Monday, December 19, 2016

Of Criminalisation of bodies....., Queer African Bodies

Busy day.

Okay, havent blogged, because have literally been too under....! I claim it is party time. You know, the round of 'Christmas Parties' that break out at any excuse because of the December hols. Time to meet new people, get to know others, visit relatives and friends, and venture out into the wide world...., far from the comfort zone.

But, of course, our world doesnt stay static. Always moving forwards.

Queer Africans. Please...., stay safe during these hols. I know, nothing like December hols, long or short, for a gay man on the loose......! And of course, there is this thing of the 'internet' and 'social networks'.....!!!

Just be safe...! Yeah, look to yourself because we NEED you around!

Okay..., now,

Something to sober me up from my holiday high spirits. 2 guys in Tunisia are for trial Jan 6th....,, for the crime of being 'Gay on the Street'. 
And, how can one be gay on the street? 

Well, here, I did quote the story of a guy who was killed for being 'Gay by Mistake' in Nigeria.

Apparently, gay on the street in Tunisia means being somehow identified as gay by a policeman. Tunisian policemen have inbuilt gay barometers (part of requirement to qualify as a Tunisian Policeman!!!! LOL)  to screen and arrest these suspicious characters....., and prove that they are gay by using anal tests.

Achref, a 20-year-old student, said he was arrested on Dec. 7 with Sabri, 22, while the two were on a street in downtown Sousse.

A policeman asked him, “You were doing something with your boyfriend, were you not? You bring a curse on the country.”
..... Achref implied that the two young men were arrested on the basis of their perceived sexual orientation, not for their actions.
Just wondering what they 'did' on the street that was such an 'embarassment' or curse to the whole great nation of Tunisia.....


And, getting to a post that was stillborn...., Chad now boasts of an anti-gay law. Poor #GayChadians.

It is a 'misdemeanor' which apparently can be dealt with by a 'police court or a correctional hearing'....

Being no expert in law..., even #Chadian law, I only see the criminalisation of my love for another, my partner. Matter of fact, all over Africa, we know that the anti-gay stigma is very strong. Yet, when it is not written into the law, there is something 'light' about it. The likes of Pastor the Homophobe eat-da-poo-poo Martin Ssempa will not be having us arrested. The vigilante committees as is happening in Nigeria will not be taking us down, invading our houses, on suspicion of us being gay.

But when it is written into the law...., that is a whole new deal, as the HRW report on the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act in Nigeria shows. Life is simply no longer the same...., even when politicians are happy that they have not tainted their lily white hands with gay blood by writing the Death Penalty into the law.

That was Uganda.

A very long time ago? It is, and it isnt.

Because the fights that we have are still the same. We are still at risk, wherever we are......!

Now, have to go for my evening 'constitutional'...., lol. Sometimes have to let the angry thoughts disappear into the ether...., forget that the world, our world can be so angry and hating and hateful.

And my lover promised to always walk with me.

I have the real privilege to walk with my man on the streets, today, as always. And the distinct privilege not to be arrested on the streets for 'walking while gay'. I will celebrate that freedom that was earned in the blood that poured for decades and years, and the imprisonment of many.

I go for an evening walk with my man.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On Anti-Gay Hate

Been thinking about anti-gay hate.

Yeah, partly sparked by Somizi Mhlongo's outburst, 'Your hate will not make me Straight'!!!

And, it is hate that we are speaking about. The hate is clothed in many things. Religion. Culture. Nationalism...., etc. But, it is hate. 

I remember Pastor Martin Ssempa holding rallies in Uganda for the anti-homosexuality bill, asking for it to be passed into law. Showing films of gay porn in churches and conferences..., to whip up disgust and hate of 'what we do behind closed doors'. Was it fear, a phobia driving this level of hatred against fellow human beings?

One gay activist strongly argues that the word is too light, and misdirecting. Don Kilhefner argues
The word “phobia,” meaning “fear,” belongs to the lexicon of clinical psychology, not sociopolitical discourse regarding social privilege and societal change. The word “homophobia” trivializes and obfuscates what is really happening to gay people in the United States and globally now and historically. It says nothing about the source of a system that breeds gay and lesbian genocide.
It certainly seems tame to me to label as a 'fear' an apparent system that systematically dehumanises a part of humanity. For, we have to fall back on that, that we are human beings, first and foremost. And, the need to make us less than human, and then be able to do things that are only justifiable because we are supposedly less than human is something that....

