Thursday, March 16, 2017

Writers Block and the Same old Ignorance

Writers Block.

And the cure is not to stare at the white sheet. Why did they have to make the sheet paper white? Why not come up with a sexier, trendier, more acceptable choice...., lol. Maybe I have a chance to change it? Haven't checked.

Just been reminded that gay rights are fragile. In Trump's America, of course that is quiet likely to be the norm...., even after marriage equality. So, the fight continues... Nay, we havent had the kind of clout to make us 'normalised', so, not a resistance, but guerilla warfare.

Conservative Uganda.....!!!

Just came across an article that gave me a huge belly laugh. See, this (once homophobic) Ugandan singer was recording a new video, and he was caught in the act having lip balm being applied to him.
In most other countries, one would look at this photo and think, lol, the dude is a hunk., isnt he?

Not in Uganda.
Comments included..., "i really wonder what kind man u r" and "u gay lipstick .... REALLY?" and "... in all the pics u could post u choose this one..., acting like a gay!!!"

Hahaha!

Really.

To my angered ugandan countrymates, male and female...., that is lip balm.... LOL. And, in most places it is not worthy commenting. Hey, makeup is applied during video shoots!!! And of course quite a lot of emancipated men apply lip balm without thinking it an attack on their masculinity. Seriously??!!!

But of course underlying that perception of disgust is the prejudice against homosexuality. It manifests in many petty things, and of course encases brains in resistant ignorance. Impenetrable.

So, I know am not going to teach anyone who is teachable here, but, I will laugh well.

Ugandans are the typical ignoramus, in things in anyway coming to link to my sexuality (and I am a gay Ugandan). Just the typical, ignorant and sadly unreachable homophobe.

And you know the challenge? We must reach them, win them over, hearts and minds, as Gay Ugandans and Queer africans.

Way to go!!!

gug

Monday, March 13, 2017

Queer is Normal; Get over it.

Hi.

Long time, I know.

Finding it tough to keep up......, but, when it is a long journey, taking a breather is okay. You rest, by the side of the road. You look at the cars zooming by, you wonder what it would be like if you were in one of the other vehicles. You toy with the idea of giving up..., and then you dont. You then get up and walk. Again. Or limp. Or crawl.

But, yeah, you do.

I am gay...., a Queer African. But, on the surface, you wouldnt know it if you met me on the streets of Kampala. I am as smart, or scruffy, as the streets I move on. Indistinguishable from the rest of my countrymates on the continent. Of course, in some places, my skin might be a bit lighter, or darker...., but that is no marker of my sexuality.

So, why the hell do judges of the world continue asking us to 'prove' that we are gay? I mean, I like sex as much as the next man, and get me one in the right circumstances, am quite ready to prove it...., if you know what I mean.

But, but....

How do I prove that to some people out there, some stranger who has never known what it is to be who and what I am...? Granted, coming out is a problem, but, can you imagine being deported from a country and it becomes known, in a country like Uganda that you had actually said that you were gay?

Anyway, this Ugandan is facing that challenge. He failed, of course. And after failing, today he might be on the plane back.

Tut tut tut...., how do straight people prove that they are straight? Just a question.

Here is some 'good' advice in a newspaper in Kenya. I say good, because, Kenya is known for its 'tolerant' attitude to homosexuality..., but that is because Uganda and Tanzania are neighbours. The advice is kind of mild..., at least there is advocacy not to beat the gay out of us...., but, the level of ignorance of human sexuality is really bad.
"In February this year, a school at the Coast was in the headlines when 12 of its students were sent home for lesbianism. The school principal was quoted saying she had asked the girls to fetch their parents in order to enable them receive joint counselling. 
In essence the 'counselling' involved severe beating from the parents and teachers, to prevent them from becoming psychollogically affected (by their lesbian behaviour). This mindset is understandable because in Africa, unlike the West, homosexuality is viewed as a mental illness."
Now, that is the more 'liberal' part of Africa.

These kids. Were they even gay? Or where they just kids experimenting? But, the kind school principal outed them to their parents, labelled them, and as the newspaper indicated, more likely than not they would get a great hiding...., according to the parents...., and they would of course be scarred for life.

The rest of the counselling is predictable.. Homosexuality is a disease...., instead of kids being led thru some confusion, they are pushed into closets or cut off from family. Stigmatised.

And nothing can become more cutting than the rejection of our big families. For, to many Africans, family is everything.

Or, there is always the shadow of 'therapy', from the traditional or 'Christian/Moslem' healers...., or quack conventional practitioners. 

We are normal, we queer Africans.

And, that is the greatest struggle that we have to fight. The knowledge that, after all that we have faced, we are still normal human beings.

