Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why do I fight?

The question continues to haunt my thoughts.

Yesterday, seated on our verandah, came a child, a girl, about ten or so. She was well dressed. Knelt, greeted me, and told me she was hungry. Been sent to school for some function or other. Didnt have food for the day. Wanted some.

There is so much need all around me. I am a privileged person. I have internet. I have a job. I have an income. I have..., so many things which the rest of my people do not have. I am even sure that I will get a meal today. Reasonably sure.

So, why do I fight the wars about my sexuality? No worthier causes? [Well, my life might depend on it, life and liberty. But, I am a chameleone. I do not have to fight. I can blend in and hide for life. Yes. I can.]

And, this fight is a bitter one. So many chances of failure, of not getting through. The rewards? Uh, they can be bitter like lemons. Offered asylum to get out of the country? Or some regard by fellow kuchus? Or, the monies that many believe are my motivation?

Its complicated. Like the Facebook relationship status.

Why I fight, why I do whatever I do. It is complicated. Cant even begin to explain it to myself.

But, some news out of Africa. Maybe these things do offer a clue to the why of my 'fight'

The other day was World AIDS Day. And, the Independent ran this article. The bigotry that keeps Aids alive
Experts have long stated that HIV epidemics cannot be successfully quelled unless the underlying spread of HIV by male-to-male sex is addressed. Yet, across the globe, socially accepted homophobia and violence against sexual minorities have created barriers to HIV-prevention efforts in this population.
It is a horrific fact. Ssempa in Uganda... the statement of his that they cannot allow us HIV prevention programs. Us, as in gay Ugandans... that statement still reverberates in my mind. And, that of the Director General of Uganda's AIDS commission that gay men were one of the drivers of the epidemic, but the national program simply wouldnt target them.

That, that hatred is a fuel for me. You can hate me all you want. But, I will simply not lie down and die because you hate me. No way.

And, you did hear of The Prime Minister of Kenya' s statement? Yes, he is being asked to retract it. Kenya, our neighbour to the east, is amazing in some ways. Not least because Gay Kenyans do have a voice. We don't have that in Uganda. To continue with an extract from the Independent-
Raila Odinga, the Prime Minister of Kenya. On Sunday at a rally in his constituency, he said: "Homosexuals should be arrested and taken to the relevant authorities." What is happening in such situations, explains Dr Carr, is that people are "regarded as disposable, less than human".
They are "left with no protection under the law and no means of seeking redress for the wrongs done to them", he said.
Disposable. Less than human. Yes, in the eyes of Giles Muhame. Pastor Ssempa. Minister Buturo. Pastor Male, MP Bahati, that is what I am as a gay Ugandan. Disposable. Less than human. Hang Them!

When the anti-Homosexuality bill was introduced in parliament at the end of last year, I was pretty sure that it was a preparation for elections in Uganda. Yes, we are in the midst of politicking. Elections in February 2011. And, it is very cheap politics to rally the masses to persecute a minority. And one that cannot fight back.

Happened in Uganda.

Violence against homosexual men in Senegal has escalated in the past two years and may continue to rise before a presidential election in 2012, according to advocacy group Human Rights Watch.
Incidents of mob beatings, arbitrary arrests, police brutality and public discrimination and lynching were reported to the New York-based group and published in a report today released in the Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
The West African nation is one of 38 African countries that criminalizes homosexuality, and has become one of Africa’s most “abusive” enforcers of such laws, said Boris Dittrich, Human Rights Watch’s acting director for its lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights program.
“When elections are coming up and politicians are under scrutiny, all of a sudden there is more focus on homosexuality, because that’s a very easy target,” Dittrich said in a phone interview from New York.
Bigots and spreaders of hate are a reality in my world. And, I have no compunction exposing them. I have no compunction when I see them reaping what they sow. They spread misery with their words. They reap less than that.

Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa has learnt to keep his mouth shut. Because garbage spews from it. Hate and garbage. In Uganda, it is thought to be honey... by many. But, to his supporters outside the country, he is an embarrassment. And, pressure is being applied to bless him with these things.

He resigned from the 'Board of Reference' of Oral Roberts University. Good riddance....! I have no doubt that he was forced out. And, I am ruthless enough to be happy at his pain. [I am no Christian. I will not turn the other cheek. No thanks.]

Why do I fight?

I try to answer that question. I have failed to do so to my heart's content. What I do know is that I am still fighting. Bloody, stupid, unchosen war.

But, will I accept to be less than human? That seems to be the only alternative!

Have a great day.



Anonymous said...

Very interesting point : homophobia is politicking. Africa was not homophobic so I always wondered what happened. Of course, there are all the Americans evangelists. I also thought that in Africa as sexuality is really a private matter (we do not talk openly about it), people had a problem with a group being identified by its sexuality. The word in Woloff to say homosexual is a very neutral one it can litteraly translated by "boy-girl".

spiralx said...

To be fair, Raile O-DING!-bat did say he had been misquoted, and offered an alternative statement - something about gay sex being illegal, so the police should arrest perps, but that he fully understood gay rights.

One wonders why he said ANYthing in the first place. Better to keep your mouth shut, and have people think you're a fool, than open it and prove it beyond doubt...

Thierno said...

I am literally shaken by this post, so simple and so true. The need for persecution (gays and witches) is the authentic symptom of a malaise in a society of transition.... It is a daily unchosen battle, for me too. You must keep up what you're doing, cos Africa desperately needs you,bro!

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