulsive sometimes.


I am old;

but age is a perception,

I am weak;

but weakness is a lie,

I am strong,

yet strength's a mirage.

(c) GayUganda 28 Sep. 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007


Saturday, I was at work. Saw this early edition of the Monitor Newspaper, Sunday Monitor that is. I flipped through it, got to an article, Saggy Campaigns for Gay Rights. I was apprehensive when I started reading it. I was howling with laughter by the end. Hilarious.

I sent an email, from my gayuganda address, lauding Saggy’s humour. And today, I found a reply. Curious I opened it. Its not usual to have a letter to the editor replied. There were only 3 words in the message, plus the name of the sender. 3 cryptic words, that made me stop to think.

‘I pity you.’ The gentleman wrote back.

I was puzzled. I went back to the original Saggy article. Had I misunderstood it? Satire, Saggy style. Cutting, blunt, very much to the point. And hilarious. No, I don’t think I misunderstood that article.

So, why was I to be pitied?

It was later that I realised, maybe the gentleman was pitying me because of my frank gay address? Possible.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed most likely.

Now, I certainly do not think I should be pitied. Well, I am gay, that is true. But that is like saying I am black. A fact. Should I be pitied because I am an African? Not really. So, why was the gentleman pitying me?

The more I thought about it, the more puzzled I became.

Then it came to me, the gentleman truly wanted to help me. He could not give me much, but he felt that his emotion of pity would suffice. He would write to me, and give that to me. He would express his piteous thoughts on my being a gay Ugandan.

I wanted to write back and thank him for the pity.

But I thought that would not be appropriate. This guy was wasting an emotion which was truly valuable to him. I needed to do something about it.

I mean, he was wasting pity on me? Why should I be pitied because I am gay? Why should I be pitied beyond any other Ugandan? Sincerely, I could only feel pity for him. For wasting it on me.

So I wrote back, as briefly, as succinctly.

I replied, ‘Poor you.’

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bloggers Happy Hour

27th has invited me to the Ugandan bloggers’ happy hour. Its today.
Frankly, I am apprehensive. If I go, I have the option of not saying I am gay. So, I just go and gawk at all these nerds. They don’t know me, and I don’t know them. But they know that I may be there. Well, I am nervous.

27th has offered to leave his gun home. He is the only revolutionary, so the others don’t carry guns. But what if Manuel comes, and sees me in the flesh? Wonder what he will do? Dare I out myself like that?
I mean, I am out, but only to those who know me, and while none has offered to help me to heaven, others have offered quite a bit of disdain.

Decision time.

I have been thinking a lot of this, and of course I started thinking of what the other guys and girls are thinking about me being at their happy hour. Only natural that a poem slid into my fingers-

Gay man's coming to dinner !

a homo's coming to dinner,
to converse and talk, laugh and share;
what d' y' all expect?

a devil dressed in black;
the antlered horns for now hidden,
a deadly dark face shaded,
by blacker than black robes;
hanging menacing to the floor.

Now and then we'll note,
the flick of a tail,
armoured with a sting,
as the tail robes adjust
before our horrified eyes.

expect not,
a human being, a normal man;
(or woman is it?)
eats the same, speaks the same,
same dark skin, flash of white teeth;
nervous laughter constraining.

a human being normal,
same human laughter, similar salty tears;
red blood in dark skin pulsing,
similar to us all:

a gay man's to dinner coming!

( (c) GayUganda 26/09/07)

What do you think? I am also nervous to say the least. Should I ask 27th to come with the gun, to protect me?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ssempa’s Obsession

In the New Vision is an interesting letter to the editor. Someone is complaining that Pastor Ssempa was not given enough time to discuss the all important issue of homosexuality on a radio talk show, the ‘Capital Gang’. What kind of leader is Kahinda Otafire (Minister of State for Local Govt) not to understand the importance of this debate?

Made me wonder. Someone is obsessed with my ‘deviant’ sexuality. But it is not me. Oh, I am gay, and a Ugandan. But it is a fact that I have lived with this consciously for more than ten years now. It is simply not that big a deal anymore. I will fight anyone who wants to put me in prison because of my sexuality, because of what I am. But that is a small thing in comparison to all the things I am.

Think of my lover. He is preparing to go to work now. He is a man, my lover, my man. But he is also a brother and leader in his family, with responsibility as the elder son alive. When I hold him in my arms, he is everything in the world to me. But I also know him as a good administrator, a contentious debater, a rabid ‘movement’ supporter, and a fervent Christian. Our sexuality does occupy his mind, but it is not such an over-riding thing that he would have to put down everything to debate it. It is simply one of many things that are part of our lives.

But that is not the same with Ssempa, and Nsaba Buturo.

Homosexuality is to them a clear and present danger. It should be attacked with all the weapons possible. Yesterday, waking up Sunday morning, I heard Nsaba Buturo advocating for ‘Universal Moral Education’, to combat such evils as homosexuality, of course. Universal primary education is a fantastic idea, which we have failed to implement well. But the honourable Minister of State for Integrity feels that homosexuality is such a clear and present danger that children must have classes in morality. That he has already been in contact with the Minister of Education about the idea.

Someone is obsessed with my sexuality. And wonder of wonders, it is not me. Tovi described his god as one without tolerance. But it seems the intolerance is mainly with my sexuality. For other things, like corruption, he may wink, but god help the homosexual. Remember the saga of Mega FM and Nsaba Buturo?

Why is Ssempa so obsessed with homosexuality? There must be a reason that is cogent. His obsession predates the press conference by years. And it is an obsession.

As for the rest of the 95%, I am not sure that they would not want to move on. The debate has been, and we go on. Not so Ssempa, and Nsaba Buturo.

And I?

Beautiful weather outside. My weather sense is that the rains are gone. For now. The sun rises in a blaze of light and heat, the air is clear and the skies clean of the white fluff we call clouds. A very beautiful day, promising blazing warm weather.

I have time to write, and to think of poetry and other things. My sexuality; oh, my lover is gone to work. Wish him a nice day. Hope he comes back safe and sleeps in my arms tonight. What is more important than love?


Monday, September 24, 2007

A Poem for Gerald

A poem dedicated to Gerald. Inspired by his account of the loss of his sister.

I read his account in the morning. Was moved. Thought about it enough to leave a note on his post. Then later, I was seated in my compound. 3 of my nephews were playing around. I thought of their world, as they see it. I thought of Gerald, and, well, the poem came out. Just like that.