Is fear the motivation?

Hmmm, in his killing of gays in Europe in Nazi Germany, was Hitler motivated by fear? Somalia, Bangladesh, Iraq, the ISIS held territories, is fear the motivation to outright brutal murder of gay people?

Apparently recently, the 'National Organisation of Marriage' spread its wings to become 'International;'.  And the first conference was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Ironically the only country on the continent that allows Queer Africans to tie the knot...., and in the gayest city of all. Was it carrying the battle to the enemy? LOLEST

Anyway, Queer people are labelled anti-marriage....., a misnomer if there was one. Of course we are not against straight people getting married. And, when we do want to get married, it is usually for the simplest of things. Love.

Anyway, we are supposed to be demons...., so we have to have some horns and tails hidden somewhere.

At the conference, the envoy of Nigeria was lauded for laws that have made Nigeria a documented hell for the Queer Nigerian. And, besides being clueless as to the real effects of that law..., the honourable envoy was spouting the usual garbage. Okay, she was telling the frank lies and myths similar to the ones Ssempa and co used in Uganda to promote the anti-homosexuality bill.
The ambassador, who was part of Nigeria`s delegation to the Congress, said it had become necessary to educate Nigerian youths on the need to resist the temptation of being lured into homosexuality as a means of survival. 
“ The Congress is very important for our social and youth development in Nigeria. Our youths should be sensitised on the dangers of homosexuality. “ Many Nigerians youths, especially those involved in illegal economic migration, have fallen prey to homosexual practices. “Many Nigerian youths abroad are now becoming gay because of economic inducement, either to legalise their documents or to get jobs and they bring back diseases like HIV/AIDS back to the country,” she said.

Listening to this, one should come up in arms to protect the innocence of the said youths.......,

Sigh, is it fear that stops them from actually having a conversation with say, a single gay Nigerian to get their facts right? Or a real gay Nigerians too fearful of coming out in the state of terror induced by the anti-same sex marriage law?

Let me end by sharing this story from a Nigerian news site. A middle aged man was threatened by local youths because he was thought gay. He moved away from home. When his brother comes visiting their mother, he is mistaken for the supposedly gay brother..., and beaten to death.
Some youths in Durumi II, a slum in Gudu District, Abuja, have allegedly killed a middle aged man over his brother’s alleged homosexuality.
The deceased, Joy, was mistaken for his brother, Alex, who had fled the area since 2011 after the community’s youths threatened to deal with him over homosexuality. 
Sources said the youths intruded the deceased’s compound at about 8.00pm last Tuesday demanding for Alex, the alleged homosexual before they pounced on his younger brother who recently came to visit his mother from Lagos.
A source told City News that the youths used axe and many other objects to hack their victim in his father’s house.
His mother, Mrs Esther, said she was in the bedroom when she heard the youth shouting, “Where is Alex, we heard he has returned home. Someone saw him when he entered this house about five minutes ago. He must die.”
She added that the youths said it was their responsibility to stop all those who were homosexuals in the community. 
She said before she could rush out of the room, some of the youths had already pounced on her son striking him with different harmful objects that led to his death
Very disturbing. Very, very sad. And very horrible.

The Nigerian Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act which was lauded at that 'Marriage Conference' in Cape Town has put a noose round any person suspected of being gay in Nigeria. Vigilante groups have been doing what is reported here, and was documented in that Human Rights Watch report so thoroughly.

Now, that is more than fear of homosexuality. The words that are used in conferences like the one in Cape Town are the rhetoric which feeds such hideously horrible acts, summary injustice, in the name of protecting the youths and community from homosexuality.

I need a bath. A long shower to run off this grime, this hate, followed by a long soaking bath, in love. I need to wash this out of my mind. Now.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Your Hate will Not Make me Straight!

Domestic bliss.

Feel a little bit, just a tiny little bit guilty that I am currently seated with my man, relaxing....., with him bingeing on netflix...., and I cruising the waves of the net to find something to blog about.....

