Just been at my favourite bar on Sunday.
A good time there. Kind of fevers up near midnight, and continues late into the night. There were over 40 kuchus there, having fun. Really having fun. I mean, for those of us in the know, it was quite easy to id those who are gay, and we were having fun. Seeing new people, connecting, laughing, talking, meeting each other. Its a fun time. Of course this is a bar in Uganda, in Kampala. So, we see each other, and know one another, and there are lots of others who are quite oblivious of the fact that there are many of us gays there.
I did have fun. So did my partner, though a tendency to jealousy kind of spoiled some of that...
But I did have fun.
And, i wondered out aloud how come we were all so oblivious of the threat of the bill, the law that will soon be enacted.
Fact is, this is life in Uganda. We have fun when we can. We forget the things which can be clouds over the moment, and have fun as and when we can. Often, the money is the problem. And, the chance to have fun may be a bigger problem. A place of safety, where we kuchus can interact with a degree of safety and anonymity, that is so chronic a problem that we need not mention it.
So, when in our parliament, our MPs have tabeled a bill that would effectively witch-hunt us and kill us off, by judicial, legal murder, or imprison us for life, more than forty kuchus met on Sunday night in a bar and danced the night away.
Are we oblivious?
No. We are not. Quite a few people are concerned. As I am. And my lover.
On Saturday, the Rt Hon. Bahati, the one who presented the Anti-Homosexual bill was on KFM. He was embarrassed by the fact that there are some inhuman punishments that he is advocating for those of us who are gay. And his defence was inane. The law is necessary. To make sure that the govt has its say in this 'moral' issue.
I talked to one guy in the bar. He is quite learned, but not into activism as I have to confess I am. I told him that I couldnt believe that kuchus were out in force, when a law that would specifically designed to eliminate them from the country was being debated.
We are all human beings. Us kuchus.
I mean, we are Ugandan enough not to mind the various laws and regulation that our rubber stamp parliament enacts now and then. They are mainly redundant. They are made and remade, and are just stupid. They remain on the books. With nothing done about them. I mean, despite the fact that being caught in the act at the moment can result in 14 years to life imprisonment at the moment, we are still out there having fun.
So, this seniour kuchu asks me, am I seriously worried about the new anti-homosexual bill?
I could understand his lack of concern. But, I could also not hold it to good logic.
Granted that the law will be impossible to enforce. I mean, I will continue having the great forbidden sex with my lover, and it will be hard to convict me as a 'serial offender' who deserves the mandated death penalty. At least that is what I believe.
But, I do mind.
I do mind when my country is debating whether or not to put me to death because I am what I am. I do mind because I do not see myself as depending on any of my country mates. I do mind to have to beg my life of others who are as human as I am, just because they are straight and I am gay.
No. I will not be naive. The bill, and the law does concern me.
It will not be time to mind when I fall foul of the law, when I am accused, or my lover is accused, and I have to bribe the police, or something like that. Imagine having to be in prison for a year before I qualify for bail. Because I will have been accused of capital punishment. And, a year in jail is the mandatory time before I can qualify for bail.
I do mind. And I mind now.
So, we are having fun. But it is a house of cards. It can fall in a moment, and of course, at the most incovenient of gusts of luck.
So, what do we do? We continue to live. We have fun when we can. And, at the same time, we cannot forget to look over our shoulders. Because we must.
Yes, I do mind.