Monday, January 31, 2011


Do we dare believe that? Or is it just a war of words?

It has happening on two identifiable fronts. OK, on three. But, the first is almost negligble. With barely any investigation, the government is convinced that the death of David Kato was due to 'aggravated robbery'. Should I bias this further?
That Kato was staying with a known thief, who knowing that David was soon leaving the country, decided to rob him of the few things he had.... (leaving quite a few others...), and kill him in the bargain.

Now, that is the kind of insult to logic that I do not countenance at all. But, the government of Uganda being what they are, they are going to stick to that line. For a very long time.

I dismiss it as illogical, and leave the more unkind words in my mind.

But, death has this visceral shock effect. Suddenly, Ugandans are discussing homosexuality, and not with the vapid hate mongering of the other days. Of course, the Ssempas are there. And, they are talking as they do, often. But, other Ugandans are coming out and speaking, like they have never done before.

It is on the airwaves, the fm stations again. And, do not be mistaken, most of what I hear is the old homophobic things. But, there is a difference. It is less hate laced. And, those who are not homophobic are coming out and challenging the blind hatred.

Then there is this article from the Observer. Clearly sensitive, and friendly. These are the kind of articles, gay friendly, that would not be published like so, in Uganda. Ugandans are more used to the likes of the Red Rug and others like that, painting gay people like they are the worst colour possible, demons, with horns, and tails hidden somewhere.

Of course it helps a lot when there is Uganda's peers are pointing out, insistently, that we Ugandans are in the wrong. We are not insular. And, though many Ugandans may believe it is okay to kill gay ugandans, they are shocked that the rest of the world holds them in contempt. As less than 'civilised'. It is funny, I have always commented on our immense vanity. I never knew it could fall into my hands like this, as a weapon to use. Like this BBC report. And, yes, BBC is watched, by mainly those who have cable television in Uganda. The elite, the moneyed classes.
And, before you ask, growing up as a gay Ugandan, enduring the abuse and disapprobation, I have become very much less vain than the ordinary Ugandan.....
Maybe I should say that it is the 'elite', the opinion leaders who matter. And, they are quite vain of the good 'repute' of the country..... lol....!

Here is how the Christian, MP and rising star in the ruling party, mover of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill David Bahati mourns David Kato. There are some things which have clearly not changed.... and, that is the utter Christian compassion of David Bahati. Here is the quote.

David Bahati told journalists in Kampala today that though Kato's death is unfortunate, it should open Ugandans' eyes to the illegality of homosexuality.
Bahati described Kato as a humbled soul long and hard to see the future of children destroyed and marriages broken up by illegal acts.
He says though his death may have had nothing to do with his acts, it has everything to do with the financial resources set to these individuals by donors, which could have attracted the attention of the assailants.
The MP says the Police should not only investigate Kato's death, but also dismantle the illegal networks, particularly financial, which are being used to facilitate gay activities in Uganda, especially in schools. In Uganda most people feel like vomiting when they come across gay practitioners or activists.

Most interesting, and most fitting is the fact that actually, buried somewhere in all that venom is the compassion, mourning the death of David Kato. Surely, surely, Bahati is devastated. Crocodile tears . Much like Giles Muhame.... He is being his usual lovely self. Will not link to him, because, truly, Giles is an outstanding example of his pastor Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa's classic teaching in Christian compassion.

Am sorry Christians. I know, the people above do not represent all of you.....

To atone for my cruel humour, I will try to examine real Christian compassion in the next post. Of course......

But, let me end this one with some interesting quotes from a Reuter's story. Kind of captures the ambivalent mood in the country at the moment.

In one sense, whether or not homophobia motivated David's killer is unimportant. A global spotlight has shone on the country in a way it rarely does and many Ugandans are unhappy with what it highlights.
Alan Kasujja, host of a breakfast radio show in Kampala, used his broadcast on Friday to urge Uganda to turn its back on homophobia and focus on other issues.
"I have tons of friends who are gay," Kasujja told Reuters. "These are people who I have gone to school with, who I have worked with. They are our brothers and sisters, our children.
"So am I supposed to join ill-informed, undereducated people who advocate for them to be ostracised? Sorry, I cannot be part of that," he said.
Alan says his listeners were divided over whether David was a victim of hate, or robbery. Though many listeners expressed reservations about homosexuality, they said that Uganda should not be known for violence.
Some texted the show, however, telling him to stop promoting "deviants", a reflection of a culture of hate that many say has been encouraged by the Christian right in the east African nation -- often funded by Christian groups in the United States.
Kampala's Red Pepper newspaper headlined its story on the murder: "Self-confessed bum driller murdered", accusing Kato of "luring" men into gay sex.
Two gay Ugandan men, poring over the newspapers on Friday morning, smiled ruefully when they saw the Red Pepper story and shrugged their shoulders.
"This is what we have to deal with day-to-day," said one, who did not want to be named. "But I listened to the radio this morning and I read Twitter yesterday and I felt some hope. Maybe this is so awful, it can change things."
The two friends finish their tea and push through the swinging doors of the cafe and out into the blistering heat.
One pauses and turns his head back.
"Do you promise you won't use my name?" he asks. "I know David didn't mind. But David ... David was... I don't know." He shakes his head sadly. "I don't know."

Just to remind you, the kind of broadcast that Alan Kasujja was allowed to do got a radio DJ (Gaetano) suspended a few years ago. And, if the anti-Homosexuality bill ever becomes law in Uganda, such a discussion will be completely illegal. Something that David Bahati is very anxious to have.

But, at least there is dialogue....!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Struggle Continues....2

So, in the aftermath of our coming out in defiance, what is happening?

Too many of us were exposed. We had on the t-shirts. We were identifiable. No more hiding for many. For that, in most cases, we deal with it in a case to case basis. Yes, David actually reported that he was feeling insecure.... but....!

Oh well.

Ultimately, we all have to take into our own hands our security. Some are more exposed than others. Most of the activists are known now. So, maybe there is nothing to do about hiding those.... and of course, the risk from anonymous violence is there.

[Was this what killed David? The police seems convinced that it was a 'robbery'.....Gosh, if I say I do not believe that, will I be excused? Maybe I am too close to everything. But, I will wait the results of their investigation. As long as it doesnt take for granted my logic.
But, this is Uganda. The probability of a face saving 'investigation', made for TV, the parading of a suspect as the murderer, and quietly closing the case, that is a real possibility. Who will put pressure on them? I simply have never, ever felt that I have to bribe the police to investigate. Stop laughing. That is what happens in Uganda. And, I just feel like they just get 'results' that will convince me.... as long as I can accept them.]

Anyway, we shall cross that bridge when we get to it. If we ever do.

People outside Uganda ask me what they can do to help....

The situation in Uganda, we can only change with what we have. That depends on us. Engaging the populace, making them see that we were no different.
That is something which David had achieved at his village. All seemed to know that he was gay. Few seemed to really mind. And, at the wake, they saw us, knew us, and didnt seem to be really bothered. Pity that he had to be buried at another place. We would have had less hostility shown to us. And, it was hostile. The homophobic preacher was cheered on by the locals. And, when the mic was taken away, they refused to bury David. In our culture, that is the most extreme insult that they could have visited on us.

