Depends on what the charge will be. I have no doubt that Buturo will make sure that, such as me are charged with the most severe of crimes. So, the charge of ‘promoting’ homosexuality may be an initial holding charge, before others that may land me for life imprisonment or the death penalty are instituted.
Am I willing to stay in the country with that threat?
What will happen if I am arrested?
I will go for broke, if that happens. I will out myself. Prominently. And, I will ask for help. I will go down as a martyr, then, but, I will make sure that I take my pound of flesh from those who persecute me. And, I will give them the promise of a Ugandan. If I ever get out of prison, all bets are off. Jungle law prevails. Guess who will be the prey...
My lover? I think he knows that that would be the best option. Going for broke. Going out blazing.
My family, parents? Maybe it is that embarrassment that made Daddy tell me to think of getting out of the country! Oh well, a nagging thought. But, it is something that I have to think about. But, I still believe that, to Dad, blood is thicker than water. After all, he did come to tip me off when the govt was making noises about arresting us.
What if I am arrested?
The nightmare of Uganda’s court system, and prisons.
Almost as soon as I am arrested, it will mean jail. Bail is mandatory, according to the crime. But, for certain offences, including those for which one gets the death penalty or life imprisonment, then you can be on ‘remand’ in prison for a year without getting bail.
That law may be the worst. Because, for any kuchu that inadvertently find themselves in prison, and charged, at least a year in prison might happen. Even before conviction.
Uganda’s courts are corrupt. Very corrupt.
I have personally managed to stay free, because of that fact, despite the fact that my having sex is a crime. Who accuses me has to have the burden of proof.
But, when a Minister is behind the accusation? When the pressure is from ‘above’? The corruption will be used against me. To make sure that I stay in prison, serve at least a year mandatory remand time. And, of course, I suffer the heaviest punishment. Death, life imprisonment.
So, am I willing to risk the death penalty or life in prison just for my love of staying in the country?
Maybe I am being stupid myself. I mean, no refugee wants to be a refugee. No one wants to leave home. Will I risk all that, for the chance of being home?
No. It is not pride. It is not bravery.
It is just simple despair. What do I do? What do I do when this law is passed?
“‘At what cost though?’
From all the words
in my world of them
I could muster none,
my mind reeling
at such savage progress.”
That is the burden of intelligence. This thing is going to come over me, when my eyes are wide open. I will know what is happening, when it is happening.
Which reminds me of a boast of mine. I have never, ever been really afraid of death. The reality of death I cannot ignore. So, why be afraid of it? Death is like a shadow, an old friend that is constantly looking over my shoulder. For the chance to take hold of my hand. Why hide that fact from myself?
It is something that will be, whether I like or not. Illogical to be afraid of it.
Hey friend. Did I tell you why I started this blog? It was because of me. I wanted a place to air what I am, with the impunity of washing my laundry in the air, hanging it out, and daring anyone to come and do something.
I don’t write the blog for anyone. I do it for myself.
And, I have written these posts for a simple reason. I needed to think this thing through. No, I have not yet come to a conclusion. But, I am still thinking about it.
What will happen to others? Other people, other kuchus in the country?
As my lover irritably says, I have the annoying habit of thinking about how something will affect others that I know nothing about. Well, many are my friends, and, they are people that I have known together in activism, in being gay and living in Uganda.
And, matter of fact, I have usually managed to hide from my lover what is worrying me when something is really worrying me. A survival technique… for our relationship.
So, I have thought, for a long time, and put the words on the sheet. What is the conclusion?
The bill is not yet law. I will not make a decision now. I will not be stampeded into one. I still love my country. There is still a slight chance the bill will not become law. (Of course, there is a chance that if I jump off the minaret of the Gaddafi Mosque, that I will grow wings and fly, before I reach the ground.)
What will happen when the bill becomes law?
Well, I don’t actually know.
And, as to what I am thinking of doing, thanks friend. I am still thinking about it.