Friday, November 9, 2007

Indifference to the Hate

From politicians to churchmen, the mosque and all sundries, gay Ugandans are a regular punching bag in their country. I have tuned my mind not to ‘hear’ or notice what is said. Because sometimes the things hurt too much.

A minister demands that we migrate. Another (church) goes around telling lies about us going around in nappies. He abuses us in the name of his god, and then goes on to solicit for money (openly, on television) to fight the dangers of homosexuality in the country. The Mufti, the leading Moslem in the country, demands that we are marooned on an island. And he tells the president that. Upon a time, the president boldly stated that there were no homosexuals in Uganda. And later, when he learnt that there were, he demanded that they are arrested.

No wonder we do grow up with a sense of paranoia. Sometimes I forget that.

It is so ‘normal’ to hear something derogatory, that it is something not out of synch with the flow of life. What would not be out of place would be time when something is not said, about how bad we are supposed to be.

Yet it is frightening in a way.

I should, all kuchus should, note the waves of hate speech, and reject it for what it is. Hate speech. Lies told in the name of justifying the bad reputation that we are supposed to have. We are devils incarnate. And the label is rubbed in at every opportune moment. I no longer hear it. Not consciously. But unconsciously it affects what I do.

I did go through the newspaper, but I had not noticed this story. The Archbishop is the leading cleric of the Catholic church in Uganda. (There is a Cardinal, but he retired, if I remember well.) He comes across as compassionate. Help the sinning homosexuals to turn away from the sin of homosexuality. They are not born that way.

He was telling a group of school children. Why? I don’t know. Except that it seems gay bashing these days is a sure means of getting your name in the newspapers in Uganda. The Archbishop made it into the papers.

Yet it is comic, with my sensitivity, that I had not noticed it. It was when I saw it on the blog that my interest was piqued. I usually scan the papers quickly, noting only the important headlines. I did not note this one. Because I have been ‘desensitized’ I think.

Its funny that he is actually going against established Catholic church doctrine when he says homosexuals are not born that way. During my search for understanding, years ago, I noticed that the Catholic Church actually believes that homosexuals are constitutionally so. But they are dogmatic in their belief that the acts of homosexuality are sinful. It seems I know a bit more about it than the honoured Archbishop of Kampala!

I know that the Mormon Church has also recently changed their guidelines to follow this line of thought.

Yet for the students that the prelate was talking too, the compassionate words may not have registered. The impression for those who are homosexuals was that they were bad. Not to be killed because they were bad, but nevertheless they are bad, unnatural, to be pitied, and helped to change. To be pitied instead of hated.

And to those who are not homosexuals? It was cemented in their minds that homosexuals are really bad.

The power of the spoken word. The power of influence, one person over another. Swaying the opinion and shaping it in the name of what one thinks is right. So, when will these children unlearn these things which are said in the name of god?

Some may. Some may never have the opportunity. To some it may be the basis for self loathing and self hatred. To others it may be the foundation on which to lay an indifference, or at worst active gay bashing.

Yes, I do need to remember these daily occurrences. And to comment about them, to say that they are wrong. And to affirm that I am not as bad as they say I am.

And on a very positive note, I read this blog post and was really touched by the compassion of this gay person. A gay person who showed that she is a Christian in the heart, to beat most other Christians who preach hate in the name of ‘hating the sin’. Instead of pandering to a good chance for gay people to beat up on those who throw the stones, she demands that we should be compassionate. Christlike indeed!



Anonymous said...

Why do you somehow always seek to justify your lifestyle choice by the Christian view? To be Christian is not to live by a set doctrine, but it is to live by the Word of God. The Bible. God is Love. He loves you no matter what you are. But that will never translate to Him condoning everything we do on that pretext. Especially if what we do goes against His Word.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those pple that pity you. And I'm angry at you at the same time. You take the easy route. It's so much easier for you to live your life the way you want. As an openly gay man. You think you're the first person to be prone to temptation that you feel is part of your nature? You're not. Be whatever you want to be. Just dont look to the Christian God for justification of your lifestyle choice. Because its just not there.

gayuganda said...

Anonymous 1

No buddy, I do not seek to 'justify my lifestyle by the Christian view.' Rather the reverse, I am afraid.

I am not a Christian. And not so long ago, I was a Christian Basher.

I am not a Christian for the simple reason that I do not believe.
But I still remain a human being.

Anonymous 2

Thanks for the pity. I guess you think I need it. Actually, I do hate anyone 'pitying' me. I am what I am, and proud to be what I am.

Sorry, I do not look to the Christian god. Not for anything.

If you think my life is easy just because I am gay and 'take' the easier route, I am sorry for you. You do not know me. You do not know my life. You have not had the courtesy of reading through what I have written on this very blog about my experiences as a gay Ugandan.
But at the same time you pity me and are angry at me. Why dont you take the opportunity to know me, laid out on this blog? Why are you so prejudiced that you come and just fling your pity and anger at me?

You do serve a terrible god. It is great that gay people have others who can affirm to them that there is a God who is different from your gay hating deity.

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