And, the locals did it.

No. We must not think that we have an easy road ahead.

For friends outside Uganda- we cannot, and will not ask you to risk your lives for us. Even for those inside the country, we do not.

But, we remind you that, the lessons of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, the lessons of the death of David Kato are quiet clear. You have a lot of clout here. It is through public opinion of Uganda in your country. It is in your country that you move the politicians to move the leaders in Uganda. And, it is not only political. It is also religious, and cultural.

It is funny, but, for this I rely on the simple psych of the Ugandan society at the moment.

What seems to matter, to the government, to the people, is the reputation. And, if Uganda is in anyway sensitive to its reputation in the family of nations, it is vulnerable. Our country people, our government will treat us gay ugandans like shit. But, they will not do that when you ask your leaders to ask them what justification they have to do that.

Because, Ugandans are vain. And, that vanity is susceptible to the ridicule that they are acting less than 'civilised'


that is a laugh.

But, now you know how you are important to us, as gay Ugandans.

The struggle inside the country for the hearts and minds of our countrymen and women continues. We shall wage it. I believe we have matured to the point that we can do that, on our own behalf. And, if this editorial in the independent Monitor is to be believed, some people are ready. Some. Not all.

But, we simply must remain alive to do that. And, that is where you come in, if you are not a Ugandan, but want to help, in anyway. You can influence your leaders, in Church, Mosque, or your government. They will influence leaders in my country, Uganda. And, that will be of immense help to me.....!

And, on behalf of all gay people, kuchus in Uganda, thanks!


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]


Friday, January 28, 2011

David Kato Kisule: The funeral. And Beyond

I have gone through lots of emails.
Friends, acquitances, well wishers. The world over is in sympathy with gay Ugandans on the death of David Kato Kisule.
Is an emotional time for me. Actually, am not trusting myself to talk. At least the words I write are kind of filtered. And, of course there is the backspace on the keyboard. Can delete and erase and edit words. But, not as when they come out of the mouth.
Maybe my biggest fear is that I am so emotional that I may cry!!!!
Ahem, ahem. Internal joke, that. Not very fit to be shared further than me. But it is good enough to make me laugh.

I was not at the funeral. [maybe I fear crowds…..!]. But, I was there in the spirit. With the crowd, the mourners. And, I was there last night. Spent the whole night there. At last saw the elder twin, Wasswa. Was kind of a morbid curiosity. According to tradition, it is taboo to talk about a twin dying. So, another word is used. I believe the reason is that they are supposed to be connected. So, one does not die while the other lives. But, I did see David Kato’s elder brother.

There is lots of press on him. Yes, David would be happy.
Why do I feel sad at that?
Because he is not around to share the happiness.
But, there are still battles to fight. That is matter of fact. For example, even at the funeral, a preacher decided that the chance of a captive audience was too much. Here is what the BBC reports.

There was a moment of drama when a pastor preaching at the outside service told homosexuals to repent, our correspondent reports.

The man warned that they would face the fate of residents in Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities destroyed by God.

He was interrupted, accused of preaching hate, taken away and someone else took over the proceedings, our reporter says.
Well, the family, the LGBT family took matters into their own hands. We buried our loved one. We buried David. And, to hell with the preachers, and all those who hate us. Here is what the Reuters reporter saw.
Scuffles broke out between locals and friends of a murdered Ugandan gay activist at his funeral on Friday after the pastor conducting the service berated gay people and villagers refused to bury the coffin.
"The world has gone crazy," the pastor told the congregation through a microphone.
"People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back, they should abandon what they are doing. You cannot start admiring a fellow man."
Gay activists, wearing T-shirts featuring Kato's face with sleeves coloured with the gay pride flag, then stormed the pulpit and grabbed the microphone.
"It is ungodly," the pastor shouted, before being blocked from sight.
An unidentified female activist then began to shout from the pulpit.
"Who are you to judge others?" she shouted. "We have not come to fight. You are not the judge of us. As long as he's gone to God his creator, who are we to judge Kato?"
Locals intervened on the side of the pastor and scuffles broke out before he was taken away to Kato's father's house to calm the situation.
Villagers then refused to bury the body at which point a group of Kato's friends, most of whom were gay, carried his coffin to the grave and buried it themselves.

If anyone ever preaches at MY funeral, I promise to stand up and correct the proceedings…..! LOL!

I have noticed a curious reaction. Many activists are coming out, more, and more emboldened. [sigh. My partner is becoming bolder than I am. Needs a serious talking too…. I cannot remain the voice of reason in this family.]

But, others have fine tuned the old reflexes. They are burrowing deeper. Fearful, closing the closet right round them.
Well, to remind you, it is a Homophobic country. And scenes like these reported by the BBC are just not the norm. It has taken the death of one of us, David Kato, to make this happen.

He (reporter) says hundreds of people - friends, family, colleagues and diplomats - crowded outside Mr Kato's family home in the village of Nakawala in Mukono district, 40km (about 25 miles) from Kampala.

Many members of the lesbian and gay community wore T-shirts with Mr Kato's portrait on the front and the words "La luta continua [the struggle continues]" printed on the back.

I am talking about a mass demonstration of people that they were gay. And proud.

Yes, Uganda is changing.

But, the changes are not very deep.
A Ugandan was killed. Was deprived of the very most basic of human rights. Life.

That doesn’t matter whether it was a gay man, or another person. It was a human being deprived of life.

The reasons don’t matter.
But, what was the reaction of the Police? The murder was actually reported, and police driven to investigate by the gay community. Otherwise, nothing was being done. I am stating a matter of fact.

Then, in typical Ugandan style, (Bless my country), when the international outcry was mounting, and demands on the government to do something, that is when the police mounted some investigations.

I was at David’s place last night, this morning. And, the police had just done a crime scene investigation, the one which was reported about, (and, I believe, for publicity’s sake.). I am told it was reported on NTV news last evening. Curious.

I was impressed at the way that rumours are swilling about the death. I mean, from the populace, from the people around, someone has already been judged guilty. The motives have been ascertained. Seems as if it is a fait accompli.
I commented that I would not trust the police report. That was very harsh, and true. Because, there simply was no way that they could get an other than gambled account of what truly happened if they never made an investigation. That was before the media driven investigation.

What surprised me, and made me hope that something will come up from the investigation, was the fact that David Kisule had set up cameras and an alarm system in his half finished house.
Shows you our level of paranoia. I mean, I do know that David was more paranoid than I am. But, I didn’t know that he had set up cameras in a house that he had not finished. It is a shell, I saw it. And, he thought an alarm system was one of the most important things to install. Fact. Most Ugandans do not have them in their houses. We simply dont.
From those records, we shall possibly know what happened.
And, maybe we shall not be distracted by the rumours that people like the Rolling Pebble editor publish. Yes, I do understand his motivation. He put up the picture of a person, and asked people to ‘Hang them’. Now that that person is dead, the good Christian has to find a reason to justify the death, brutal and callous as that is.
Anyway, I do hope I get to know what transpired, what led to the death of David Kato Kisule. I really hope I do.
Because I am a human being. And, I don’t expect him to be an angel (He would really laugh at that. David was no angel. And never wanted to be!)