When I was young,
the world seemed strange, beautiful,
a never ending amusement park,
of laughter ‘n play, joy ‘n peace;
the world- shielded by parents’ love,
cushioned by lesser understanding
past hunger and thirst,
mum’s smile, Daddy’s great laugh;
that’s the world as is-
garden of beauty, Eden revisited,
for young and old, poor and rich,
and yourself too.

May you know the world of love,
in good and bad, gain and loss;
in pleasure and pain-
may you know love.

© GayUganda 22 Sep. 07

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why is the gay debate so explosive in Uganda?

Sasha, from Kenya, asked a question that has been troubling me. Why is the debate on homosexuality so explosive in Uganda? Why not in Kenya? Why is it that in Uganda it has continued for so long, and so hot?

After a little thought, I just could not take the credit. It is not because of us Kuchus in Uganda that the debate has been so hot. And it has not always been us. See, only one person of note actually came out at the press conference. She then went ahead on a blitzkrieg of the fm stations. Others of us applauded from the sidelines. We were happy, but too cautious.

The anti-homosexual lobby. It is these guys who reacted like they had seen a huge poisonous snake. And they have been working on hitting it on the head, with whatever means possible. And they are powerful people.

Pastor Martin Ssempa is the vocal leader. He has been leading a crusade against homosexuality for years in Uganda. Even when no Ugandan kuchu was out. Before he was battling a faceless enemy. It is understandable he was ecstatic when the enemy got a face. Matter of fact, he is not a very clever person, but he postures, and shouts, and cries. He puts his foot many times into his own mouth. Why? That is a question I am burning with curiosity about. Why is he so rabid in his opposition? I don’t know, but some reasons I can guess.

My partner says he sets off his gaydar. And there have been persistent rumours that he is, or was gay. I have no substance to that, except that my gaydar is not that sensitive, but it gets a blip when I see him. Never met him personally. Wonder why a gay man would hurt other gay people? Ask Senators Craig and McCarthy. Internalised homophobia and self hate is one of the crosses we have to bear.

Another reason is the fact that he ponders to the American right. The Republicans who are so into ‘homo-bashing’, and ‘sex is bad thing’. He preaches abstinence. Preaches as in Sex is bad, condoms are burnt, and Virginity pledges and rallies. All in the name of god. I don’t know why Ssempa’s god came to hate me so much.

Anyway, Ssempa has organised the opposition, (funded from out?) been the focal point, generated airtime and many quotes, each more reprehensible than the other. He is a charismatic leader, and powerful in HIV prevention. Oh yes, and he has the ear of the First Lady. (We have only one, officially, and you are Kenyan, you understand!)

James Nsaba Buturo, PhD is the other reason. He is a minister in the current government. A minister for Ethics and Integrity. He is soft on corruption, (Sasha, Kenyan, you understand. So many things similar!), but very hard on homosexuality. He is a ‘born-again’ Christian, or a Pentecostal. But his hate for me and mine seems to be also exceptional. I have been angered by the fact that he belittles us, and thinks we are so bad that he wants us out of the country. For him it is the politics, and a hint of a personal agenda that I don’t get as yet. He believes that for the ‘fight against homosexuality’ it is like the 'war on terror'. Anything and everything is justifiable. Us being outed, losing our jobs, anyone being tainted as gay is risking, and if the police cannot act, why doesnt the populace take it into their hands? A very unchristian Christian, I must say.

But those are only two people. The other major factor is the religious bodies. First there are the Pentecostals. Uganda has had a major ‘revival’ since the end of the troubles in 1986. Churches sprung up everywhere. They were first made of papyrus reed walls. Now they are cathedrals of stone and glass. Where I live, I am surrounded by at least 5 pentecostal churches within a 2 km radius. They are many, and politically strong. The First Lady, is a very good source of that strength. The president is a very politically savy person. When Clinton yielded to G.W Bush, the man saw where the winds were blowing. He jumped onto that ship. And that has meant ridiculous statements like there are no homosexuals in Uganda. The twinning with the American right is just impossible to ignore. And of course it has been impossible to start an HIV prevention programme. I know it is happening in Kenya.

The Church of Uganda has also generated a ground swell. Many Ugandans cared naught about homosexuality. But the Church of Uganda cares, and very much. Together with the Nigerian Anglican Church, they are leading the current schism in the Anglican Church. Yes, they have their own reasons. Simply put, they could not say nothing when the ‘evil’ of homosexuality suddenly acquired a face in Uganda. They are not politically strong, but the Sunday after the press conference, all their churches preached about it.

The others have been mainly opportunistic. The Tabliqs are a fundamentalist moslem religious group that wanted to be seen as saying something. Otherwise, it has been a moot point with the Moslems. The Red rug has simply been opportunistic, and I suspect, a tool in the hands of more powerful forces.

A result of this very powerful, very vocal opposition has been that they have done many things which were seen as ridiculous. At the press conference, people narrated ordeals of being beaten up, abused, arrested. We just asked for one thing. To be left alone. To be left in peace. I was there. I saw the journalists there. They were affected, and I bet you, none of them would have thought that it was going to be such a big deal. But Nsaba Buturo wondered how come the press conference was possible, asked the police about it, and went on rampage. The New Vision is a government paper. They have been confused in their coverage. They just did not seem to know what to say. That has been hilarious. The Monitor was fair. I know 27th will say that’s not true, but it is. They have tried to present our point of view, as they let the 95% release their hate too. So, I think they have been fair, in a way.

The ‘opposition’ has done some ridiculous things. Gaetano being suspended was one of them. It was ridiculous, so much so that people were shocked. And the media railed. The attack on the Monitor reporter was another. She was being as careful as she could, but not being Ugandan, and not having lived through the Nsaba Buturo era (he was Minister of Information) she did not understand the vehemence of his opposition. And of course was surprised to find herself the object of attack for factual reporting!

Anyway, there we are. Very interesting that I have argued so strenuously for the opposition. But I do like to think without blinders. And it is simply true to say that the opposition has been playing to their own agenda. Which is very interesting. Why has this been so? I would like to understand Nsaba Buturo and Ssempa’s motivation. Interesting.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

I’m gay but not because of money

I had missed this letter in the Monitor! I saw the article that the guy is railing about and I was not happy. But I have given up writing to the papers. It seems as if only the negative sentiments are published.
But this gentleman wrote, and the Monitor has published it. I love it. I am showing it wholly as it appears in the Monitor today 20 Sept 2007.

Kudos to you, Mr Robert Ekyomuhendo of Kasubi.

