Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I Resist!

Its interesting. At the beginning, when one looks at the things that stand between us and a realisation of gay rights in Uganda, it seems that the problem is insurmountable. When I first entered the gay community in Uganda, Kuchus one and all seemed to think that they are a cursed lot that will remain cursed.

Yet in a few years, a change has occurred. Most of the reaction to the Red Pepper outing was at first a despair. Despair and a cringing fear of what is going to happen, what our hostile world is going to dish out to us because now they know we are gay. That was Sunday, and Monday. People had switched off their phones. Others were planning to go into hiding.

Wednesday, and it seems the consensus has changed again. Come up swinging. Fight back. Resist. Anger has come up at last, a definite pride at being Kuchu and also being human and why should we be 'named and shamed'?. Explore the legal issues. And how else can we fight back?

An email campaign. Letters to the Red Pepper, challenging the outing of presumed gay people. It worked before. It can work again. The Red Pepper is not immune to this kind of thing also. Oh, and don't buy it. Just do not buy that rug!

Yet it is invigorating. The desire to stand up and be counted, to get out of the rut of always presenting your pass with a bowed head, being down trodden. The point when I raise my head and start fighting back. That is a turning point that is remarkable. A David and Goliath moment. When the 3% steps out before the incredulous gaze of the 97% and demand to be recognised. That we are also human.

One of my sisters dared to imply that it was shameful that I was being open about my sexuality. That I should go somewhere and hide. I told her no way. I am as good a human being as her.

That felt good. No longer acting the victim. Standing up and being counted.

The literal translation of Nsaba Buturo’s name is ‘I am requesting for refuge’. I don’t know why his parents so named him. But he feels that I should leave my country because I am gay. Me whose genealogy stretches back more than ten generations in this country, according to what my father tried strenuously to drum into my poor head. I don't remember my ancestors to the nth degree. I know my dad does, he still sings that song. But I remembered that when I heard Nsaba Buturo assert we should leave the country. Because we are homosexual. Being gay makes us less than human, undesirables that should leave pure, clean Uganda.

It feels good standing up to be myself. That is what they mean by Gay Pride I guess. It really feels good!

Kuchus, all. We shall overcome, someday. We shall because reason is on our side.



Anonymous said...

Wow, it seems like yesterday when I was struggling with coming out to myself. It was your gayuganda website that helped me in that process. The message proclaimed on the welcome page “You are not alone, We are many” answered a question I had struggled with since my primary school days (came across your website after my first university degree). The question was: Am I the only one in this world who feels like this? That message was so eloquent that I consequently started a process of accepting myself. I decided to put an end to a phase of my life where I was resigned to feeling defective, believing I was born to live my life forever anchored in shame, unworthy me, a product of God’s flawed design! Gone were thoughts of contemplating terminating my life. Through that website, I came into contact with souls that had experienced similar pain and five years down the road, I have come out to myself, accepted who I am and taken conscience that there is more to my person than my sexual orientation. Thank you for the good work brother. You saved a life. I suspect there are many Ugandans that have been helped by your humble effort. Continue the good work.
And now, you are touching my life again. This time, courageously attacking my tormentors, the so-called morally upright righteous individuals led by the possible self-loathing internalized homophobes like Martin Ssempa. Through various postings on your blog, you have verbalized my anger toward Ssempa and his ilk. You have virtually helped me release my anger. Well put, well said, well done! Continuez jusqu’au bout! It hurts how Sempa can ride on the emotions of the public to make his lies stand. And stand his lies have managed for years because of the lack of a debate like the one you have initiated. Like some presidential candidate likes saying every after 5 years, this is the time to Okulimbulula [the opposition’s lies]. Once again, thank you!

gayuganda said...

Hi Tetue,
You have put a smile of my face, and a light in my eyes.
It is well worth it if you did come out of suicidal thoughts because of that website.
I started it soon after I started looking for other gay Ugandans. I realised that I was too lonely. That others must be as lonely as I was. It has always been an amateurish effort, but i am very happy that it did help you.

May it help others.

And hang on brother. The phobes are not going to win. We will win, because reason is on our side.


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