Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How do I title this?

Last evening....
Led an emotional remembrance for David Kato.

Fact is, have not yet gotten over it. One thing to know that I can, and how I can do it, but another thing to actually go through the steps, without the help my pride will not allow me to get....!
Ok, I know, I am sure, time will do the healing. But, it still hurts, a raw wound. It is less than a month since he died. So, maybe I should forgive myself for feeling all teary? And, yes, I should not be ashamed that people did see me at that moment of weakness.

But, some light things.....

DJ Miles of the BBC. Have you watched the ''Worst place to be gay?'?

If you havent, do...!

I live in this place of course. But, to hear of another's reactions to living in Uganda is interesting, to say the least. Some of these things I take for granted. For example, Exorcisms?

We gay people in Uganda have no relief from that. The gay 'spirit', the church, and the witchdoctors seek to throw them out of us. And, the churches also seek to throw them out of us. I know Victor Mukasa tells a story of his exorcism.....

Sigh, our search for spirituality as gay leads to lots of interesting things. Here is DJ Mills account.
DJ Scott Mills told last night how he was battered with CHICKENS by an African witch doctor trying to "cure" him of being gay.
The Radio 1 star, 36, endured the demeaning "treatment" for a film about Uganda's appalling attitude to homosexuals.
Stripped to the waist, Scott also suffered the humiliation of the witch doctor spitting on him.
And the ritual ended with water being poured over a flaming torch and on to his head.
It was just part of a catalogue of dicey situations the openly-gay DJ found himself in for tonight's BBC3 film, The World's Worst Place To Be Gay?
Victor says his exorcism included sex. Sex with the wrong gender person. To make sure that the spirits would not return, of course. Though, there was a twist. It was actually done in church, by church people. Sigh...... there is liberalism in some conservative places.

And, the spitting? LOL! Does Pastor Dr Martin 'eat da poo poo' Ssempa still spit when he talks of homosexuals? It is a supreme act of contempt, of rejection. He used to do it regularly, expressing his derision of us. He even did it on tv a few times.... LOL, Martin, if you want, I bet we can get some of those clips. The spitting.

Here is DJ Miles again.
"They have these witch doctors who claim they can cure people. I went to see one and I knew they were just fleecing people for money.
"He'd say weird things like, 'You're very sick, so you need to go and buy a cow then we'll transport your spirit into the cow'.
"But I said, 'You'll end up with a gay cow'."
It was then that the witch doctor performed the chicken ritual to "cure" Scott.

See? This sceptic concludes, faith people are too tough to trust. Whether they are in the churches, or the traditional doctors shrine. They all want to sell you something. A belief which will not square with your experience of yourself.

Scott also visited an underground nightclub where he mixed with gay people - who could at any time be rounded up and beaten or even killed by anti-gay cops.
He said: "The owners turned a blind eye to gay people coming in on a Sunday as otherwise they would be empty - as all the straight people are at church.
"But I didn't feel comfortable in the club. There was a strange air of tension in there.
"They're taking their safety into their own hands. I didn't like it at all."

I kind of understand Miles. He was coming from a place where it is free to get into a club where all know it is gay. Well, this was Uganda. We have grown up in the tension. It is part of the place, so, if you experience it, you will find us kind of bewildered..... We don't notice it.... not any longer. Of course, we are aware that we have to 'tone' down a bit. And, did you notice that.... oh, cant spill some secrets, can I?

But, maybe it is the hate which he sees, which is so prevalent....

I saw a clip where Miles stops a girl on the streets of Kampala and asks what the government should do with homosexuals. Hang them, of course.... Now, to a person who is gay and is forced to confront this kind of blind hate for the first time, that must have been a shock.
Demos where children are taught to hate us? That is normal Ugandan experience. Ok, kuchu experience. Think of a child who grows up in that environment and finds themselves kuchu?... That is something. We have done, and, we have the scars to show of it. See?

