Saturday, August 12, 2023

Weird, Queer Mood; Uganda, Ugandans on the World Bank


The World Bank released a statement. To dear Uganda; sorry, but our values and the values enshrined in the Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023 are at war. We pause future aid.

Frankly, I am caught off guard.

Not by the fact that the World Bank would react like so. They are an important international institution. Quite vulnerable to politics and activism. Of course they do have values. And of course the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, Uganda’s beloved legislation of death and imprisonment to the homosexual…, it is weird out there bad.

Yet, believe it or not, Ugandans feel that they have been beset and bothered and are being set upon by the World Bank. How dare they!!!!

I understand, on a daily basis, that Ugandans, in Uganda, have a deep lack of understanding of who and what I am as a kuchu. It is sort of always in the background, that they think me less than human and evil and a demon. I hear it on radios and tvs and literally everywhere.
Yet, there is a part of me to which that chorus is water on a duck’s back. Always running off, never sticking. I am kuchu, and mature enough to know that that is no big deal.

Not so to my fellow Ugandans.
The Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 is taken, and I have been told again and again and again by self righteous Ugandans, it is a measure of the Will of Ugandans in Uganda. It is their right, and right to have me in prison for life and on death row, simply because I am an evil homosexual.

They, fellow Ugandans, believe that.

And they are always supremely surprised that the rest of the world doesn’t believe so. That the world around actually condemns them for that act of great morality, the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023.

So, the President, apparently receiving the news late, pens his frustration on good old paper with ink. Odd…, maybe the old man hasn’t moved on to more modern means. The resulting missive he posts on twitter, (forgive, he posts on ‘X’). An X post indeed.
I haven’t read it…, I get depressed by our apparent lack of understanding of the realities of life. All I thought was…, now, those notes will be great in a Presidential library years and years from now! Weird reaction!
His message, summarised, was Uganda will develop, with or without the World Bank. Sour grapes, I think…, but, I am one of the very bad homosexuals.

‘Bobi Wine’ Kyaggulanyi, beleaguered president of the biggest party in opposition, was chagrined. The World Bank should care about Uganda’s other human rights transgressions. Not only about the homosexual genocide inherent in the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023, Bobi Wine whines and whinges.

Weird reaction, as expected…, we are Ugandans.

From parliament, a necessary re-adjustment of the budget. World Bank monies were presumed…,
Which really shows how clueless Ugandan politicos and leadership is.

I can get that Museveni was blindsided, Archbishop Kaziimba mounted a blitzkrieg targeting parliament, Speaker Among had her own political irons in the fire and poor Asumaani Basalirwa is simply a stupid pawn…
But, once the deed was done, all of the results were predictable. An international game of chess, and Ugandan leaders are playing strictly to the local audience, blithely forgetting the world is NOT ‘Uganda the Village’.

Basalirwa is crying that it is ‘unfair’, his beautiful Anti-Homosexuality Act is being taken out of context. This naïve dude then repeats that we should rely on ‘The Arabs’.
Such leaders we have. Not a clue to the realities of international economics, finance, politics. He believes ‘the Arabs’ will hand Uganda development aid because he Basalirwa is a Moslem… And that is the pawn that presented the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda’s parliament?
Yet, to be accurate, the members of Parliament are more than 500. To my knowledge, only 2 seemed to have dissented from actualising the ‘Will of the People’.

Besides ‘adjusting’ the budget for this financial year, the politicians are of course whipping up the homophobia.
Expected. As in, who is to blame? Of course it is us, the very, very bad, evil and demonic homosexuals. We are to blame, clearly, in the eyes of all right thinking Ugandans.

LGBTQ+ activists have taken a muted victory lap.
Of course they are. And, I don’t blame us. We are very many things, but we are not angels. Our country has written into the law of the land Life imprisonment and Death to us, simply because we are who we are. Yes, LGBTQ+ activists in Uganda are really angry. My anger has been spilling out now and again here…, but I am just one.

Yet, though they campaigned for the World Bank to suspend the loaning, I am not a believer in our supposed demonic super powers as kuchus; crediting their lobbying with the results is simply an abuse of my thinking and capacity at logic.

One would think that independent media and newspapers in Uganda would be more discerning. But, this is Uganda. One would be very wrong.
On the subject of homosexuality, in Uganda, that is the National Prejudice. Sanity is the first thing out of the window of the debate room. The rest is fevered emotional, emotive reaction.

