Thursday, May 8, 2008


Oh, that topic.

I have been having fun. Blogging about sex, and the restrictions that we do face as Ugandans in talking about it.

Oh, it was certainly not a ‘girlish’ topic. But a very serious problem according to my twisted thinking. In Uganda, despite the fact that we have passed through the HIV problem, there is this funny hangover. We cannot discuss sex. Not openly, not frankly, not between the sexes.

We pride ourselves on being a ‘moral’ society. So we sweep everything about sex under the rug and admire how clean and pure we are.

I could not imagine, that 26 years since HIV started, our government refuses a meeting of prostitutes. Because it is immoral. Because it is against the morals of the vocal few. Yet the ladies of the night are such a pervasive feature of Kampala that it is impossible to live here and not know that quite a number earn their living in that way. They are very visible. Extremely visible.

Downtown, they line Speke Road, flood Rock Garden Bar. Even where the blogloren meets for its Bloggers Happy Hour, at Mateos. The blogloren decided to meet at an unfashionable hour. Early evenings on Thursdays. Pop in Friday, Saturday evenings, and you will have no problem identifying the ladies of the night. In the bars, ‘bufundas’, they ply their trade openly, and their clients are as open about the business.

The gentlemen of the night are more discrete, but they frequent the same places!

But the huge frustration is that we cannot actually talk about these things. Not openly, not frankly, not in Uganda. We are hypocrites of the first order, and we are quite confortable as we are. They have problems, which they cannot solve, because they cannot organize. They are prevented from organizing. Imagine this bit of hypocrisy; why would the government of Uganda stop a meeting of prostitutes to talk about HIV prevention? Oh, the government did.

Yet in recent years the problem has become worse. Before, we did not talk about sex openly. But now, it is fashionable to condemn sex in all its guises. Sex is evil. Sex is sin. Sex is bad.

That is the message that is being forced down our throats in the name of HIV prevention, and ‘morality’. It doesn’t matter that the greater majority of the population does not agree, or acts in a different way. That majority is a silent majority. They will listen as people talk about the ‘No Sex’ ideals and think how stupid it is. But few will talk up against it. Oh, the politicians will go to church and listen to the summons on Sunday, and go back and pick a sex worker off the streets. Sex is also an intensely private thing, and the taboo on talking about that extends to that. The big man may have more than the officially recognized 4 wives. But that is ok. His ‘official’ wife can talk about the values of abstinence and being faithful, and say that condoms promote promiscuity. Pullllleeeeeesssssse!

It is my problem too.

I am gay. And that is a label, and catalogue which the thinking puts me in. Because I am gay, I am bad. Doesn’t matter that I can write like an angel. Doesn’t matter that I am supporting my brother through school, that I have a family that I love a lot, that I am a Ugandan, and that it is a tiny small bit of the whole who is me. I am gay, so I am bad.

Yeah, it is a wall against which we have to bang our damned heads against. Can you imagine how hard it is realizing that you are gay, growing up and realizing that your sexual orientation is different in such a society, where ‘officially’ sex is a taboo subject, demonized. And on television and radios, and in school and rallies that is what you hear? Knowing that you are gay, yet the very ‘thought’ of sex is being condemned as evil? That is, sexual thoughts are sinful thoughts, the very expression is more evil. Oh god, people pray for deliverance from the devil of masturbation!

Small wonder that they would consider me and my gay sexual orientation a devil incarnate. And I must say that a kuchu who does understand him or herself gets a priceless gift. Coming to terms with ones person. No wonder many of us fail to.

Yeah, I understand us, Ugandans, in a way. But I don’t understand also. Logic and illogic seems so finely mixed that I do not know how to tackle that problem!



Princess said...

This is a great way to keep me away from your blog.
Do email me when you tire of all this 'sex talk.'

*And no, I didn't read this or the previous post.

gayuganda said...

Ouch Princess.

You also! [whining] why dont you want us to talk about sex? Too unconfortable?

Oh well....

Promise to reform. Will you come back? errr, I will not talk about sex, but I am remaining gay. Is that ok with you lil sis?

DeTamble said...

Awwww Princesssssss!!!! We promise to stop!!! COME BACK!!! *sobs on Guggy's shoulder*

Kris McCracken said...

I don't mind if you talk about sex or being gay. It's rather sad to hear that despite some very good reasons for the government to engage in a dialogue, they avoid it. That isn't going to help anybody.

Forgive my ignorance, but where does the law stand on homosexuality in Uganda? Here in Tasmania it (or at least the 'act of sodomy') wasn't decrimilised until the mid-1990s, which has been a great source of embarressment to leave it so late!

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