The mind...., it is a funny tool. Nimble, quiet. But at the same time, so impressionable. So, I feel guilty because I am in bliss at the moment, yet out there......!

But, no. This is life as it is. And, me not being happy here and now is not going to add a jot to those who are unhappy and oppressed...... Hey, I am a human being, no superhuman...., I am liable to all the stupid, foibles of a human being. The quicker I remember that I can be as illogical and stupid as the best of us, the less I will feel like I have to live to 'super-human' expectations.


So, I will celebrate the simple pleasures as and when I get them. And I will cry and pull the grey hairs in my head when there is need to.


The Driftsands, Kayelitsha community came together Saturday to celebrate the life of Vovo.
Celebrate, I term it, because, though our tears and minds are still in shock at the untimely death of the 22 year old activist, we have to remember her vivacity and commitment, and that she stirred our hearts in life as in death.Pic Triangle Project via

Yes, her name was Noluvo. And we do mourn her. And her untimely death. And the circumstances that make it possible for a home invasion leading to death such a common occurrence and threatens the lives of most #QueerSouthAfricans and other South Africans. RIP, 'Vovo'.

And, all the members of the community who came out to proudly protest her death. Brave. Proud. Standing up to Our Humanity. Kuddos to the community of Driftsands.

Meanwhile, in Morocco, a bit of drama...., drama of the kind that would be amusing, but to the people, the real, living people that are involved, whose lives are ruined by the real world stigma that these environments have.
Two girls .., arrested and jailed in late October after being spotted kissing on a rooftop.The girls, ages 16 and 17, had been charged under Article 489 of the Penal Code, which provides for up to three years in prison for same-sex intimacy.They were arrested Oct. 27, released on bail on Nov. 3 and tried Nov. 25. On Dec. 9, they were returned to their families.

Good verdict. Drama, flash in a teapot. But, remember, these are teenagers, children. And, you know who had them arrested in the first instance? Pic

"they were reported by a neighbour or a relative who saw them kissing and hugging on the roof of a house in Marrakesh.The girls were allegedly beaten by their families and were detained for a week"
So, to the tender mercies of the families that thought them worthy of arrest they are released. This might be no victory... And, hopefully, they have some person to person support in this tough time.
On the activism stage, activists were not happy.

The spurious charges are more than silly. They put at risk any Moroccan. Any silly kiss can be interpreted as homosexuality. And, lives ARE ruined by things as silly as this. By the 'appearance of homosexuality' real or imagined.
Omar Arbib, a human rights defender from the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, welcomed the dismissal of the charges, but criticized the court because it “did not have the courage to say that the two girls are innocent of homosexuality.”

Damn. The interpretation before should be from the Human Rights Watch Director, Middle East and North Africa...., but, I think it should rightly come from a Moroccan!

Because, fact is, sometimes our countrymates forget that we are their countrymates that they persecute with such laws, simply because it seems as if it is only 'foreigners' speaking on our behalf!

And, I will end this post with a furious tirade from one of our own. An out and proud South African Idol Judge, Somizi Mhlongo that he posted on his Instagram account.
 “I choose not to keep quiet. I choose not to keep silent when I see in the news or I hear of corrective rape taking place somewhere in South Africa, when I hear of a young girl that has been murdered because she is lesbian. She didn’t choose to be lesbian – she is lesbian!
“So all I’m trying to say is that South Africa (And AFRICA!), homophobes, get it into your skull: being gay, its just as being black or white. You don’t choose. You are that.
“And the justice system. You are failing us. You are the reason why they think they can get away with murder. And all you homophobes, I’m telling you again: Your hate won’t make me straight!” said an angry Mhlongo.

Its worth of more emphasis,



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Queer Africans of Faith 3

I had part poured out my passion about religion and Queer Africans..., oh well, it was part venting on my part, and also pointing out that there are some (in my view) peerless advocates of the religious love for queer Africans.

Reading back is like tracking my thoughts through previously painful journeys. But they are done, and am happy about that. Had actually written a couple of other posts which I didnt post... and are now 'lost' where lost bits and bytes get to be 'lost'....

