Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Voice shall be Heard.



It is a pretty important voice, isnt it?!!!!!

Feel in the mood to blow a trumpet. Heap praise on myself for non-existent achievements. For, what have I achieved from my song?
Don't know... My voice is hoarse. Too hoarse... not the kind that is heard with much enthusiasm. And, my countrymates think it is a disaster for me to be heard. But, I am their countryman, and I do have a voice, and I choose to shout.

Now, for the last few months, I was off the air.

And then, when I came back, I started re-thinking my strategy. It is too easy to be a whiner. But, it is also easy to get on the high horse of righteous indignation, and let the anger burn and fuel one. It did me. And, I did what I thought was not possible. And the sword wore out the scabbard. Back to earth I crashed, and I was silent. For too long.

But, my voice has to be heard.

I have been following, ear to the ground, what has been happening. In the US, the sudden emphasis on bullying of teens, and the suicidal consequences. What happens in Uganda? In Africa? We don't know. Just got in touch with a former classmate who surprised me by confiding that he is gay. He lives and works in the villages of Uganda. And, though he confides that he is 'underground', he is frank that he knows of me. And that, I am 'over ground'. Asked myself the question, how is it to be gay and live in the villages, in the country side of Uganda? A nightmare...! What is it to be gay and a teen growing up, in the rural areas of Uganda?

I don't know. Yeah, freely admit it. I have fought my journey in a more urban setting. I know a lot about that. And, I know that we all come to Kampala.... the Mecca, so to say. Seek out the anonymity of the urbanised environment.

Hey, I know that a judge struck down 'don't ask don't tell'. Another of those curiously stupid laws. But, there are many of those. I have listened, and shrugged it off. Wasnt in the mood to open the blog and put down more of my opinion.

But, recently, I got across a report. It was made about HIV and programming amongst gay men in Uganda, Kenya.

I was disgusted.

You know of Uganda's fame as a country that has fought and turned the epidemic of HIV? No? Well, we are there amongst the 'greats'. It is in Uganda that many of the ground breaking research has been made. And, the politicians have been proud of that fact.

But, what of HIV amongst Gay men in Uganda?

Blank. A blank slate. I read through the report, knowing the facts, having lived them, but not recognising... because it is almost impossible to realise that it is only in Uganda that this could have happened. Homophobia is killing gay Ugandans with HIV. With ignorance. The people who matter in the country decided not to tell us that we were dying. They denied us knowledge, information, simple prevention tools. And, it was not a single instance. No, it was a systematic turning of a blind eye to everything that concerned gay men.

Why did they do this?

Because, doing otherwise is 'promotion of homosexuality'. The kind of thing that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 sought to make criminal.

Such broadcasted thoughts like these from Ssempa, who is very influential in Uganda, and Professor Apuuli are the iceberg showing the dinosaur beneath the surface.
"Gays are one of the drivers of HIV in Uganda, but because of meagre resources we cannot direct our programmes at them at this time," Mr Apuuli, chairman of the Uganda AIDS Commission, said today.
and from Ssempa, this guy who cries crocodile tears that he loves gay Ugandans..

“These people are just looking at ways of legitimising their practice, which is illegal and deviant in our society,” said Pastor Ssempa. “Our previous experience showed us that bringing homosexuals into campaigns against HIV only gives them a chance to propagate their illegal and unnatural acts.”


If I shut up, I will die, and be thrown into an unmarked grave.

What beat me was the contrast to our neighbour to the east, Kenya. Oh yes, Kenya is homophobic. But, they are leading the way. The Kenya AIDS Commission serves gay Kenyans. They have been delivering services. And they are leading the way in research.

Why the difference? Insane Christianity. False moralising.

So, I have no option. My voice has to be heard. And, don't I love yelling!

Caution. I am going to do it so well that, I will be heard.

gug

1 comment:

Andrea said...

I hear you! I'm sending you love from the US and I hope you stay safe. Glad to see you writing again.

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