Thursday, December 28, 2006

An African LGBT Perspective

A reader commented that this blog provides an ‘African lgbt perspective on the turmoil within the Anglican Communion over homosexuality and the repression of LGBT people on the African continent’.
It is unintentional on my part. It is true that it is rare that the voice of the African LGBT is heard. The cost can be very severe. Stigma is a huge issue, the stigma of being a pariah in your own community. We are there, but we are not heard.

Unfortunately, what is heard are the voices which insist that ‘homosexuality is un-African’, or such ridiculous things like there are no homosexuals in Africa (it was the president of my country who said that. Wish I could show him the Gay Uganda Website). Personally, I am partly fueled by a sense of anger. There are too many ridiculous lies talked about Gay Africans. We are present. We are. The reason why we are not heard is the fact that we have some very severe laws against our very existence. Yet it is also because our leaders insist on denying us our humanity.

The Rt Rev Akinola springing back from touching a homosexual person’s hand is characteristic. Homosexuals are worse than pigs and dogs (Mugabe, Zimbabwe), do not exist in Uganda (Museveni), and so Africans are the 'worthy' leaders in the current schism in the Anglican Communion.

What is not so widely known is the fact that there are voices of dissent. In Nigeria, there is a Changing Attitude chapter which is active. In Uganda, the one Ugandan bishop who attended Lambeth 2 was ‘defrocked’ (I think is the word), because he would not endorse the thinking of the rest of the Church of Uganda. I saw a letter to him from the Archbishop Luke Orombi, addressing the Bishop Emeritus of Buganda the Rt. Reverend Dr Ssenyonjo as plain Ssenyonjo, forbidding him the right to hold a service in the province. Archbishop Desmond Tutu thought it all very ‘unchristian’- the schism.

To me, Ssenyonjo and Tutu are very Christ-like figures. I would not dream of emulating ++Akinola. And Archbishop Orombi of the Uganda Province is another I see as a shepherd throwing sheep to the wolves, in the interest of ‘biblical’ Christianity. I am sorry if I say I can never think of the Christ of the Bible throwing one sheep to the wolves.

They deny us our African identity, attempt to deny our spirituality and throw us out of church, and support laws that make it impossible for us to give our point of view. I write with anger on my mind. It fuels the speedy thoughts, and makes me want to lash out, forgetting the many other things that are positive.

I am alive, I am gay, a homosexual, the kind that the Rt. Rev. Akinola had never met, till he went to New York. (And then he could not touch his hand!)

I live in homophobic Uganda, with my partner of years, and though I am not able to get married to him as we would love to, I can still say that I am love him and I have not been denied my chance at loving a fellow human being.

Those are blessings that I will hold on to, that I will remember, even as the new year nears. We have been through this year, we will get through another; God willing. Ishallah!


1 comment:

DeTamble said...

Do you both wear wedding rings?

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