Do LGBTI in Uganda play the victim too much?
27th thinks that we do. We are victims. True, but we play it too much. (Now, he is going to ask where exactly he said that.)
But it is something that has been said before, even on this blog.
Kind of a fine line there. The fact that we are victims is acknowledged, with the immediate rejoinder that we play it up.
I am not sure that we do.
Is it better for us not to cry? Or to cry back in our closets, alone and frightened, without anyone knowing what is happening? Alone, being gay and alone in a mass of heterosexuals can feel very lonely. Coming out of that closet does feel liberating. In a country like Uganda, one cannot be completely out. Today, I have just had another brush with the risks we take. In office, had taken a peep at the blog. I get out of the room, and a colleague comes in.
He definitely saw what was on the screen.
About 3 years ago, a gay friend of mine made a pass at this colleague, and we ended up at a police station. My friend stayed in police cell for 3 nights, as we arranged for suitable bribes. Fact.
So, this colleague comes into my ‘office’, he saw what was on my screen. He did not mention it. But I have been so ‘out’ that he may know. Or suspect, since that incident. And last year of course. I was not too shy.
Such a thing happens, routinely. And we don’t talk about it.
There is a kuchu friend that was mentioned in the red rug as always in and out of the police cells. He seems to be attracted to straight men only!!!! So he has made friends with some of the officers so that he comes out sooner rather than later. These are things that do not make the newspapers. We do pay off reporters who threaten to expose us. Again, clear eyed fact of life. Risks of being a kuchu in Uganda.
The HIV programme for Kuchus which we have never had, because Ssempa believes that the law should be implemented? That is, the police should arrest us for having sex so that HIV is not spread by gay sex. Again, we shouldn’t cry about that. We should get HIV, and go ahead and get the drugs. After all, they are supposed to be free in Uganda.
Now, I am wondering whether we do cry out enough?
I mean, it seems as if we have suffered too many indignities silently, and when we cry out our detractors say that we are being babies!
No more pandering to those.
And I will continue relying on the allies that I can get, where they are, who can aid me. I will not be ashamed to cry out, because I will no longer cry silently. Rather than crying too little, I would rather cry too much. The excess will be accounted for by the times that I did not cry out, and I did suffer indignities in silence.