I refer to the article Homosexuality is where the money is by Mr Gawaya Tegulle (Daily Monitor, September 15). It defies understanding how far we seem to go to justify our prejudices. I’m gay, a homosexual and a Ugandan. But according to Tegulle’s logic, it is impossible for me to be gay and Ugandan.

And if I’m, then it is because of money coming from outside. My struggles are dismissed by a person who touts prejudices without facts. Mr Tegulle, (happily for him) belongs to the 95 per cent of my country mates who disapprove of what I am. But that does not mean that I will become straight. My rights as a human being are trampled upon because I’m gay.

When I protest, people have the freedom of speech to say that I must be funded from outside. I don’t seem to have the corresponding freedom to say no.
Logic and research are put aside. Hatred, a willingness to believe any ill, and to write long epistles justifying these things. We are supposed to move around in nappies, we are abused as not being Ugandan.

We are demented. I’m happy that many countries in the world see my sexual orientation as normal. They accept that I’m a human being. But I’m disappointed that fellow Ugandans are convinced that I’m not.

Robert Ekyomuhendo, Kasubi

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I am a baby.

I am a baby. Well, just human. A guy is a big baby, so I am told. And my lover emphasizes it by always calling me 'baby'.
I crave attention. His attention of course, but I have also found that I get a crave for my cyber buddies. Sometimes I wonder whether or when they are coming online, and writing comments to my blog. Of course it is always the blog.

Internet addiction. A possibility? Maybe. And maybe not.

This morning I had nothing to write. Thought that I would not post at all. Then I got out of the house and looked out into the valley.
I do love the morning. I love that time when it is so clear, and so calm, when the birds are singing and the people are yet to stir. I love it when the sun is just getting up, and the disk is still over the horizon. A beautiful sky, that’s what makes it so good.
I know. I love it when it is heavy and pregnant with rain. I also love it when it is clear and sharp, promising a great day of sunshine. That was what it was today, and I just felt like writing it down.

I wrote, and posted the poem.

And my friends online do not comment! Uh! Why neglect me like that?
Emotional blackmail. That is what I am using on you. Just want you to write me a little something!!!!

Seriously, it was just the poem. There is something about poetry. Sometimes I feel like writing about something. Usually I am disturbed if I have to go the length of setting up the computer. But not so with poetry. I will stop in the middle of the road, and shut out things. I feel that when something comes, or is stirred up, that is the time to write. So I write. Of small things, and big things. Of the dirt on the floor, and a bird in the air.

Yet the fascination with poetry is recent. While at school, I used to shrug it off. No one would get me dead reading a poem. But a novel, that was another thing. I have not yet read the last Harry Potter. That in itself is incredible! I was hooked, and bought all the others. But with the last, I am so immersed in reading poems that I just don’t seem to have the time.
I am a fan. I will read it.

Today, I predicted some rain. Like the weather department does- a ‘40%’ chance of rain in the afternoon. It was not so. Instead the sun has been at it in all its glory. Beautiful. Hot weather, like it is supposed to be. Wisps of cloud in the sky, and now and again, a cooling breeze from the lake, reminding us that it could change in an instant.
But it did not. And now, most likely, the rain will hold off till tomorrow.

Did I say that I love this country?

Ok, yes, I do. I am fascinated by its mercurial weather tantrums. The rain which floods, and the sun that intervenes. And I love walking the hills in rain and sun. Beautiful Uganda indeed. No, I will not call it a pearl. Its just home.


Kampala, Beautiful Kampala

Have the un-seasonal rains
a break taken at last?
The air’s pure, clear, clean;
the sky’s seen, a crystal blue
a few clouds scattered palely over it,
white fleece, to the east bathed in a brilliant glint
as the sun storms into the firmament;

yet there’s that in the air,
a feel of the rain afar off-
not threatening, promising;
maybe in the noon, or the afternoon,
that rain will, may come.

Beautiful Kampala;
the hills and vales heavily green shrouded,
the rivers bulging in their courses,
the soil taken a wash, but quick drying,
the lake a swollen tummy,
not satiated, as yet, though pretty near to-
like to a child locked in a sweet store,
or an adult never nay saying
as the rain god mercilessly pelts
and lakes the countryside invade.

Kampala, beautiful Kampala,
as alive today as ever will be-
bustling people pouring onto dusty streets,
the never sleeping giant from a doze shaken,
Kampala, beautiful Kampala-
I love you, sweet home.

© GayUganda 19 Sept 07

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This Strange Fellow

I had not thought about the face I present to the cyber-world. Or to my fellow Ugandans that encounter me in my forays and blogs.

I know myself. And with that strange insight common to all of us, I expect that the others will know me. So I assume that they do. I know my profile is scanty on details. It has to be. I do live in Uganda. Yet I assume that any Ugandan would be at least comfortable with my being a Ugandan.

Course it is not correct. I am gay. I am a gay blogger, blogging from Uganda, and willing to talk knowledgeably about my sexuality, my lover, and my personal life in Uganda. Strange. Very strange.

If I was outside the country, it would be no big deal. But I am inside the country. Before, I was this invisible gay guy, the homosexual that everyone is talking about. One of the masked fellows who came out at the press conference. Now I have shed a bit of my anonymity. Claimed some space in cyber world, and invited others in.

I know many Ugandans do not think they know any person who is gay. Or that they know for sure is gay. So I am a curiosity.

I didn’t understand what I was to others. I am so comfortable with what I am, that I did not consider the reception that others would give me. That is, until one of them commented that the others were not commenting on my blog. And that he had also been a bit reluctant to put a link to this blog on his blog.

Oh, I have been received with curiously open hands by some. The 27th Comrade seems to have no problem engaging me in dialogue. He has admitted that he is leery of me, and it is him who gave me the insight into other Ugandan bloggers reaction. He has accepted that I am part of the diversity that Uganda is. Gerald, I first met when I saw his discussion on the legalisation of homosexuality in Uganda. I commented on it. And stirred the pot. And we have had a fairly interesting conversation there.

At first I was impassioned by the myths which seem to be prevalent. Then I went into ‘lecture mode’. But I have to give it to my fellow Ugandans. Yes, some are pretty intransigent. I am gay, so I am sub-human. Period. But like always, a few are able to give me a day in court. At least in Cyberworld!

May the debate continue!


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Stonewall Moment?

I have already commented on the spirit of defiance in the Kuchu community at the moment. I saw more evidence of it yesterday.

I was at one of ‘our’ bars. Fact is, I had not been there in some time. Too much pressure and tension, as a matter of fact. Last week, guys were outed. This week, girls were outed by the Red rug.