Of queer Africans of faith, didnt mention one, Imam Hendricks of Cape Town, SA. Pic from

This extra-ordinary Gay Muslim and leader went through his own crisis of faith, and came out stronger. And, then he felt led to shepherd other Gay Muslims and lead them in faith. As a Moslem.

Now, if that doesnt beat courage, I dont know what would, really.
Because, on a day to day basis, his life is a trial. But it is also manifestation of the sheer power of faith for human beings. We believe what we believe, and for one to sway a person of great faith from their faith takes longer. Thats the why martyrs are made.

And, it would be presumptive of me to assume that because we are gay, there would be none of us queer Africans, to stand the gales of disapprobation from mainstream religions that are righteously homophobic.
Imam Hendricks is one such. And, I salute him.

Yes, We queer or gay Africans are also spiritual beings. And, asserting our faith, or right to faith, falls almost naturally into our basket list of 'things to do'.

But, there is more.

Bet you have heard of the convolutions that have gone through world Anglicanism when the American branch accepted a gay bishop.
What I didnt know, or had little appreciation of, is the fact that there has been another quiet but steady movement in the Southern African churches.

Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town and fiery advocate of inclusion for LGBT Christians, we all know. But, what has been his effect on the Church that he led?

Tutu is an extraordinary man. He has used his star power to campaign for what one would call 'liberal' causes, amongst which was one. The ordination of women. He follows the Church that he led, but will not stop himself from speaking out with an African Elder's gravitas when he feels something is wrong. Ask the ANC.....! (Photo Sarah Lee for the Guardian)

Mpho Tutu, the Archbishop's daughter, felt the call of the ministry, and was ordained in the US.

And, Mpho happens to be a Queer African. Brave as the dad, she allowed herself to fall in love..., with a woman...., and horror of horrors, a white woman!! An atheist!!
Mpho was married before, with a couple of kids. Gosh, the lady follows the Dad. Showing how faith can trump indeed all the shackles that we dare put to it. And, Dad and Mum supported her as she is. I salute you, the Tutu family.

Err, that was a teary diversion. They got married. Polar opposites.

“My wife and I meet across almost every dimension of difference. Some of our differences are obvious; she is tall and white, I am black and vertically challenged,” Tutu-van Furth.

“Ironically, coming from a past where difference was the instrument of division, it is our sameness that is now the cause of distress. My wife and I are both women.”

Marriage, the legal one, was in the Netherlands. But, they carried it home..., to South Africa. My people call that the 'introduction'. And, the whole family came out to honour the new marriage. That little tidbit thrills me. Here was a lady that was married, divorced, now celebrating a lesbian (Why do we go in for these damn labels?!) wedding, and the family was there to celebrate with them. This is the City Press' record of that occasion.
Mpho’s eldest brother, Trevor, and her daughters from her first marriage to Joseph Burris, Nyaniso (19) and Onalenna (10), were in the front seats.
The small crowd included ... Marceline’s daughter Pien (16), also from a previous marriage, and her father, Ralph. Pien lit a candle to commemorate Marceline’s late mother, Ghi.
Her (?Marceline's?) brothers, Wouter and Eric, had a turn behind the microphone to read The Apache Wedding Prayer. 
Moments after Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu-Van Furth slipped a ring on Professor Marceline Tutu-Van Furth’s finger, guests at their wedding ...burst out laughing.
And Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s giggle rang out over the Mont Rochelle Hotel’s terrace near Franschhoek, as his wife Leah rocked beside him. 
(Photo Shumaya Hisham, City Press)

Now, now, that was something wonderful. Two families united to celebrate the marriage of a couple. Celebrating a love that seems to reach out and break all kinds of differences and barriers. Goodness, to say they are polar opposites is an understatement!

And why get married?


What would lead to this need to bridge so many differences that at first would seem absolutely insurmountable? They are human beings, arent they? What is so strong that they can dare thumb the whole world in its collective face, maybe banking on Desmond and Leah's acceptance,...., but the world is not only our dear parents! Why, what drove them?


