‘Real’ as opposed to ‘fake’ whether it is ‘real America’ or ‘real Christianity’…
But I note that in Burundi, a small Central African country, homosexuality was not criminal. That is, until now. Apparently, a bill has passed the lower house, and will soon pass the upper house and be signed by the president, criminalizing homosexual activity.
-- “On the other hand, the new penal code also criminalizes homosexuality for the first time, making same-sex acts punishable by anywhere from three months to two years in prison and a substantial fine. The law comes atop already-existing legislation in Burundi banning gay marriage, even though analysts say no serious advocacy for such arrangements exists in the country. -- “While the new penal code still has to be adopted by the senate and signed into law by the president, local analysts say the 90-0 parliamentary vote suggests that it’s likely to be adopted in its present form.”
Sweeping aside my prejudices, I wonder whether it is not just a fact that the homophobia agenda is just too strong in our countries. As the article notes, us gay Africans are too low ranked for us to even fight effectively for our right to have sex. For goodness’ sake we are so closeted many of our people don’t believe we are real. But our countries are banning same sex marriages, and going ahead to make sure that, if caught, we are punished. Why?
If there is no gay lobby in Burundi, why have there been efforts to come down strongly against gay Burundians? From forbidding them marriage to criminalizing the behavior. Something is going on beneath the surface.
HOMOSEXUALS should not be discriminated against, ethics and integrity minister James Nsaba buturo has said.
buturo, who has been a strong critic of homosexuals, said although the Government does not agree with their lifestyle, they should not be harassed.
He said they should instead be accorded equal treatment just like any other Ugandans.
“They (homosexuals) say they are being harassed and discriminated against. This is not true. No one should discriminate against a sick person. They are entitled to getting drugs like all Ugandans,” buturo said.
buturo added: “They are our people who have unfortunately decided to take a different lifestyle.
They need counselling and help. As a Government, we pledge not to leave any body behind, especially when it comes to accessing HIV/AIDS drugs.”
buturo was speaking at a workshop for members of Parliament and civil society organisations on the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Draft Bill, 2008 at the Parliament.
The Bill prohibits any person from being denied employment, transfer or promotion on grounds of their HIV status.
Is it hypocrisy or not? The very person who is harassing us apparently is advocating not harassing us. So????? I admit to being a little bit confused. Though the confusion is very likely in my mind and not his. Read the fine print. Homosexuals will get the drugs, but not lessons in HIV prevention....
Malaysia's top Islamic body fresh from banning tomboys issued an edict Saturday that prohibits Muslims from practicing yoga, saying that elements of Hinduism in the ancient Indian exercise could corrupt them.
Err, have a sis who used to ride the bicycle, play football (soccer) and generally carry on like a dude. And of course, many of my trans friends would not be happy about the ‘Ban the tomboy’ fatwa.
Me, I am indignant. How dare you tell me what to believe…
Sigh, in our world, many are ready to accept authoritarian positions. Authority seems to be marked by the ability to deprive someone of their freedom in some way!..
And of course, insight. I am very bad at disciplining. Lover mine says I give way too much slack, always. I think it comes from thinking that always someone will have the similar outlook, knowledge and wishes like I do. Uh, idealist.
Was seated with a group of friends. Kuchus. None out and out, all of us closeted. You know, there are always some of us who are more gay and flamboyant than others. But, birds of a feather, we flock together.
A beautiful evening it was. A lot of members, fleeting, flirting in and out. One a bi friend. Married, for the ‘usual’ reasons. A friend of his noticed him in our group. Called him aside and asked, ‘Do you know that those guys are gay?’
Correct answer would have been, ‘Yeah, how did you know?’ or, ‘Yeah, want an intro?’
Or, something to the effect, ‘No, but does it matter?’
Our friend, because he is gay and in the closet, panicked. Decided to disappear, run away from us, without a bye. Spoilt his evening.
The closet. We end up hurting ourselves more by the self imprisonment.
How did the dude know we are gay? Bet none of us told him. And he might have suspected, but, did he have any proof? Like in one of us sleeping with him?