Yet the atmosphere was celebratory to say the least. We were there. Gay men. New and old. Kuchus. We were together, and we gathered, and danced, and talked and laughed. We joked about being in the ‘Top 50’ and shared each others moment of pain. A sense of community had been created. We shed off the fear and the pain of the week, the anxiety about jobs and work and relatives and homes. We were out as kuchus with other kuchus. And we enjoyed our company.

We were so focused on making merry that someone commented that we were paying no attention to the show on the stage. We were not. We were celebrating being alive. Facing one of the things that all kuchus dread, and surviving. Yes, not all of us are out of the woods. There are others who could not come. Some are still in hiding.

And there were some ugly moments.

Witch hunting. We are all kuchus, so who spilled the beans to the Red rug? Commendably, little was revealed about the girls. But the guys! We can suspect of course, but with no proof, witch hunting hurts all of us. We are kuchus under siege. We all are kuchus under siege.

As we were leaving, a thought struck me. Was the press conference and aftermath a ‘Stonewall’ moment for Ugandan kuchus? Stonewall was the turning point for the gay rights movement. All over the world, kuchus were oppressed customarily. It was when the police raided the gay hangout Stonewall and they rioted, that is when the gay movement was born. Check out the film ‘Stonewall’.

Unbelievable as it is, oppression occurs with the passive consent of the oppressed. Yet many a time, a point is reached when defiance is sparked. And like a brush fire it is fanned by the anger and emotions of years of oppression. Kuchus in Uganda may have gotten to their Stonewall moment.

We just have to watch and see.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Red Pepper, Again.

I have just read the Red Pepper. The Red Chilli, as one joker called it. Of course I had to read it, but I had determined not to buy the paper. It is a joke. A bad joke, and the fact that I cannot seem to ignore its bad jokes is galling!

My lover saved me the struggle. He bought it, and left it still pinned in the living room. Eye catching headline, '20 Top City Lesbians Named and Shamed'. And inside, Part 3 of the Weird Sex Investigation SeriesHomo Terror!

I read it, and started laughing. It is so stupid that it is hilarious. This is a rug, not worth the paper it is written on. They seem to have checked out the ‘Gay Uganda’ website, for some information about Kabaka (King) Mwanga being gay. Curiously, this bombshell was actually dropped by Ssempa, when he wanted to prove that ‘state sponsored homosexuality’ was a bad thing. He stated that homosexuality was in Buganda, Uganda before the coming of Christianity. (New Vision, Martyrs day 03/06/2006). Talk about shooting one’s self in the mouth- Ssempa has this amazing capacity.

Imagine, hard as it may be to believe, Kabaka Mwanga was gay, and when the martyrs denied his advances, he killed them. As was his right as a demi-god!

Red rug presents this as new information.

And then goes on to say that we are sponsored by a world wide organisation called LGBT with headquarters in all continents. That is where I started laughing. The rest of the article is so much bull shit, that I could not imagine it was written. And people spend money on this shit? And they believe the Red Rug?

Apparently, LGBT is funding us. And they go ahead and list the monies we are supposed to have got. How lucky we are!

(To the un-inititiated, LGBT is what we call ourselves. Representing the diversity of human sexualities. Lesbian, gay, Bisexual, Trangender. They forgot one letter, I for Intersex.)

Some girls are named as gay. As are some more guys. Names, description, place of residence etc. And then they have the gal to say that the Red rug is helping the Tabliq anti-gay squad to find the homosexuals who they did not know.

Irresponsible journalism. Again they will move on, and we shall pay the consequences.

Kuchus are actually very angry. It is a measure of our helplessness that this rug has not been dragged to court as yet.

But we shall go on. We shall win, because we are on the side of truth. I have never been so sure of that. I do have a martyr’s complex. Not the Osama Bin Laden type. But I am so convinced of the rightness of my cause that the stupidity of things done in the name of ‘morality’ just makes me more determined. Nsaba Buturo and Ssempa will go ahead enlisting the likes of Red rug as allies in their fight against homosexuals. But we will win. Because we are human beings, and what we put across is the truth. And because we are betting with our lives. Our very lives, and nothing is more precious than that.

We shall overcome. Someday.


Friday, September 14, 2007

The Bible and the Real Sin of Sodom and Gomorrah

Its a fact that I am not a believer. For now, I assert my right not to believe in anything.

I did not read the original article from Rev Kasibante, but I was struck by the answer that he gave to someone who attacked him. The letter is headlined 'I have no agenda to defend gays'

No, I did not know that the real sin of Sodom and Gomorah was not homosexuality!

Monitor Online | Letters to the Editor Date 13/09/2007
I wish your readers to note that it’s not I who would want them to believe this. It is the very Bible that Aligawesa claims he understands that says it in Ezekiel 16: 49. I quote: “This was the iniquity of your sister, Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, over-abundance of bread, and leisure, but they did not extend their hand to the poor”. People reading the Bible should also use their intellect. According to Genesis 18, God would have spared Sodom and Gomorrah if ten righteous persons were found there.

Now, I will have to hide this from my mate, because he is a christian and one of the reason I keep giving him (why I do not believe in his god) is that the bible has incontrovertible proof to the fact that god hates me. Well, at least Ssempa and Nsaba Buturo would have me so to believe.

Now, another thing here.

I saw this joke on a yahoo group, lgbtanglicans. Apparently it is old. And maybe out moded. For a Ugandan audience, I decided to adapt it a little bit, and I first posted it here. But I thought I should also bring it here.

Dont mistake me. I am not Christian. (Dont know why I keep saying that. Maybe because Christians keep trying to convert me, or condemn me.) I have not checked the scriptures mentioned. I assume they are correct since I picked it from a Christian discussion group!

Dear Pastor Ssempa:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's
Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to
share that knowledge with as many people as I can. For
example, when someone tries to defend the homosexual
lifestyle, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly
states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

However, I do need some advice from you regarding some of the
other specific laws and how to follow them.

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it
creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev.1:9). The problem
is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them.
Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as
sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you
think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she
is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19-24.
The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most
women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both
male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring
nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Rwandese,
but not Kenyans. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Kenyans?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.
Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I
morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish
is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God
if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear
reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there
some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including
the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly
forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead
pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting
two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by
wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread
(cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme
a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble
of getting the whole town together to stone them
(Lev.24:10-16) ? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a
private family affair like we do with people who sleep with
their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these
things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that the Bible is eternal and unchanging.