And, daring the world, they still had to bend to the very conventions that they flouted.
'The Arch', Desmond Tutu wouldn't officiate. But, he proudly gave a 'Father's Blessing'..., showing where his heart truly was.
Church sources said Archbishop Tutu had not given his public blessing for his daughter’s wedding to avoid any impression of forcing the hand of the church, where discussions on the same-sex marriages of both priests and congregants have been ongoing.
And, the knives were soon out. Sharp, sharper, and distressingly agile.
Before full knowledge in the media and the accompanying fracas, Mpho 
was ordained in the Episcopal Church in the US and was “canonically resident” in the Diocese of Washington, DC.
“In terms of the canon, I must have the approval of my diocesan bishop to marry, which I have,” she said.
“With regard to the Anglican Church, I imagine it will resolve its position on these matters in due course,” said Mpho Tutu 
The Arch didnt officiate....., hey, possibly he would have been untouchable....., he has that presence. But, he is also a very logical man. The ongoing discussions in his Church concerned him.

For the priest who 'dared' to officiate...., Charlotte Bannister-Parker, there were calls to resign her priesthood.....!
 “has been subject to horrific attacks. The ‘inquiry’ into what she did hinges on whether or not the word ‘blessing’ was used in the ceremony at any stage. That feels so incredibly sad, that the church is allowing ourselves to be tied in knots by legalisms.
“What Charlotte was doing was praying with us. You can pray with a rapist, a murderer, a torturer – but heaven forbid that you pray with two people in love.”
And indeed, I ask myself, has the whole Anglican Communion truly descended to that kind of legalism?

But, Mpho also faced her own challenges. She gave up her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa, her own country.
Mpho Tutu-van Furth ...said the move had been forced on her following her wedding to a Dutch academic.
“The canon [law] of the South African church states that marriage is between one man and one woman,” she said in a statement. After her marriage, the South African bishop who had given her permission to officiate as a priest in his diocese “was advised that he must revoke my licence. I offered to return my licence rather than require that he take it from me,” she added.
She was “still a priest in good standing in my home diocese” in the United States where she was ordained..

 Tough indeed. 
“It was hard for me to give up my [priest’s] licence, it felt incredibly sad,” Tutu van Furth –  told the Guardian.
“My father campaigned for women’s ordination, and so every time I stand at the altar I know that this is part of his legacy. And it is painful, a very odd pain, to step down, to step back from exercising my priestly ministry.”

Yet, even in this trial, she might be an agent of change. Because, the very church which asked for her licence had the leader admit this below.
Cape Town bishop Raphael Hess said he was “vexed” by the need for Tutu-van Furth to renounce her clerical duties, but that he hoped it would be short-lived.
“The time has come for us to exercise pastoral care, for us to demonstrate a shift that is reflected in the law,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “At the moment she cannot [minister] and she has accepted that but we are hoping that there might be a window for us to change it.”

Agent of Change indeed, or at least the catalyst that precipitates the reaction?


That very normal, natural and accepted of human beings driving change to the acceptance of Queer Africans, in places of faith and out.

I shake my head....

Because the post wandered wildly off its plan as I celebrated Mpho Tutu-van Furth's journey as if it was mine and was with her in the happiness.

I will stop here for now. Can continue for hours and hours. Love is such a beautiful thing...., and faith is such a challenge to it! Marrying love and faith....., no wonder Gay Marriage freaks out many!!!!

But, I will also remember that we live in the real world. 

I will remember #NoluvoSwelindawo of Driftsands, Khayelitsha, who was pulled out of her house where she was living with her partner, and brutally killed. RIP Vovo.

Stigma is the real enemy. Those who dare to confront stigma like Mpho do us a massive service, challenging it in places where we would not be able to speak, which has ripple effects to places like Driftsands, Khayelitsha.

Mpho's win would be a win for Queer Africans. For now, we squat and mourn #NoluvoSwelindawo. In a world that had no stigma to who and what you were, you would have lived beyond 22 years of age. RIP, Vovo


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Stigma is the Enemy; 2

I have been slow to return to this.

Meant to..., too important a chain of thought, though it was broken. But, it could return, could be renewed, could be..., done something about.

So, posted about SAs beautiful legal system for #QueerSouthAfricans which rivals none on the continent. It is really wonderful, flawed..., but wonderful.

If indeed the law was all that we had to get things right for queer Africans, #GaySouthAfricans would be in heaven.
But, they simply are not.