We queer Africans are normal. Now, who in Africa dares think so?

gug

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

All the Haters.....

We are Queer, and we are Africans....

And, lots of our brethren are haters. Pure, haters.... And, that is quite mild.
So, you know that FIFA has this 'non-discrimination' article in its constitution. FIFA as in the international soccer federation. The corrupt guys....
And, dear Zambia had to sign and say they wouldnt discriminate against GayZambians in soccer, football as we call it on the continent. And, believe it or not, the 'church' is mad about that. 
Former FAZ executive committee member Masha Chilemena told AFP: “Zambia is a Christian nation and any instructions from FIFA which will conflict with Christianity are not welcome.” 
He insisted that the association “cannot go against what is stipulated in the law of the land” and that if FIFA were to take action against FAZ over the issue then “we will play in the local league”. 
International Federation of Christian Churches president Simon Chihana also told AFP that the draft constitution was “inviting the wrath of God” and warned that it would “bring the happenings of Sodom and Gomorrah here”

What can I say but that they are 'haters' as defined by the Generation X...!!

But, that is okay..., because there are others where they cannot be answered, except with frowns of incredulity.

This is in Tanzania. And, the haters happen to be the Ministry of Health. And, against gay Tanzanians. The private health centers where they could receive HIV treatment have been stopped from providing HIV services. Because they 'promote homosexuality'
On Thursday, the government announced it was stopping many private health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of providing services to homosexuals. 
"We have suspended the provision of HIV and AIDS services at at least 40 drop-in centers operated by NGOs countrywide, after it was established that the centers were promoting homosexuality, which is against Tanzania's laws," Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a press conference. 
Last year, Mwalimu said it was estimated that 23 percent of men who have sex with men in Tanzania were living with HIV/AIDS. 

So, aren't they haters? Of course they are.

I dont mince words to people who use their powers to try make sure that gay people dont get HIV treatment.

So, to all the haters...

But, they are hurting my people. Queer Africans like me.

I cry.

gug


Monday, February 20, 2017

Being a Leader

For some reason, this morning, when I opened my twitter feed, I shied away from it.

Yeah, there are days like that. I like twitter, because it feeds news of home, friends and far in an instant..., only 140 characters, and I can ignore that which I need ignore, and embrace or read more that which I dont. Of course, I need become an expert on judging fake news..... Sigh. Are there really gangs of immigrants running amok in the streets of Paris? Apparently the mainstream media is ignoring that juicy tidbit.

Today it was a sick feed. I think what bothered me most was reports of MPs of Uganda budgeting for a helicopter for the Speaker of parliament. Of course, when it comes to the famine in the north of the country, and starving citizens, those are conveniently not on the budget. The same MPs have increased their salaries, given themselves huge bonuses, and cars at the tax payers expense, and have a problem with taxes on their earnings.....

Sigh. In a country of the poor, making sure that only the rich get into the parliament or whoever becomes an MP automatically becomes a billionaire......

anyway, that is life. And it aint fun.

Ugandans who were not MPs were having fun on twitter. The kind of sick jokes that attend such public madness. How can leaders justify that kind of thing? Sincerely?!!!

I mean, the dear Minister of Education, the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda was in parliament last week, saying there was no funding for school going girls to get sanitary pads. But, there are billions budgeted for the Speakers Helicopter..., after the amounts so far spent on the speaker.
Government has backtracked on its earlier pledge to provide sanitary pads to school going girls so that they do no run out of school when their menstrual periods start.

Sigh. And the speaker of the republic at this particular moment is a woman.

Anyway, beware of having rich people making all the decisions....., lesson for Ugandans...., and for as far away as the US.....!!!

But, there was this beautiful letter from Wentworth Miller that he presented I believe last year.
He was talking about his life, how he tried to commit suicide when he was 15. The attempt failed. He told no one, was back to school after the weekend.

And what had brought such to this incredible man, the character from Prison Break series?

He was a mixed race child, and gay. Bullied at school. And he was in survival mode.

Here is the video.




And, listening to him, as he comes out hesistantly to speak of the pain that his life has been, and the knowledge that he has been able to beat it and be who he is.....

Thanks, Wentworth Miller, for being a very human, human being.

You give us some faith in the human race.

gug

Friday, February 17, 2017

To A Moral Uganda?

That sounds like the most innocent, most wonderful, 'godly', heavenly idea...., in a country of 'god' fearing people like Ugandans.

Problem is...., when the details are down to whose moral ideals...., it becomes an insurmountable challenge.

