Depends on what the charge will be. I have no doubt that Buturo will make sure that, such as me are charged with the most severe of crimes. So, the charge of ‘promoting’ homosexuality may be an initial holding charge, before others that may land me for life imprisonment or the death penalty are instituted.
Am I willing to stay in the country with that threat?
What will happen if I am arrested?
I will go for broke, if that happens. I will out myself. Prominently. And, I will ask for help. I will go down as a martyr, then, but, I will make sure that I take my pound of flesh from those who persecute me. And, I will give them the promise of a Ugandan. If I ever get out of prison, all bets are off. Jungle law prevails. Guess who will be the prey...
My lover? I think he knows that that would be the best option. Going for broke. Going out blazing.
My family, parents? Maybe it is that embarrassment that made Daddy tell me to think of getting out of the country! Oh well, a nagging thought. But, it is something that I have to think about. But, I still believe that, to Dad, blood is thicker than water. After all, he did come to tip me off when the govt was making noises about arresting us.
What if I am arrested?
The nightmare of Uganda’s court system, and prisons.
Almost as soon as I am arrested, it will mean jail. Bail is mandatory, according to the crime. But, for certain offences, including those for which one gets the death penalty or life imprisonment, then you can be on ‘remand’ in prison for a year without getting bail.
That law may be the worst. Because, for any kuchu that inadvertently find themselves in prison, and charged, at least a year in prison might happen. Even before conviction.
Uganda’s courts are corrupt. Very corrupt.
I have personally managed to stay free, because of that fact, despite the fact that my having sex is a crime. Who accuses me has to have the burden of proof.
But, when a Minister is behind the accusation? When the pressure is from ‘above’? The corruption will be used against me. To make sure that I stay in prison, serve at least a year mandatory remand time. And, of course, I suffer the heaviest punishment. Death, life imprisonment.
So, am I willing to risk the death penalty or life in prison just for my love of staying in the country?
Maybe I am being stupid myself. I mean, no refugee wants to be a refugee. No one wants to leave home. Will I risk all that, for the chance of being home?
No. It is not pride. It is not bravery.
It is just simple despair. What do I do? What do I do when this law is passed?
“‘At what cost though?’
From all the words
in my world of them
I could muster none,
my mind reeling
at such savage progress.”
That is the burden of intelligence. This thing is going to come over me, when my eyes are wide open. I will know what is happening, when it is happening.
Which reminds me of a boast of mine. I have never, ever been really afraid of death. The reality of death I cannot ignore. So, why be afraid of it? Death is like a shadow, an old friend that is constantly looking over my shoulder. For the chance to take hold of my hand. Why hide that fact from myself?
It is something that will be, whether I like or not. Illogical to be afraid of it.
Hey friend. Did I tell you why I started this blog? It was because of me. I wanted a place to air what I am, with the impunity of washing my laundry in the air, hanging it out, and daring anyone to come and do something.
I don’t write the blog for anyone. I do it for myself.
And, I have written these posts for a simple reason. I needed to think this thing through. No, I have not yet come to a conclusion. But, I am still thinking about it.
What will happen to others? Other people, other kuchus in the country?
As my lover irritably says, I have the annoying habit of thinking about how something will affect others that I know nothing about. Well, many are my friends, and, they are people that I have known together in activism, in being gay and living in Uganda.
And, matter of fact, I have usually managed to hide from my lover what is worrying me when something is really worrying me. A survival technique… for our relationship.
So, I have thought, for a long time, and put the words on the sheet. What is the conclusion?
The bill is not yet law. I will not make a decision now. I will not be stampeded into one. I still love my country. There is still a slight chance the bill will not become law. (Of course, there is a chance that if I jump off the minaret of the Gaddafi Mosque, that I will grow wings and fly, before I reach the ground.)
What will happen when the bill becomes law?
Well, I don’t actually know.
And, as to what I am thinking of doing, thanks friend. I am still thinking about it.
Hi, I just found your blog. I don't even know what to say cause what's happening in your country is simply awful. So I guess all I can do is to wish you the best and hope you and your lover can stay safe, whether you decide to stay or leave.
Just came across this blog from Rod 2.0. I'm from the U.S. and am deeply ashamed at the actions of some crazy and truly awful people in my country, that helped this legislation in Uganda come to pass.
It is of course your decision, but my opinion is that you will be able to accomplish more if you are alive, vs. being dead. Hope you and your lover are safe and well, whatever you do end up deciding.
A friend posted a link to your blog on Facebook which is how I have come upon it. Speaking from Canada, a country that finally legalized same-sex marriage six years ago, I can assure you that over time, through struggle and strife, change does happen. I encourage you to be strong, but to also be safe. I am thinking of you and your lover at this time and I wish you both, and your gay brothers and sisters, the best of luck.
I cant remember just how we came upon your blog but I'm glad that I did. We are doing our level best to make more people aware of what is going on in Uganda and to bring to light those who have a hand in these actions.
I can't say that I would feel any differently than you about my country and the heart wrenching decision of whether or not to leave it. But please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers...you are not alone..the world is watching.
I say continue to love your country, but do it from afar. You may learn to love another country just as much or more. Give yourself hope and the possibilties of a future for you and your lover. There is no need to sacrifice your love for each other simply because your country is too corrupt to keep you safe.
Get out of Uganda.
I have been there. It is a beautiful place, but get out. Dying is a waste of time, and people who are foolish enough to write legislation like this are not going to pay attention to martyrs or feel guilt. They do not think like you, so don't expect them to start now.
This sort of thing has happened before....Nazis, etc.
Get out, because this is just the beginning of the problem.....if your government will willingly imprison or kill homosexuals....and imprison their family and friends....they will begin to attack other minorities and people too....it will get worse.
Also, if Uganda thinks it is going to keep receiving outside funding and help from humanitarian charities.....I highly doubt it.
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