But…, and an important but, many Ugandans believe that it is our lobbying that has caused the World Bank to suspend loans.
Clueless Ugandans. I marvel again, that ‘Homosexuality and Homosexuals’ as we are called, are the National Prejudice. Yank on that chain, and Ugandans bark and predictably go into convulsions. Thinking and thought and logic are suspended, until the haze settles.

It is ‘Uganda The Village’, indeed. Our very own thinking bubble rejecting any thought to the contrary; demonic, as in literal demon possessed we are. However free the internet is, however open knowledge is, it has to be taken in, it has to be processed. It has to be understood.
And Ugandans are unable to think clearly, because the subject is Homosexuality, our National Prejudice!

True, many Ugandans blame Kuchu activists simply because a scapegoat is desperately needed. That is the pragmatic politics, and we are a uniquely visible invisible scapegoat. A predictable misstep was done by the leaders, they have to explain why a move that they were warned from the start was quite predictable is now taking them by surprise, indeed.

I mean, how many times were they warned that this was going to happen? And those warning were rubbished as ‘pro-homosexual’, and the righteous Speaker Among told all how we could all do without the aid?

Yes, the mood in Uganda is queer weird. Quite predictably so.



Friday, August 11, 2023

Disclosure; Who shall I tell? Coming Out and Disclosure in Uganda, other Hostile environments (3


Disclosure; Who shall I tell? Coming Out and Disclosure in Uganda, other Hostile environments (3)


Coming out…, when one admits to themselves that they are kuchu, that they are other than heterosexual, the relief, the sense of wellness and rightness which follows that self revelation is considerable.

I know. I have been there.

It is great. It is ongoing, and it is empowering. Makes one feel like they have missed years and years of their lives. You will feel empowered and euphoric.
And you will find yourself wanting to tell your best friends, your family, significant other people in your family.
It is true. After a while you feel so good about yourself that you simply want to share the good news, to have people be happy with you, to have them dance and clap and jump with joy because you have discovered who you are. You simply want to be happy with them. Yeah, again, I have walked that road…

So, who should you tell?

The answer is, I don’t know.

Our environment is extremely hostile. Ugandans are more hostile to kuchus than most other countries in Africa.(pdf)
Just because we live in Uganda on a day to day basis, we always forget the real life dangers that are possibilities simply because we are kuchu. You cannot forget this, when you are thinking of telling someone that you are kuchu. Doesn’t matter whether it is a close member of family, or the best of best friends. Remember that it might be a shock of shocks to them, and their reactions have to be considered. It is simply not good if you find yourself in prison just because you told a best friend about your happiness on coming out.

Here is a sobering quote from that report


“Findings from the most recent Afrobarometer survey show that Ugandan adults of all ages and education levels overwhelmingly continue to express intolerance for same-sex relationships, think they should be illegal, and are willing to report their own family member or close friend to the police if they engage in homosexual activity. Their level of intolerance for sexual difference is the highest among 37 African countries surveyed in 2021/2022.”


It is your life. You will know who of your significant friends, family that you can approach.

To scare you further, and indeed, my aim is to scare you into understanding how serious the homophobia in our country, Uganda is. Those who answered questions were asked whether they would report us to police close acquaintances; friends, co-workers, relatives. More than 90% of Ugandans said they would.


more than nine out of 10 respondents (94%-95%) said they would report relatives – including their siblings and children – as well as close friends and co-workers to the police if they discovered that they were in same-sex relationships”


So, what use is the good news that you can never share?

And, sober fact of life, coming out becomes better for you when you can share your new life with people around you, who are supportive and knowledgeable. Can one do that in Uganda?

The answer is that yes, we can.
It is possible, but you run considerable risk. You have to asses the risk, your risk, and only you can do that.

We live lives filled with the fear and paranoia of being discovered. Our fears are justified, many times and that is not a good thing. Yet, it is also matter of fact that we somehow negotiate a balance in our lives. As kuchus, in homophobic Uganda. And, it is true that there are people that we can rely on. Some real good friends. Some members of our families. But, please, choose very carefully who you break this precious secret to.

We all have stories…, and these stories can help or hinder other kuchus. The most important thing for you, kuchu, to remember, if you feel that you need to come out and disclose to some of your significant others family and friends, is that they can be hostile. And that hostility can turn deadly.

