'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]