Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I am seated at home, and a message comes in on my phone. I check it out, and show it to my lover. Here is the full text.

“You man you are gay that man is not yr wife he is a man like u am so disappointed in u Jesus loves u and he is not happy. Repent, now is the time.”

A simple message actually. Someone who saw me on TV maybe. Someone who knows me enough to have my mobile number. Who knows that I live with my lover. And he knows the ‘secret’ that before I would have died rather than reveal.

True. I am scared.

I am a human being. I may appear brave and all, but I am also a human being. I said before that I had entered the lion’s den and bearded him. Yes, I have. But that does not mean that I am not scared.

A message like that is very frightening. Should I reply to the number? My lover tells me not to. I think about it for a second, and I follow his advice.

So, who is it? Why has he or she sent me the message? What do they expect? What are they capable of?

I would be stupid not to be scared. And again I would be stupid to take off and run because of this. Not stupid bravado, but just plain sense. I have outed myself. That is a fact. I do have a lot of control on many things, but this was necessary.

Just that now it is becoming more personal. A few days, I hope, and then I will have weathered it, I hope.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday Evening

I think I owe you an update. Now that I can give it.

About a couple of weeks ago, I told you of an interview that I had with a reporter. And the fact that I was very apprehensive. I said then that I had rolled the dice, and did not have any control on how they landed.

Well, the interview was aired. On WBS-TV Sunday evening.

My debut on national television. Guess what, I was not anywhere near a television set!

It is hilarious. I was informed that the program was on the air, when I was on my way to a ‘joint’, a bar. We had left home when there was a power cut (they are becoming really common these days. Uncommonly common!), so we could not return. We continued to the bar.

Now, Sunday evening was special. Kampala, Uganda holds its collective breath when there is a major Premier League match being played. Forgive me, not the Ugandan Premier League- the English Premier League. What with the advent of satellite TV, and the fact that our local league had gained a terrible reputation, those who love the beautiful game (all Ugandans apparently) are usually tuned in.

I was informed that my debut on TV was imminent. I was impatient. How telegenic am I? That is a question any normal human being wants to know. Beamed miraculously into the homes of many Ugandans. I would have loved to see how suave I was. How collected and impressive!

Sadly, it was not to be. Most people on the streets were glued on the premiership match. Arsenal against Liverpool. Crowds in the bars where televisions sets were turned to the street to attract clientele. They stood on the sidewalks, and looked into the bars. I am not sure whether they bought anything. It was a tense match.

I don’t know when Liverpool scored the first goal. I know it was in the first half. Walking the street to my bar, there was this air of gloom. Little conversation, the tvs blaring, radio commentaries. The gloom of the evening was not in the low light. It was the atmosphere generated by so many people ‘feeling’ for Arsenal. I didn’t know that plucky club had such a following!

That was a detour.

About my telegenic self. I knew it was a risk to appear on tv. Too many uncontrolled variables. But I figured that it was worth it. Now with Pastor Ssempa arguing that we gay Ugandans were using HIV as entrée to gain acceptance. Of course we are. It is our lives on line. If we don’t wake up to the fact that we are dying slowly but surely, we will die. We must destroy those myths.

I know I have outed myself. One more time, that is, if you watched the WBS programme. If you didn’t, well, I don’t know how much you missed. I did not also!

When I got to the bar that I wanted to use, I found that there were two competing programmes. There was Arsenal vs Liverpool, the second half, and of course Maureen being ‘evicted’ from the Big Brother Africa 2 house. When I demanded that the channel be changed to see my self, I was woefully booed down. You know football fans. Anything about changing the channel at that moment is a capital crime offence. The punishment swiftly meted out.

I was in the bar when Arsenal equalised. The roar was deafening.

Thereafter, it was the match’s post-mortem. A verbal dissection of every move and counter move. Needless to say, my pleas for silence were not heard. Who wanted to hear about the risks of gay men and HIV?

I know I said my piece. And Ssempa said his piece, and the Uganda AIDS Commission said theirs. Yeah, you may have recognised me, or not, but then, that is a small price that I will pay. A progressively controlled outing to the whole of my Ugandan country mates.

To those who know my identity, please don’t use it as yet on this blog!!!! Let me retain that last bit of my anonymity!


PS. For the next week or so I may not post that regularly. Something has cropped up which needs my attention for the near future.

No, it is not the police at the door. The beauty of media is that once the broadcast is done, then one has to use legal means to check the discussion. Of course I am vulnerable in other ways, but those risks are bearable.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Women of Africa

I am gay. A gay African man. Living and working in Africa. Not hoping to make a change there, because to me, this broad and diverse continent is home.

Yet however much I rant and rave at the lot of me and mine, there are somethings that still bother my mind worse. That are worse abuses of justice, though some would have me dead because I am gay.

I am proud. Proud to be a man, an African man.

That pride was instilled in me as I grew, when I learnt that a ‘girl’ should not do a thing better than me. When my failure at a ‘manly’ task was compared to a woman's effort. I was always told that I am not a woman. That being a woman, or being likened to a girl was the worst thing that could happen to me.

I was lucky. My father believed that the girls should also study. So they studied, and are doing well. Yet I still see the servitude and slavery that the African woman suffers.

Statistics are horrible. 70% of Ugandan women have suffered domestic violence in the previous 12 months! Some to death are battered. Something too horrible to think about. Yet society, custom, church and mosque, and many other things, bind the woman to a hell on earth.

My mother, brave woman, she broke out of it. My mother-in-law still struggles.

My heart bleeds for the women of Africa. This is to them.


I can never be an African woman:

the job’s too hard,

requirements too stringent.

Wake ’n early morning,

maybe marital duties or not-

escape the bed;

children prepare for school to go,

before breakfast and cleaning

for master o' house.

Baby cries, breast in need;

then onto the back while,

I scrubs and cleans and polish and dusts.

Maybe breakfast for me, family long flown,

before the hoe I take for hours’ long stint

baby on back, riding this horse.

Back for lunch; the prep that is-

afore younger children from school return.

Lunch done, tea to come,

and washing and brushing and sitting babies.

Dinner’s major meal, early prep to do

afore master returns, tired long day.

His shoes removes I, on my knees I greet-

a beer he sips, with none for me.