Hilarious. The guy was of course concerned about the ‘corrupting’ influence of our association with his friend. But, even the guy he was seated with at his table was a kuchu! And, his friend, though married, with a child, is kuchu.
Anyway, life as it is. Interesting how we build our walls of lies all round us. And comfortably live in those recesses of hypocrisy.
Now down to a duo, their first rap song together No Gay was inspired by the story of Gene Robinson, the Anglican homosexual bishop in the US. They claim the song shuns homosexuality and not the people who engage in it.
Their debut 15-track album, Christ in the Youth Culture, which was released last year was sponsored by an American professor who helped register their company Levite Media.
A Tororo man who was in 2006 arrested for assault wont stop wanting to be a woman.
Popularly known as Fatuma Segiyirira, the impersonator fought over a man with another woman at Nagongera township in a bar where ‘she’ worked as a barmaid. Segiyirira was taken to Tororo Central Police Station where ‘she’ was kept in the female cells.
Segiyirira was then produced in court on charges of assault and sent to Morukatipe Prison where he was also kept in a female inmates’ wing. He was later discovered to be a man after he reportedly started threatening to infect fellow female inmates with HIV/Aids. The Police added another charge of impersonation and he was returned to Morukatipe Prison in the male wing.
After serving a one-year sentence, he was recently released. The detention appears not to have change him. Segiyirira had been on the loose again until last week when his luck ran out for the second time. He had been to Mudakori Trading Centre in Tororo where she had camped looking for a job of a barmaid.
This time round, he called herself Margaret.
Residents told Daily Monitor that after spending some days in the area, he had attracted the attention of many men. He allegedly conned many of men and declined to have sex with them, pretending that he was in his menstrual periods. His luck ran out last weekwhen a curious young man tried to touch his ‘breasts’ at a drinking joint, only to get amused when a sponge fell down.
The LC1 Chairperson, Mrs Angella Okello and other women, took him to a separate house to check and ascertain his gender but were shocked to discoverthat he was a mature man. Drama then ensued as he was stripped and beaten by angry residents who forced him to walk naked for over the 5km stretch to Tororo Central Police Station.
Hundreds of curious onlookers thronged the streets to see the great woman who had turned into a man.
While being stripped, Segiyirira was found to have tied his manhood with a string, passed it between his legs and tied the string at the back of his waist to convince everyone. Some of those she had gone with say he used to smear tomato sauce on his panties to always deceive the men that he was in his monthly periods after drinking their beers and being offered some cash.
The Tororo District police Commander, Mr Gaudencio Okumu, told Daily Monitor on Monday that it was very unfortunate that Fatuma had continued with the same character after being released from prison. “We are finalising the charge sheets and he will be taken to court again on charges of impersonation and other charges which we shall find appropriate,” said Mr Okumu.
An exercise in futility?
I had stopped myself from commenting about Segiyirira- but that has been short lived. What crime has this lady committed? Daring to dress like a woman. Deceiving her acquitances. Those seem to be the most heinous crimes, according to the article. And what has been the punishment, which the community meted out fast and furiously?
A not so public check to confirm the genital sex.
A public beating.
Paraded naked, for 5 good kilometres
Jailed. Was there any mention of bail or police bond?
To court soon, charge- impersonation. Of a woman. (Any woman!!!)
The police commander is not happy. Second time offender, so more charges, he adds grimly. The price of ignorance. Why should a man dress as a woman? Why would one risk one’s very life to do that? As a gay man in Uganda, I realize that I am fine in a way. For a long time, and at great cost to myself, I have learnt to hide. It is simply a necessity of survival. I hide so well that I can get lost in my own deception. A trans person in Uganda is more disadvantaged. Much more disadvantaged, and Segiyirira has paid the price. It could as easily have become a lynch mob.
Being what I am, I cant help thinking that all these things were crimes committed by society and the state against the individual... but then, I am biased.
LAGOS - A Nigerian court said an 84-year-old Islamic preacher with 86 wives should be released from jail after he was held for failing to heed a call by local leaders to divorce all but four of the women, his lawyer said.