Do I need to add a comment to that? No?

Well, that is my post for today.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

I owe you an answer to your Questions. Because you are part of the 95%

I have to answer these questions. They were seriously asked. And as a member of the homosexual minority in Uganda (3%) vs the 95% who disapprove of us, I have to educate the others. We shall never be a majority. We depend on the majority to be educated, and to be conversant of the fact that they are persecuting us when they do certain things.

Blogger: A man from nowhere.
GayUganda, Now that the court has agreed to hear some of your cases like those two lesbian ladies who dragged the Attorney General to court alleging that their rights had been violated, is this a sucess to your side.

do you see this as a new twist in demand for your rights?

It is a definate success. Two human beings' privacy was invaded. Because they were gay. Just because of that, the house was broken into, searched, the guest arrested and then humiliated at the police station. When we say we are persecuted because we are gay people ask for proof. So, this is a case where someone got the guts to go to court over the issue. She had broken no law. It was just that she was gay.

I respect who you are.but i doubt wether you were born like that.

Thanks for respecting who I am. I was born this way. I know it. But also science agrees with me. Please read the Wikipedia article on Homosexuality. You dont have any reason to believe me. Except that I am. Your belief or unbelief does not take away my sexuality. I am, and was born gay.

I also don't support police and the public harassing you.
I can assure you that it will take you to climb mt Rwenzori to get your rights.

Thanks for not supporting the harrasment. There you agree that I am a human being. Now, Ssempa was at the court. Why was he there? I leave it to your imagination. I think he believes that the premise that a homosexual's privacy is invaded is something to demonstrate about. That the homosexual does not have the right to privacy.
I am willing to try to climb the Rwenzori. Accepting myself as a human being means standing up to anyone who thinks I have to be persecuted. Even when I am in a minority of 3%

Any way let me ask you.
Do you have kids?

No, I dont have kids. For all these answers I am going to link back to a post that further explains the answer to the question.

do you play sex for fun or with a purpase?

Well, I talk so much about having sex that I will link back to one or two posts. Enjoy! Yes, before you ask, I do love him.

what really makes you have feeling for your fellow men yet there are women there.

You know, that is something that I have always asked myself. When I look at a woman, I do not feel stirred. When I look at a good looking man, I am. It is not that I cannot get women. It is that they do not do that for me. I am sexually attracted to men, not women. And I am a man. Look at this post
And also at this one. My gay identity.

when did you realise that you were a gay?
what did you do when you learnt that you were a gay?

Gosh, somethings are tough to talk about. But look at this post, it is the same as the one above.

is your family aware that you are a gay?

Yes, thanks be to a god I do not know that they know. I could not tell them. But I lived in such a way that they could pick it up. And they did.

Is there any thing we can do to help you ?
I can get for you at caunsellor to help you.

Yes, you can do something for me. Please, dont ask a gay person to get a cousellor for his or her gayness. They are not sick. And you are going to make them hurt. Please.
Yes, you are a member of the 95%. Know that we are. Know that we are human beings. Know that we are normal. Oh yes, we are. We do have some special problems. We can tackle them ourselves, but not if you are so keen on throwing us in prison. STOP PERSECUTING US.
That is all we ask. You may not like us, please do not actively persecute us.

How many boyfriends do you have?

Only one boyfriend. I no longer call him boyfriend. We are way past that stage. Check out this post.

is being a gay likely to increase AIDS infection rate in Uganda.

No, definately not.
Gay people have always been here, in Uganda. They are more susceptible to HIV than heterosexuals. They have also been more infected. But that is because there is no programme for HIV prevention in the gay communities in Uganda. Paradoxically, to lower the HIV prevalence in the whole of Uganda now, we have to target this vulnerable group. Which we have not been targeting. And we have to reasses our priorities.

is it possible for you gays to use condoms?

Definately! We have the same organs. But there are some things which change. I will not go into those.

Where are you guys getting money to organise those activities?

Gosh, has Ssempa convinced you that it is the money coming from out that is making us gay? No or yes?
I must say that for me to blog here I am using my own money. For the connection and other things. And something else, the lack of an HIV programme is such a glaring hole that I can get money that way. The same way that Ssempa gets money for his Abstinence campaigns. Does that answer your question?

Can any any one become a gay at an adult age?

One is born gay. You may not realise it at first, but when you do, then you know. Sexual orientation is a very interesting subject. Read up this post. Many gay people get married thinking that it is a phase that will pass. And then later they find that they are just not confortable. And when one is gay, you are gay for life. Dont mess yourself up by trying to change.

.let the debate continue...

True, let the debate continue.....

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Coming (NOT) out

Yesterday I was at work. One of my colleagues dared to hint that she had noted me in a newspaper, that she could not believe it. I asked, very curious, what could she not believe?

Her courage vaporated. She told me she would tell me later. There were 2 other people within hearing. They all looked away. Definately knew what she was talking about.

I shrugged to myself. They know. I know they know. And I think they know I know. But how to broach the subject. They have known me for years. And this is when they first suspect? Some, maybe.

I remembered when I first came out to a friend of mine. He was at one time my best friend. Time and circumstances have drifted us apart, but we are still friends. It was hard to tell him. But I did, and he, bless him, he did not reject me.

From those thoughts this poem sprung.

Coming (NOT) out

Brother, lover;
I can’t help but lie to you,
fearing what you’ll do when you know,
the whole of me, the real me.

I cannot help but tell you a lie,
day to day, night by night
When we rise up and talk,
toil at pen and hoe.

I cannot help but live duplicity,
that to the bone cuts, tears me apart;
for I fear, dear friend, I fear my love.
You to know this tiny is secret
Part of my life, not all of my life, but yet of me.

That gay I am.
I whisper, I quake, I fear your wrath,-
that years of friendship down the drain will go,
As despair your eyes glazes;
Disgust clouds your eyes,
As you see me as I am not,
Because I am gay.

Begotten I was, made too true,
This, no, it ain’t no quirk,
Just is me, as is, I am.
Not sinner, NO, I pray!
Condemn me not, I beg of you.

Friend, I fear;
You I love, your rejection I dread.
so live will I, a lifetime lie,
to see you a friend, and me as false,
to know you a friend, me a lie.
As I live gay, your friend, colleague,
Brother, sister, and lover all

© GayUganda 13/09/07

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Resist!

Its interesting. At the beginning, when one looks at the things that stand between us and a realisation of gay rights in Uganda, it seems that the problem is insurmountable. When I first entered the gay community in Uganda, Kuchus one and all seemed to think that they are a cursed lot that will remain cursed.