Dinner’s done, children to bed-

marital duties undone, but not before I sleep.

Sometimes, at times, often, works too heavy;

Master, my man the fists he uses-

pummel bag I play, with kicks extra.

Mothers! Women of Africa!

How you toil and break!

Beasts of burden taught,

Camels, donkeys; slavers too.

Women of Africa! Beast o’ Burden

Your work’s too hard!

Never would I an African woman be;

The works too hard- I am too weak,

I's an African man proud, your biggest burden;

too weak ‘n fragile to carry your toil.

©GayUganda 28 Oct. 07

True, the poem is not too good. But it says something there. A good day.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stolen Kisses

It’s a very lovely day outside. I am biased. This land, Uganda is my home. I was born just a few hills away from where I live now. I have lived here most of my life. I have travelled a little, but always come back.

When I look out of my eyes, I see home. I see a land with beauty that is incomparable in my eyes.

Others may see dust. They may see wild nature unevenly tamed. You may notice the corroding effect of man too closely forced together. The slums of Katwe and Katanga, the crater lakes in the roads. The traffic jams which make me not long to go to other cities famed for their jams.

But for me, in Kampala, in Uganda, I see home. Beautiful home. Nothing can improve it in my eyes. Yes, I am severely prejudiced. But I would not have it any other way.

And then of course, there is this;

Stolen Kisses


Why shouldn’t I kiss you,

Just because I feel like kissing you?

Why shouldn’t I touch your lips,

When the whole world will applaud?

My love’s a river, mighty;

My motion like a mountain, living;

My heart’s alive, beating

©GayUganda 27 Oct. 07

PS. There is a ‘not’ that, considering who I am, is missing. But I did not want to put it there. Why should I?

In truth the world is beautiful outside. Enjoy your day.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kuchu Identities

We call ourselves Kuchus, us gay Ugandans.

Kuchus. An interesting term. It was a secret term before, but now that the Red rug published it, why hide? We are.

Kuchu. The term is apparently derived from Swahili. Not any of our local languages, but the why of it is lost. Some of us think it derogative. To others it is a sign of pride.
The best translation to English would be ‘Queer’. I got across this interesting article on homosexuality and Queer theory. It was of interest because it captured the essence of our identities and differences so well.

The girls are Kuchus, and so are the guys. The transgenders are also Kuchus. We all are kuchus. So, instead of going into the terms gay or lesbian which seem to confuse us so much in the community, we just say that we are kuchu. And that is taken as a member of the family. All inclusive and welcoming, or so we think.

Yet we are different amongst ourselves.

First time that I met Victor was at a party. There was this cute boy, (I thought), who the other guys were hitting on outrageously. Victor later came and talked to me, a few minutes. Apparently enough to rouse my lover’s irritation. Until I told him that the cute boy was a girl.
Victor laughed as she corrected my mistake, telling me that she was flirting with the others just for fun, because they all thought that she was a man. She loved it.
Later, I was to know a few others like her. Girls, women who hated being women, but loved women.

To my shock there were guys like them too.
At first I was a bit irritated. Getting out of my closet, I was quite firm in my gender identity. I knew I was a man who was attracted to men. That was ok. But I did not want to become a woman. So when I saw a guy who acted like a woman, I was irritated. Remember I am an African male. Born and brought up in Africa. And in our firmly patriarchal upbringing, it is early on impressed on us that a man is not a woman, and for a man to be mistaken for a woman is an insult of considerable magnitude. So I was shocked that there were kuchus who actually acted like women. And others who took on the mannerisms of women, and some who identified as women. They amazed me. I knew I did not want to be like them. They actually did not attract me, till I had the chance to fall in love with one like that. That (ahem) was a while ago! It was a considerable learning experience for me. I realized that though superficially similar, we kuchus were very different.

That was about the time that I started reading up medical texts on sexuality. Interesting stuff actually. We have a saying that one who has not traveled is the one who praises his mom’s cooking. Reading on sexuality opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities.

And I realized, that as a kuchu, or queer, we were not only diverse, we were a proudly diverse community. It is not only the straight who think that they are the epitome of normality. Even us kuchus have those delusions.

But we can embrace the fact of our differences. And so can those who are straight understand that we are different, but still human.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Aint I human?

Sojourner Truth.

I cannot imagine a human being who was born with the world stacked against her like she was. Yet there was that stirring of the spirit that asserted her basic right to respect as a human being. She challenged life itself, with the cry, ain't I a human being?

She was born a slave, a woman, a negro, in America in 1797.

Each fact is like a nail into a coffin, trying to tie her down to a life of despair and servitude.

She had 13 children, most sold into slavery. She was poor as dirt.

She was freed, and took to asserting the rights of freed men, and women at that time. I am a gay man. African. Born in the 20th century. The world is rosy for me in relation to Sojourner Truth. I have to assert my basic right to humanity, just like Sojourner Truth did against a society which degraded her as a slave, black, a woman, and poor.

Check out her biography on Wikipedia. And the speech that I am speaking about, a stirring, emotional, bald and forceful assertion of humanity and equality against overwhelming odds. And they were overwhelming odds. Read it in poetry form.

Nothing is more stirring to me, nothing more inspiring, than the story of this woman born to slavery.

I was born a free man. I was born with innumerable advantages compared to her. Yet I do have to assert my humanity in the face flak because I am homosexual.

I am a gay human being.

I have to note, and assert, and cry, ‘Ain’t I human?’ ‘Ain’t I a gay human?’ ‘Ain’t I a human being?’

We should adopt and adapt

‘Aint I a woman?’ to

‘Aint I human?’

Same thought, same fire;

‘Aint I a gay human?’


PS. Cindy, that poem is a must read for you. And for every woman in Africa.

A must read for every human being that is thought to be less than so all over the world. "Aren't I human?"

Check out the poem here.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Horrible Night

horrible night, cold;
my lover was not in bed.

I'm no angel pure-
he caught me smiling at a pretty boy,
and I spent the night in dungeon;
long horrible night, cold...

I'm a human being,
correction, a man;
sometimes stray the eye does,
won't you have a heart?

(c) GayUganda 22 Oct 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Day Before the Battle

I am feeling funny.

Not down. Kind of anticipative.