The vast majority of them live in real fear of death. I dare you to read the article extracts below.
NPA secured a 17 year jail sentence for a Ceres man who beat and set alight a gay man who asked to have sex with him. 
Judge Siraj Desai labelled the murder of Dawid Olyne a hate crime, and asked that the docket be kept open to find the others who were part of the brutal attack on him, the NPA said in a statement.
Olyne was assaulted, strangled, tortured, tied up, and set alight, after the heterosexual Christo Oncke took offence at being hit on by another man.
Olyne made the mistake of seeing a guy that he liked. He made a pass. And, that made the mistake worse.
brutal attack indeed...., assaulted, strangled, tortured, tied up, set alight...!!!

No, not the work of a single person.

One person was apprehended, someone with mental challenges. The others who were not mentally challenged are free. Quite highly likely members of the same community, and Olyne knew them.

And, Olyne is dead.

That is the day to day lived reality of many black south Africans. An exhilarating freedom, in places and spaces where you can be free, coupled by the very real reality that you might make that crucial pass at the wrong person, wrong time, wrong place......

The law managed to have one of the torture murderers arrested, charged, convicted. Which is a good thing.

And that fear is not only by Gay men. Lesbian South Africans in the townships are open at risk. This happened in the past week. (Pic from Facebook, via Mambaonline

The Cape Times reported that on Saturday night, neighbours were awoken by Swelindawo’s partner, Nqabisa Mkatali, pleading for help.

She told them Swelindawo had been abducted from her home, which had its windows broken and the door kicked in. Swelindawo’s family and neighbours embarked on a desperate search for her throughout the night until they were told that her body had been found.--The body of 22-year-old Noluvo Swelindawo, known as Vovo, was found dumped next to the N2 highway near Khayelitsha on Sunday.

Unconfirmed reports say up to 11 men were involved in the attack on the house. At least one has been apprehended.
a man has now been arrested in connection with the 22-year-old’s killing. The man, believed to be from the same community, is alleged to be the main perpetrator in the murder.
Gay South Africans know of the issues on the ground. They know, for a fact that great laws may not protect their lives. And the fear and danger does not go away, because the law man might not be around the night 'they' attack. So, Queer South Africans have gone on the ground, to change perceptions, to make sure the spirit of the Constitution and the law gets to where the people experience violence. To make neighbor live with neighbor in harmony, be one straight and the other LGBT.

activist Funeka Soldaat, from the group FreeGender Khayelitsha, said that news of Swelindawo’s murder had left her devastated. 
She said that the recently published Hate Crimes Bill will not on its own make a major difference to the continued attacks against LGBTI people and that more interventions need to happen within communities.
“Structures like street committees and other structures must be aware of LGBTI individuals in the community,” Soldaat explained. “Public dialogues with those structures around issues of homophobia and hate crimes must happen.”
Mnukwa, however, is angry that the Driftsands community did not do more to protect Swelindawo and failed to come forward with the names of her alleged attackers, despite ongoing engagements.
“We have had countless community dialogues and awareness campaigns to educate people about LGBTI issues and tolerance. I felt protected in Driftsands,” he said. “For them to protect the identities of these men and not to come out and help her when she was screaming at night for help, I feel betrayed.”

The distraught but emboldened community is undeterred. They can murder us, but they cannot make us keep quiet. They will NOT make us keep quiet, because, with Stigma as the Enemy, Silence is death. A Call to action.
GaySA Radio, Africa’s only LGBTI radio station, has called for a Day of Outrage on Saturday (10 Dec) to protest against the brutal and senseless murder: “Express your outrage, speak about what can be done, engage family and friends, take action. Take over social media, your home, your neighbourhood, your community. Join the call that says NO MORE. 

Bottom line. The law is good. Great.

But, on the ground, stigma rears an ugly, unchanging, infuriatingly hateful and murderous head. Stigma is the real Enemy, and for us to make more inroads, we need to go there to the community, the community which heard Swelindawo's screams for help in the middle of the night as a group of men, members of the community, invaded her house and abducted and later killed her, a community which LGBT South AFricans had thought they had engaged and thought relatively safe, but didnt prove safe ultimately for Swelindawo.

Because Stigma is the Enemy, the battle in the law courts is hardly done.