At the same time, coming out to some, even if they might not like it, might cause them to think over weeks and months, and they might be there for you. Maybe in part, maybe not. It is a real risk, and no one can do the risk assessment for you.



Thursday, August 10, 2023

Coming out to Yourself


Coming out to Yourself: Coming Out and Disclosure in Uganda, other Hostile environments (2)


If it is so hostile in Uganda, and most of Africa to be homosexual, (LGBTQ+), kuchu, then why should someone ‘come out’?

For the simplest and most uplifting of reasons. For yourself.

You come out to yourself, because it will do you damn great and wonderful good. This is a step that you must take to acknowledge who and what you are. Otherwise, you keep yourself blind and deaf and real dumb, in this life that you will not have a re-do.

Kuchu. LGBTQ+ individual.
Understand that you literally had no say in who and what you are. Blame it on a Creator God or anything in your spirituality, but understand the basic, you are who you are, and had no say in who you are. Stop hiding from yourself.

You can try to run away from yourself.
Oh, we all have done that. Some of us are still doing that. We are running, and running, and running, as fast as we can, from our selves.
And, it is simply not possible. We are who we are. We take who we are everywhere we go, be it our beds, our houses, our schools; even to our marriages and into the marital beds. We go there, as who and what we are.

You owe yourself that acknowledgment, of who you are. Understanding that the world being who and what it is, you are still who and what you are. Stop running, and acknowledge and know and understand yourself.
You are different. You are kuchu. You are you.
And you deserve to come out to yourself, more than anything on this earth. You need to begin knowing who you are.

No. I am not telling you to tell anyone else.

I am telling you to tell YOU that it is truth. You are kuchu. Believe the evidence of your eyes. Accept who and what you are. It is worth it, and you deserve to acknowledge it. You owe it, to you. You owe yourself a coming out.

You don’t owe that understanding, that ‘coming out’ to anyone else. You owe it to YOU, and you alone. That should be your single most important consideration. Treat yourself well, stop hiding from who YOU are.

There are benefits to admitting to yourself that you are kuchu.

You will stop running on the inside. You will stop hiding from yourself. You will get a boost to your mental health. You will just be… happy. That bit more happy than you are. And that will help you to get over this little step in your life and plan a little bit more realistically, than having to do what others tell you to do, and do other things because you fear being you.
So, yes. Come out, to yourself. Take that step, in your mind. Know, admit, that you are kuchu.

Research has actually shown that there are mental health benefits to coming out. But, that research has been in countries where coming out means telling people around who can support you. That is a very tough thing in most of Africa. Though, again, knowing yourself, stopping the denial will be a boost to you, in your life, even if you don’t tell anyone else.

One of the things that I definitely know happens when we accept who and what we are is that you become more resistant to the charlatans and liars and anti-gay activists who tell us that they can make us straight. Doesn’t matter whether they are in church, or mosque, priest, pastor or Sheikh. They prey on your fear, and will take you through hell and close to suicide before you break and run away from them.
Knowing and understanding and accepting that you are kuchu is one of the single most defences that you will have against them. The Ssempa’s of this world prey upon our insecurities. Coming out to yourself denies them a way into your mind to confuse you.

Of course coming out to yourself is always a boost. We are naturally curious. After bursting that dam in your mind, you will want to know more about who and what you are. There are quite a few resources, online, and not. And of course there are kuchus all around you, some of whom have had the same experiences. Now you might be more ready to engage and listen to them.

‘Coming out’ to yourself is a crucial step. But, it is only a first step, potentially opening up your mind to the wonders and opportunities out there. You will start with baby steps. That is absolutely fine. The pace is yours, the mind is yours, the body is yours.
When you are no longer in ‘denial’ of who and what you are, you are ready to start the healing that only you can source and help happen to you.



Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Coming Out and Disclosure in Uganda, other Hostile environments (1)

Coming out.
It’s a very necessary concept, to us kuchus. First studied and defined relative to ‘western’ culture it still holds true for LGBTQ+ individuals everywhere on this small ball of mud we call earth. Because we are a special grade of normal human being…!

