Saturday, February 23, 2008

African Homosexualities

Came into the city early today.

A bright morning. The sun is in an almost cloudless sky. Deceptively so, there is a haze.

Coming from home, wanted to dodge the jams on the main roads into the city. Passed the road past Namirembe Cathedral. I did like what I saw.

The city, Kampala downtown, is in a hollow between hills. A huge hollow. Namirembe hill is one of the ‘edges’. And this morning, passing on that road, the view was beautiful. Sun clear to the east, a ball of light. In the hollow, a mist, a haze that covered all the details of the city, except for the taller buildings. Jutting out of the mist and haze like some strange futuristic city.

Don’t know why I hesitate to call it smog, but it may well be.

Nevertheless, it looked beautiful.

Now, the haze is still there. But the sun is out, a summer bright. Interesting when I hear on the fm radios that we are going to have lows of 20C and highs of 25. We have an equable weather pattern that we fail to notice. It is so, comfortable. Or ambient? This is the kind of weather which (ahem) needs no clothes. They are superfluous. And cover all the beautiful bits.

Yesterday, I was forced not to be on the net. Seems as if the addiction runs deep. I felt bored and in need of a fix.

Settled for a file that I had downloaded sometime ago. It is about African Homosexualities.

Bet you have had the stories that we are ‘noble savages’. Homosexuality was a disease that spread with the coming of the ‘colonialists’.


It is very interesting how, in the interest of political correctness we are very willing to swallow barefaced lies uncritically. I must admit that I know very little about sexuality. But I know that it is pure idiocy to claim that a people did not have a particular kind of sexuality, that it was a perversion that came from another culture.

I know, Museveni fell in the trap, saying in 1999 that there were no homosexuals in Uganda. So did the President of Iran, very memorably in 2007.

Idiocy, in the name of political correctness.

Can you imagine Benedict XVI justifying the persecution of Galileo and the burning at the stake of Copernicus? Because they said that the earth moves around the sun, and not vice versa. Benedict is the current pope, by the way.

Anyway, so, there we were, noble savages, untainted by homosexuality, until the ‘colonialists’ stepped in.

Not so, says this paper, and it goes on to exhaustively compile evidence of the different African sexualities, as the anthropologists reported them. It is weird reading.

And refreshing.

There is something demeaning in being told that one is a pervert, and that one learnt this perversion from ‘foreigners’. I believed it, though I had not slept with any foreigner. I thought it is because I had read about it in ‘foreign’ novels! Sigh, I was once young and foolish.

My lover was luckier. He just thought that he was the only living man who was attracted to other men. Took him a long time, and visiting the city to realise, well, that there are others like him!

I will put a link to the paper here.

But there is another hilarious story, in Uganda. From one of our ‘elite’ schools. Sorry for those of you who attended King’s College, Buddo, but this Buddo Scandal was too hilarious for me to leave out of my blog.

Imagine, this scandal involves (of course) some foreigners, the Royal Family of Buganda (ahem), and other notables. Remember the Uganda Martyrs. Those who had refused the demigod Kabaka Mwanga access to their bodies, because they had become Christians. Delicious scandal! As to the authenticity, you be the judge.

If you can access the reference is here

Journal of African History, 47 (2006), pp. 93–113. f 2005 Cambridge University Press

University of Richmond

If you cannot access it, why- just send me an email and I will be glad to share!

Good reading to you all, if you dare read those references. Please don’t tell Pastor Ssempa, he may sneak in here and read them!



Mark Olmsted said...

"I must admit that I know very little about sexuality." Poppycock! You are a man who has lived am examined life, who knows yourself, who has studied and closely observed others and the world, who does not judge, who remains openminded. You are every bit as much an expert on sexuality as everyone else, and far more than most.

gayuganda said...

Marc is dangerous to gug's sense of pride. You make it balloon to dangerous levels.


The 27th Comrade said...

Eh, I am fleshing out my argument that pre-colonial Africa wasn't homophobic. Homosexuality certainly wasn't mainstream, but it didn't elicit witch-hunts. I think I can hold that argument. Not because I want to (hey, I'm still a bit homophobic!), but because I am tired of people using that as an excuse without a serious base for it.

African homophobia's modern face came with external influence (because the external influence was, at the time, strongly homophobic).

Before long, I'll have the impossible title of Most Pro-LGBT Homophobe Under The Sun. :o)

gayuganda said...

27th, you are welcome.

I need to put the link to the African homosexualities for you. Cant do it at the moment. You would be suprised at how 'non-mainstream' homosexuality actually was.

Hey, good thing to remember. When Mwanga killed the Martyrs, it was supposedly because they refused to sleep with him. If the Kabaka was gay, and he killed people because they were refusing to sleep with him, how mainstream was homosexuality at that time? Must have been not only tolerated, but taken as normal and fact of life! If it had been otherwise, i think Mwanga's orders to kill them, burn them alive, would have led to a dead Kabaka!

Should I send you the Budo article?


DeTamble said...

I'm glad some Africans know the truth. I was talking with some of the Zimbabweans at my Uni and the subject got onto sexuality. I could hardly believe how homophobic they all were! Then one of them said that it was the colonialists who brought homosexuality with them. Needless to say that didn't go down very well. I was so pissed off. It was literally the biggest bullshit I have ever heard. Since I know Africa was kind of like Ancient Greece back in the day.

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