What I did today in the morning. You know, talking to that journalist, I have a feeling I have stirred up something momentous. The next part of the Kuchu saga in Uganda.

Don’t worry kuchus. It will not hurt you guys and girls. I am just worried that I may have hurt myself considerably.

There. I have done it. Written down the fear that has been lurking at the back of my mind.

I am not terribly strong. I am no ‘bravo’. I would like to think of myself as a brave person. But I am not brave.
And at the moment I am feeling scared. Scared for my work, scared for what we set out to do on this gay campaign of ours. Scared of the implications for me, and my lover, and the people that are close to me.

I have a maternal uncle who was the definitive male in my teens. A very upright man of the community. Very different from my dad, and I remember it was this uncle who most influenced my higher studies.
He is a very straight arrow. He (in my assessment) would be hard put to acknowledge my different-from-the-norm sexuality. For some reason, I thought of him today. Since the start of the kuchu campaign in Uganda, I have been feeling fearful of meeting him. Don’t know what he would say to me. Don’t know whether we can even talk. Will he bear the stain of a gay nephew holding out his neck on the social guillotine willingly? When I talk about him, my lover reminds me that it is my mum who matters. And she does not reject me, bless her. It will also be a strain to her.

I used to read a lot, a while ago before I got into the poems thing. Fiction. War fiction. Of generals, and battles, and the day before battle.
I am wondering whether I will be able to survive tomorrow. Whether I will be able to look my love in the eye and say that, what I did, I did for us, and that we shall be fine. Like rolling the dice, then watching, the fates out of my hands. How will they settle? What will be the score? Will I win? Will I lose? Will life continue as it was before?

How did I get into this gay activism?

I saw there was no one else to do it. And that relentless logic has led me to this. No, I do not regret the path my life has taken. Just wondering, would I have taken another knowing this was coming to me?

I will survive the day, most likely. It is more like the week will be the decider.

If I win, we (kuchus) shall win, very, very much. A resounding victory.

If I lose, well, it is my life and my lover’s in balance. But it should not get to that. I hope.

I ask for no prayers. I have entered the lion’s den and bearded him. I will take the consequences. For my lover, please pray that we survive the storm.

Very melodramatic. But. Dare I ask for your prayers?


This has been on my mind all day. Forgot the fact that Lucky Dube died senselessly yesterday. RIP.
And Dumbledore is gay. Sincerely, I have not read the last Harry Potter. But I will recommend this slash fanfiction version of Harry Potter. It is absolutely a bomb. Wish the guy could publish it in paper so that I can hold it in my hands. A series, and good. Very good.

Dumbledore is gay and Lucky Dube is dead. Strange world.


Stepping out of the Closet

This morning I (almost) did something that was almost too silly to believe.

I was talking to a journalist, about gay things. Anonymously, of course. Not in my great gay persona. I suddenly felt like coming clean, telling the journalist, you know, I am gay too. Kuchu.

I did not.

Simply because it is a reflex not to do so. And to tell a person that I am gay is like revealing the deepest, darkest secret that I can ever hold. When I used to play the field, I used to wonder about the fact that I would sleep with guys, and we would know only the fact that we were both kuchu. We would have sex (different from making love!) and separate the next day. Yet these guys could have got me into prison for life, had they so minded. Chilling thought. But it did not stop me from looking for companionship. I looked for, and got lovers. Some for a day or night, others for much longer.

Now it is years since I have been living with my guy. He knows (and of course I know) that he is gay, and well, we break the law as frequently as we can, time and circumstances allowing. Yet we trust one another. He would not sell me to the police. I would not do that too. Its like the novelty of the ‘secret’ has worn off. It is not news.

Worse, I am so used to being me, that I am becoming complacent.

I can talk with friends in the abstract about gays in Uganda, but not a revelation that I am one of the hated gay men. We can laugh about being gay in Uganda, the different things that have been uttered in the last few months. Yet to come out and say that I am gay would be a disaster. The person would talk; maybe not immediately. And I am sure that the likes of Ssempa and Nsaba Buturo would seek to hurt me in some way. Maybe to lose my job completely. Maybe to out me to other people who would be able to harm me. Mubajje would not be talking in the abstract about exiling gay people. He would be able to point to someone, that he should be on a prison island in the lake.

Paranoia. Here I can talk about being gay with only the fear that my anonymity may be pierced one of these days. But I am free. To give and take abuse. I can desist, or give it out. In the flesh, I am sure that Blake would seek to injure me, physically. His vitriol is too acid. His hate too directed.

Anyway, that clock of anonymity, I did not take it off when talking to the journalist. Yet I have done, and will continue to do many things which risk outing me and my lover. For people to know, beyond my immediate family, that I am gay. A homosexual that is proud of being so. I just hope I do not come across Blake then. Or Mubajje the Mufti or others. But this is life. I cannot predict what will happen.

So, I step out again. My secret is intact, from the general public, for now. (I vigorously deny that the Red rug outed me. It wasn’t me!!! If you have any proof, damn you and the red rug together!).

Yet enough of the people around know about me for me to live in a peculiar sense of a closet. I am in, yet I am out. And I will continue being out and in at the same time. Queer thought. Pun intended.


Friday, October 19, 2007

A Poem for Blake

The guy hates my verse. Pathetic, he called it. So, maybe he will not consider it a compliment. But, one never knows.

Certainly my verse needs a lot to improve it. To me, it is just a means of communication. It amuses me. It entertains me, the way one can capture the essence of a thought in a few lines. Certainly I am no expert in languages. The opposite, I am afraid.


Why clothe myself in darkness,

when light of love’s in the world?

Rather live a little and love,

Than live long to hate;

its a bitter canker-

unflattering the hater as the hated.


Pardon me, but are you a Christian?

The world’s a picture

The world’s a picture

of dancing words-

waiting to settle into

fateful image on the page.




a traffic jam in Kampala;


heat, dust,

a noise cauldron boiling,

the sun brilliant-

grill above.


searing, a brand-

lance into the eye.

No where to go.

No where to run.



Thursday, October 18, 2007


Hi friends. Wonder where I was for yesterday?

I had gone to look at the islands. The islands of the lake Uganda’s leading Muslim wants to exile me to. Me and my love, for I will not go without my love.