But, I would like to see justice visited on his killer.


David Kato. Updates

Frankly, I am working through a full ebox at the moment.
I am sure that David would have loved the attention that his death has generated over gay issues in Uganda.

I know we would have disagreed… again. I don’t believe in martyrs. He believed that to make an omelete, eggs needed to break. Different people, different approaches, different strategies. But, he would not have been the sacrifice for such. A martyr.

I am seeing an outpouring of world attention. But, most important, I am seeing real debate happening in Uganda. Not by the government newspaper…. the New Vision. But, surprise, surprise, by the only other real independent paper. Here are some of the articles.

(NB:, this is Uganda. The press does not discuss homosexuality. Not at all…. not in any way. That is, apart from heavy condemnation, and exhortations to ‘Hang Them’. In fact, far as I remember, the government owned New Vision has had a ban on discussion of that topic for more than a year. So, this is a real big deal. )

World condemns killing of gay activist
The killing of a prominent Ugandan gay rights activist drew worldwide condemnation yesterday as the Uganda police moved to delink homophobia from his death.
Police mounts hunt for killers of Ugandan gay rights activist
Police’s Scene of Crime officers have ringed off the house in which a gay activist, David Kato was murdered yesterday.

Mr David Kisule Kato, 46, died after he was hit on the head by unknown assailants at his home in Mukono District on Wednesday. He died on his way to Mulago Hospital.

Detectives and scene of crime officers spent the day picking fingerprints on the furniture and interviewing neighbours of Kato.

Police said his attackers hit him with a hammer on the head at around noon on Wednesday before locking him in the house.

Deputy Police Spokesman Vincent Ssekate said they are taking the case seriously but asked the public to who have any information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects to contact them.

“Since the act happened during day, there may be people who saw the suspects entering the house. They should come and give us information,” he said.
But, the real coup de grace is this editorial from the Monitor.
In Uganda, even in the independent Monitor, this is a real big deal.

Can we talk honestly about homosexuality?
David Kato, a gay rights activist who campaigned against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and who sued a local tabloid last year after it named him as being homosexual, was killed in his home this week.

Police say they are investigating the circumstances of his death and it is not yet clear whether this was a homophobic attack in which Mr Kato was targeted for his sexual orientation or his thoughts about the matter.

Whatever the motive behind the killing, this incident reminds us of the homophobia that is widespread in our country and society – and the deadly consequences of not dealing with it.

Homosexuality is illegal under Ugandan law and the Anti Homosexuality Bill prescribes harsher punishments, including the death penalty for sodomy.

While such legislation might serve as a deterrent, it will not eliminate homosexuality and might cement the discrimination of sexual minorities.

The homosexuality question in Uganda has two major flaws. First is that a lot of the debate is shouted down from extreme positions of moral self-righteousness; as a result there is little common understanding among those who oppose gay rights and those who advocate for them.

Secondly, a lot of the debate is carried out or influenced by foreign actors – both in favour of and against homosexuality.

What we need is an honest national dialogue on homosexuality in order to forge a consensus on the rights of those Ugandans who choose to be gay and those who oppose homosexuality as a lifestyle.

Holding puritanical and extreme views on the matter, whether liberal or conservative, will divide us, rather than help us find a mutually acceptable compromise.

People like David Kato and others who might be gay are Ugandans and enjoy the same rights and protections of the law as heterosexuals. We cannot send them into exile neither, lock them away, or hang them.

We need to have an honest discussion about how to ensure that their rights are upheld without violating the rights of other Ugandans.

Peaceful and stable societies only emerge when we understand and try to accommodate those who are different from us, or who disagree with us – not by ostracising or killing them.
Being who and what I am. I disagree with some of the points made. But, the call to dialogue.... That is what we have been begging for. Just the chance to present our views.

Thanks David.

And, yes, we are getting somewhere. Painfully slowly, at a very high cost. But, we are.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Shock in the System: David Kato Kisule

I am at work.

Fact is, my concentration is terrible. Bits and fits, that is when I can concentrate. Seems as if everywhere I turn, I see, think, hear, know only what has happened to David.

My partner was the first to hear the news. I was in the bathroom. And, his shout made me rush out to investigate. It was then I got an sms. From someone else.
No, it did not sink in last night.

My partner was crying. Me, too hardened. Have to express my emotions in different ways. But, I was unsettled.
My partner went, with a few others, to the police in Mukono, and from there to David’s home. Where he was killed. Speculation was rife about what had happened. Yes, David was much more open than I am. He used to say that he was the first ‘out’ gay Ugandan. Indeed, I saw one documentary in which he featured, filmed at his place, which he was still building.

Sad. He built the house. Has barely used it a year. He moved in, as is common here, before the house was ready. But, that is life.
Shit. It is hard. Life, it is hard.

So, of course we are scared. Too many rumours swimming around. Too easy to do something that we would regret later. Now, maybe it is just time to cry and mourn our loss, however we do that.
My partner I left in bed this morning, as I came to work. I know, I can barely concentrate. Thanks to the luck that it is very, very light.
My partner was up the whole night, following the news. I had to sleep. Or, I had to try and sleep. I know, I went to bed, and was awake for most of the night, till he rung me at near to six. Just before my alarm went off.

I am at work…. but, my mind is just not here.

We need to celebrate his life. Maybe that will take our minds off the desperate vulnerability of ours.... how quickly, how easily we can lose all, in the name of nothing, or something.
But, it is a matter of fact that he lived his life. And, was happy. A gay man in Uganda.

I happen to have gone to school with him. Funny. Same schools on a couple of occasions. Different classes. Days long gone, it seems. But, he was like one of those guys you know, faces in the mass of others. Was lost to sight for long years, until he came to one of our first partyies.....

LOL, those were the days.
We held a party in total secrecy. And here comes this stranger who we were not sure of, who wants to be part of us. I didnt remember him from school...., and, even if I had, I was a gay man in Uganda. Caution inbuilt, rubbed in day to day.

David was insistent. He wanted to attend the gay party. Held in a gardens somewhere on the outskirts of Kampala.
I wanted to tell him no. My partner, who was the chief organiser, was ambiguous. And, misled him.... Gave him the wrong address. Poor David had to use his nose to find where the rest of us where.

No, am actually not feeling bad about that. Paranoia is necessary. It is basic to survival, where we are.

But, David enjoyed the party. And, he was soon into the kuchu community. Diving deep.

No bad things talked about those who die? Well, that doesnt take me into account. David was a typical Ugandan gay activist. Persistent, in the face of adversity. Ruthless to get what he wants. Patient, when he needs to. A temper that would erupt when he found himself put in a tough situation.

And, of course, there was a time that he used to drink like a fish. Literally used to live in a bar.