Yet in a few years, a change has occurred. Most of the reaction to the Red Pepper outing was at first a despair. Despair and a cringing fear of what is going to happen, what our hostile world is going to dish out to us because now they know we are gay. That was Sunday, and Monday. People had switched off their phones. Others were planning to go into hiding.

Wednesday, and it seems the consensus has changed again. Come up swinging. Fight back. Resist. Anger has come up at last, a definite pride at being Kuchu and also being human and why should we be 'named and shamed'?. Explore the legal issues. And how else can we fight back?

An email campaign. Letters to the Red Pepper, challenging the outing of presumed gay people. It worked before. It can work again. The Red Pepper is not immune to this kind of thing also. Oh, and don't buy it. Just do not buy that rug!

Yet it is invigorating. The desire to stand up and be counted, to get out of the rut of always presenting your pass with a bowed head, being down trodden. The point when I raise my head and start fighting back. That is a turning point that is remarkable. A David and Goliath moment. When the 3% steps out before the incredulous gaze of the 97% and demand to be recognised. That we are also human.

One of my sisters dared to imply that it was shameful that I was being open about my sexuality. That I should go somewhere and hide. I told her no way. I am as good a human being as her.

That felt good. No longer acting the victim. Standing up and being counted.

The literal translation of Nsaba Buturo’s name is ‘I am requesting for refuge’. I don’t know why his parents so named him. But he feels that I should leave my country because I am gay. Me whose genealogy stretches back more than ten generations in this country, according to what my father tried strenuously to drum into my poor head. I don't remember my ancestors to the nth degree. I know my dad does, he still sings that song. But I remembered that when I heard Nsaba Buturo assert we should leave the country. Because we are homosexual. Being gay makes us less than human, undesirables that should leave pure, clean Uganda.

It feels good standing up to be myself. That is what they mean by Gay Pride I guess. It really feels good!

Kuchus, all. We shall overcome, someday. We shall because reason is on our side.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Red Pepper Fallout

A friend writes to me, 'I am fine. Even work seems to be fine. A few people have asked me about the gay thing, but it seems to be settling down at work. But at home, my boyfriend is having a lot of problems.’

The boyfriend was (like most of us) not out. And because his mate was exposed by the Red Pepper, the relatives jumped to the (right) conclusion. So, a clan meeting is planned. And god help the boyfriend.

Small, tiny ripples of consequence. For the people who are concerned. The newspaper set it off, blowing away our anonymity, exposing us as 'homos'. Shaming us.

One friend I asked whether he was fine replied that he was not. That it has not been ok at his place. That he is even thinking of going out of the country.

Tough luck. A friend who was a medic decided to leave the country too. That was some time ago. His reason was that it was impossible to keep it quiet in Uganda.

The lot of the Kuchu in Uganda. Hiding, a lifetime closet. From friends, family, everyone. Tough.

But life is tough. We have managed to live it before. We shall weather this storm.

An improbable silver lining to this all. Now, I know that people know; I do not have to explain it. Someone was looking over my Google Reader, and he saw stuff I would have closed immediately before. I did not. Because, well, he knows. And what he does with that knowledge, may be good or bad. But he knows. No more hiding.

That is a real relief. No more setting a silent watch on my tongue, on where I look, on the things that I do, what escapes my mouth in an unguarded moment. No more ducking when I am in a bar and I see someone I know. Or ducking when I see risky people on the street! I am gay! Great. I am a Kuchu! And almost everyone knows!

It's also good for us as a community. Yes, I know these days will be tough, as we go through the fall out. But I also know that we will get through all of it. And it will be better, because we shall be 'out' and the world will know!!!!

Crazy thinking. Best to look at the positive side of it all.

Small, personal, personalised tragedies. They will occur. 95% of our country mates disapprove. That does not stop us the 3% from being what we are. Gay. Kuchu.

We shall overcome. Because we must.

We shall overcome. Someday.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The effect of 'gay' slurs. Only a joke?

This is fascinating. I was whizzing through my Google Reader and I came across this interesting article, a preview of a book, an autobiography by a famous footballer.

The guy is straight. Yet the effect of the taunting about his sexuality was terrible. Fascinating reading. Read the article.

How gay slurs almost wrecked my career

Exclusive extracts from his autobiography reveals that taunts over his sexuality, which began as a dressing-room joke, nearly drove him out of the game

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Red Pepper Expose; why does it matter?

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 Uganda, Africa, and not so outside.

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.



It seems to be in my blood. To write, to note down things that occur. To get to pen and paper when distressed, or down, or high. To note down the vagaries of day to day life, when they occur. Once I complained about reading to my sister. She laughed, told me that I love reading. Maybe I do.

Is it ok to write about my day to day life and post it on a blog? Maybe. And maybe not. On the one hand I would not consider myself exhibitionistic. I am a retiring type of person. At least that is what I deceive myself that I am. But I hide under a thin cloak of anonymity and expose the working of my thoughts. Weird stuff indeed.

Once I had to ask my mate. I needed his permission because my life is so entwined with his that we cannot be separate. What happens to him happens to me. What affects me affects me. He gave his permission, though, (knowing me), he expected a few thrilling details of his sex life splashed on the web!

My mate.

Great terminology. According to the current constitution, we cannot get married. He would love it. Interesting thought, two gay Ugandans thinking of walking down the aisle together. Revolutionary. I have been talking to my dad who was commenting on the captive audience preaching that occurs at funerals and clan gatherings. It would be anathema for me to be a gay man in a relationship, flauting my gayness before all the world, the clan. Yet my dad knows now. And he knows my mate. Crazy, crazy, crazy world. I actually fear to broach the subject with him. I know he knows, and he knows I know, and life goes on! And he is a clan elder.

We had some differences yesterday, me and my man. Money issues. The pay cheque does not stretch as far as we would want, and differences about our priorities. We had raised voices. Yet I held him in my arms through the night. In the morning, I felt the urge to go and bathe him. Just rub my hands all over his body, soaping him and rinsing him, and patting him down to dry. I did. And at breakfast, I hugged him, telling him that I wished I could give him all that he wanted. 'Pluck the moon from the skies for him to wear around his neck' if it would please him.

He was silent.

I love him. God help me but I do love him.


Friday, September 7, 2007

What a god you serve!

No. I don't believe. Not so my partner. He believes; fiercely, passionately, completely. Fact is, after coming out to my pastor brother, him and my partner seem to have teemed up to 'bring me to faith'. Though my partner admits it seems like an impossible objective!

