Monday, September 17, 2007

A Stonewall Moment?

I have already commented on the spirit of defiance in the Kuchu community at the moment. I saw more evidence of it yesterday.

I was at one of ‘our’ bars. Fact is, I had not been there in some time. Too much pressure and tension, as a matter of fact. Last week, guys were outed. This week, girls were outed by the Red rug.

Yet the atmosphere was celebratory to say the least. We were there. Gay men. New and old. Kuchus. We were together, and we gathered, and danced, and talked and laughed. We joked about being in the ‘Top 50’ and shared each others moment of pain. A sense of community had been created. We shed off the fear and the pain of the week, the anxiety about jobs and work and relatives and homes. We were out as kuchus with other kuchus. And we enjoyed our company.

We were so focused on making merry that someone commented that we were paying no attention to the show on the stage. We were not. We were celebrating being alive. Facing one of the things that all kuchus dread, and surviving. Yes, not all of us are out of the woods. There are others who could not come. Some are still in hiding.

And there were some ugly moments.

Witch hunting. We are all kuchus, so who spilled the beans to the Red rug? Commendably, little was revealed about the girls. But the guys! We can suspect of course, but with no proof, witch hunting hurts all of us. We are kuchus under siege. We all are kuchus under siege.

As we were leaving, a thought struck me. Was the press conference and aftermath a ‘Stonewall’ moment for Ugandan kuchus? Stonewall was the turning point for the gay rights movement. All over the world, kuchus were oppressed customarily. It was when the police raided the gay hangout Stonewall and they rioted, that is when the gay movement was born. Check out the film ‘Stonewall’.

Unbelievable as it is, oppression occurs with the passive consent of the oppressed. Yet many a time, a point is reached when defiance is sparked. And like a brush fire it is fanned by the anger and emotions of years of oppression. Kuchus in Uganda may have gotten to their Stonewall moment.

We just have to watch and see.



Anonymous said...

Haven't read your blog in a while so was doing some catching up. Sometimes after reading, all I want to do is just hold u and hug u hard (don't read it as pity), and this would be so totally ok since you won't be feeling any sexual stirrings, lol . I imagine that if we met we could be friends.

I am sorry for all the heartache you are caused and having to live in fear. With time, hopefully it will get better.

Dennis Matanda said...

Hey. I am just curious to know who drew the picture you use of yourself. Its such an African man - seemingly drawn by a foreigner. A few things are emphasized and its like reading Asterix where we were presented with huge lips. But then the person who drew that picture was fond of the model. I can tell.

I would have liked to say 'Good Luck' in your endeavors - but this kind of language has put me where I am right now ... so there.

gayuganda said...

Hi Dennis,

Far as I know, the guy is an African. A Ugandan. I think he is a gifted artist, though he did not study art.

He has a curious outlook on life. Very endearing. I bet he would laugh his head off to hear that his figures are caricatures of Africans as seen through European eyes.

Hi 'O', wherever you may be at the moment, be well.


gayuganda said...

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for the hug. You make tears come to my eyes.

Thanks for the good wishes.

I thought I had scared you away. Sometimes I do act like a bear.
Be well


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