We all have our quirks. And, living, working, doing what we do in Uganda, we are sore, wounded animals, fighting on, barely taking the time to heal, even when we should. That was David.

There was a time when we had to send delegations to tell him it was becoming too much. The drinking. We didnt seem to know how to help him. But, he had kind of calmed down. A bit. But, he was still much above a social drinker.

Times when he lived in Masaka. Was actually a headteacher there, if I remember correctly. Then he moved to Nansana, where he seemed to always have problems with the locals. He was too open as a gay man. He would drink, and challenge them. And, he opened his house to the likes of other gay people when they felt threatened at their homes. The likes of George Oundo, if I remember well. And others.

Then he got a place in Mukono, and started building his house. The house where he was brutally murdered, just yesterday.

Hang them....! His was the face on the front page. Next to Bishop Ssenyonjo.

Sigh... nostalgia....

Maybe for the days when he was still alive to pester us with his demands, his beliefs in what he wanted to have done. He was a doer, and, in a difficult environment, he was an achiever. With scanty resources, he did what he could, and did it fairly well.

Of course he was a human being. Cantankerous, devious, quarrelsome.

But, he was a human being, a fighter, going to the police cells to look for those accused of being gay. Going to court to stand up for our rights. I know Paul Kagaba was that one guy who seemed to be his nemesis. Kagaba says that David 'recruited' him into homosexuality. When I knew Kagaba, he was a full grown man, with his faculty around him, and he seemed to be very into men. And women.... So, maybe the 'recruitment' didnt fall very far afield!!!!

Kagaba is ex-gay. Ssempa's new face of the ex-gay.

Even George Oundo knew David. Wonder what he would say now that David is dead? He used to go out on TV, much as Kagaba does today, to name the names of us bad gays.....

No. Is not the time for that.

Today is time to celebrate the life of a human rights activist, whose life, that basic human right of all, was brutally cut short. Just yesterday.

I talked to David the other day, on phone, about his hacked email. We were worried about that seeming non entity now......!

Kato David Kisule. RIP. Wonder where his twin is.

RIP, David


Kato David Kisule

I am in shock.

Literal shock. Just heard that one of our members, a prominent gay activist, an out and out man, who has been at the forefront of the gay rights movement in Uganda, David Kato Kisule was murdered. Dead, a blunt instrument to the skull.

Dead. In Lugazi Hospital at the moment.

What to do? Shock. Shock, shock.

So, I write, to try and express that which I feel. But, what can words express?

Kato. A disturbed friend. One of our very special brand of radical activists. He used to say that he was one of the very 'out' if not the first out gay man in Uganda.

And, yes, he was one of the people whose photo appeared in the Rolling Stone, one of the three plaintiffs who sued, and won the court case.

Yes, I am paranoid. I wonder whether it had any bearing. Whether that had bearing....!

Impossible, most likely, to prove cause and effect. We just don't know. And, we are most likely to strike out in our grief at the nearest enemy.

But, is it a coincidence?



Shock indeed.

Just settled down. Apart from trying to inform lots of other people who have already received the news. I have to settle down, get some rest, and then prepare for work tomorrow. Cannot just bounce off just like that.

But, I need to settle down. The shock, the realisation of all the things we fear, and brush off, and hope never ever to face. But, one of our own is gone.

Gone in a violent way. Gone, for reasons that I am as yet to know, or figure out... Oh gosh.


More settled now, but no less shocked. That is what it does to you, a sudden death like this.

David was apparently killed in his home, by a person or persons unknown. Yes, there is a suspect, or suspects. Problem with investigations in Uganda is the fact that what is not verified will always remain in the realms of conjecture.

What remains is that we have lost one of our most prominent firebrands. Indeed, he was on the front page of the Rolling Stone with Bishop Ssenyonjo. Remember, the one with the caption to 'Hang Them'. And yes, he was one of the three who sued the Rolling Pebble, and won.

Kato David Kisule. RIP


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Politics and Real Life

Long day.

Not too much. Just that the sweltering heat out makes it seem like it is a bit longer than usual. Just put in lots of work. Satisfied. More to do. But, I can put it off, listen to music, and write. Relax.

The country is in the grip of election fever.
Its too much, too loud, too obscene. I mean, our corrupted version of democracy. I don't seem to want to follow it. Know the results already....! Oh well, too cynical. But, our version of democracy is cynical at best. Latest corruption scandal? The government has used lots of taxpayers money to fund incumbents.... LOL. Of course, we insist that we are highly democratic. And, so we are. When we want to kill our homosexuals, we kind of tend to justify it that more than 90% of the populace seems to be for it...!

Enough with politics. It does sour the day. Just that it seems to be unescapable wherever you go in Kampala, or Uganda these days. Even follows one on facebook, the last redoubt and free space.... I try to avoid it.

So, what offerings are there from the web?

I trawl because it is fascinating going outside myself, seeing the world as it is...

Martin Ssempa, Solomon Male and other anti-gay Ugandan pastors are supposed to be in court for the case of trying to tarnish another pastor, Robert Kayanja's name. They say he is gay. He says he is not. But, it is said they went a step further.... Well, that is according to the police that investigated the case
THE Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) is ready to prosecute four city pastors, who are accused of conspiracy to injure the reputation of Pastor Robert Kayanja of Rubaga Miracle Centre.

Frankly, I do not trust this thing. Why? Call it gut feeling. Course, I am very happy to be wrong.
Why don't I trust it? Call it an apparent lack of reason. Why is the police following it? Injuring Pastor Kayanja's name is kind of the least of things these gentlemen have done in a long while. So, am suspicious of the reason. Seeing none, I look under the bed for unpleasant suprises. I will follow it, the case in the papers of course.

Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa will not stop the show man stunts....! Here is the gentleman at court. Praying. For lighting to come and strike Pastor Kayanja the sodomite?

That was yesterday. When I penned, and didnt post the first potion of this.

I have been listening to a very depressing conversation. A neighbour is building, has in some workers. They were talking about the coming elections, and were split fine along tribal lines. But, the speech was more than politics. Hate speech. A desire, expressed frankly in another person's face, to take a gun and kill every one of their particular ethnic group. For some slights and wrongs done by one politician.

And, the talkers are voters, adult Ugandans. Of course it is those sentiments that drive politics in Uganda. Hate, tribal sentiment, slights and presumed and actual slights. Frank prejudice clothed as 'common knowledge'. No wonder I as a homosexual would have a hard time convincing people like this that we are also human beings. Actually, it is very depressing. These are adult men, expressing hate for another of their number, a workmate, who hears them out, and comments that even the politician they are blaming all the wrongs on is not of his ethnic group. And, the answer is that the wrongs of that politician must be visited on all of that particular ethnic group. Nauseating stuff.

Elections are coming. Our version of raped and twisted democracy. We do have far to go.

Going back to the web... (have just actually been forced to relocate. Some evangelists have come, and my partner has invited them inside! Gosh, I do not like being asked into religious conversations. So, I have, not very politely, moved out....!)