The authorities in central Niger state had charged Mohammed Bello with "insulting religious" creed and "unlawful marriages" after local chiefs and Muslim leaders gave him a Sept. 7, 2008 deadline to comply with sharia, Islamic law, which allows a man to have no more than four wives.
He was jailed after he failed to comply.
"The Federal High Court granted Bello unconditional release yesterday," defence lawyer David Ikotun told Reuters by phone from Abuja.
Niger is one of 12 predominantly Islamic northern states that started a stricter enforcement of sharia eight years ago.
Bello, who lives with his wives and about 170 children in the town of Bida, had pleaded not guilty to the charges at an Upper Sharia Court in the state capital Minna. But the judge refused him bail and ordered he be remanded in prison.
Before his detention, the preacher had filed a petition at a Federal High Court in the Nigerian capital Abuja seeking to enforce his rights and to be protected from local chiefs and Muslim leaders who threatened to banish him if he failed to divorce 82 of his wives.
"The judge also ordered that the inspector general of police provide him with adequate protection to ensure that his fundamental human rights are not infringed," Ikotun said, adding that Bello was still in custody.
The Niger state government said it will appeal the judgment, the lawyer said.
The court adjourned Bello's hearing to Dec. 12.
His case has stirred controversy in Africa's most populous country of 140 million people, roughly half of whom are Muslims.
The preacher had received a number of death threats after Nigerian media began reporting on his situation in September, his spokesman said.
Interesting world we live in, huh?
The face of religion without compassion.
I come from a lively polygamous family. So, big deal with polygamy… well, only because my dear mom would have loved to be the only wife. But, it was not to be.
Me, well, gay, polygamous heaven? Sorry, my lover does not believe in that! I have had a few offers, guys who didn’t have a problem with a multi-swinging relationship, cough, cough! Come to think of it, the only guy who wanted to share me with his woman.. relationship didn’t work out.
Sigh, yes, I am back, in all my irreverent, questioning self.
A new question. I make my world day to day. I can live deeply in the closet. Marry a woman, have gay lovers on the side. I decided to live with my lover. I can have lovers on the side… or have a multiple lovers, a swinging lifestyle. I decided to live with my lover!
Children? [My dad is always pointedly reminding me of my duty to the clan…]
There was no electricity, for the first part of the night. A scheduled blackout, I think- but that did not stop me.
I have been ill over the last few days, down with a virus and a fever for a couple, unable to sleep well, causing my lover untold grief because I will not take drugs as I should, and he has to cajole and beg and tease me till I do take them. But that did not stop me.
Neither did the thought of missing him in bed, as I was glued to the television, and searched the internet.
The day of the results of the elections in the United States.
The fever burnt itself out, and my lover retired to bed alone. He spent the night alone, (I know, he will take his revenge, but I am too fired up to sleep now). I was glued to the internet sites showing the results of the election. Electricity came back on, and I put on the television, and then it went off. And I continued looking for the news on the internet, watching the results, my heart in my mouth, too fired up to think of sleeping.
The battery on my laptop gave out, and I changed to another. That one also gave out too, and, reluctantly, I packed off and went to bed. I was there less than ten minutes, and, when my lover went to the bathroom, I realized I was seeing light from outside. Electricity was back.
He found me trekking back to the sitting room.
The situation was comic. I was supposed to be sick. I had refused to go to bed, and, when I went, I decided to leave almost immediately- to watch the television.
He stood in the doorway, barring me. I told him I was having nothing of that. It was simple. I could not sleep. I wanted to know what was happening in the election in the US. And, with electricity back and the computer charging, there was no way I could stay in bed.
I watched the results.
Learnt where a few of the States of the US are. Colorado. Pennsylvania. Virginia. A lesson in the civics and politics of the United States.
I was on the net when Pennsylvania was called for Obama. Electricity was off again a short time later, and when it came back on, and the television was back to CNN, it was just in time.
Ohio was called for Obama, and suddenly, the pundits (had never heard of that before) were calling the race over. President elect Obama.
I watched it all. When McCain conceded. And the tears of Jesse Jackson, and the joy of the black people of America. And then I listened to the soaring rhetoric of the American President Elect.