In Uganda, almost all meetings, including in Parliament, start with a prayer.
No, the constitution of the Republic of Uganda states, and I quote
Chapter Two : 7
"7. Non-adoption of a State religion. 
Uganda shall not adopt a State religion."
But that is what it says, and what happens....., and of course, since 85% of Ugandans are Christian...., or call themselves so, then  the prayers are always to god as the Christians think the deity to be.... Though is supposed to be same god with our Moslem siblings ....., oooohhhhhh! 

Yeah..., am betraying my faith. Don't you dare. Make conclusions..., that is.

Anyway, besides engaging a Ugandan on abortion ...., shit...!!! I saw this headline.
MPs to form a forum on ethics due to the increased moral decay
The parliamentarians in question are Ugandans. Led by the Right Honourable Nsaba Buturo, former, and first Minister of Ethics and Integrity...., and right now in retirement.

But matters of morality dont rest. And Nsaba-Buturo is a mighty warrior on the morality front.
He was the Minister when the Anti-Homosexuality bill saw light in the Ugandan parliament. He was strongly supportive. Moved all that he could. Sadly...., sadly..., it delayed and was broken...

This dude wanted us dead and in prison for life just because we were homosexuals who loved others who are gay.

So, whose morality do you think Nsaba-Buturo would be enforcing?

Morality is a funny thing. Because I am a Ugandan, Nsaba-Buturo would assume, that as a matter of course, I would have the same 'morality compass' as he does.

But that is sheer impossibility.

We are all different. And, for a nation of near 34 Million people, it is impossible for us to agree on as many things as those which constitute a moral compass. After all, just a few years ago, Nsaba-Buturo thought it within his moral compass to mandate the death penalty to Ugandans such as me who dared to love other Ugandans of the same sex.

At that time, I was in my first long time relationship. I remember once, after a wonderful bout of love making that I thought, incredulously, that that is what my fellow UGandans felt was worth killing over? Simply because I made love to a guy that loved me and I loved them, and we lay together in each others arms in post orgasmic satiation......

I guess I was never so utterly convinced of my...., NEED...., to get up, and get out there, and affirm that I was a normal, adult, responsible human being, and that those who felt that it was within their moral compass to condemn me for who and what I was and what I did....., I would fight them.

And, that has been driving me for a long time.

And, I remember it. Even now.

So,

Buturo seeks to do something about Uganda's deterioreting morality. I would support him....., if I thought within that rhetoric hid a love for the country. But, there isnt.

There is a desire for him to enforce his morality onto the country...., and against me..., and against those who like me think differently from him.

Not against those who are raping the country.

Not against those who, in corruption, are crippling the country.

But, against people like me, Ugandans who are gay, queer, and different. Minorities who are naked and defenceless against his ability to marshall the state resources to get us into prison and onto death row for the simple problem of disagreeing or not seeing the same way as his moral compass....., the sin of loving one who is similar to me, a gay human being.

No. 

I would hold onto the spirit and facts of our constitutituion.

And fight to make existing laws against corruption, governance and human rights work as should be.

Because 'morality' in the view of a Nsaba-Buturo is very different from 'human rights' as agreed upon by most of the countries of the world.

And, any day, I would take human rights over 'morality.'


gug

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BBC Witness; A Valentine's Day Special....

Hey,

see, the news comes out and is on the net, and one trawls and nets it.

This is a stand alone...., to all Queer Africans. A Valentines Day Special

Just click on the link and listen to the program...., it is edifying...

Yeah, it is hosted on the BBC website, a radio link, but it should play well anywhere. 9 minutes.

And, you know what, gay love, queer love is special, because of how ordinary people walk thru fire to enjoy it.


gug

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Irresponsible Reporting

We all learn lots from media. And, in most of Africa, it means newspapers.....
And that means depending on reporters.

Not sure how much we depend on these sources? Remember #FakeNews and the effect on the 2016 US elections? We have many analogue equivalents...., except that much of the fake news is main line.......

Imagine this irresponsible headline. 
An old article, Dec 2016. But, it serves well to illustrate the point.

Of course the expert could have been talking about something totally different, like HIV is spread by sex..., and for parents to acknowledge that children can have sex with one another...., consensual sex (hell, 'children' is defined by under 18, which would mean most of us actually first had sex as children! Fact. Not to underplay the very real occurrence of child sexual abuse.)

Yep, I dare to say, that, as teens, when our sexual hormones first flood our bloodstreams, we begin to have very normal sexual thoughts, and act out our dreams....., of sex and sexuality.

That may label me a pervert (especially in Uganda..., with our hypocritical attitude to sex and sexuality). But it is a truth that I had to verify till I understood its normality.

But, back to the story. It was supposedly a press briefing from the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe on the 'hotspots'
NAC provincial Aids coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said all boys’ schools were a hotspot as the environment made it easy for boys to engage in risky behaviour. She said same sex relationships in boys’ schools could be fuelling HIV.