Going back to the web, I came across this. Our world is diverse, indeed. And, interesting things happen, even in countries like Zimbabwe.
Skye Chirape is a Zimbabwean fashion designer, artist and gay rights campaigner. She speaks to New African Woman about being a homosexual African woman, how she learnt to speak out, to stand up for her rights and also those of many other voiceless Africans afraid of coming out as gay.
And, from the UK, a Ugandan Lesbian, identified as so, is being sent back to Uganda.
A lesbian whose asylum application has been rejected by the United Kingdom (UK) Home Office is to be deported to an East African country hostile homos and recently proposed a bill which would make homosexual acts punishable by execution.
Well, my Uganda, of all places. Nsaba Buturo once told us that they know all of us. Am sure the lists are getting longer, more comprehensive...., and, of course the lady must be on them....! Duh, don't worry, you are in privileged company... even gug must be on that list!

The sickening monstrosity of 'Corrective rape' in South Africa touches the heart. I know. South Africa is a very violent country. I am from Uganda, so maybe I am not so impressed by that reputation. I mean, Uganda IS a very violent country, by many measures. But, Corrective Rape for goodness' sake!
In South Africa, lesbians are often targeted for rape and violence in a phenomenon some perpetrators call corrective rape – indicating they believe a lesbian’s sexual orientation can be changed through rape and violence.
In April 2008, Eudy Simelane, star of Banyana Banyana, South Africa’s female national soccer squad, was gang raped, beaten and then stabbed 25 times in the face, chest and legs. She died. Two perpetrators received lengthy jail terms for her murder, two suspects were acquitted. Simelane was attacked because she lived an openly lesbian life, the first woman to do so in Kwa-Thema, a township east of Johannesburg.
People do hate us. Yes, I do know that many assume, including my own brother, that me having sex with a woman would correct my sexuality in a shot. Or, getting married, maybe. Yes, I did tell him that I had applied the purported solution, sleeping with women. Didnt seem to make any difference, LOL.
I did it with mutual consent. Of course I didnt tell my lovers that I was attracted to men. But, gosh, if it had ever been non-consensual to any degree....!
"Andile raped Millicent last year in April, [Easter long weekend] for five hours,” Fundi said. “He strangled her, he threatened [to throw] her body in the river, he is going to make her pregnant and he hates the fact that she is a lesbian, and he is going to get his firstborn child from Millicent."
Maybe, to put my own persecution complex into perspective, I will quote this from the Guardian. Most likely you have heard of the story. A Christian couple demanded that a gay couple that had booked into their motel don't sleep in the same bed. Well, it went to the courts. The Christians lost, and, said that they were being persecuted, for their sincere beliefs.
Within the past three weeks, dozens of Christians have been murdered in acts of organised violence in Iraq, Egypt and Nigeria. In Pakistan, Sudan and Indonesia hundreds of thousands more live in fear.
They might all have something to say about the fatuous suggestion that two British hotel owners, Peter and Hazelmary Bull, are also being "persecuted" for their faith. Last month, the Bulls' right to turn gay people away from their hotel was challenged. Thankfully, Bristol county court has found that the couple acted unlawfully.
If the Bulls had a sense of humour, something they don't seem God-blessed with, they might have spotted the irony of spending the Christmas season fighting for the entitlement to turn guests away from their inn.
During passage of the 2006 Equality Act, Stonewall fought hard to secure pioneering "goods and services" protections for lesbian and gay people, protecting them for the first time against discrimination in the delivery of public and commercial services. The preceding legal entitlement to deny gay people a service was every bit as offensive as the notorious signs outside guesthouses that once said: "No blacks. No Irish." And people certainly took advantage of it, as lesbians denied smear tests and gay men refused holiday bookings were well aware.
Perspective. It is a very useful thing, to forget about my perceived, and real slights. To put them into a perspective that considers what happens around the world. I liked the conclusion to that article. No doubt I agree with it, but, am no Christians. And, I am a gay person. (of course I am also black, but no Irish!)
The Bulls' shadowy supporter, the Christian Legal Centre, suggests it may turn to the law again. If so, it might reflect that, for the estimated £30,000 this court case has cost it, Oxfam or Save the Children could have vaccinated 100,000 people against meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. Now that would have been a genuinely Christian way to spend its money.

In Uganda, the ruling party made today a public holiday dedicated to it. Enjoy the rest, those who are.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Net

Five to eight in the morning.

Beautiful day promised. The sun is out, but, the skies are overcast. No rain the last few days, that means the dust is up and about, a thick ever present red mist that lifts from the roads whenever cars pass.

And, the mornings... seems like smog to me. Kampala is growing, bigger, and heavier, a too pregnant mother. We wallow in our filth, which is kind of discouraging. This is very beautiful country.

Now, heavier cloud moves over the sun. Cooler, colder air, a nip in it on my skin. But, I still feel it in my bones that it will be bright hot and shiny later in the day. That is what it was yesterday. And, today it will be.

A few days without internet.


Is an addiction nowadays. I remember the days when I used not to have it..... , used to hear about that thing, the internet. Then there were days, soon after I had started working, when I would spend my off hours, and little money in internet cafes. Ridiculously slow, but, they gave access to the wonders of the wide world web. Was about that time that I came out to myself. The internet played a part. Not very easy to admit that I was gay. Not even to myself, even when I was acknowledging the emotions, and seeking out the thrills.

But, once it was acknowledged, to myself, the most immediate challenge was, where do I find others like me? I thought that I was alone, in the whole of Kampala, or Uganda.

Well, the internet showed me others.

Later, I made a website, on geocities, yahoo's free spaces. Gay Uganda. A cyber lover and I reworked it. Orokie. Theme captured our feelings at that time. He put up the photo of a single elephant on the index page, with the caption, 'You are not alone'. And next, a herd of elephants in the African bush, on trek, the dust of their movement rising a cloud around them, and the caption, 'We are many'

Orokie. Orokie of memories.

An artist and painter who lost his eyesight as a result of a tragic set of happenings. Orokie the painter, who used to call me the poet. His poet. He is the one who sketched that sideways nude 'me when I am me', hugely talented, gay, African, with the knack to see and notice, and express himself through simple complex images. With an eye for the African male.

No, we have lost contact. Much as the internet is the domain of those with sight, when the artist lost his sight, he dropped off the edge, periphery of perception.

Nostalgia. Wonder what he is doing....!

Those were the days.

At the moment, I do have access. There is some, seemingly at every street corner in Kampala. And the suburbs. No longer have to go down-town. No longer have to make a trek for it.

I used to pay exorbitantly. Still do, as a matter of fact. Internet in most of Africa is more expensive that elsewhere. The providers still have us squeezed for the access, though it seems as if they are feeling the competition.

Anyway, I am playing the consumers game. Trying to find a provider that will suit my pocket.... as low as possible. That means, whenever my subscription lapses, I go hunting for the best deal round town.

Well, I cannot have access to the cheapest and best deal. And, it irks me to fork out so much on internet....! Yet, it is a necessity of life, my life. I bet we shall write volumes on how the internet has revolutionised our lives. From helping our coming out as gay human beings, gay Africans. Seeking and finding love near and far. And, the organising, the maturing of our thought processes, as we wrestled free of the clinging homophobia, and found a vestige of freedom.

