Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Moment of Insight

We were meeting religious leaders. Those concerned with the problem of HIV and desiring a dialogue between us, gay men and themselves as religious leaders.

It was supposed to be a dialogue, a meeting, a sharing of experiences.

It had been arranged with us, and I was chosen to go. Me, despite my deep antipathy to religion, and all things religious.

Maybe I should not have gone.

I am a very angry, cynical homosexual man. And an unbeliever. And, though I claim not to believe, I have my country people’s respect for faith.

First spoke the religious people, opening up, introducing themselves. I was happy to acknowledge that in countries where comes the most hate speech (unlike Uganda), there are those who do affirm gay people as human beings. I listened to them, as they talked about faith, about God’s love, about inclusion, about reaching out to gay people. I listened of churches that reach out to gay people. I was amazed, humbled.

Then my colleagues talked. A Muslim from Indonesia; gay, muslim, Indonesian. An Indian Hindu, an Eastern European who had lost faith on accepting his sexuality.

And I.

I was the last, but talked the worst.

I had determined not to attack, but I could not stop myself. I do not talk of religion at home, my lover being religious, and me not. I discuss it with no one, because I find more hurt that way, seeing beautiful ideals corrupted, beautiful people hating me simply because I am what I am. I see prejudice glorified as love of me, hate for me counted as the heat of zeal.

They had introduced themselves.

I refused to introduce myself. Hid behind my anonymity, and poured out my anger, pain, hurt.

Just said that I am a homosexual. Refused to acknowledge that I am gay, because, in my eyes, they refuse to acknowledge that simple fact of my self assertion. Religious people.

I said I was an angry, bitter homosexual. An African, and a Ugandan.

And I said why I was so bitter.

Hate speech, being chosen by the religious leaders of my country as the object of hate speech. The impunity they had, the religious zeal. I did not spare them, because they have not spared me. From the Mufti and his idea of a ghetto on an island in Lake Victoria, marooned till we die; the Anglican Archbishop with his fight against ‘colonialism’ using my sexuality as the rallying point. And of course Ssempa, though I did not mention his name. The Inter-faith Coalition against Homosexuality, and the hate speech on the FM stations, the lies about us, and all the other things.

They speak and it is politically correct for them to hate us in Uganda.

And they then go ahead and talk about love.

I talked about my loss of faith, a subject I didn’t want to touch, but touched, in the heat of the moment. I talked of the anger in the community when the archbishop intimated we wanted to kill him. Yes, we do want to kill him, because of his lies, and his hate of us. That may be true now, it was not true before.

I talked of my lover’s bitterness. He is gay, and a catholic, and with the siege on his faith by our religious leaders, he is no longer attending mass. And seeks a congregation that affirms him. And though in my pride I refuse to acknowledge any pain on my part, his pain does touch me.

I talked at length, and depth, and hoarsely. And the final hoarse demand, or cry for help, or, whatever it was in that heated moment. My deepest desire- please stop the hate speech. Because you are making us hate you. Hate is a dark desire, a ferment of the soul, and as surely as I would not like to hate you, I will hate because I am hurt, and all my rationalization will not take away my hurt at your hand.

At the end, they were quiet. I was stunned, both by the depth of my anger and bitterness, and the fact that I have been keeping it in. The angry eloquence, the desire to attack when they were surely offering a helping hand.


That is what it was. I decided to be open to myself and explore this part of me. My pride has walled it off for a while, but, I am a human being. And I am an African, and Ugandan. And gay.

Funny that in their desire to declare me unAfrican because of my sexuality, I have just become more militant about it. Hate and hate speech have that effect. You may hate without reason, but I get a reason to hate. And we can all hate well.

Yet I wish I did not have that hate, and bitterness, and desire to pound some knowledge into hating minds. Why should you hate me just because you do not understand me?



Anonymous said...

U're not a believer? In God??

This must be so messed up, u and your dude on separate pages via religion.

Wow, sounds like u really have so much pent up rage. I could almost feel u punching the keys.

Maybe what is necessary is more "dialogue" sessions like these.To release all the rage, but then again, what do I know? The only way forward is embraceing homosexuality as an aspect of society today. How that will be done in Uganda is a tough paper.

I hate to sound a bit like Rev, butmost western countries have embraced it. People now focuss on more serious issues like Campaigning against Bullying of homosexuals and lesbians in school.