Not very nice at all. And the big 'h' word has been dropped. That serves to blind to everything else. One of those words which cause our brains to switch off into stereotypes.... Use it responsibly...., or not.
 We have reports of boys who abuse drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour during Vuzu parties and we cannot rule out the issue of same sex relationships which is slowlycreeping into our schools,” said Mrs Nyathi.

Hmmmm, more and more red meat to those who are triggered bloody by it....
“Unfortunately due to policy, we do not have evidence neither can we conduct studies related to such as we know that our society does not readily accept the existence of same sex relationships. The same situation is likely to be obtaining at girls only schools though these arenot part of our hotspots.”

Uh....., So, all this...., from no evidence? Only rumors????!!!

Of course am the first to concede that in schools, horny teenagers will do all they can to experience the pleasure of sex. Of course it happens. And no amount of denial will take it away. But, taking a nice big brush to casually flick it on this wall is not the way to go around informing a homophobic public of the possibility of gay sex in schools...., and of course in the same breath string along HIV. People, stigma is a surprisingly cruel, living entity..., malignant beyond belief! HIV stigma, homophobia, they are real!

And. Why is their no evidence? 

The problem of conservative Africa. Children are below 18. Sex is for adults. So, children below 18 need not know about sex. Simple logic...., stupid. You dont believe it? Well, in Uganda..., here is a recent article in the government daily reiterating 'Abstinence only' as the policy for education in Ugandan schools. And, remember that just last year, 18,000 kids were thrown out of school, because they were being taught something about human sexuality....! Better for them to stay illiterate..., than to be taught anything about how our wonderful body function with regards to sex.
“You will notice that besides all boys’ schools, we have a growing trend of teenage sex workers in our suburbs. These sex workers, who include boys, then fail to access health care and important HIV preventioninterventions because of their age. For example we are now rolling out Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in some districts but those teenagesex workers cannot access it or get tested because of their age,” she said.
More red meat. Of course, in a conservative society, blame HIV on homosexuals and sex workers.

Of course.

And, worst of all, the paper puts a pic of two guys on the article. At least online. Are they gay? Or just models? Have they given consent to have their images associated with such an article? We are not informed of any of this....., all that we see is the headline, the ill constructed story, the innuendos and a devastating picture painting the two as guilty without any word to that effect.

Pity the guys...., and anyone that might resemble them, in Zimbabwe.

And in case you think am exaggerating, here is the story of a man who was beaten to death in Nigeria, because he was mistaken for his brother who had been chased from the parents home because he was suspected to be gay. And, the ones who did the chasing and the beating, a group of youths. Vigilantes to keep the village clean of homosexuality.


Words matter. Their effects can be devastating to a vulnerable, stigmatised population like Queer Africans in Africa.

gug

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Kenny the Nigerian; Forced Outing

Something we all are at risk of.

Came across this in my browsing. Was actually posted on Kehinde Bademosi's Facebook page., as his own harrowing account of what happened when he was outed. By his ex-wife. A woman scorned? 

Kenny shared on how his ex-wife of six years believed God would heal him and convert him to a heterosexual man even when she knew his orientation before they got married.

Sigh..... We dont scorn you. We are just not made like you want us to be.
my wife had been to Abuja to tell them I was a pervert and had no moral standard to teach the youth how to develop their talents. In theory, when I spoke, my saliva emitted millions of gay matter that could infect unsuspecting young adults.

Dude is brave. Gay, HIV positive, Nigerian, and after the disastrous outing, he dares go back to Nigeria. Well, its not a great place to be, the US these days...., even when you are African. But,...., going back to Nigeria as a Gay Nigerian?! Takes some special courage. Some very, very special courage.


Friends refused to pick my calls. Wifey had told them I was gay. Church stayed away. Jesus had told them 'touch not the unclean thing.' The advertising industry in Nigeria, where I had spent a good part of my life raising talents and developing the industry stayed far away. Cricket. Even those I had assisted finding their first jobs in the marketing communication industry. Those who are now brand managers, creative directors, account planners, strategy directors, managing directors and all those sizzling titles. Wifey had told them "Kanny is a homo."

Thats what happens when one is outed when they are gay, and African.
Its hard at this time to actually know that actually, it is the world that is turning against you that is wrong. That you, in the wisdom of the creator, are who and what you are. And, you have been what you were supposed to be. And, wonderful as the creator thought you to be, you are still wonderful. You are being the best that you should be, acknowledging yourself, being true to you. Queer, and African. Yourself. Being any less is insult, to you.