LGBTQ+ studies have a fairly extensive tradition in the west, less so in our environment.
As kuchus, we predate colonial times in Africa. Experiences of LGBTQ+ kuchus, before the introduction of state sponsored and religion defined homophobia must have been quite different. This would definitely have defined our ‘coming out’ as the experience is culture specific. Sadly, we are left with little written down of the experienced lives of the kuchu then.

As defined at the moment, ‘Coming Out’ is a mix (conflation) of one’s personal realisation that one is different and subsequent disclosure to family and friends.
First is that realisation that even though most of one’s world is heterosexual, one is ‘other than heterosexual’. Just different.
One then presumably gathers enough understanding of their sexuality to be able to ‘come out’ and disclose or voluntarily tell significant others close to them; the nucleus family and supportive close friends. This coming out helps with continued normal growth and development of the young person.
Of course our world is freaky. This ‘happily-ever-after’ bed time story remains a bed time dream even in the fabled Kuchu (LGBTQ+) knowledgeable and friendly west. ‘Homophobia’ is a wide prejudice and lived experience. And coming out can go wrong, or be delayed.

Our environment, in Uganda and in Africa in general is hostile. You can die simply because you have told someone that you are different. Your parents, your family, your very friends can be the most dangerous of confidantes. Disclosing to them that you are kuchu, different, might mean being cast out. From friends, from family, from everything that you feel is precious in life. It might mean being pressured to the indignity of a ‘family intervention’, urged into the arms of anti-gay bigots for ‘healing and a cure’ of that which is not broken.
Disclosing that you are kuchu is simply something that we might not have the luxury of doing. You would risk prison and death too, in Uganda.

But, ‘Coming Out’ is not just ‘disclosure’ or telling people that you are kuchu. ‘Coming out’ the psychological concept, starts with us. Us as in the individual concerned.
Me, the individual, understanding and accepting and acknowledging that I am not heterosexual. That I am different. That I am kuchu.

You might be anywhere on the ‘alphabet’ (LGBTQ+). Coming out to yourself is still the first step in self-acceptance, in becoming whole as a human being, not cutting yourself off from part of what you are.
That is why it is so important.
If you don’t have this self-realisation, this self-acknowledgment, this moment of self-revelation, it is like you remain incomplete, always. And yes, that causes problems. A first step, the full journey not known, but an important first step.

Uganda, and Africa, for an LGBTQ+ individual of any shade, a kuchu, it is a supremely hostile environment. My sincere pity to the young that are kuchu like me- the journey is tough. But, that is not to only say I feel pity. You will be forged in fires. If you survive, why, you will be scarred, but strong. And that is important, in our environment.

Coming out to one’s self. That journey. When I read of this account, of someone who knew that they were gay, homosexual at 10 years of age, I shook my head in wonder. Not because I didn’t believe it. But because that depth of insight into our very self is denied us by conditions on the continent. Of course we get the usual stirrings of hormones at puberty…, but, the mind is a huge and terrible machine.

Coming out in our environment. First we know that we cannot be homosexual, before we even understand what the words mean. Then we soak in the hate and bile and wretchedness on the airwaves. And then we get to start feeling that we are different, and, horror of horrors, we are the demented, deviled, horrible and cursed, homosexuals.

No wonder our minds and selves hide from the facts.

Cruising the net, I came across this article of a lady that was morbidly obese. And, she was so deeply in denial she couldn’t ‘see’ that she was. She was aware, and the mind shunted the knowledge away safely. Even when she moved all full length mirrors out of the house, and did other things to make sure the unconscious knowledge of her obesity didn’t register in her own conscious mind.
Those extremes of denial by us kuchus are common place in Uganda, and in much of Africa, and for many LGBTQ+ individuals who can pass. We blind ourselves to who and what we are, even when that knowledge screams for attention in our minds.

That is to say, we go deep in denial, if we have the luxury of passing.

A very important distinction; the luxury of passing. Most of us kuchus in Africa have to learn very, very, very early to pass or safely mimic heterosexuals. A few of us don’t pass that crucial test. And, I can only wonder at how they surf the waves of prejudice and frank hatred in their lives.
My love and hugs to them. They bear the brunt of hostility because they are ‘effeminate’ or sissies or too manly or ‘butch’. Some might actually be heterosexual, but this world of ours is a brutal jungle for anyone perceived ‘homosexual’, whether it is true or not.

So, if most of us have learnt to hide, and hide well..,

Why the hell should we do this ‘coming out’? That is for the next post.