I love the internet. I say am addicted, but, it is like food. A necessary thing. I love it for the freedom to be myself that it allows me. The opening of the world to my senses and perception. I love it for the ability to connect to others that it gives me.

But, most of all, I love it for the extension of my being that it is.

Even now, not connected, off line, my mind is occupied by it. The time when I will log in and find myself connected. Able to surf and look at the news. From Tunisia to Tasmanian devils. Challenging the smallness of my world with the huge variety of perception. I love it for that.

Here is to a great day to you. When this is up, I will have posted.... will be online, again!

Have a great day.


Saturday, January 22, 2011


Doing the rounds of the web…. came across this article. Who is a homophobe?


Nice question. The sister of mine who declined to come to our tenth anniversary, is she a 'phobe? Actually, I still like her…well, she is my sis. But, I am also planning some very brotherly retaliation… because, I am still her brother, and she did hurt me. See, I am no Christian, and, I believe she knows that. To tell me that I live in sin so she cannot celebrate with me my time of happiness, oh yes, like any brother, I do not feel like forgiving….! LOL.


But. Is she a homophobe?

Someone examines that question in this article. And, the conclusions are kind of striking. Yes, she may sincerely believe her part of the story, but, is the label unjustified? Here are some parallels.  

People who are seeking to justify their anti-gay feelings often protest that they are not "homophobic" because they do not harbor any "animosity or hostility or fear" of gays and lesbians. Instead, they simply, sincerely believe that homosexuality is wrong and goes against God's will as they interpret it in the Bible. Thus, they assert, they cannot be labeled "homophobes."

Let me answer the question this way. There are people who sincerely believe -- and can find biblical justification for their belief -- that black people are inferior to white people. They hold no "animosity or hostility or fear" of black people (some of their best friends are black!), they just believe, and have scriptural "proof," that blacks are inferior. We still, however, do not hesitate to call them "racist."

Likewise, there are people who sincerely believe -- and can find biblical justification for their belief -- that women are inferior to men. They hold no "animosity or hostility or fear" of women (some of their best friends are women!), they just believe, and have scriptural "proof," that women are inferior. We still, however, do not hesitate to call them "misogynists."

Similarly, there are people who sincerely believe -- and can find biblical justification for their belief- - that Jews are inferior to Christians or other faiths. They hold no "animosity or hostility or fear" of Jews (some of their best friends are Jews!), they just believe, and have scriptural "proof," that Jews are inferior. We still, however, do not hesitate to call them "anti-Semites."

That's why I will call those who sincerely believe -- and can find biblical justification for their belief -- that gays and lesbians are inferior to heterosexuals "homophobes." Even if they hold no "animosity or hostility or fear" of gays and lesbians or have gay people as best friends, they remain homophobes.


The problem for those people who sincerely believe that they do not hate me, and still find it in their ability to hurt me…. they do hurt me. So, should I excuse them?
when am feeling very magnanimous.
I am sure Ssempa, Bahati, Buturo, Male, they also sincerely believe that I gayuganda should be killed, and, they find some very nice scriptural justfication for that.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Gay rights, in the US, Uganda

Blogging is fascinating.

I started simply to cry, to make for myself a space in which I could cry out. The internet, cyberspace became that to me. I don't mind the fact that fellow Ugandan bloggers kind of shun me. Matter of fact, I seem to thrive in the fact that I shout out and they may listen, but not respond.

Anyway, another thing that blogging allows me to do is to think.
To think, and examine, and come to conclusions... and explore a world of thought that is almost unreachable, but is reachable. Yes, I can touch the stars. I do, in my blogging. Ok, maybe not that. But, in the examination of thought, I seem to do that which is impossible.

I have become a keen follower of the gay rights movement in the US.

Something I have not really followed much is that in Europe. Why is it that gay equality was quickly accepted there than in the US? Why is the battle in the US?
Well, I can search the history.....!
Maybe I will, that is an answer I can get, surely.
The gay rights war in the US spills over to Africa. Makes me much more likely to follow it. And, follow the arguments, and convolutions. There, it is not a fight for survival, as it is in Uganda. Life is basic, life and liberty are. But, once those are established in the minds of society, then we have to go for other insidious points of discrimination.

So, in the US, don't ask don't tell seemed like something small. But it was big. That is why its repeal was celebrated. And, gay Americans have not sat on their laurels. There are other laws which go against the grain of equality. We cannot be equal when there are laws which target us, and make it impossible for full equality to be enjoyed. So, DOMA is next. The Defence of Marriage Act. Check out this action.

Again, the principle is simple. If the law says we are equal to the rest of our brothers and sisters, then we should be equal indeed.
Poor conservatives. They are strong, of course. But, when the law is challenged on the basis of simple logic, the fact that we are human and equal to other humans pales besides our identity of homosexual, stigmatised as it might be by others. Saying the judges are activists judges... well, it is just sore losers not being able to see why they lose, and continue to lose...

So, it was a victory in Uganda. A big one. When the rolling pebble was restrained.
And a big one, when don't ask don't tell was repealed...
And, there are other small ones which roll into big ones... and, make me realise how small my battle field is in the bigger war. Of course even gay rights are indivisibly part of the spectrum of human rights. Yes, big precedents are set, and enforced, from the point of view of gay people.

Here is one that kind of made me feel good, about being gay.... and bad about how zealous zealots are. It is from Religion Dispatches.
"A travesty of justice." That's what the religious right is calling the U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to hear a case challenging the District of Columbia's marriage equality law.

Rev. Anthony Evans, a D.C. minister who has worked with Bishop Harry Jackson, who brought the suit seeking to invalidate the 10-month-old same-sex marriage law in the District, accused the Supreme Court of forcing the law "down the church’s throat."

"[W]hat the Supreme Court has set up is the greatest civil war between the church and the gay community," Evans said. "And let me just state for the record, we don't want that fight. We love our gay brothers and sisters. But if the Supreme Court is not going to acknowledge the fact that we have a right as religious people to have a say-so in the framework of religious ethics for our culture and society, then we reject the Supreme Court on this issue."

Using civil war imagery to set up a false dichotomy of "the church vs. gays" doesn't seem advisable in an atmosphere already rife with violent rhetoric. It also doesn't jibe with Evans' next sentence expressing "love" for gays and lesbians. Usually, people who want to express love for someone do everything they can to help those people live the best life possible - not prevent them from achieving full equality.

Jackson brought the suit after the District's Board of Elections and Ethics ruled that the city's Human Rights Act prohibited the marriage law from being put to a popular vote. That's what really sticks in the craw of those opposed to marriage equality.

"In America, we respect the right to vote. That right is explicitly protected by the D.C. Charter, but the government has succeeded for now in suppressing the voice of D.C. citizens," said Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. "We had hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would restore this guaranteed right in the district. … We will remain diligent in looking for other legal opportunities to protect and defend the right of all D.C. residents to have their voices heard as the D.C. Charter clearly intended."

