Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Turning you Gay

A letter to my fellow Ugandans. No, I cannot, and will not, turn you gay. Because, that privilege was left for whatever deity makes people gay.

I know that as Ugandans, we tend to be extremely ignorant of all things homosexual. Or gay, or whatever perjorative word we use or think about gay people. Our prejudices are extremely deep, and well cemented. We believe, collectively, that gay people are not actually human beings.

Listening to the NBS programme, I was also struck by the fact that most of the people who called in were asking for the death penalty for people such as me. Just because we are gay, or homosexual.
(See, Princess, my paranoia was deeply rooted, and not unreasonable. Fellow Ugandans do want to kill me, simply because I am gay, and it is no joke. It is no whine. It is simple fact)
It is your privilege, fellow Ugandan, if you want to kill me. When you try to kill me, it becomes a bit of a problem... Since I am not suicidal at all. I am gay, not suicidal.

But, being Ugandan, with the usual 'prejudices' for deep seated ignorance, I tend to be embarassed by ignorance on this scale. So, I would like to correct some deeply embarassing 'rumours' and lies that Ssempa and Nsaba-Buturo are ever mentioning, saying that these are facts.

Here are some glaring, but popular misconcepts about we gay people, homos, or homosexuals.

  • We are actually Ugandans. Someone took the liberty to question my 'Ugandanness', and took offence that I misspelt his home villages name. I just had to point out, (rudely, as an angry Ugandan would) that I may not come from his particular corner of this country, or speak his mother tongue, but I still am Ugandan.

  • Our gayness was not from outside.
    It gets old to have our sexuality blamed on 'outsiders'. Whether it is the 'arabs' or the 'westerners' or the 'whites' etc. I know I am gay, not because of infectious infusion from outside the country that i took while young, but I am gay because I am gay. Born so. Blame a god, if you want to. So is my lover, who testifies growing up in the village, wondering whether he was the only one in the world. Dont blame us on other cultures.
    And, remember that the very cultures that you blame our sexuality on, have a history of homophobia. As recently as last century, Nazi Germany was purifying the master race by removing all homosexuals, by imprisonment and death. That is historical fact. And, the Dutch, who are so 'pro-gay' at the moment, also had their pogroms against gay countrymates. The English used to blame it on the French, who blamed the Italians... ad nauseum.
    Fact is, you dont have to blame anyone for my sexuality. We happen to be what we are, and we are a natural part of the diversity that our country is. Please dont blame the 'whites' or others. It embarasses me.

  • Gay for Money?
    I know. There is a cousin of mine who, knowing that I am gay, pesters me for contacts to go out on 'kyeyo'. At least that is what I think he intimates, that I must have plenty of contacts. No, I dont. No,  I am not gay because I was bought.
    Being gay in Uganda is very, very tough. This blog barely explains many stresses... I would not be gay in Uganda for any much amount of money. Yes, like all good Ugandans, I would pretend to be gay so that I get some free money, but, believe me, there is nothing like that. My life is not worth the billions that Bill Gates or Elton John has. And, it is my life, my livelihood, my very existence that is constantly on line as I live in Uganda. No amount of money can buy that. No amount of money can soothe my fear that I will be arrested and start fighting my way through Uganda's corrupt courts. That is a daily fact of life. If the Bahati Bill passes, I am going to be in more fear of life imprisonment and death. Anytime, any day. That is a fact. Would I be gay for that? I tell you, not in my country, Uganda.

  • My being gay is not 'infectious'. It is not an infection that I will pass on by touching you.
    I am very serious. Reading this article, I had that feeling. That where I to get in touch with this Honourable MP, she would fear that I would infect her.

  • We dont recruit.
    So help me gods, we dont. Oh, I have slept with women. That didnt make me straight. And, I confess that I have made passes at straight men. As circumspectly as I could.
    This fear, that we kuchus are going to recruit children is ridiculous. It is so ridiculous that I routinely brush it off. But, most Ugandans believe it like gospel truth. Yes, I know, when Ssempa, Nsaba-Buturo and other anti-gay warriors say it as a fact, many people believe it. But, it is just a big, large, lie. Not a white one. It hurts us a lot. That is one of the reasons fellow Ugandans want the Bahati bill to pass, to make sure that I as a homosexual are confined to prison or the grave.

  • We dont multipy.
    For a member of parliament, a leader of the people, elected (I hope) to say something this ridiculous, I find it unconfortable. And very embarassing.
    I know, Nsaba-Buturo has also said it a number of times. That where will Uganda go when all Ugandans are homosexuals.
    That is like saying that, because Sweden allows gay marriages, all Swedes are gay. Are all Americans gay? Or Europeans? Or other peoples?
    We gay people are a minority. We will never 'take over' Uganda, or the world. We will always remain a minority. We have no 'homosexual agenda' to take over the world. I appeal to you as fellow Ugandans, please dont feel this visceral fear of us making the country gay. It is simply not possible. It is a fear which many people seem to have, that if we are not persecuted, if we are not jailed, if we are not condemned to death, then soon Uganda will all be gay. Even our more gay friendly neighbour to the East, Kenya is not gay!
I am trying to be as objective as possible. These lies should be called out.

I have an ulteriour motive of course. I want to live in peace in my country Uganda. But, I am also Ugandan enough to be deeply embarassed by this kind of blatant lie. Bite me, I am Ugandan!


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