They are beautiful, those islands.

The lake. It is broad and wide, an expanse of fresh water in the middle of the continent. Not very deep. Not so deep that the edges are not seen. But deep, deep, for one like me more used to land than sea.

It is broad like a sea, but the water is fresh. It is wide like an ocean, but the water is less blue. It is green, a green of the fresh algae that is abundant. It is a deep living green. With the Nile perch there hiding, no sharks but crocodiles.

The islands. They are humps, right in the middle of the water. Green humps, well watered, deep soils, well clothed with leaves.

No. Not so well clothed. Man has come and raped the land. The green trees cut for charcoal, and the shrubs burnt to clear. But it is still beautiful, island humps green in the lake.

Its there that I will be exiled. With my lover, and my friends. Kuchu Island we shall call it. When the president agrees with the Mufti to exile us there. To rid the land of us homosexuals who pollute and defile the land.

Ishallah, the Mufti says, there we shall die. And Uganda shall not have any more gay men. Or gay women. Or trans people. Uganda will be a land of the pure and heterosexual straight.

Uganda. Beautiful Uganda.

How I love you. I cannot compare you to a woman, as is fitting for the straight man. I will compare you to my lover.

He is not tall, but not short. He is not wide, yet not narrow. He is a human being, warm, loving, touching, moving. He erupts like a volcano, sometimes. Is as cool as the waters of Lake Victoria, sometimes. He is as variable as the lakes waters, sometimes storm lashed, sometimes calm, sometimes the waves, sometimes the wind, but all times there. A human being. That I love and loves me.

Uganda. True, we have produced monsters. The Amins of old. Now a mufti who thinks a Hitler like concentration camp is what I deserve, with my lover. Marooned and left to die, on an island in the lake. No power, no water except the lakes, monkeys for companions, and other kuchus to tempt me always.

Yet our country is very human. As tough and unforgiving, as silly and stupid, as bright and inviting.

It is a beautiful break of day. The air is clear. A thunderstorm in the night removed the heat of yesterday and scrubbed the air clean. Birds are singing in the trees. And cocks have stopped crowing.

Enjoy today, because it is beautiful. Don’t think of the cares of tomorrow. Enjoy today. We have it, look at it, enjoy the drizzle, the sun, the moon, the friends.

Be happy.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I love blogging.

I simply love blogging. Today, I woke up with a headache, a real one. Last night I went to sleep thinking about a certain cleric’s words. Apparently, the Mufti of Uganda, Sheik Mubajje, would like me marooned on an island in Lake Victoria, and stay there until I die. He sold the idea to the President, who apparently did not comment.
The Mufti went ahead and told the press of his brainstorm. It was reported.
Now, I had a good long day yesterday. I did not read the Monitor until a friend from Kenya asked about the Mufti’s comments.

I was unhappy. I was very unhappy!!!

Unhappy enough to dream of nothing else till the morning. Unhappy enough to ruminate on it in my morning reading of poetry. Had to get this poem on love and read it, a zillion times till I could feel the love of the lover running through every line in my memory.

But I was still unhappy.

Yesterday, I left this horrible post railing against my Christian friends on the blog. They were very silent. I had planned to send another broadside today. Because I am unhappy!
Gosh, that is how it works. Mood just seems to weave an invisible skein through everything that I do.

But then, I saw Bolton’s comment.
Why do I rail so much against Christians? Bigotry, Bolton. That is the reason. I have this sense of martyrdom, that ‘Christians’ are persecuting me. I forget that not all Christians are. I forget that there are some great guys like Cindy (sorry, sometimes I write Chrissy) and 27th and Sasha. And Bolton of course.

That is why I love blogging. Because there is a sense that I can share my thoughts and have them corrected, or challenged. The bigotry in them can be challenged. Please, be a friend, and do not hesitate to challenge my very cool assumptions. Humility is a bitter but great pill!

Now, I can really rubbish the Mufti’s comments.

I cannot believe that they weighed me down for such a long time. I am relieved. Sometimes I am weighed down by the perception of how bad other people see me. I was just ready to cry out on the blog, in a yell, that ‘Why do you persecute me?’ why do my fellow Ugandans find me so loathsome?
But Bolton’s question acted like a lancet into the boil of self pity.


The Mufti’s comments are worthless. He uttered them. Before only his friends knew that he was so shallow. Now the whole world is commenting. A leader who lauds Hitler’s logic.
Friends, I hope you do not think that this reflects on all Ugandans. Or all Moslems. Not even Ugandan Moslems. No, it was just the Mufti.

Even I have to remember that.

Thanks Bolton.

And by the way, what I had not seen of the day is beautiful. Really beautiful.
Rain threatened, but it was like only a few drops, though the children going to school had to run in it. I was supposed to come into town early, so there was no warm bed for me today, nor cuddling, though I stole what moments I could.
But for now, the clouds have lifted, from my mind, and the sun is out. Beautiful. Sultry. Warm. It is a beautiful day in Kampala. Hope all of you find it that beautiful.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay

I thought that it was only me. But, well, it isn't.

These are not in Uganda. No, somewhere else, but they hold interesting views.

Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay - USATODAY.com
"Majorities of young people in America describe modern-day Christianity as judgmental, hypocritical and anti-gay."
"church attitudes about people in general and gays in particular are driving a negative image of the Christian faith among people ages 16-29."
"The anti-homosexual perception has now become sort of the Geiger counter of Christians' ability to love and work with people."
"The vast majority of non-Christians — 91% — said Christianity had an anti-gay image, followed by 87% who said it was judgmental and 85% who said it was hypocritical."
"Such views were held by smaller percentages of the active churchgoers, but the faith still did not fare well: 80% agreed with the anti-gay label, 52% said Christianity is judgmental, and 47% declared it hypocritical."
"Kinnaman said some Christians — including those in the entertainment industry — preferred to call themselves "followers of Jesus" or "apprentices of Christ" because the word "Christian" could limit their ability to relate to people. Even Kinnaman, 33, described himself as "a committed Christ follower," though he has called himself a Christian in the past."