If we had put the rights of the minority to a majority vote back in the 1960s, I dare say Jim Crow laws would still be on the books here in my state of South Carolina. There are simply some matters, like the rights of minorities, that cannot be put to a popular vote -- though the rights of gays and lesbians seem to be put to the vote often these days.

Indeed, that war is still on. We do need cool heads to fight it. But, you know what? It makes me feel like there is something to work towards in life.

No. Am not gonna be 'radicalised'.....!

But, I am really gonna love following my little course of the freedom trail. It is a journey through rough terrain, with the hopes of getting to some lofty views, there, over the mountains. And, gosh, I would love that view from the top.

Have a great day.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Remember to Blog

I have been reminded.

I used to blog religiously, take the time to cry, sing, weep.. and air my dirty laundry on the blog faithfully. But now, I don't seem to do the same.

Part of the reason is the fact that I am caught up in another love of the moment. But, it doesnt take away my love of writing. And the self examination that I do on this blog. Kind of venting my thoughts. And, when I do not do it, I feel it, deep down. Something goes missing. In me!


No. I don't believe I am that egotistical..... My partner believes that I am. But, I do beg to differ. True. I am stubborn. Comes with the territory. Don't think I would be able to do half of what I do if I didnt believe in myself enough to go counter to what is, in effect, common sense in Uganda.

But, I am happy that I do so.

Because, to me, in part, it is my salvation.

Last blogged about our anniversary. Beautiful time then. Loved it.

No wonder I dropped off the radar. Someone asked whether we had gone for a honeymoon.... uh. No. Hadn't.

Kind of seems like we do not have to, in a way.

I have already stated how big days leave me curiously unmoved. Just my stubborn, rebellious self, refusing to be moved by what everyone else swoons and weeps about. But, I did notice something.

Yes, of course I call him husband. I have done so a number of times on this blog. It is not really a joke, or something out of the blue. He is my lover, my companion, my mate. The man I hold in my hands in the middle of the darkest night, who pulls me to his side even when I feel like pushing him away.

I am selfish, a lot. I actually never, ever dreamed that this companionship would be a 'till death us do part thing'.... Bite me, but, I had nothing to make me believe that I would be able to do what others said was impossible.

Being with him, celebrating with him that day reminded me of all my earlier fears.

And, the fact that I had friends, gay Ugandans, and even a couple of my brothers there with me.... Somehow, it kind of sunk home. I do love the guy. We have made our place here, in beautiful Uganda. We have made a paradise of what could be a hell. I could have lived the lie... we both could have done so. And, we didnt. Yes, it costs a lot, but, we didnt.

Yes. We have done the near impossible. Celebrating what we are, and for such a length of time. Affirming ourselves.

Being what I am, I am already looking beyond. But, it was beautiful. Stopping the progression of days to look back and know that, I am gay, and Ugandan. And he is gay, and Ugandan, and we are partners.

Our world may refuse to acknowledge it, but, I call him husband, and he calls me husband.

No. It is not a dream. But, it is the real, and harsh world, of Kampala. Uganda.

And, I will not stop from exploring what I am.

Being gay, being gay in Uganda, and being what I am, it is a disguise. A rose growing fresh in a garden, manured. I can choose to make it that. Or, I can sink and sink further.

Remember the time on this blog when I used to rile so much against unChristian christians? Christianistans, some call them. Fundamentalists who believe in preaching a god of hate, instead of one of love, insisting that that is what their holy book says.

Well,I cannot lose the habit of hitting out at them.

But, it is just that we gay people seem drawn to religion. Very much. I do wonder why!

And, for some reason, I do not find it in my heart to turn away those who come to me hurting, looking for a way to reconcile their faith and their sexuality.

I feel for them.

Because, they believe, and truly. So, what do I have to give them, me who doesnt believe at all? I certainly cannot wave my lack of faith in their faces. I don't believe. But, they have the same right, the same privilege as I do to believe. And, why would I believe that my state of faith is superiour to theirs? No, I don't want them to have no faith like I don't. Because, we are different people.

So, how does gayuganda counsel hurting gay Ugandan Christians?

Gosh, if I had an answer to that, I would not be writing about it here. I feel helpless. But, they keep on coming to me. And asking the questions for which I have no answers....!

Life is tough, isnt it?

Here is to wishing you a lovely day.


Monday, January 10, 2011

I feel Goooooood!

Why shouldnt I?
Guess it has been a good beginning to the New year.

Ok. First, Daddy is much better. The family patriarch fell sick, and the family rallied around him. Remember that I had just had that text from my sister that she wouldn't attend our partnership anniversary because we were living a sin? That made me sore.

But, it was not to last for long, in the haze when the family patriarch suddenly reminds us all that he is mortal. In a way, he holds us together, though he is a contentious old man, old world, who has a very interesting, conservative, but very pragmatic view of the world. He rolls with the blows. Typical old world self sufficiency and resiliency, he insisted to be back at work the day after he was out of hospital. Unfortunately, after the scare, his kids were not ready to be convinced that the old man was ok. So, investigations continue....
And, yes, it is very expensive to be sick.
But, with help, we weathered that huddle. No insurance, but, traditionally, a large family is all the insurance that a patriarch needs.

He is fine, for now, though the final verdict is yet to be delivered.

But, most important is the fact that we are through the celebrations.
It is matter of fact that celebrations and parties bewilder me. I am so not into them that I am bewildered by the energy that goes into what I think is a non-entity. But, it is just me being obtuse. They do have their use, parties, celebrations.

But, the cost!!!!!! Financial, emotional, time spent, etc... Why don't we do without them?

Ok, quitting the bitching. It was a nice party.
Our tenth anniversary. My partner (maybe should start calling him husband, I mean, it is way beyond simple 'partnership') did everything. Getting the money, arranging things, getting venue, arranging it, collecting things that were supposed to be there and were not.... The last two weeks I was resigned to waking in the middle of the night with him suddenly remembering a detail that was undone. And, I would have to patiently remind him that there was nothing that he could do at three in the morning....!

Last minute scares. The venue was nearly lost. Reason, the host got to know that the news of the party was running through the kuchu community like wildfire. People wanted to attend. Were not averse to phoning around to ask for the invitation. Strict security concerns. Ours and our host meant it could not be other than a small event, invitation only. Yes of course, we do not want to ignite another media event of a 'gay wedding'. It becomes kind of tiresome. Recent court ruling not withstanding. I do know that we are a source of staple for the media.... didnt end with the court ruling!

It was beautiful.
He put me in a kanzu and jacket. Something which I so rarely do it is amazing. Today, I reminded him that it was only the second time that he has seen me in one.
But, this being his day, he bought the material himself, special one... , not the usual plain un-ardoned white. Talk about special.
He designed how it should be done... including enough features to make it unique. One kanzu for me, and one for himself. And, he made sure the poor tailor delivered on time. Selected hats. Hats, for goodness' sake! I must say I felt kind of funny putting on mine. Was told it was cool, but, to my head, it was kinda hot....

