Sunday, December 27, 2009

Forced Conversion Therapy

Just been reading an email from a friend who was in a discussion about me and my blog.

Apparently, I gug cannot be a Ugandan. Because I am gay.

Preposterous. Some believe that I am getting billions to be gay. Others believe I cannot be Ugandan, because I am gay. Some accuse me of 'recruiting' their children to the gay way. Others say my blog is based on my 'feelings'. Somehow, they seek to deny me, what I am. Because what I am is very unconfortable for them.

So, they have written a bill to put me in prison for life, or kill me. And, when the world protests, they, as good religious people label the world 'promoters of homosexuality'. All the religious leaders from accross the world who have protested in my name have been labeled homosexuals, or homosexual promoters. There is no stopping the juggernaut of the Ugandan fight against homosexuality.

There is a shift. They, the good, nationalist, upright and moral Ugandans believe that it is not okay to kill me now. As Minister Buturo puts it 'Killing them may not be helpful'
Now, I am hearing voices raised for 'reparative' therapy.
They no longer believe it is okay to deal with the homosexual Ugandan by killing him off. That would be too much. And, it would make them less loving and Christian, they reason. So, they will opt for life imprisonment. And counselling. Indeed, 'killing them may not be helpful.'

It sounds like a big bad dream. A nightmare from which I will wake, some day.

But, will I?

These people are really determined. They dont know much about me. They shun any information about me. They deny what I am, and say they will kill me. All in the name of God.
They, they, they.... They are my countrymates. And, the threat is to me, and my lover. Because we are what we are. Gay, and Ugandan. Diluting their moral purity.

They have not actually consulted medical science about their 'healing therapy'. But, they speak with the supreme confidence of ignorance. Anyone who dares to correct their misconceptions, even with solid science is a liar, and a pro-homosexual sympathiser. There is no middle ground. Either for or against. No middle ground.

What to do in the face of such hate and bile?

It is depressing. Very depressing.

Telling my story helps. It draws out of me the bitterness. It makes me see hope, try to arrange my thoughts, try to make sense of the gay panic that has gripped Uganda. It is a collective hysteria. I cannot be right, because I am wrong. The humor of the moment, the zest, the challenge to fight for my life becomes wearing. Because it is my people that I am fighting. I can be ruthless, but how far do I take the ruthlessness? They are still my people, even when they want me to die because they dont understand me.

They fear and abhor me, because they dont understand me. I am right in the middle of them, and they deny me to my face. They .....

A friend suggested that we should all declare ourselves ex-gay, once the law is passed. I refused. Unequivocally. I have denied who I am before. I am not going to do that again.

Forced conversion therapy.

We become ex-gay, when the bill becomes law. Because we cannot be gay, and Ugandan. Or, they will decide that we have to get mandantory counselling, once we they catch us. Of course, that may be in prison....

Why do Ugandans hate what I am so much?

One of my brothers, he invited family to his home to celebrate Christmas. He didnt invite me. My partner and I went to see my mom and she asked whether we would be at the family gathering. I was with my lover. Oh, mom definately knows about us. Nine years now, remember?

Anyway, mom asks whether we would be at my brother's.

Pregnant silence. I try to say, diplomatically, that we had other plans.

My lover is more forthright. He butts in, forcefully. We didnt know about it. We were not invited.

Mum looks down. Lover looks me in the eye... he knows I dont usually want to stir up that particular stew. And, it is my brother that we are talking about. I shrug.

Maybe, maybe I do have brothers who would report me to the police because they know I am homosexual. Maybe. Like MP Bahati who would arrest his own brother and report him?
Dont think so. As I said, the bond of brother to brother is strong. But it was tough to know that I was to be shunned because I am gay. Me and my partner are, hey!

Enough ruminations about my woes.

Seems the clouds and rain over the last two-three days are kind of lifting. Afternoon is cool, restive, gentle breezes dancing in the trees. Was reading some poetry on the roadside, listening to birds sing, and feeling the sun on my skin.
This little country, this little piece of the world is really beautiful. Truly beautiful.

Fact is, it is us humans who murk up the ruthless beauty of earth.

Have a very lovely day. Hope you are enjoying the Christmas holidays.



spiralx said...

If it is forced, it runs into the same problem with the Constitution and general human rights that the current proposed Bill does.

It;s good that the debate is there, though. For as you say, gug, people are incredibly ignorant of this, so they need to kick it around a bit, find out what's what.

The US religious right are trying to lead the way here again, of course. (Whites rule, OK? ). Joseph Nicolosi is probably the author of note here.

For a more balanced scientific approach from the American Psychological Association:

Emma Jo said...

When nothing is stable in everyday life, then people attack "threats" thats easiest to do something about. Like when it was a FACT that the earth was flat and everyone who opposed that were sentenced to death because it scared people that it was round! THEY could fall off it! so of course it was flat...

I think this is the same as homophobia. If you say there is another way of living and loving, naturally people are going to question themselves and doing so is scary, THEY could be homosexual so of course this idea of living is "wrong"...

I disagree. I think all love is good love. It sure is better than hate and we don't seem to have a problem with hate, just look around you, everyone hates.
Keep telling your story, some day (as you said) this will hopefully be a story to tell to people who will look at the storyteller and shake their heads like we do at the story of a flat earth!

Anonymous said...

Citizens of Earth all over the globe are praying for gay Ugandans. We are picketing our governments and demanding they speak out against this. We are demanding action. We are not giving up.

Your voice is not silent. WE HEAR YOU. We are praying for peace for you and that the heterosexuals who CREATED all of the gay citizens of Uganda will wake up and see that this is the work of Satan, the devil, and NOT the work of the God that Ugandans say that they love and worship so completely.