The war must be won by boots on the ground and that painstakingly slowly. Because Stigma is the enemy.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Stigma IS the Enemy; 1

For those of us Africans from north of the South African border, SA is the gay heaven of the continent....!

Hey, I been there, I have felt it, the desire, the longing to experience all that is good and beautiful in the country..., all that is so far from being realised by the rest of the continent.

Headlines like "Marking 10 Years of Same Sex Marriage in South Africa"
Pic from
make us ooze with jealous....

Of course, we do.

That victory came after a decisive court victory. And, as the first couple to get married are quoted saying; (Photo

 “I just have one message I would like to give to everybody – that we are just two men who love each other and who have loved each other for a long time.” The couple are still married today.
And, yes, the courts continue to uphold the rights of Queer South Africans to be equal before the law. Most recent case, apparently because it was not solved by the compromise that parliament stitched together have not been resolved. They are there, and they are real.
The churches think otherwise, not all Home Affairs offices offer the service, people have been turned away humiliated and disdained when they ask for the service.

The courts continue the support, after all, the Constitutional involvement remains the most powerful of driving LEGAL forces.

The Constitutional Court has upheld the right of unmarried partners in a same-sex relationship to inherit each other’s estate, even without a will.

---The court ruled in favour of Eric Duplan, who was in a permanent relationship with Cornelius Laubscher from 2003 until February 2015, when Laubscher died, without leaving a will.

Although they lived together as life partners they never married under the Civil Union Act. Following a claim on the estate by Laubscher’s family, Duplan was named the rightful heir by the courts.

The deceased man’s brother, Rasmus Laubscher, then appealed the ruling in the Constitutional Court. The case hinged on a previous Constitutional Court ruling, known as the Gory order, made before the Civil Union Act was signed into law.

The order decided that a “partner in a permanent same-sex life partnership in which the partners have undertaken reciprocal duties of support” is entitled to inherit the deceased partner’s estate under the Intestate Succession Act

That case was in part because though Gay Marriage was supposed to be exactly the same as hetero marriage, the 'compromise' worked not to be like so. Thus this particular case, and this win...., which is almost 'invisible' in the SA press....

Funny country, is SA.

But, as Constitutional Court Justice Cameron reminded us on World AIDS, in challenges like ours, Queer Africans, and other marginalised minorities, we forget that the LAW is not the answer, solution, or only thing to look out to.

Because, as simply and eloquently as Justice Cameron put it, STIGMA IS THE ENEMY.

He was speaking about the fantastic gains against the HIV epidemic as opposed to the reality for a person living with HIV. Again, medical miracles everywhere..., but STIGMA remains the biggest challenge.

And, that is the one single most important thing that we cannot forget.

Because, despite the stellar, brilliant, fantastic, first-on-the-continent achievements, for Queer South Africans, being gay can be as haunting a journey fraught with pitfalls, as for the rest of Queer Africa.

We shall be getting into this in the next post 


Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Kasese Attacks; Leadership

Writing is a funny thing.

When you can write..., it is like something that one does at the drop of a button...., press the button, and, voila, everything happens.

When you are not able to....

Then everything becomes so complicated. The white page stares at you like its demanding to be filled. With what, you beg its demand, and its clear...., no answer. but the demand. You must fill it.

And then you run away from it, to justify not answering its incessant demand. Even when they made these writing aps and blogs..., they tried to imitate paper, like not imitating it wouldn't help. So, a lack of justification to write? Anyone?

Oh yes, you can try something else....., like drawing a few funny tails on the paper to justify the time that you have spent staring at it. Doodling it is called. For some reason, I draw tails...., curling up to gods know where.

There is some funny business going in Uganda. Funny business, I call it. But something like 60 plus people have been killed.
As one journalist, a member of the affected ethnic group wrote on facebook, a post that possibly had her 'disappeared' for a few days, they are not a faceless statistic, but fathers, brothers, uncles, and grandfathers.
Our cultural heritage is quite important to us....., and it is something that we pull out at any turn of the sun. Unfortunately, when the government 'comes' from another part of Uganda, we seem to forget this basic thing. That the cultural heritage matters.

So, the palace was burnt down. A cultural site.