The rub is, it is like you are smeared in shit, as Kenny so eloquently puts it, smeared in your own shit, with no fancy vacuum to whisk off the whiff of corruption.
You travel such a long distance in this life, achieve so much, fly high. Unlike others around you, once you are out, you have no suction device to hide your shit as a gay person. No support system. Just you. So your shit keeps falling from the sky, tearing through roofs. Then people continue to talk. How come you are like this? How come your wife is leaving you? How come you are still single? Didn't the Bible condemn that shit? How come, how come? 
And, all of this we live and learn to hide. How can we be who we are without this rubbing off on us?

Will come to be that Queer Africans are some of the bravest people on earth. Queer Humans anyway. Because it is so damn hard getting to a place of real maturity, that I cannot blame those who do fall on the way. And those who deny themselves, in frantic quest to be who they cannot be, someone else. Those who seek absolution from deities, and the promises of the falsest of prophets.

It is a struggle, from the point you realise your differences, with the whole world. It is a.....

Yeah. Words fail me.

But one thing I realise.

We shall overcome.

Because it is us...., the struggle is our lives.


gug

Monday, February 13, 2017

Social Media..., your phone contact list....

Not been able to post for quite a while. My bad.

Not good for a blog in our new news trend world. It can become quite a problem, I know. But, I am alive and well, so.....

Guess what am saying is that sometimes nothing matters but whether or not one is. It is something.

Came across an article of a kuchu in Uganda who was so unwary as to pour out information about themselves and lover at Makerere...., one of the halls of residence. Coerced, but, hey.... one of the things about being queer in Uganda and most of Africa, is none can read your thoughts...., and no stronger camouflage than being a very clueless hetero..., and, please, those beautiful pics on your phone!!! Even if you make them when high, delete them when next you are sober.
And if you are to be outed...., sigh...., your contact list is going to be a problem.... You think I am joking?
Well, these Tanzanian guys are being asked to report to police..., because they were 'promoting' homosexuality on social media. But., guys, guys, guys......., gay sex on Instagram???!!! Mind where we are.

Though sometimes I believe we Queer humans were the first secret agents. We are taught survival young...., and only the fittest survive...., rabid Darwanism indeed.

And, of social media use, I will leave off today with that sketch above... In the evolutionary sense, our world has changed with social media...., so, live and learn, Queer Africans..., because our lives are tougher because of social media...., if we dont learn rules of survival....

Of course, life without social media....., when was that exactly? How did people, queer Africans survive in those long gone days.....?




Pic by Vincent Kyabayinze of East African Visual artists by way of 76crimes.com

One thought on “Ugandan art: ‘We must protect ourselves from blackmail and murder’”


gug

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Films of Queer Africa

Because I am.

Films of us, in our world. Make me uncomfortable. Hey, price of fame....., lol. 'cause, seems as if something of us is getting out there and people will realise that we are and take away all the mystery of being gay, queer in Africa.

Not that it wont help people to look at us and think that we are just normal boring human beings....., lol. 

Am being super selfish! you know, gives a kick when people talk about the super strong enormously gifted ho-mo-sexua-ls.....! Like they have the super powers to bring down worlds and cause tsunamis...., am not lying. Just listen to the preachers.

But, here is the beginning of our normalisation.
"Because I Am" Zimbabwe born filmmaker director and founder of Hona Africa, Lawrence Zidyana has released a tough short film which tackles homophobia. He was inspired to make the film to show how hatred has an impact on the LGBT community and the wider population of the country as a whole.
And here is "The Wound" from South Africa. Going into our culture. 
Nakhane Toure, (left, from mambeonline) an out gay South African, singer, song writer and now actor, is the star in a film about the Initiation rite of the Xhosa.
That is tough cultural ground, and the authenticity of the acting will unravel much of our brothers, sisters and elders insistence that we are 'unAfrican' because we are queer.
The Wound tells the story of Xolani (played by Touré), a lonely closeted Xhosa factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. 
When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

Gosh....,

Okay, we are so normal, and so different....!

hope you get a chance to watch it.

Here is the trailer.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Confidence to Be yourself.

Mind is on Somizi.

Trying to figure out what makes us stand up and speak out. Because it is not easy. To go against what our communities think and speak, and being a minority, hearing on a daily basis that we are the worst of the worst. To stand up and say, no, enough is enough is fantastic. Because we are giving ourselves the best gift that a human being can give themselves. Standing up for OURSELVES. Rejecting the rejection the world might have for us. Loving ourselves. Telling ourselves that WE matter. That I matter.

Actually, have been doing something like it this morning. And, I was like, why am I standing up and doing this thing?

Okay, because it concerns me. Because there is a boundary in me that has been crossed, and my ire is raised, and I have said, no further. And, I might be hurt by the rejection, but, I will be more hurt if I let myself think me a dishrag.

