Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Struggle Continues.



'La Lutta Continua'. I believe it is Che Guavara. The Cuban revolutionary.

The gay movement here has come to kind of own that. I don't think most even know who said it..... like me of course. But, it is something to hang on. Especially when we are faced by setbacks.

Yesterday was the funeral for David Kato.

And, it was the culmination of the mourning for me. No, I was not there in body. But, certainly I was there in mind. And, my partner was there. He filled me in, early today in the morning. Quiet, away from the hype and adrenalin of the happenings.

Today, for me has been a day of quiet reflection. Morning, I slept in. Late morning, did some chores, trying to shake off the hangover.
And, later, after a siesta, was glued to the TV, watching the uprising in Egypt. Very interesting stuff.

But, it has also been time for reflection for me.

Yes, yesterday there was lots of adrenaline flowing. After the days of mourning, the funeral and aftermath were a real, major climax to everything.
We challenged everything in our society that stands between us and being accepted for what we are. Gay activists in Uganda are quarrelsome and militant. Many in the mould of David Kato. And, it was very much in evidence at the funeral.

I cannot understate how historical what happened was.

I cannot understate the huge role that our friends outside the country played. In putting the death, the brutal murder before the Ugandan government. The outpouring of love and togetherness. And, it was fantastic.

But, I have to remember one very important thing.

We stood up, reached out, and broke the mould of what is expected of us as Gay Ugandans. We actually came out.
And, I cannot downplay what happened at the funeral.

First, there was the reading of all sorts of speeches, condolence messages and things like that. From dignitories far and wide. It was emotional. It was embracing. It was warm.
But then came the rejection. The rejection in the face of what we are. In the face of what David Kato was.

The preacher. From the Church of Uganda, Anglican. With his message of 'repent'. [I did say I want no preaching at my funeral?... Just wanted to emphasize it.]
David was no church goer. I didnt even know that his dad was a Reverand in the church. But, when I knew him, he was no church goer. Though, well, I should remember that the group he led was faith based. Integrity.
But, it is very, very hard to be gay, Ugandan, and faithful to the 'faiths' as we see them.

Of course, our reaction was predictable. And, taking the mic out of the guy's hands was the least that we could have done. He desecrated David Kato's funeral. And, he was throwing mud in our grief, simply because he felt, he believed that we should 'repent'. Served him right, the embarassment.

But, I guess he will not see it like that.

The locals refused to bury David. So, we went ahead and did the honours.

And, it was all faithfully taped and on the evening news, here. NTV.

Big deal? Of course.

The rejection. Our reaction. And the fact that the world saw... but also Ugandans saw what happened.

It is a homophobic country. We exposed ourselves. And, we put our finger in the eye of traditionalism and 'conservatism', and did our thing.

Is it significant?

You bet you it is....!

[to be continued]


gug

7 comments:

Leonardo Ricardo said...

I think it is a HUGE thing--you´re right, much more to be continued...

Glad you guys are well, stay that way!

OT: Thanks for the note regarding Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo--I wondered if it was him who did the proper internment in the face of much danger for him too--the man is a Saint (even if you don´t believe in that kind of stuff, the rest of the World is naming him one too).

Abrazos

DMUSAALA said...

In London, some homosexuals live respectable, dignified lives. Ugandan homosexuals should distance themselves from those behaving badly, having continuous orgies at which alcohol and drugs are misused and children are abused - I know since this has been happening in my family home. Decent homosexuals who do not use young people by condemning those who do, may be able to find acceptance in due time. But if all are tarnished with the same brush, it is difficult.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

In London, some homosexuals live respectable, dignified lives. Ugandan homosexuals should distance themselves from those behaving badly, having continuous orgies at which alcohol and drugs are misused and children are abused - I know since this has been happening in my family home.¨ DMUSAALA

Oh, you mean like heterosexuals? Naw, that´s not such a good idea. Do you get the online version of ¨Red Pepper¨? It´s devoted to reporting all the heterosexual vileness you attribute to ¨homosexuals¨--but wait, there must be a mistake! You bet there is, painting with wide brushes is a much wider tarnishing process than you mention.

Lord have mercy on hypocrites, sexual predators of all abusive stripe and may bigots and thieves stay far away from us.

gayuganda said...

It is always funny when heteros kind of paint us with the brush of paedophilia and other sins, forgetting that in fact heteros are also guilty of the very same sins.

that is a matter of fact Dmusaala.

So, before you say something like that, as a wise man said, first take the log out of your eye, so that you can see well to take the stick out of my eye.

Hélder António said...

Hello, gug.

A frequent slogan in Portuguese, my mother tongue, "A luta continua" — a motto used by FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique, Liberation Front of Mozambique) leader Samora Machel — is the title of a song popularized by «Mama Africa» Miriam Makeba.

The importance of being earnest: Ernesto "Che" Guevara, born in Argentina, was a homophobe (like his comrade Fidel Castro).

Best wishes, gug & all kuchus of Uganda.

http://cordialconstriction.blogspot.com/2011/01/david-kato-kisule-1964-2011-activista.html

Jay said...

I lost my post, so I am starting over. Forgive me if I double-post.

I am so distressed about what LGBT Ugandans go through just to live their lives. This is not much comfort, I know, but someday it will be different. Unfortunately, it may be slower and more wrenching in places like Uganda. I am an American. Please let me assure you that the radical evangelicals here do NOT speak for the country. Most Americans would support what President Obama's remarks about Mr. Kato.

I wish I could protect you all from the firestorm. The important thing now is to stay safe so you will live to fight another day. Do not give the forces of evil easy targets to eliminate. Use your heads as well as your hearts. Persistence with caution!

gayuganda said...

Thank you people.

Your words, your friendship, your good wishes are all much appreciated by all of us.

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