That might have hurt people more than the 60 plus who were King's guards, and are taken as having laid down their lives for the sake of their king. But, the palace was burnt down.

The king, Omusinga Mumbere, was charged with the murder of a policeman. He is a frail, elderly man...., and..., oh well. The governments PR issues are its own. Here is the mighty rebel leader or murderer, or inciter of terrorism? Photo is by Daily Monitor of course, credit to Tausi Nakato

To me, this seems like a 'holding charge'. Of enough depth and magnitude. And of course the government went through lots of things to get away charging him in the district that is his cultural home. That would have driven his people crazy.

So, he is flown willy nilly from his district, to be charged in another district, and away from the restive capital, Kampala. There the opposition is so strong, it would have been interesting to see the mix.....

The Monitor has a good in-depth about the Kingdom and the King, Omusinga and the recent troubles. Because, they are usually not new born. But, they are newly re-ignited by anyone who assumes that they can control the hearts and minds of people with impunity.

Is a funny thing, but, Museveni, President and consummate politician for the last 30 years loves the adulation of all his country mates. And, he is very jealous of the part that we reserve for our cultural heritage. I wonder why?

I mean, we are all so different, it is quite impossible for all Ugandans to come from one, ahem, ahem, ethnic group!!!! Our cultural heritage tells somethings about us that the national identity has refused to say..... And, might possibly never say.

And, the reaction to whatever has been happening is insightful.

Anyway, people in Kasese are scared. After all, the mighty government attacked and arrested the Omusinga, killing 61 plus of their tribesmates. And, they are not to be denied that mourning. Even when the govt (from another area, as it is seen) says they are 'rebels'. They will be champions, martyrs and more...., the more they are not mourned or even identified.

At the health centre, relatives huddled in small groups spoke in low voices, discussing the fate of their loved ones. Soldiers prevented all but a few medical workers and other authorised personnel from entering the health centre.
Some of the relatives who spoke to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said they had trekked from the nearby as well as distant Ihandiro, Nyakiyumbu, Kyabarungira, Kyondo and Kisinga sub-counties. All declined to disclose their particulars, demonstrating the palpable fear in the community that in theory should be mourning its own killed by government forces.

And, the govt is restricting the mourning, and the venting, and even the communication of who is dead and who is not! A list of 90 plus suspects has been released.

Maybe a list of the dead will be released once they are rotted away?

Just saying...!!!!

But, for now, they do have a voice of sorts. From the area members of parliament, who include the Parliamentary Opposition leader. And what their narrative of the lead up to the clash that turned massacre is damning.

He gave a chronology of how a delegation of five MPs from the region, including the Leader of the Opposition, Ms Winnie Kiiza, tried in vain to negotiate a peaceful withdrawal of the royal guards from the Buhikira Palace on Sunday.
Bukonjo West MP Atkins Katusabe read a text message from the army chief sent to him at 1:01pm on Sunday afternoon in which Gen Katumba was ordering that the royal guards vacate the Buhikira Palace with their hands up as a sign of surrender.
“Honourable, I have made the following instructions: That they [royal guards] should come without their daggers, knives or pangas. They should show that their hands are free of any weapons. They should not wait for darkness,” read a text message from Gen Katumba to Atkins as the MP held talks with the king.
Before the orders could be enforced, the security forces stormed the Buhikira Palace.
Busongora County South MP Jackson Mbaju, a former Attorney General in the Rwenzururu Kingdom, said the royal guards were trained by police in 2012 with the direct knowledge of Gen Kale Kaiyhura, the Inspector General of Police.
Mr Mbaju accused the government of turning around and branding the royal guards as a “militia” and “terrorists” yet they were trained by the police.
I must salute the Monitor. LOL, as an independent paper, or media organisation, it has to play a real tight rope (make that a thread...) act. LOL......!!!!

I mean, I dont trust anything from the New Vision, the govt media house...., So, I go through the Monitor and try to read between the lines. 

Of course I wouldnt write like this when I am not in Uganda....., I do value my gay ass a lot, thank you very much!!!

In other news, President Museveni is lined up to receive a prestigious award, the African Leadership Awards.

Oh. He will be hosting it. The awards are in Uganda.