The hate speech in churches. For some reason, it is concerning me more and more. Because I have gotten through it, I feel I am ok. But, most of my friends are not. They are dogged by their spirituality. And, much like me, we will not express that need very coherently. I think I have something to do about it. Maybe meet Reverand Jide Macaulay of Nigeria? God's Holy Homosexual.

Well, it must have been an interesting documentary. I have not seen it. But, I do relate.

I have to be balanced? Yes, maybe. So, a harsher assesment of Miles documentary....

It was Valentine’s Day, so where else would young(ish), free and out-and-proud Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills be but Uganda?
The Uganda that’s in the grip of such ferocious homophobic fervour that gay rights activists are getting murdered and consensual gay sex is a criminal offence? Not what you’d call an ideal place for a hot date.
So what was he trying to prove? That Uganda really was The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay? (BBC3)?
No one was arguing too much with that question mark as Mills went vox popping in the streets of Kampala and encountered, to his obvious horror, the unanimous opinion that gays should be killed because, to quote one, ‘in Christ it’s not acceptable’.
What really shook Mills was the fact these were the words of Uganda’s youth, fed a diet of discrimination by evangelical pastors whose bigotry rested on the platform of religion.
To try to get to the crux of this, Mills sought out a selection of Bible-wielding hate-mongers but his encounters were lightweight and frustrating.
He shook his head in bewilderment at the words he was hearing, even admitting to being ‘charmed’ by those spouting them, when you wanted him to channel the anger he was clearly feeling and let rip. We needed a hard-nosed reporter but we got a fluffy prime time DJ.
LOL, I get your anger, but, I also am a Ugandan kuchu. That anger fuels us, and ultimately, we find that the fluffyiness works, because laughter relieves the tension of chronic anger.

Thanks Miles. You don't know it, but you have put words to somethings that I, having grown up here, and known what you see as my 'normal' life, I don't know how to put in words.

But, that will not stop me from seeking something that I know I deserve because I am human. A freedom, that belongs to me because I can give it to me.



Leonard said...

Dear Gug,

From my own experience when faced with the murder of a dear friend (to whom I had been devoted for 14 years), I suggest that maybe you´ll not recover from the pain and shock of losing David Kato very quickly--my life I don´t think will ever have a satisfactory ¨closure¨ when faced with the injustice of this kind of ultimate demeaning and crude violation against one of our own. But, I´ve found the forces of ignorance, both in and outside of religion, have to be confronted--they are spiritual ¨nobodies¨ no matter the number of mitres they´ve placed on their heads--many are puffed up despots, plain grandstanding hypocrites or need to be institutionalized because they are emotionally unstable or flat-out insane...healthy people, Christians and others, don´t take joy in tormenting innocents...and we are (mostly)...I find Archbishop Orombi particularly offensive as he ignores murder of a Anglican in Uganda and continues to pander to bigots and thieves in the West (all in the name of a God who is lusting for power/money and lacking in common sense).

Love to you and yours,

spiralx said...

Dissing your witch-doctor over sacred cows!

He was lucky he only got slapped around with a chicken...!

Anonymous said...

Just asking...was it ever concluded that David Kato's death was as a result of a hate crime?

As one who has worked in the media, radio and television more less. I am aware of how easy it is to skew a documentary to portray a certain sentiment. I get the sense that even though most Ugandans disapprove of being gay, wishing them harm is a whole different matter. I am all for any minority group living in a country without fear of persecution but I detest the tactic to illicit sympathy for the gay community in Uganda by insinuating that its the worst place to be. By what standards? have they taken a poll? Do they know what even goes on in the Arab countries. OMG!!

The DJ should have left it to a clearly unbiased individual with no personal stake in the matter. It would have lent that documentary more credence

P.S Someone juts posted the title of the documentary and most people seem to snicker not at the gay element but at the blatant attempt by some sections of the media to demonize. Is it a case of the end justifys the means... Lie about how bad it is so the gay community can be protected and finally accepted?!