Why did Somizi stand up and shout? Definitely, there were other gay people in the church, who sat out the sermon. Who listened to themselves compared to animals, and found to be 'worse off' than the poor animals. Who listened and thought ugly thoughts in their heads, but when Somizi stood up and flounced his way out of the church, they staid put.

May be they feared being outed. Maybe they actually believe that they are worse than animals, which purpotedly would not have a same sex relationship....

Most likely they didnt. But, they didnt stand up for themselves.

And, as for Somizi, am pretty sure he most likely has been listening to those sermons.

I did. And, maybe at first I didnt understand enough, but at a certain point, I opted out.

The first time that Somizi's outbursts came to my attention was here. That outburst, 'your hate will not make me straight' also came from the heart of one frustrated queer African. The bombardment of hate in the name of love can be overwhelming. Imagine, being compared to worse than animals (remember Mugabe and pigs) and then telling you, oh, it is done in love. They cant see the logs in their eyes, as they try to pick out the sticks they see in ours.

That was after the killing of a lesbian woman, Noluvo, in Kayelitsha, a township of Cape Town. It got to him, precipitated something.

And yes...., it does.

And if it is frustration that is the catalyst, the precipitant, why again?

Confidence. Self confidence.

Knowing who I am. That the hate is water off a ducks feathers, that I can stand under that rain and come out whole. And, giving not a shit.

Knowledge of myself that being gay is not a sin..., or a stigmatizing mark that it is made out to be. That I love, hate, and am quite like all other people out there. Only difference really is that, I look at a man and feel my loins stir, and I fall in love with a man. And, most of other men will fall in love with a woman.

So, am different. But not an animal. Or worse than an animal.

And the knowledge that if I am made so by the deities...., then surely they would not turn around and condemn me for what I am!

Wow!

That makes me get up and stand up for myself. For my people. For other kuchus. For my family.

Because, who I am...., nothing can take that away from me.

Not even the faith of others.

gug

Monday, January 23, 2017

Somizi; Queer Africans of Faith

Yep, he has me in a tiz.

yep, he does.

First, I am in a mood. Deadline hit, right on the head...., was kind of two years in the making. So, I am feeling real proud of the main man. Me. I am proud of me!

But, in the drive to make sure that I make that deadline, I had to let the blog go...., though I was feeling the heat to lay it out out there. makes me remember that it takes some time, energy. Dont know why I never knew to take care of myself before when I was running on all cylinders. I was like, this takes nothing from me. But, it does. So, I have to advocate. And at the same time, leave some gas to run another marathon.

Like today, no sooner am I raging about my beat deadline, that I find another personal struggle to engage in. Makes me feel good, having the will to say no..., and feel good about it.

Which brings me to dearest Somizi. I wrote about him before... He had gone into a rant. 
Oh, Somizi is this queer South African. A-list celeb...., am not sure about what exactly he did (duh!!!!), but, he is an a-list celeb, that I know.

And, he has found a place as an LGBT advocate.

Why, because he is queer. And, he is damn outspoken.

So, Somizi believes. Hey, I am not a believer. But, Somizi is gay, and he damn well believes. And, I will defend his right to believe.

Y'know, we are all human. And our right to faith is enshrined in most modern constitutions. His right. He is who he is, and that is great.

So, he believes. And, this Sunday, he puts on his Sunday best and goes to church...., to worship. Unknown to him, there is a visiting preacher. A homophobic visiting preacher, who launches into preaching. 
From one of the reporting papers
All was going well until the pastor took a detour and started talking about homosexuality and how “disgusting” and “sinful” it was, said Somizi. The choreographer said the pastor went as far as saying homosexuality was so disgusting even animals did not “practise” it, remarks that left the church in cheers, much to Somizi’s shock
Incidentally, homophobia is usually based on basic ignorance. Wanna check out an article on homosexual animals in nature? But, you are too well read to do that, arent you? Yeah, Wikipedia is a weak reference you say...., hahahaha...!

No, that was a very bitter laugh.

So, coming to worship in Grace Bible Church, Somizi found himself unwelcome. And, being a proud queer African, he marched out. In a huffy. Which he proceded to air on Instagram. Hey, we are children of the new age. And, you go, Somizi! Your self respect, your self confidence is inspiring. That kind of ignorance wrapped in 'faith' goes unchallenged too long.

Like every hurt believer, Somizi had this plea to his pastor
“I would like to make a plea to churches and mine particularly because I got to Grace Bible Church. Pastor Mosa Sono, say it out that ‘homosexuality is not allowed. Homosexuality is a sin. Gay people must not come to our church.’
“Say it so that we know, because we go to church to speak to our God whom I believe accepts me for who I am, whom I believe created me the way I am.
“I did not wake up and say ‘I’m gay today’. I believe that God created me the way I am. God loves me the way I am. What the other people say about me is none of my business,” he said.