Guests came the usual time, fashionably late. But, the camaraderie, the good spirits, the flowing food and alcohol, by the time the cake was cut, it was a riot.

But, best of all, two of my brothers decided to attend.

Ha. Big deal. Very big deal.
My sister had refused. It would have been a sin, or she would be condoning a sin. I was downcast. I thought of asking my mom. But, I was simply not ready to face rejection from her. Fact is, I had thought that my sis would inform her, and she would demand to be there. So, when my sis didnt, I didnt dare....! Coward, but, well, preserving the status quo for another day.

Imagine my suprise when, seated at the high table, I saw my brothers walk in.
I had informed one, the one who used to stay with us. He is semi-independent now. Studying, and looking out to the world with one foot towards full independence. Last year, he was invited. Declined, with an excuse. Which I didnt stop myself from informing him, hurt me. Guilted him, of course.
This time, I told him. He listened. Asked for directions to the event.
I directed him to my lover, who gave them to him. And then the suprise. He would ask another of my brothers to attend, if we didnt mind....
Of course we didnt. And, he promised to tell him.

Imagine my suprise when they both walked into the event.

We took the opportunity to introduce them, of course. They got the place of honour, and, silly boys, drunk themselves almost to a high state of hilarity.
Near ten, when the party was winding up, we insisted on someone seeing them home safely.

Gosh, what a gift to us! Hopefully, they will spread the word that kuchus don't eat people. Seems a major concern amongst Ugandans....

I must confess it was more than we expected. Though I was a bit shy kissing my man infront of them, after the cake was cut....! But, it was still very much something we enjoyed, me and my man.

Today we are resting. Cannot do nothing but that. The day is nice, overcast, and we are feeling chipper. But, the bodies have to be rested.

Yes. I am feeling very, very good.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Victory

Listening to a bird sing in the trees.

Notes like a bell ringing. Closer, purer, a more liquid control than metal tolling. Life is beautiful, wonderful.

The rains seem to have taken leave, at least for the time being. Was kind of anxious, myself. What with 'biblical floods' in Australia, rumours of glacial cold in Europe, Asia, blizzards in America, of untimely cold in India, I was wondering what blessings poor Africa was going to have of inclemental weather.

Don't know. Do care.... Uganda, the beautiful green looks raped to my eyes. Our population is ballooning. And, we encroach on our forests. How far will it go?

Our family patriarch fell sick the day before New Years.

Daddy, that is to say. And, the family rallied around him, just like it is supposed to be. He is elderly, but quite active. Controversial in his own way. A pragmatic conservative, he is fiercely protective of the old ways, but flexible and understanding.

Of course I am talking about this gay second son who has insisted on not getting married to a woman, and horror of horrors, lives openly with another man who all must know is his bedmate...

Daddy has not given up. Yes, he still hopes for a child from my loins.... Uh, when I think of Elton John, and the fact that I have similar paternal instincts, I think he may get a grand child from my loins.

But, he is old. And he would like that to be in his lifetime. I am not sure that I can fulfil that condition.

When he fell sick, I suddenly found myself thrust back to the fore.

He has never really rejected me because I am gay. I know, some of my aunties, fellow elders like him, would have been more idealistic. They are fierce Christians. I was suddenly needed, and thrust into the heat of things. Hospital, doctors, investigations. It is very expensive to fall sick in Uganda. And, the fact that our care is less than desirable makes it even more so. Frustrating, embarrassing, time consuming. Even the smallest bit of success is won at cost.

But, the family rallied round him. He is a big man, a clan elder. And, as counted here, he is rich, in family. Children who have studied, and can take care of their dad. And they did. In a way.

So, the presumed black sheep found a place in the gathering. And even my lover muscled his way into the thick of things. Don't know how they felt about that.... Huh, silly feeling. My sister's rejection, well meaning however it was, it suddenly reminded me how far to the periphery of the family my sexuality, and the very open living of my life, had pushed me in the family. They may not accept me, but, they cannot deny me. And, for my lover... they may resent him. I know they do. But, while am alive, when am there....!

Dad will be fine. Touch wood.

In the middle of that family upheaval came the news of the victory in the courts.

Its funny. I have been kind of cataloguing the reports in media. Did notice that it is an 'outside the country' phenomenon. I mean, foreign media picked up the story very fast. (We have learnt what power that has on our government.) but, I am yet to see more than a single mention of it in the local media.

But, it was, and still is, a heart warming decision.

We fought. Yes, so help us the deities, we did come out to fight, to say that enough is enough for once, with the help of important allies. We did win. A small victory. But, so sweet, great, so beautiful!

Have a lovely day.


Monday, January 3, 2011


[Huge Correction. The first court injunction was temporary, stopping the pebble from rolling with the photos etc of gay ugandans. The Court ruling now makes it PERMANENT!] that was my mistake. sorry!

Oh yes. Fitting that my first post of the year is of a victory, won in the courts of Uganda, by gay Ugandans.

See, last year, the Rolling pebble, a nascent newspaper decided to brush up its circulation by doing what others had never dared to do before. Publishing the photos of purported gay Ugandans. And, the exhorted the population to 'Hang Them'
Three of those supposedly gay people took them to court.
Won an injuction, temporarily, to stop the publication of 100 Homosexuals. And inciting the public to 'hang them'.... or whatever.

Now, that injunction is permanent.

Yep. It is a victory. And, I am so happy that it has been so.

Not as simple as it seems, what was under contention. I mean, it was simple. We are Ugandans. For some other Ugandans to believe that they have the right to kill us, incite hatred, to call for our hanging...! But, that is exactly what they believe. Anyway, the judgement says it is simply unconstitutional.

Funny, isnt it?
Such a small thing. They say that they love us. Yes. Male, Ssempa, they do swear to undying love of the homosexual, and that is what drives them to do what they do.
But, they don't believe that we should have any protection under the law of the country. They are distressed. They are angered, they are angry that the courts dare to slap them on the hand when they trample on the rights of people who they assume are gay Ugandans.

I know, case in point, the Pastor Wars case, that is ongoing.
But, this Rolling Pebble thing is also there. A guy believes that he has the right to ask the populace to 'Hang Them'. And, a Pastor, an influential and very loud pentecostal pastor Christian is at the courts, defending the right of these guys to do that.
It is all because, as homosexuals, and in their eyes, we are not people. We are evil. Criminals. Sodomites. Gosh, the words that Ssempa uses to describe us, spitting! [glad that he has been so effectively muzzled for now!]
And, they do believe these words, implicitly. And they are happy to go running around, to shout us down, to declare in church and in the social and political world that we should never ever be defended. Not by anyone. And, not against their attacks.

Well, according to the courts of law of Uganda, when we dare to come out and challenge the 'moral majority', the law is kind of blind to the fact, the small wrinkle of fabric in our humanity that we are Ugandans. The law, the constitution. They protect us.
Simple. Clear, and to the point.

Giles Muhame believes he should sue. I think he should go ahead. He might win.....!

Have a very Happy New Year.