And just in case you were wondering who made the study, and who are going out of their way to publicise these negative findings. Let us guess. Anti-Christs, unbelievers like me, homosexuals, and perverts?
Well, could be, if you were to call these those very unlovely names. (which I know I am called, not so?)
Study: Youth see Christians as judgmental, anti-gay - USATODAY.com
Megachurch pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Ministries in Atlanta,

In addition to reporting on the negative statistics, Kinnaman used the book to also give advice — from himself and more than two dozen Christian leaders — on new approaches.

Note people:
I have had a sudden change of heart.

I had determined not to put religion on this blog of mine. Yeah, because I am not enamoured of certain people, let me say. But I have had a change of heart. A change of thought.

(One pointer is this quote from Albert Einstein,
"The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer. "

Bigot No 1; that is me. But I dont want to be!)

Prepare for a bit of discussion over this week. If you want to invite the Ssempa's, do so.

Let the debate begin...

27th, Chrissy, Sasha, and all the other Christians out there. I have a bone to pick with you. Why is it that me, who is not a Christian, I am the one who sees that you guys are not representing Christ?

Why are you giving the Church such a bad reputation?

You are, even if you are guilty of only letting the Ssempas speak in your name. Or Tovi, or the others.

Why are you playing the Levite and not the Good Samaritan?


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday Morning

It says it all. The poem. Have a great rest today. Wheresoever you are, whatever you are planning.

No appointments Sunday morning,

Except the one in bed-

To hold and groom my love,

to glide next skin to skin,

breath in our breaths

and share our lips,

to drown long moments in his eyes

and tell him its him I love.

No appointments Sunday morning…

© GayUganda 14 Oct. 07

Friday, October 12, 2007

To my friends

I am dedicating this post to my friends. All my friends, known and unknown, knowing and unknowing.

Writing this blog, I use the experiences of my life. My gay life. And I am ever talking about being gay, and being what I am, a Ugandan, an African. Yet I realise that many of my Ugandan friends simply do not know what I mean when I use some of these terms.

Sexual Orientation is what the scientists call our attraction to another sexually. One is most commonly attracted to those of the opposite sex. That is the heterosexual orientation. But one can be attracted to the same sex, the homosexual orientation. Or to both: bisexual.

I am a homosexual. I was born that way, far as I know. For a long time I denied it. I said and thought that it could not be true. Then I did accept it. Accepted that I was a homosexual, attracted to other men.

I am also gay.

Yes, one can be homosexual, and not gay. For example, Senator Craig insists he is not gay. Of course he is not. But there is a lot of evidence that he may be homosexual. Pastor Ted Haggard too.

To be gay or kuchu is to accept your sexual orientation. To accept that one is different. To go ahead and affirm that being homosexual does not decrease your worth as a human being.

I am gay. And I have taken it a step further. I have raised the rainbow flag, decided to embrace the struggle for equality of the gay community in my country. Uganda.

Once I did not think this way, but now I do. I am homosexual. Gay, and that does not make me any less a Ugandan. Or un-African. However much other people may insist that my sexual orientation is ‘un-African,’ ‘immoral’, ‘against culture’, that I learnt it from the decadent west.

Yet, I could have stopped at being homosexual. I could have accepted the majority view that because I was born homosexual, I am bad, less than human, a sinner, and worse.

I could have tried desperately to change. Doctors say it is impossible. I tried. There are many homosexuals who try to change. I am thankful I failed, and accepted myself. Some do not.

I could have walked the straight path. Gotten married. Had children. And maybe had my lovers on the side.

My lover believes in monogamy. He would not have accepted being on the sidelines. I know it happens a lot.

What actually started me off on this was this story. From Israel. Click the link and read it.

Guy like me. Homosexual. Took the straight path. Got married, 20 years! Had 4 sons, was an ultra-orthodox Jew. He tried his best to be straight, and failed. He got a lover, a male lover. But still he was not happy in his marriage.

He talked to his wife. Told her a partial truth; that he was transgender. Maybe to him it seemed a ‘lesser evil’. The lady took it well, but later, went on to seek a divorce. Marriage broken down.

The guy killed himself. His family was rejected by his community. Hypocrites, but then, that is society.

That could easily have been a script for my life. Because 95% of my country men disapprove of my sexuality.

But I cannot change my sexuality. Ssempa says that he can do that for me. I am a bit dubious of his claims. He is not a medical doctor. Maybe he is a witchdoctor.

I will not hide, because I am a man attracted to men, in Uganda.

I will say that I am me, a homosexual, a Ugandan, an African, and a human being.

I will pray desperately that my friends understand me. But I will not be less than what I am, because they disapprove.


Eid Day

It’s a beautiful day outside. Very beautiful, even for Kampala.

(I have a sneaky feeling that my appreciation of it is partly because my mum-in-law has gone back home. But still, it is beautiful.)

How beautiful?

How can I describe it? The sun is out, high. A golden ball of rays in a pale blue sky. Not too hot. Not too mild. Just right. I live in the garden city of Kampala. Not too good a neighbourhood, not too bad. But I live within trees. And those trees are being stirred by a breeze. Intermittent. Cheeky. A stirring of the green now and again.

No rain at the moment. Maybe later in the day. Was there yesterday, but of now, Kampala is basking in beautiful mild weather with a sun that is a warm glowing blessing to all below it.

Kampala. Uganda.

How I love home! Yeah, I am biased, it is home, and I love it, but so what!

Guess what, yeah, it led to this poem. Enjoy!


I’m as close to heaven

as I can ‘proximate;

the love of my heart’s in my bed,

the quiet beauty of the morning

to inhale and see I am home,

Mozart’s adagios, cool music to the ear;

And I am alive, living, me.

Close to heaven?

No. Past it, in heaven;

I’m living in heaven on earth.

©GayUganda 12 Oct. 07

Eid Mubarrak to all my Moslem friends. Eid Mubarrak.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Chicken and the In-law

Yes, interesting title. But the chicken saved the day.

Let me clue you in. As a son-in-law, for our Ugandan and African culture, I am a big man. An important person. Never mind that I am gay.

So, when the in-law comes to visit, the traditional gift to me is a cock. Not a chicken, not a hen (that would be an insult) but a chicken. So, when I heard the cock crow in the living room where my mother-in-law was, I assumed that it was my chicken.