This is my opinion. Not that of other gay Ugandans. Particularly not that of gay Ugandans who believe, Christians, Moslems etc. I sincerely believe that it is your right to believe, and not to be rejected from Church or Mosque. As it is my right not to believe.

I know I may anger many with this. But it is funny when a Christian tells me sincerely that they do not hate me. That they do not hate me as a gay Ugandan. They believe it. But unless one acts like my brother did, I cannot believe it. And this is how some Christians reacted to us coming out.

What a god you serve!

a god, gods, I've never seen
nor are gods my familiars.
it's you that I see,
self proclaimed servant of god-
his image on earth, you say

of him, you I see preach,
fire, damnation and brimstone.
me condemning always-
that thence shall be my fate.


what a god you serve,
all lather, blood and gore,
demanding of me sacrifice,
me that him not know!

me damning, me devilry, me harloting-
why ever would he make of me,
universal punching bag?
or to sport me he made,
universal bowl for spit?

what a god you present-
shameless demand from I's.
what a god you serve,
sexless, beauty-less, tepid with hate!
what a god you serve,
rising early acoyltes to seek.

a god, any god I pray-
save me hence I beg,
from his god, hell and damnation.
may my knees not shrivel, not bend,
before yonder hate filled god,
nor seek ever to know,
a god like to the one you serve!

(c) GayUganda 07/09/07

Breaking the Law

Every time I have sex, I break the law. I do not rape anyone. I do not force anyone. The guy I do it with loves me. And I love him. And we do it willingly, and we do love the sex.

Yet we break the law.

Should we agonise about that fact? We Ugandans are all very good at ignoring the law, when we want it. Yet it is funny how much we believe in the government making more and more laws, and enforcing them. For example, Nsaba Buturo's contention was that the law was weak, that it needed to be strengthened.

Making love with my lover, I risk life imprisonment at Luzira. That is a sobering thought. Yet I break that law cheerfully, not thinking about the consequences. But a moralist will say that I need to go to prison for life. To make sure that the morals of the country are not destroyed by my immorality. So, maybe he will suggest that someone sleeps under my bed so that it is known when I break the law, with my lover. Is there any law as stupid as that? Policing what I do in bed with my lover? Heaven help me, but I do not think there is.

Today, I woke up later than usual. Wanted to watch the morning. It was already light by the time I got to the veranda to look out over the valley. Beautiful country that we have. When I woke it was drizzling, a light dusting of rain and water on the morning grass. Not so cold, but bracing. Now the sun is out, and a golden colour has suffused the air. It is clear. I can almost see each ray of the sun to the east. Lancing through the trees of my neighbour's garden.

I love this beautiful garden country. Uganda.

My lover called me back to bed. He wanted sex. Funny, he called me, and I was conflicted. I love the early mornings. And it was particularly beautiful. But he wanted sex. I obliged. And I am happy that I obliged, I mean, I love the guy, and there is nothing like sex in the morning, bracing, invigorating, and the post sex relaxation is beautiful. He is sleeping now. Will laugh when he wakes up, because it will definitely be past ten!

Breaking the law? No, the law was made for man, and not man for the law (as one very wise teacher said). I will break it very gladly, again and again, as often as I can.


Thursday, September 6, 2007

A Beautiful Day Outside

It's a beautiful day outside. The sun is out. The early morning a little cold, but the almost cloudless sky promises a warm day. When I was in boarding school, I found that I could predict the weather by looking up at the sky. I could tell the time to within ten minutes with a glance at the sun. That was a long time ago, when I was in primary school. Before I even got my first watch.

The time sense is gone. I spend little time outdoors these days. But the weather sense is still there. And today promises to be beautiful. Classic bright sunny Ugandan weather. Though there is something in the air which hints at lightning swift change to rain later on.

I have been out to watch the early morning. I am an early bird these days. Does not work well with my previous schedule of sex. I love sex in the morning. But now its either that or go out and think of the rising sun. Work schedules. Too tired for more than cuddling most evenings. But I do want it every day.

Gosh, there, I was talking about breaking the law! No wonder we want to be left alone. What does the government have to do with my cuddling with my lover?

I have passed through the papers. Actually, was looking for a very angry one that I sent yesterday on seeing Ssempa's usual rubbish. I do not like the guy, he seems to function on the basis that he wins the argument who shouts loudest. And he is really shouting loud! A string of impossible obscenities. By the way, to the assertion that homosexuality is against our culture, I would point out that Kabaka Mwanga who was gay (according to Ssempa) found Christianity against our culture. And of course 'our' includes me. I am a gay Ugandan. It is also my culture.

But there is something worth of notice. A number of people have come out for us. And suprising people they are. I would not have thought Gaetano, of Big Brother fame, would be so positive. Charles Onyango-Obbo is someone else. And the silver lining to the Gaetano sanctions, the fm stations were not amused at the broadcasting council’s duplicity. Why is it that people who do not like gay people believe it is right to strip them of all rights because they are gay?

My lover is down. Depressed. Yesterday it was blazing anger. A work related incident. Today it is more concentrated. Disappointment in a friend, a friendship not measuring up. Displeasure.

I held him in my arms when he was angry. Tried to warm him in his coldness. He is fuming, down now but not so much. I cannot share my personal insight that we build our lives around a set of ideals, sets of ideals. Like eternal friendships, and 'they lived happily ever after'. I am an African living in Africa. Life is too cheap, too fragile. I love him, but I am enough of a man to know that it is a rare gift, a bloom that I should celebrate each new day. Yes, I am gay, a gay man in a homophobic country. But it is not much different from a straight couple in my place. It may be a little easier. It may be harder. Depending on a lot of things.

That is why I took the chance to live my life, for myself. That is why I took my chance to live with my partner. To form a partnership. He has nursed me when I was ill. He has held me in his arms when I was stinking, fevered. He is my love, and I am his love. I will hold him now, I will hold him because I can, I will hold him because I love him.


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Way to Go!

Yes, we have a long way to go.

I was passing through the Monitor’s SMS page. They ask readers to send text messages on their opinions on certain topics in the news. This is about homosexuality and rights in Uganda. Well, we have a long way to go, just to convince our country mates that we are human beings.

Yet, because we are human beings, that is the edge that we have. Someone once told me that we shall win. Just because our demands are right. And they are demands. Not requests. To be left in peace. The dignity of human beings. The recognition that we are, that we are different, but also that we are human beings.

It is so basic. It is so simple. And it is so radical.