I used to be homophobic but when my world strectched further than my nose tip, it all changed. Homosexuals are people who prefer something different.

That said, it becomes a tough debate when Religion is brought into play. Even with the legalising of Gay ordinations, there is still a greta level of antagonism attached to it. I guess it all comes down to people and their different preferences and principles. Human's can't all be at par onall things.

Princess said...

They were quiet. And then what? Are they going to do something about their narrowed mindset?
I doubt it. But then they will rage against you and you will come up in arms and you shall both reach the ineviatble impasse. What next?
I rather think that if you rage long enough and fight for what and who you are, society [yes, Ugandan] will eventually accept you, albeit reluctantly. You will simply no longer raise eyebrows or faulty//self-righteous disdain.You'll illicit at best, indifference. Buut then again perhaps that isn't too shabby a thing to fight for.

spiralx said...

Better out than in - so to speak! And at least they got to hear what you felt. This sounds like the classic first stage in learning how to deal with anger, and pent-up feelings, anyway!

gayuganda said...


It was insight into how angry I am. Tried to work it out, or I thought that I had. Was interesting, finding out that I am so angry, and so bitter!!!

Oh well. Pity is, seems as if I have little chance to work it out. But the realisation, the insight is a first step.

Princess. They were actually positive. There are some religious people who do not condemn homosexuals. And i was able to talk my heart out because they were listening. Definitely would never happen with a Ssempa. Hate and hate never counsel one another.

Thanks Buttercookie

Leonard said...

Good Lord Gay Uganda...I'm as angry as you are and I'm not African...I hear the same religious junktalk, particularly from Orombi/Akinola and their buddies...is their no end to their grandstanding and stupidity that harms/kills, slanders and outcasts other human beings?

These folks are fear/hate-mongerers and brewers of bad for all of humanity.

I want to post your "Moment of Insight" at my Blog...if you think it unwise please comment there and I will take it right down.

Best to you and yours,

Leonardo Ricardo/Central America y Puerto Rico

gayuganda said...

Its ok Leonardo


Kenyanchick said...

Good for you.

It's about time religious types got to hear some rage.

Good for you.

Unknown said...

ayayayayaaaaa u guuuuyyyyy!!!!

eh chap!! u sound like .... PIIISSSSSEEEDDDDD!!! is your keyboard still breathing?

it's been a while. i actually got here from a Google Alert which i check out now and again.

u do have to forgive me .... for taking your boiling point further than your current 100 Degress Celsius. but as u know ... i am one of those RELIGIOUS TYPES.

it is 100% HARD to reconcile these two things: fighting against HOMOSEXUALITY in uganda AND fighting YOU. It is LOGICALLY WRONG when i say I hate homosexuality but I don't hate you the homosexual.

But this LOGICAL WRONG is TRUE. Why? Because I have experienced it, done it. I have friends who WERE / ARE homosexuals and they know I HATE THEIR HOMOSEXUALITY and will never accept it, yet they still know whatever they go through, problems or whatever, they still call me, talk and I help out when i can.

Logically wrong BUT it is the truth. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE but I do think those Orombi's and Ssempa's are actually trying to help you guys out. Though of course there are the actions which will not help you one bit, and of course you can always steer away from such: like that GHETTO thingy you talk about.

Logically wrong but TRUE. If you make sense of what I have just said, please summarise it out for me coz i just twisted my mind backwards .... only thing I can say is: in my case, this is the TRUTH.

Tovi Ellesse

gayuganda said...

Well Tovi,

will you stomach one truth?

You hate me.

With all your saintly logicallising, and trials to justify yourself. There is one thing that I have learnt. I do not need a reason to justify love. But you will always need a reason to justify the hate you hide as love. Sorry Tovi.

You do hate me.

And thanks so much for your loving hate.

Fact is, I do not want to be caught up in your self deception, and your hate driven agenda. I do not want your loving hate. If you cannot accept that I am man enough to know what I want, why do you force your love/hate on me?

That is what makes me bitter, that even when I want away from you, you persue me with your hate in the name of love.

Tovi, you are no friend to any homosexual. You do not understand us. And for sure, if you do not take the time to understand us, dont lie yourself about your friends who are 'healed' homosexuals.

I dont want to hate you, but you sure make that hard to achieve.

Anonymous said...

A very restrained response, but all the more effective for it I think.

Tovi, if your God is all powerful then why does he need you to pronounce against homosexuality, hmmm?

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