I went to greet my mom. In true traditional fashion, mine, not hers. No kneeling, I am a man. I sat in the chair, as is customary. What is not customary is that she also sat in one. Maybe different cultures; in mine she would have sat on the floor. A long greeting, asking about everything at home; the chickens, the goats, the cows, the father-in-law (apparently they have conspired not to tell him that well, we are an item).

The chicken was taken to the kitchen.

I was disturbed. It should have been properly introduced to me as the man of the house, I felt. The gift from home. But the son took it to the kitchen, and later went on to dress it for the meal.

You know how I felt? Like though accepted, I am not truly accepted. Half accepted. I will not be recognised traditionally, because I am a man, who has taken their son. Yeah, I know, a lot has been lost in translation, but enough is similar in both our cultures.

I became defiant. That is what always happens to me. I become defiant, when challenged.

While he was in the kitchen, I sat in the living room, alone with my in-law. She was doing something with wool and long needles. Crocheting, knitting, or darning? Dunno the difference. But those long needles I watched apprehensively. Resolutely, I sat and worked on my laptop. A thick silence. Great conversationalist that I am.

When dinner came, I claimed my seat next to the son. He served. We ate. My lack of religion was noted, and commented on. I smiled, and went on eating.

He initiated the active show of defiance. He leant against me, rubbing his chin on my shoulder. At first I was a bit embarrassed, and then I remembered the chicken, and became bold. I leaned on into him.

We have a tradition, modified for these gay times. The gizzard in a chicken is the special piece. It belongs in the plate of the man of the house.

The son offered it to his mom. I glared, and he missed that. She was embarrassed and declined it. He then put it on my plate, as was, ahem, normal. I smiled, grimly.

Usually, I take a bite, and then offer him one. No problem, we can use the mouths. Great to kiss with food in the mouth; good sharing, spit, kiss and all. (to hell with your sensibilities, 27th). So, I took a bite, and offered him the other, on my fork. He glanced at her, declined to be fed. But he took the fork, and we had shared the gizzard. I know she noted it, stopped myself from glancing across. The son did that for both!

Independence Day was spent in hospitals. Doing the usual- waiting on benches. Great, I think all hospitals have a specialisation in the waiting of patients. Even on public holidays. I bonded with my mama-in-law. If you can’t beat them, join them. And this was my turf, so, we bonded. I discovered that I am less tongue tied when angry, or defiant, or, well, when I am no longer worried about mis-steps.

A great day actually. We laughed, and talked. Hesitant, yes, but well, expected. I discovered that my tribe, or culture norms are the ones which are more stringent. For example, I would never dare to sit on the floor with my legs stretched out if she had been from my tribe. A calculated and deadly insult, from a son-in-law. I asked, and it was no big deal with my lover’s tribe.

I cheered, internally. And proceeded to relax and enjoy myself.

We cannot talk much. 3 languages between 3 people, you see. Not very comfortable. But we can communicate, adequately.

Yeah, I am sure I will survive this week now.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

In-law; Preparations

Even I could feel the note of panic in my last post. I was. Panicked.

I know, I shouldn’t be. But I just cannot help it.

Monday I woke up early. I do have too much time on my hands, now. So I have to plan it. Don’t want to waste all this beautiful free time.

First, reading some poetry. Getting lost in the world of language, and expression, and beauty. Then I had promised myself to do some reading for something that I have to push myself to do. I did. Adequately, I think.

Then I was supposed to do that which has been on my mind. Preparations. For the in-law. I rolled up my sleeves, changed clothes first, and then got down to it. Scrubbing, cleaning, dusting, wiping. You know the expression ‘nooks and crannies’? You do not have to take out a dictionary. Crannies, that is the word I want. I know it, from experience. They are the deepest, darkest, dirtiest holes that have not seen a wipe since… since… , the closest reference I can get is CHOGM. That comes once in 50 years, not so? Well, what I was doing was not spring cleaning. That is too often. And I searched them out, and dusted them. The crannies.

I think I feel for house help. They earn all their money, and more. And I have got some sympathy for M7, preparing for you know what. Imagine all those potholes which have been repaired, and dug and remodelled and… turned into crater lakes in the middle of Kampala’s roads? At least he can blame the transport minister, who can blame someone else, down the ladder of responsibility. There are 64 ministers. The chain will soon find a suitable underling.

But I cannot. Pass the blame that is. Not onto my in-law’s beautiful son. He will be the blameless one, not so?

While I was still searching for them (crannies), they arrived. The son and the in-law.

I remembered 27th advice. I was supposed to put my best foot forward. Not into my mouth; but that is what happened. Poor me.

You see, my tribe puts a lot of emphasis on that initial greeting. The host is supposed to be settled down, ready. I was caught in the middle of chogm preparations. Unprepared. I excused myself, to finish what I was doing. Then the son came and demanded why I had not greeted his mom. I could have kicked him in the b…. They turn, change. No longer is it the person who loves me. A stranger now.

I answered that I had not finished something. I was fierce. He laughed, told me gently that in his tribe, the host greets the visitor immediately.

As I was still looking at him in anger, at his carefree laugh and lack of concern, a cock crowed.

Yes. Not a chicken. A cock crowed in the sitting room, where my mum-in-law was seated.

Will I survive this visit?


Independence day 09 Oct. 2007, for Uganda

I am dedicating this poem to all Ugandans. Everywhere. Happy independence day.

A little on what inspired it.

I got out of bed early, as usual. I must say I did not want to. My love’s warmth was an attraction, and we were holding each other so close that I felt there was something to be missed, getting out of bed.

But I did. The call of the morning.

Independence day. I hold little flame for most public holidays. They seem not to exist for me. But my mother-in-law is visiting, and my love is in bed, and the day is beautiful. No wonder that my heart is singing with praise, a worship of the joy of being alive.

I saw this guy. I know him, a bare acquittance. He is a poor guy, failed to continue in school about a year or two ago. Now rides a ‘boda-boda’. So, early morning, he gets up as usual, to go do his work, even on Independence day.

He is quite, not much of a talker. He is kind. And he attracts me.

(I know, I am ‘married’, but I am also a human being, and I do look. I am no angel, nor would I like to be!). I was looking at him, and I started writing this poem.

I must say I barely know him. To me, when I saw him this morning, he was like a catalyst for this poem, and I wrote it.