Edwin Black said...

The BBC try their best...

Forget investigative journalism, let's just get some record-spinning lightweight (a gay bloke who happens to be working for BBC Radio 1) to visit Africa and privide a few amateurish soundbites for the average couch-potato viewer. I mean, who needs gravitas when you have DJs waxing lyrical about: oh my, this would never happen in England... (yawn).

Gosh, next the BBC will be getting a comedian (rather than a naturalist) to comment upon the extinction of the world's endangered animal spiecies (Oh dear, they already have - Stephen Fry, 'Last Chance to See'). Hmm, or maybe next the BBC might devote 12 hours of live coverage (paid for by the British taxpayer) to screen the visit of a Pope who's an ex-Nazi? Erm...ditto, paid for by us. Repulsive ecetera.

Perhaps the BBC could find a similarly lightweight presenter to comment upon the war in Afganistan - Bruce Forsythe maybe? 'Nice to see you, to see you nice. Oh, dear you'ver just had your legs blown off by an IED. Never mind, let's look at the scores on the doors my dear...'

Oh yes, the BBC... I'm glad they made this documentary and it's fairly/slightly infomative. Maybe it might attract attention. But I think that Lord Reith would be turning in his f*ckin' grave by now...

spiralx said...

Bitchy bitchy, sweeties. Engage brains, next time, before opening mouth.

Scott Mills is a popular BBC Radio-1 DJ - a radio station aimed at the teenage and twenty-something age group. BBC-3 the channel which aired his documentary, is aimed at the same age group.

So it makes sense to ask him to do it. If it introduces young people to the appalling homophobic Nazism of Africa, then it's done its job.

Anonymous said...

I cant get over the backward thinking, ill informed, lying pastors, having Gay people in any society, will NOT make mankind die out, Gay people do not recruit people to be gay! Being gay is NOT a lifestyle choice, if you are gay, that is because you were born that way, why oh why would anyone choose to be hounded out of house & home, be rejected by family risk violent attacks, where is the proven fact that life span o gay people is reduced by 24 years?? is this because evil animals under the guise of God, are commiting murder and outragious attacks on people, just because they are gay! I am a straight woman who was brought up by intelligent, open minded parents! I condem people who commit mortal sins
*You shall not kill/murder.
*You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Edwin Black said...

If 'fluffiness' raises awareness about the plight of Gay Ugandans then the BBC have achieved success (and also succeed in appeasing their 'twenty-something' focus group). But for those looking for something above the level of tabloid journalism then why not watch Channel 4's Dispatches - 'Africa's Last Taboo'...?

Bitchiness aside and brain engaged, I look forward to the BBC's fawning coverage of the next papal visit, further unpleasant commmemts about Mexicans and a hiked up licence fee to cover their unwieldy light entertainment budget.

Antony said...

The scary thing is that most of the people of the BBC TV show seemed nice, so their hate towards gay people is clearly fueled by fear, propaganda and out and out ignorance.

Gay people are born that way. It is not a choice.

Gay people are a minority, so there is no risk of the extinction of mankind.

Gay people are everywhere, but many are afraid, so they stay quiet.

"God created Adam and Eve", but he also created everyone else, and since when should one's religious interpretations determine the human rights of all mankind?

The BBC show enraged me, depressed me and inspired me. It is an inspiration to see the strength of the gay people in Uganda, amongst a sea of hate. I have faith that things can change.

Sil said...

Dear Gug, I just saw the documentary. I'm so moved by it and so so sorry for my brothers and sisters from Uganda. We are the same all around the world. The same faces, same voices, same look in our eyes. Brazil is also a homophobic country and we also have the problem of the holly hate sent to us by the americans evangelicals. But we have some civil organizations that fight against it so the cenary is not so sad. Wish I could do somethig to help you. I'm so sorry for you all, and for us all.
Lots of love and good luck

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