All of the citizens of Uganda have been lied to. Evil men from the United States, false prophets who present themselves as Christians, but are in fact the exact OPPOSITE simply chose your land to spread their hate, because they knew they could exploit you due to your economic situation. These men from the United States knew the effect their wrongful teachings about Christ would have. And they are hoping that this barbaric treatment of human beings will spread to other parts of Africa and indeed, the world. THEY are the true enemy. Ugandans would serve themselves well to wake up and open their eyes to the fact that YOU HAVE BEEN USED AS PAWNS. In an evil game resulting in crimes against humanity. That is not now and will never be the message of Jesus Christ. HIS message is the OPPOSITE.

May God be with you, gay Ugandans. THE WORLD IS WITH YOU!!!!

Erik said...

Coretta Scott King: Racism and Homophobia are the same thing:

"Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood," King stated. "This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group."

Erik said...

Bravo Chris Opoka for your courage to speak up:

(via The Boxt Turtle Bulletin)

"In an announcement carried by Uganda’s independent Record TV, Secretary General Chris Opoka of the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) denounced the bill as discriminatory, saying 'the state has no business with what people do in their bedrooms.':

What two consenting adults do, the state has no business… absolutely! It is discriminatory. Me, I don’t understand this idea of “African values.” Was Muwanga not a homosexual, the Kabaka 1? Eh? Was he not a homosexual? No! Let’s stop this nonsense! It is natural! Many children, many young boys in school, as they are growing to adults, have this tendency of attraction."

Anonymous said...

Where I live there are all forms of ´isms¨...the Indigenous people are on the lowest end of whatever the social measuring stick is (except for a very small percentage of Blacks who live in isolated small communities on the Caribbean coastline).

Even the Indigenous groups discriminate against one another and speak various languages and the variations of those native languages and outwardly dislike one another (for some very ancient resentments)...there are, naturally (and I mean Naturally) Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual (lots of them) and Transgender people who are almost invisible here (except when the Transgendered are raped and murdered in the Capitol City...never an arrest to be made).

Often LGBT people are not quite invisible but very close to and/or absorbed into families and protected, permitted or ignored (powerful families with lots of money don´t have ANY human sexuality variations that anyone might outwardly see...or comment on!).

I see it all the time, I know the ¨amnesia¨ from decades long experience of knowing that a very heavily populated parallel ¨life¨ exists bigtime in Latin America and to the point of DOUBLE STANDARDS that seem REAL and BELIEVEABLE (I´ve participated in it...ssshh, nobody rocks the boat because people ¨disappear¨ around want Christian Hipocrites? You want PRIDE? You want revenge? You want ¨honor killing¨? You want plain assassinations? Come here!

BUT, I´ll have to hand it to the Latin Americano ¨population¨...most are deep down very ¨human¨ very ¨aware¨ very ¨loving¨ very ¨warm¨ and even have generocity of spirit on sexual issues (although mostly silent) other words the clammouring puritans don´t have much of a REAL audience here...Latin Americanos are a very forgiving lot (as long as nobody knows, for certain, what´s going on or what DID go on! It´s called saving ¨face¨).

We do PRETEND very well in The New World...we´re experts and PRETEND wasn´t necessarily ¨imported¨ either.

I agree with the above comments on the frantic Christianos of Uganda...I think they need some basic honesty=reality preached instead of the everyday HATE against LGBT that has been nurtured in their heads...they aren´t ignorant, they are smart but the poisoness culprets have ramrodded fear/hatered into their heads (makes one wonder just how sexual everyone would like to be if they are screaming so LOUDLY against GAYS).

There are LGBT people at ALL levels of Society and ALL walks of life from the fishermen to the Congressmen with many multi-millionares inbetween from fine old Europeon families and even rich ¨quick buck¨ conning artistos...I would say that in some of the ¨warmer/humid¨ parts of Latin America, say Puerto Rico and Cuba there is almost a accross the board, yet still mostly hidden, LGBT sexual freedom that is amusing, and stimulating to most people (the sly smile)...when the Salsa/Any music starts playing you can be certain passion fills the air.

Only bigots in Jamaica seem to be excessively demented/homophobic and are the leaders in gross hate crimes against LGBT people (I think the Anglican Church ought take another deep bow for their not-so-holy ¨colonial¨ missionary past that lives on in the flowing blood of innocents (wherever there was The British Empire in The West Indies there still survives injustice and fear/hate directed toward LGBT citizens...check it out, it´s deadly and true and Uganda is a fine example too besides many of the Islands of the British West Indies).

What were faced with isn´t so much about relgious ¨yammerings¨ and selective Scriptural ¨passages¨ (that on other subjects are ignored completely) but FEAR of SEX! Not fear of reproduction as Minister Buturo yaks about but FEAR OF SEX! FEAR OF seeing that LGBT people are NOT the DEVILS that we have been made out to be! YIKES! TRUTH on the RUN!

Queer Youth Africa said...

Most anti-LGBT parts of the world also view homosexuality as a western phenomenon. Some even tolerate it as long as you're an outsider. Jamaica and Kenya are typical examples of this way of thinking.

History is certainly repeating itself in Africa

I fear any-time now Uganda will begin to employ archaic therapy techniques reminiscent of the UK in the 1960's or the present ex-gay movement in the United States.

However if genuine counsellors could be "sent" out there (not religious clerics in new clothes) then perhaps genuine counselling could be secretly subverted to ease the pain and strife of actually being an LGBT person in Uganda and bring people together to build a resistance movement. Something similar happened with dissident slaves in the 1800's which aided the advancement of the emancipation movement.

We all know you can't "treat" sexuality of any kind, but you can certainly train people to control their behaviour but the techniques are harsh and inhumane.

Eric said...

We are with you Gay Ugandans! You are beautiful people!

gayuganda said...

Thanks, friends. Thank you


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