I dedicate it to all Ugandans. May you know this beauty of heart.


there’s a beauty of the hearts,

that’s forever tempting-

a child’s boundless innocence,

its sense of love and trust;

a youth’s reaching confidence,

not yet there but willing to try;

a heart that’s gold with love;

the parent’s anxious attendance-

dad’s beaming pride,

mum’s enveloping hug;

there’s that beauty, a wondrous face

may try imitate but-

its of the soul, the heart,

shining though the person silent be;

tugging the heart with diamond chain-

a favour to find, to see, to gaze;

there’s a beauty of the hearts…


Monday, October 8, 2007

Mum-in-law Coming

Mum-in-law coming, well, big deal you will think. Why the panic?

Dont tell me I shouldn't have jitters because she is coming. I know, I should not, but I do.

I have met her before. Soon after we met, my mate took me to his home, deep upcountry. I was very much in love. He insisted, and it was the one person that I absolutely had to know in his world. Not his dad, who knows we live together in Kampala, but I had to be introduced to his mom.

So I went.

We did not clue in the family to our relationship. Just visited. I am absolutely terrible with languages. I was barely able to communicate with my in-laws. Could only talk with my lover when I was there. But I enjoyed the visit. Though I have since managed to duck out of going back.

Now, turns out that I can communicate with my mother-in-law, in a language I absolutely had to learn a while ago, and I remember a smattering of. She also knows it, though she is very reluctant to use it. But the only alternative is my mother tongue, which she has a smattering of, but hates. Positively hates! Tribal differences, before my time.

Over the years, we have talked a few times on the phone. With my lover instigating the contacts, and when we were not able to communicate, he insists that we can use the other language.

So, the lady is ill. Needs medical attention in Kampala. Her son tells her to come; and then insists that she informs me, the in-law, to ask for permission. I am suprised by the call, and immediately agree. When I ask him, he is like he has (stolen/eaten) the cream pudding. We make the arrangements, or he does them, as I look on.

He knows I am nervous. Of course he does.

Gosh, she has visited before, but not for this long, and well, she now absolutely has a great idea on what is happening with us!

Anyway, think about this. No more moving around the house in Adam's suits, until further notice. No amorous attention one to the other when we are all locked in. No spontaneous kisses, no sudden hugs, no coming behind him and holding him in my arms. No lying in each others laps when in the sitting room. No sex (when we can be over heard. Terrible, a week's abstinence!)

Gosh, the litany of things that I will have to watch is too long!

And then, there are the cultural things. Some differ because we are different tribes, but some are the same. I have grown up in town, and have not been that much in contact, so I don't know all of them. But, I think am not supposed to touch her. Not in greeting or even by mistake.

I think that is the same for both of us. But he has touched my mom in greeting! Maybe I am confused, will have to ask him. Does she use the back door? At all? Or not? Can we use the same bathroom? We have only one!

Now, I have too much time on my hands. Means that I will have to be home with her. Damn.

I will have to talk to her, when he is not around. Will she tell me off for corrupting her son? Far as I remember, it was mutual, but, would she believe it of her baby? Of course I must be the bad one!

Oh, she will have to know, I mean, she knows, and she has accepted it that we are a couple! And he is so much in control with his family that I think I will be ok. But you never know, all those tales of the terrible monster-in-law happen when the lover is not around! Where will I hide?

A family of two gay african men. We are going to re-write quite a number of the customs. And the expectations. And we are going to do it, look after our family! Queesy thought! Ugh!

Well, wish me well and keep posted.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

The In-laws; Introduction

I want to share a bit more about my, er, our extended family. Our respective in-laws. Guess I will explain as we go along the reason.

Ok, I am a gay man. An African, and Ugandan. Got that?

I have lived with another man, a gay man, an African too. Hope you got that too.

Now, because we are both Africans, we do not come alone to each other. We have our extended families to consider. My lover’s is big, extensive. He is the eldest boy, heir presumptive to his dad. He has the requisite responsibilities of the elder son. Look after the family issues, mediate parents’ quarrels, judge between the siblings, present a tough official family face to his bako (sisters’ husbands), and of course, when there are problems in the marriages of his sisters (younger and older) he is the one to talk to the in-laws and show his and the family displeasure at the men’s heavy handedness. In the literal sense, you know.

Then there is me. I must admit I am a bit of a disconnect. A long journey it has been, but still, I am. My family is more ‘urbanite’. Yes, I am the son, till a short while ago, heir presumptive to my dad. (don’t think it is still in the works, not until a heir I present, my son, understood?).

Most of my brothers are married, with children. Kind of decreases my worth as a heir-less heir! My sisters too. And they are all pretty independent. Less work for me, protecting them from heavy handed husbands. Less likely to mediate in marital conflicts.

Oh, we are different tribes, me and my mate. Differences in assumed duties for the male of the family. Small, but they are there.

Anyway, after years of living together, we decided to adopt our extended families into our own family. Translation, we know that they are our parents, instead of just one guy’s parents. Our unit is very odd, irregular to say the least. But I do have a mum and a dad living, meaning that my lover has a mother in law, and a father in law. And also sisters, and brothers, and cousins, etc.

Still together?

I have been ‘outed’ very openly in the last few months. So, I discovered that many in my family knew about what has been happening with me. That is, they knew about my relationship with another, err, man!

I don’t know how they reacted when they found out. I know my elder brother was ok with it. He carries more weight with me than most of the others. He is a pastor, but we are good together. And he welcomed my lover into the family, with words and actions which warmed my heart.

I have also noticed that my ‘full’ brother and one of my ‘full’ sisters have acted, a bit cold over the last few years? They are born again, Pentecostals, so maybe I am the one who is suspicious. I have not yet got the guts to talk to them, face to face. Gosh, it takes more guts than I do have at the moment. The others, ‘half’-sibs, (a distinction lost to me, but pretty important to my lover), they have not shown much running away from me. At least I have not noticed it.

For my lover, he was out to his mother. He told her years ago. At first I thought it was because they are very close. Later, I discovered that it was a chance meeting with a cousin of his (also gay!) in a 'gay' bar which made him rush off to tell his mom. He did not want her surprised by ‘rumours’. He thought she would be devastated if it was someone else who told her that her beloved son was gay. So he did. And he also told her about me.