A part of humanity that is persecuted by the rest of humanity, the rest of our communities. But in us is the seed of salvation for the world. Because it is when we recognise that being different does not take away from our basic humanity that we learn the very essence of being human.

I muse that there must be some evolutionary need for my sexuality. Why is it so consistent? Why has it been around since time immemorial? Why does it persist despite the social condemnation? Because there is a Darwinian selection advantage. There must be.

Paraphrasing ‘Sherlock Holmes’ (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), when all possible reasons are eliminated, then the impossible must be the reason. We know a lot, but we do not know enough about certain things. Despite the explosion of our knowledge.

We put faith before knowledge,
lead knowledge with faith,
doubting knowledge when faith, knowledge contradicts.

it can, will be a prison,
worse than granite walls, steel bars
when very essence of knowledge
faith doubts, contradicts;
pulling knowledge apart,
ridiculing very intelligence
in the Name of god.

Worse is when
faith leads us be-
less than human,
animal in cruelty, merciless in punishment,
in the Name of God.
Faith is, can be, a boon and bane,
freedom and prison.

©GayUganda 04/09/07

Morning in Kampala

It's a cold day out. Very cold. So cold that my lover tells me he has never felt it so cold. I wanted to tell him we better go to bed then. Then I would be able to hold him close to my body, skin to skin. To banish the cold and make the warmth of the beddings a boon. To rub my nose against his, drink in his warm breath and his glowing body heat.

But he needs to go work. And so do I.

Un-seasonal cold in Kampala. The rain clouds do not seem to want to leave the skies. It is supposed to be the dry season. But day after day the sun is hidden behind clouds. It peeps out, like a brilliant smile from a loved one's face. Lighting up the world around like a torch beam on a moonless night. Bright, almost blinding in its whiteness. This is Europe weather, not Ugandan.

I have been railing against those who do not want me in this country. I love it so much that I feel chagrined at the thought of someone wanting to deny my birthright because I am what I am. No, it is my birthright. And if I need to push and shove for it, I will do my little best.

Its calm now in the papers. Not so much gay bashing. There is an interesting article in the Monitor. Someone is giving the scientific reasons for why I and others are different. Funny. It is only the opposition paper which can publish this. And this kind of impartial scientific opinion will make Nsaba Buturo more determined to shut it down. Because it is 'homo-loving'!

I choose love, over hate;
I choose love, banish indifference;
I choose love,
to suffer love's birthing pains-
than hate's corroding power,
or indifference's sterile desert.
I choose love!

Love's my choice, over hate;
Love's my choice, not indifference;
Love's my choice,
despite love's bursting heartache,
than hate's corrosive strength,
and the sterility of indifference's desert.
Love's my choice!

© Gug, 04/09/07

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nothing like a Gay Ugandan

For Minister Nsaba Buturo, a gay person has no human rights. There is nothing like a gay Ugandan. Because such an entity does not exist, and it will be refused to exist.

'Apologists are quick to quote international conventions and claim individual freedoms and rights, throwing away basic tenets of decency,' he said.

And it seems nothing is too bad to stop people from getting the mess of homosexuality. Show hosts should lose jobs, and any media houses should be closed down.

One thing I am amazed at. The fact that a rational human being can be so hate ridden that he sincerely does not see the holes in his thinking. This guy is a PhD. I keep talking about that. But you see, I am a Ugandan. And we are obsessed with academic qualifications.

It seems morality without condemning homosexuality to him is not morality. So, he hits out at us, and hits out, and hits out, and hits out. And the obsession is so big that only himself does not seem to see the log in his eye.

God help Nsaba Buturo in his hatred. And those who think like him.


Sunday, September 2, 2007

Is this genocide?

I am not willing to think the worst of people. My partner does. At the drop of the hat he will consider someone an enemy. Very combative he is. I am the other way. I still consider that Nsaba Buturo is just one of those believers who are adamantly anti-homosexual. And though I am a bit leery of Ssempa's brand of populist homophobia, I think he is someone in denial. (Someone actually attacked him on a radio talk show.) If he is, it is very sad. Historically we have been hurt a lot by those who are gays in denial. We have been hurt a lot. Think of McCarthy, and Craig who has just resigned.

Yet, if I take into mind these few facts I really wonder whether those who insist that there is a homosexual agenda do have a homophobia agenda. And that that agenda is genocide in Uganda.

Consider this.

Ssempa is an HIV activist, who has been awarded an MSc and a honorary PhD. Albeit there are because of his work on promoting Abstinence. But how can he say something like this-

"Homosexuals should absolutely not be included in Uganda's HIV/AIDS framework. It is a crime, and when you are trying to stamp out a crime you don't include it in your programmes," Ssempa said. "For instance, the solution to stopping HIV transmission through rape is not to provide the rapists with condoms, but to stop rape itself."

Is that really logical? Is it logical to be against an HIV prevention programme against one of the most vulnerable populations to HIV infection? The history of HIV is thick with the suffering of gay men. What is Ssempa really saying here?

Nsaba Buturo is a PhD in economics too. He is consistent in his promotion of ‘family values’ though the media in Uganda is leery because they do not seem to include corruption which is more of a pressing problem.

This guy has used his post as a Minister to oppose, vehemently any programme on HIV prevention. It was due to this that the Country Representative of UNAIDS was thrown out of the country.

Considering the fact that 27 years since the beginning of this epidemic the country has not had an HIV prevention programme, what has been the unseen effect on gay Ugandan men? How many have got HIV? How many have died? Are the homophobes consciously letting an unnatural selection against gay men take place in Uganda? Genocide, using the HIV virus?

Is this genocide pre-meditated?

I am beginning to think that it is. Am I just being paranoid?


Beautiful Uganda

I am seated on the veranda at our place. Looking out across a valley to the other side of a hill.

Uganda. this country is indeed beautiful. Of course I am biased. To me it is home. To me it is what I have known as home since birth. When I am in other countries, I think of returning home. Coming back. And to me home is green, with a plethora of trees and plants, fighting a war against man’s encroaching strength. Home is a series of hills and valleys, of red soil and green covered hills. Home is broad lived banana tree plantations, mangy avocado trees and the tough leaved mangoes. Home is the dark tan garden soil, and the red of the raped hills in a green carpet.

Home are the bustling, sleepless streets of Kampala, potholed and cratered after the latest downpour. That is home. Lovely weather, unseasonable cloud cover, a green that is ubiquitous and the throng of dark skinned people in a trillion tones. I do love this small country of ours. I do love it.