Oh yeah.

The dude was hurt, and not shy about airing it. And, it went viral. Told you he is a well known man. And, his sexual orientation is in no closet.
and, the internet went wild with opinion...., of course some extremely bigoted.

Grace church responded with a very political statement. Gosh, I was like, what would Jesus say....!!!!
The church’s Pastor Ezekiel Mathole has had the unenviable task of justifying the homophobic talk to the media on Monday morning.
“We don’t discriminate against anyone who is gay, they are welcome to our church,” Mathole told 702’s Eusebius McKaiser.
“It is people’s opinion or choice of their alternative lifestyle to have same-sex relationships. It is their right to do it… Nobody is stopping them,” Mathole said.
See, we are the original sinners, the ones Jesus ate with at the table...., embracing us is kind of hard! And, you cant embrace us and not embrace us.

I am who I am.

Just as Somizi believes he is. Religions are about being clubs of exclusion of course. Dont know why the hell we want to belong, but, who has the secret to the riddle of life?

And, he has started a conversation.
“I’m not going to sit there and listen to somebody offending me. This is who I am! I am a gay man! Get it straight into your skull. My soul is alright with my god! Let me deal with my god and my soul… It’s like somebody offending black people in church…
“And I’m actually disappointed at all the gay men and women that sat there and listened to him offending us and didn’t do anything about it. I walked out – and visibly so! And I’m proud and I’m going to remain gay for the rest of my life!”
Somiziiiiiiiiiiiiii!

Dude, I salute you. You have made my day. 

And, that is the way that we have to do it. We are not the dear faithfuls' whip boys to stand and be whipped and slick off home, tail between the legs.

You, have, made, me, PROUD!!!!!!

a proud and humbled

gug

 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Why Advocate?

Question I have been asking myself.

Why, why do I have to spare a little time from my busy schedule, spend it to rant and rave...

Its because I can. And because it concerns me. And because..., how will I look myself in the mirror, when I know I could have, and didnt?
And, it is something within my capacity, as a human being.

In the holidays, met this guy. Gay, obviously. Such an obviously queer African that if I hadnt been told, I would have known from a glance....

Grew up in the depths of Africa. In a village. And, got married. Three kids. And home life is a drag. He travels to work, and is less stressed away from home than at home.

Illiterate, and how would he know that he is no more than the village freak, a man that even the in-laws treat with obvious contempt?

Who will tell his tale?

I can, but, why should I?

Because he is me, a few years ago. Lost in myself, so severely hurt that I found it a miracle that there were other gay people out there. They might have been miles and eons away, but the very existence of them was a miracle to me.
Because he is me as I was, and I am no longer him as he is....,

I will tell his tale.

I will be busy, and spare a few minutes today, to rant a little, or rave, or with clear conniving manipulative logic, seek to put my opinion forwards.

I love the way Barack Obama put it in his farewell address.
But remember, none of this happens on its own. All of this depends on our participation; on each of us accepting the responsibility of citizenship, regardless of which way the pendulum of power happens to be swinging.
Our Constitution is a remarkable, beautiful gift. But it's really just a piece of parchment. It has no power on its own. We, the people, give it power. (Applause.) We, the people, give it meaning. With our participation, and with the choices that we make, and the alliances that we forge. (Applause.) Whether or not we stand up for our freedoms. Whether or not we respect and enforce the rule of law. That's up to us. .... But the gains of our long journey to freedom are not assured.
Sober words. And I have to remember them.

That's why I have to exercise the precious rights that I have realised, precious as they have been, and exercise them. Otherwise, some sleezy politician, as slick as they come, will most likely try to batter and tread my rights.

As one queer person, Kimberly Knight, put it very eloquently
I admit it, this homosexual IS demanding special rights
Because as it turns out, civil rights are in fact special rights because they are rationed and rare.
 
First, some of the rights we seek are indeed special because there is nothing ordinary about the right to personal dignity and safety. There is nothing ordinary about exchanging vows with the love of your life. More than special, these things are sacred. 
But because these (and other rights) are not accessible to all, they are special in a way they should not be. 

And, because they are so special, and so sacred, and so rare,

Yeah, I have indeed to get off my butt, spare a few minutes a day, to document and talk and opinionate and rant...
and generally push the very special and spectacularly rare and sacred gay and queer agenda.

Because. I must.

gug

Friday, January 6, 2017

Happiness, Love, Great Expectations in 2017!

Lo and behold, and it was 2017!

Happy New Year, to all out there.