She has accepted us.

So has my dad, who is a surprise that I am still appreciating. We are still to talk; shows how much a coward I am.

Anyway, that is my, our extended family, in reasonable detail, uh?

Now the reason, the bomb.

My mother-in-law is coming to stay for a week or so.


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Of my Love

We were in the bar, a kuchu bar. He was talking to someone else. Somehow, I felt the green dragon stirring. I took out my notebook, and started writing.

Imagine, in a bar in Kampala, writing! Demented, yes I am. But I did.

Anyway, this was the result.

P.S. It is not meant to reflect our relationship. Maybe it does, judge it, but gently.


He's the fly,

flirting place to place;

I'm the light, magnet,

always drawing him

back to me, mine he is.

I'm the rock, he's the hold,

in the other we fit-

interlocking, interwoven halves,

each the other needing,

through life's very storms.

(c) GayUganda 04 Oct 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

'Free Burma!'

Free Burma!

This I do, for freedom;
Freedom, what a concept!

Freedom to think,
to be, to live,
To live and let live;

Freedom to love,
To love and be loved;
Freedom to hug,
To hug and be hugged;
Freedom to hold,
To hold and be held.

Freedom. Interesting. The absence of freedom; that makes the heart yearn to be free. When we are free, we doubt that we are, and chafe at common problems.

May Burma know Freedom, in my lifetime.

Check out the Free Burma! Link for what you can do about it.


Sorry, told you that my brain seems to ooze words when I least expect it. I did not want to post again, but well, this is what happened when I got a pen in my hand and had a piece of paper nearby.

04 Oct. 2007


my blogging brain is to Burma gone;

my conscious mind by Myanmar occupied,

by that strange colour,

freedom, a peaceful freedom,

the colour of the monks’ robes,

hiding blood red spilt on them

by the truncheons, guns of bullies.

Today, this day;

I’m in Burma brain;

may you know freedom-

it’s lovely fruit touch at last;


©GayUganda 04 Oct. 2007


Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New Horizons

I must say that despite all my efforts, I have spent the day wallowing in self pity.


Ok, lets begin again. Self pity. From one of the guys who thought it was piteous of me to be gay, I was resolute in my presumed disdain. No pity, I thought. Yet, I have been guilty of the same. I have weakened myself with thought of the opportunities I seem to lose because of my sexuality. Or things that I can comfortably blame on my sexuality.

There, that is a better beginning.

The sun rises, and goes down. The rain falls, and clouds sweep across the skies. And the day is still beautiful, when there is rain and when there is sunshine. I never knew that I would ever get this mastery of the language that I use in writing. I mean, a secret. I stammer. Considerably!

And I thought that I had conquered the habit with my fluency of writing. Course not. My dad recently disabused me. I commented on one of my little nephew's stuttering, and my dad casually compared it to mine.
I was devastated for a few minutes. I have always known that I do stammer. But I deceived myself that I do not. I have done much better since the days that I used to fear talking. But my love still teases me that, many a time, I get stuck in the same speechless rut. He knows me. He understands.

Anyway, back to the point. Somethings are, and some are not. And I may be able to compensate for some of my presumed failings. Or I may not.

But one of the worst things I could do would be to let myself dwell on the things that I am not able to do.

So, work place opportunities at my current position seemed to have dimmed. But I am still alive, and I do have a number of options.
Have to lift up my eyes, have to look at the horizons. There is something beyond. There is something out there that I can explore.

Explore new horizons.

I was relaxing, thinking about this, while my lover groomed me. And it came to me what I can do. I now have the time to do it, and I can.

So, first thing was to note this down. That is, after planning out tomorrow.

I am still alive, and I only have to raise my eyes to see the new horizons. And I must say they look interesting.
Thing is, I have to convince my lover to believe in me. It seems I have this habit of dreaming. He is more down to earth. Means he is less likely to believe in my dreams.

How frustrating!

But he has stuck with me this long, I think we shall pull through.

Great to be in love. Great to be able to love and be loved back. Great to be able to explore one's self in the eyes and heart of a lover.


Monday, October 1, 2007

First of the Month, You are fired.

Ok. Not realy fired. But understand that we need less of your services. So, will you take a cut in the income?

As a good suspicious employee, I will suspect that something is happening. I have worked too long for my dear employer to be summarily dismissed. But, that can be done in increments. And I may decide to resign to prevent further embarassment. Not being needed, but you hang on desperately.


Maybe, and maybe not. Ok, I was outed by the Red rug. That was last month. I thought that I had done something to create a soft landing for myself. I talked to my immediate boss. I talked to my ultimate boss. And things seemed to be cool.
A few days to the end of the month, I get the 'bad' news. Lots of apologies, lots of sorries, but it all adds up to me losing part of my income. And being left with this suspicious feeling that it is because of my damned sexuality. Or the sudden suspicion of it that my colleagues at work have!

Yet I am lucky. I am like most Ugandans. A lot of part time jobs to make the ends meet. It is at the other places that a fight has been occuring, just beneath the surface, buy my friends seem to be winning- I still am a member of that team. For how long?

And I am lucky. I do have options. A friend was about to start a job. Suddenly that is on hold. Another is seeing suspicious foot dragging on a number of things at work. Others are having it worse. Others better.

Expected. The fact that my sexuality was so blatantly announced by the Red rug made it a given. People would know. People would gossip. And those with the ability to do something about it, in the name of god, or country, or morality, or sheer 'hate' would try to do something. And what proof have I about that? Absolutely nothing. Except I did not expect to have a decrease in income so fast, so unexpectedly, with such short notice.

But I am alive.

Think of the brighter side. I can stay up looking at the sky, reading and writing poetry. And doing things which I would rather not mention here. And I do have options!

So, nothing to do but to stay alive. And to be resilient.

We Ugandans are tough and resilient. We are, and very much a product of a tough environment. It can be tougher for me. But you know, we still are.

Not quite the time to start looking for a job. Too many people remember, it is too soon. But you know, the memories will slide, and something will happen, and I will still have my skills, and I will still be able to get a job, or something.

I am still alive, so, yeah, I can take the blow. And roll on, and I can be myself. No thanks, no pity for me. Even my lover will not be able to give it to me.