Barack Hussein Obama.
To me, in Uganda, saying his name in full is not a put down. It is a reminder, and an honour. That, after all, is his name. And a full name is an honour, when repeated and said at such an occasion.
When I look in the mirror, all my prejudices spill over. To me, he is the son of a Luo man, a Kenyan, an African. He is a politician, and in a continent which has seen the likes of Mugabe, Museveni, Moi, Amin, Mobutu, that is like saying he is shit- human dung. Makers of big promises, betrayers of their people, thieves of hope- those are my prejudices of the humans we call politicians in Africa. Agents of intolerance.
Yet, he is the one politician who seems to tear prejudices apart.
I listened to his speech. It was pretty. Later, in bed, failing to sleep, I tuned on BBC fm, and listened to excerpts of the speech again.
Soaring rhetoric indeed. A gifted speaker, a man whose voice holds the crowd, embraces it, weaves the magic of the moment in the words he says. But beyond the sound are the words, the meaning. Beyond the charisma lies a substance which my cynical mind dares to embrace.
Yes we can.
His is an inspirational story, this son of Africa. An inspiring story, from a very, very unlikely continent. I do not read the future. He may not be a good president. The challenges facing him are daunting, to say the least. I appreciate that, if nothing else. I am too cynical of humanity and our failings to fail to appreciate that.
His parentage, his humble beginnings, his meteoric rise.
It could not have happened in Africa. That is a simple fact. The brilliant who dare to overachieve outside the scope of what is possible, what we define as possible, especially in politics, come to a quick and violent end. Those who are of mixed racial parentage are looked down on in most of Africa. I know. I am an African.
Possibly only in America could it have happened.
He inspires me, yet I would not like to be an American. It is not home. Africa is home. I just want to be what I am, an African.
He gives me the sense, the feel, that it may be hard, but it is possible, to be African, and an achiever. To be gay and Ugandan. To be poor, but resourceful. He inspires me.
I look at the daunting problems facing me and mine, and I cannot help but feel that being what I am, coming to a realization of the fullness of my promise, walking and stumbling and falling, and getting up to walk again- that all that is possible.
He talked of the 106 year old black woman, born generations ago, who voted him as president. That woman was born in a world where she could not vote both because she was black, and because she was a woman. But, in this election, she had had the chance to vote for a black person, and a woman.
Yes we can. Change, yes we can.
We can believe in ourselves. I can believe in me. I can rise beyond the constrains of my world, the puny jealousies and narrow minded of the many who believe me less than I am, and say, yes I can. I can be so much more than what I am, because it is possible.
An inspiring leader. Yes, we can.
We can rise beyond the narrow bands of the cynicism that constrain our expectations.
In the US elections, I believe the right to marry was taken away from gay Californians. That was sad, but, I cannot help feeling that, Yes, we can. To my gay brothers and sisters in California, we can still fight back for the right to be recognized on the table with our fellow humans. Yes we can.
Indeed, to my American friends, yours is a great and inspiring country. Of course you are human. Your failings are very, very human. But, as Barack Hussein Obama put it, Yes you can Change, and that may be the greatest and best of human qualities. Thanks for showing us the way.
Sometimes one needs to sit back and think, re-asses, get back to the root, the soul of one’s self. I don’t write for the sake of writing, but write to air my thoughts, and think. I had stopped thinking, I was just reacting, had fallen into an ‘auto-pilot’ mode.
Princess wants me to post. Dear sis, it warms my heart that you are asking about me. Leornado too. I am fine.
That has been the problem. My many un-friends bitterness had kind of touched my soul. A war that has no end, ever in the need to self justify. It takes a toll.
If I want, there may never be a time to rest and asses. I mean, I can fight on, ad infinitum, till death takes me away. There will always be people who are horrified by my sexuality.
So, if I get to the point of wearing out in the fight, I have to remember that the war is not everything.
There are some beautiful things out there which have to be seen.
Thanks Ugandan girl, for your defence of me.
And thanks, all friends out there, who have missed me, and are wondering what is happening.
I am fine, and I hope to continue posting. Life is beautiful.