I was off, very happily. My boo planned this Christmas vacation, in his usual truck rolling all in its way manner...., and I found myself off into the depth of the village. Yes electricity (gosh, what would I, silly city kid that I have become, do without that!!!!) Yes, have done without it at important times in my very long life..., but, not now, fingers crossed!

But, there was limited access to the internet. And, as for the phones, I was looking at people waving around theirs in the air at occasions, trying to grab the ether at irregular intervals....! Duh, no phone and internet! But, there was cable TV..... lol, and lots of sky, and bush, and air....., beautiful, clear air. Crystal clear in the morning. Sometimes a pervase heat that made us all lazy and panting...., and other times rain that clothed the earth in a mist horizon to horizon. And played havoc with the poor reception of everything!

City kids...., we zoom off to the nearest city in case we get tired...., and laugh and sing and dance and enjoy the company of others...., and come back tired to sleep. What joy...... And of course, no phones ringing, no internet and news to search for and soak in, as I have just been doing! Yeah, a different definition of happiness, with a pleasing lack of the usual stressors.

Coming back, the internet awaits. The social networks that were neglected, and the friends that thought us lost to sense..., and full inboxes, and everything that we know and love still.

But, it was a beautiful time. And now, we have new challenges, and a new year, that is promising on so many levels. One of which is of course this outpouring of thought.

What of 2017?

I am very optimistic. It is a new year. And, I am alive. And the family is okay. Of course there are issues as always. Yet the over-riding sense of thankfulness for a long year ended, and the looking forwards to a new year...., it is there. A beautiful new year has started, and though all things seem unchanged and the same, yet is in my bones that nothing is the same as before. We are changed, even if it is just aging by one more year!!!!

Congratulations to Anele Mkuzo and Seipati Magape. They got married in 2016..., after a two year courtship. Looking at the few pics published by Ghafla! of Kenya, it was a beautiful, tear jerker of a ceremony.
I know of lots of my gay male friends who would go all gaga on seeing these pics. Beautiful women. Sweethearts. Daintly exchanging wedding vows.
Dare I say many would swoon..., and start complaining as to how our lesbian sisters have it all made for them with regards to relationships? Not the fly-by-night things that most gay men are conversant with..., so much. LOL. Sex is good and great, but sharing mind, body and soul with a soul mate..., now, that is heaven on earth.

Children of the new South Africa, they are living the ultimate dream of the Queer African. The fulfillment of the dream of dreams. Recognition and legal acknowledgment. Before all the world and then some!
And, when Mkuzo is asked about plans for the future..., finishing studies is first, and yes, also the desire of most couples...., a football team of little ones dodging around the house of their dreams......!

Sigh, sigh, sigh...., in envious greed and desire!

Of course, there is a difference of opinions...! Hahaha. Mkuzo is all in for the football team, but it seems Seipati is not very ready for the sleepless nights and changing of dirty diapers.

Sigh. Domestic felicity! What would it be without that kind of disagreement, to resolve in years, with maybe a few babies, loved by both parents to the depths of their hearts, and seeing the babies grow up in a renewed beautiful South Africa where Queer South Africans are held in the esteem as other South Africans!

Definitely, the haters disagree. They would love to poison such love with their dismissal and disapproval. I believe Ghafla! was playing newspaper headline...., Mkuzo was talking about buying a house..., and having babies...., and Ghafla seized on the wording...., lol.

So, the lesbian couple wants to buy babies?!

Come on!!! They actually dont need to 'buy' any....! 

But why mix up the bitterness of ignorance and hatred in this love story? Sadly, because, in the dehumanisation that follows us as queer human beings, we are politicised as being anti-family.., whatever that means. We actually come from families...., usually straight families. We would like our lovers..., and would love to be acknowledged publicly, and get hitched in heterosexual like weddings as our more numerous straight friends. Hey, we are simply the same. We are just human beings! Not angels, and definately not demons!

We want our very own families. Me. My boo. Plus kids. As many as we both want. Our families.

So, of course, with marriage, children yes! For those who love to have us. And, yes, we do procreate.
Goodness, the Mufti of Uganda once proposed a Final Solution for queer Ugandans. Exile them to an island in Lake Victoria. Let them die out since they cant have children.
The breadth of ignorance based homophobia in Africa is frighteningly deep. Arent queer Africans born from straight African relationships?Or are we products of immaculate conception???!!!

Personally, I seriously believe in the latter theory.

Way to go, Mkuzo and Seipati..., have a lovely and fantastic life and new year 2017.

You may not realise the iconic-ism behind your beautiful wedding, for most of us on the continent, but, you are a beautiful beacon of hope.

And, may you have your football team, or less, as you desire, of beautiful children!

gug