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.



Sasha said...

Acceptance is very difficult to get. But the hardest one is to give it to yoursef! I'm gay, i love men, that's who i am, who i'll always be. The rest can just deal with it!

gayuganda said...

Hi Sasha,

you've hit it on the head. When I accepted myself, didnt matter that my president thought there were no gay ugandans.

Thats why it is such a pity that so many of that fail to accept ourselves.

And more kudos for those who accept themselves!


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