First week of the campaign gone. An interesting week. Personally, and on the public front. For the public, fickle as ever, the need for 'new' news is taking over. What happened last week is something already in the past.
We cannot claim all the victory. The publicity has been fueled by those who hate us. Those who have much to gain from the homophobia. Pastor Sempa, I can figure out. A populist, pandering to the American right. He is obsessed with opposition to the 'gay agenda'.
The Church of Uganda, in its schismatic form is very much at logger heads with us. Wish I could get Desmond Tutu's letter to the primates and publish it in the local papers here! We are constrained by the very fact that the general public simply does not know what is happening in the rest of the world. That tends to mean that they get the govt or official view, without the debate.
Nsaba Buturo. This guy has more than a personal agenda. He is hate, dignified. He is convinced that there should be no debate. It irks him that there is a debate. And he does want a Nigeria style law. This interview is quite revealing Rights for the pentecostal churches. Taking more away from the homosexuals.
And of course the government, and the big man himself. Its a lie that he would even think of opening to us!
The fact that 95% of our countrymen are against us is a worrying thing. We have been assured that the police will most likely not act on us. We are not sure about the 'other security forces', which tend to work outside the law. But the fact is that there is something we have to consider. So called 'mob justice'. We can be lynched, if the public is stirred up sufficiently. And that is why the hate filled church sermons, the outing on radio and TV and the publishing of the names and places of work and residence is particularly a problem.
The record for mob justice is not encouraging. And a homosexual is a very nice person to draw the ire of a public that does not trust the police. They have been asking why we are not arrested!!
But that is the negative side.
On the positive, we have a debate. A very serious debate. We can hit back with the truth to undermine the many lies that are being aired. And they are many, and challengeable. And they are something which the likes of Sempa and Nsaba Buturo believe we cannot challenge. We need to work on this part of the strategy. Because that is the way to go. And we have a huge gun that has not realy featured. HIV.
Personally, I have noticed that my workmates are talking. And the people in my neighbourhood are talking about it. But no one approaches me. And now I know that they know, I am just a figure on the streets to them who is a known homosexual. Was talking to a brother of mine. He was telling me about the day that Dad came to warn me about police looking for me. Apparently the old man was not happy about the publicity. But then, blood proved thicker than the anger. And he did come to warn me.
Empowering it is. Living with my lover as an openly gay couple. In Uganda. An open secret. Everyone that I seem to care about knows! Yes, some suggested I run and hide, and I told them, including the brother that I was talking to yesterday that that was not on my mind. Rather, I was thinking of talking on TV about it. Now, that did throw him.
Interesting. A few years back I would have run and hid. Today, I will not. Rather, I talk about it. Empowered by my 'unofficial' outing. The fear is usually more than the actual bad things happening. But I am in a pretty privileged form. I am very independent, financially, mentally, and in my thinking. Not so many others.
This weeks should prove something interesting. We seem to have retreated. At least I think our detractors so believe. But have we?
Some of us are scared. So scared that they are actively working against the campaign! Well, we are human beings. Never expected to have the same kind of desire or dedication. But to fight to stay in that closet! Some we shall have to drag out screaming and kicking. Time we got out. And yes, we are asking for something that is normal, because we are normal human beings. To be left in peace. To have the same right to information like all other Ugandans. To have the same access to HIV prevention as the rest of Ugandans.
Time is for us to be not more, not less, but just human. To assert our humanity. Thats it. Thats all.
You are a fine and noble and courageous man. And there are thousands of us here who support you with our good wishes and our prayers. (Every day I remind God about you!)
But I must get more friends together to read your blog and give you the moral support you should have.
Search for "Changing Attitudes" and read about Davis Mac-Iyalla in Nigeria -- he's in the same kind of situation in which you find yourself.
> http://www.changingattitude.org.uk/home/home.asp <
Thanks for the accolade. I will remind my partner when he starts telling me otherwise!
And thanks for the prayers and support from all people out there. We are not in prison just because of the simple fact that those who would send us there are conscious that they are looked on as slightly ridiculous in international circles. Keep up the pressure there. Do whatever is possible.
I am not really very courageous. Just a very ordinary person that has been forced against the wall. It is wonderful how a lack of options concentrates the mind! (Was that Kissinger paraphrased?)
Davis I know. He is breaking the myth that the global south does not have gay people, gay christians. And I wish him the best.
With pride - mixed with some worry for your well being - I read the entries on your blog. You don't need me to tell you how courageous and brave you are. Just wanted you to know that also in The Netherlands people are following the struggle - in solidarity. Take care.
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