Issues Concerning Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual and other Sexual Minorities Africa We started off as GayUganda...., but time changes all....
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
I am getting real lazy at blogging. Nope, cannot even blame writer's cramp. Or bloggers virus, or whatever…. Just me, me, and moi. But, today was a good new day.
No. It was yesterday. For the first time, the govt of Uganda, through its official spokesperson, kind of kicked away the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Heard the news on evening tv yesterday. Took the morning to digest it
Fact is, the Executive thought it a bad idea. But, the President must have given his assent before MP Bahati, who is Treasurer to the Ruling party, came up with the bill. No way it was his bright brain child….. [snort]
So, the govt says, no. We don't want it.
But, is it just the govt doing this so that the blame can go to the Parliament? LOL. Stranger things happen in my beautiful country. So, will have to watch and wait and see. Will be glad when this parliament ends. Gosh, had never even thought of having to look forwards to such a point in time. Bahati… well, bad luck to him.
Got across this article, about the collateral damage to people who come into contact with confused us. Confused gay men, who might try to pray away being gay.
That is a tough time to us. But, what of to the women who may get married to us? Tough luck, all through. Nope. Would not want to visit this nightmare on anyone.
Here is an excerpt.
I found out my husband was attracted to other men during a two-hour nighttime road trip down a lonely stretch of HWY 30 between Abilene and Fort Worth, Texas. He came clean with me there in the car as he drove.
I remember drawing my knees up to my chest, fighting the urge to cry uncontrollably, while at the same time suppressing the constant gagging reflex to throw up. I can't remember a time when I more longed to be held and rocked by my Daddy than that moment. The pain was so overwhelming, so intense, that I felt dwarfed and small in the face of it.
Thinking back on it takes me to a place I do not like to be. A place from whence I've come that was dark and filled with despair.
For many months after the revelation, I was haunted by the fact that he had been forced to tell me. It was not something he had shared willingly. While he wasn't currently "acting out" or cheating on me at the time of the reveal, my emotional health had disintegrated to the point of near suicide from difficulties in our still new marriage.
It was his former best friend, and best man at our wedding, who forced the issue of his "coming out" to me. This married friend had been in a three-year love affair with my husband prior to our getting married. My husband married me believing he could once and for all overcome his then unwanted attractions and have a successful marriage with me. In his estimation, I was the perfect woman for him. He was probably right about that. However, he was wrong about pretty much every other assumption he had made about marrying me.
What my husband hadn't counted on was the fact that his same-sex attraction issues belonged entirely to him. I had nothing to do with them and certainly could not do ONE THING to help in his battle to overcome them.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Torture, Beatings, Confessions, Courtesy of Uganda Police....
The report, by Human Rights Watch, focuses on the activities of an agency known as the Rapid Response Unit, a branch of the Uganda police service created to tackle violent crime. The unit has also become an ally of the United States in combating terrorism. Most recently, it helped investigate the terrorist attacks in Uganda's capital, Kampala, during the World Cup last year, in which more than 70 people died.Well, that is my country. The problem is, the government has grown so media controlling that, they know how to control almost all news from the country. But, what HRW reports is also part of the fodder of the Uganda Human Rights Commission reports.
The report says that members of the unit, called the R.R.U., have repeatedly broken the law. "Since the unit was established, R.R.U. officers and affiliated personnel have carried out arrests for a wide range of crimes, from petty theft to terrorism," it said.
The Ugandan government declined to comment on the report.
Of 77 people interviewed, Human Rights Watch said, 60 said they had been tortured by members of the unit. Common abuses included beatings on wrists, ankles, knees and elbows while suspects were handcuffed in stress positions.
"R.R.U. personnel beat detainees with batons, sticks, bats, metal pipes, padlocks, table legs and other objects," the report said. "Suspects often said they were forced to sign confessions under duress following torture."
According to the report, members of the response unit committed six extrajudicial killings in 2010; some people were beaten to death, and some were shot, including one person who was handcuffed when he was shot.
Others were imprisoned without being charged, the group said. Some suspects were transported in the trunks of unmarked cars, or severely beaten, the report said.
Mustafa Ssendege, 35, a former security guard, was detained with two others by three officers from the unit after a robbery at a house he was guarding.
After two nights in a police station, the three men were taken back to the house, where they were tied up and beaten repeatedly with metal pipes while the officers told them to confess. One man, Frank Ssekanjako, finally collapsed.
"He said, 'Instead of beating me, why don't you just shoot me to die,' " Mr. Ssendege recalled. "And the officer said, 'No, you will die from the beatings.' "
Human Rights Watch described the response unit as the "preferred unit" for those seeking arrests or confessions "by any means."
"In cases we looked at by R.R.U., suspects were beaten until they confessed, paraded before journalists and dubbed hard-core criminals and then put on trial before military officers," said Maria Burnett, a researcher for the group in Uganda.
The people who do these things, the numerous security agencies that do these, are effectively immune.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
The world around me.
Yes it is. Spent a restless night. Sleep was elusive. So it was for my partner too.
Came the dawn and the alarm, and I figured making sure I was rested was not a bad thing to do. Got out of bed to the singing of birds, a day bright with beautiful, clear sunlight hot. Now, the day promises to be beautiful, hot, with breezes all day long. The tree shades round the house are a blessing I cannot help enjoying.
Uganda, the country is one of those naturally beautiful places. I do see the scars of our occupation. Us humans. We have not really learnt to protect this natural, exhuberant beauty. Not now. We do not appreciate it enough, because the needs and demands of out stomachs, and day to day life are so overwhelming. Hopefully, we shall learn to appreciate it.
But, at least, I feel, I appreciate the little that I see. High blue skies. Hot, golden sunlight. The green of trees and grass all around. Branches bowing to gentle breezes.
Yes. Life, when we pause to look at it, life is good.
What has been happening in my world?
I confess to not knowing at this particular moment. When I am working, I want the tv and radio off, and the distraction of internet access controlled. Just want the cool breezes playing on my skin, the gentle sussuration of tree leaves, and the quiet of a natural peace and calm. But, yes, after some time, I feel the need to dive into cyber, cruise the waves, surf, and check out all the happenings of a busy world, which never slept while I did, or when I was concentrating on something else.
Got to read this article. On some of the benefits of being gay in the corporate world.
I am a Ugandan kuchu, so, my take on it is as personal and unique... as for other kuchus. But, I appreciate the lessons that a broad view of the world gives me. Yes, the article is old. But, who ever cast that blame on knowledge? That person would have a problem. A real problem.
Anyway, being gay, at least in the west, gives some valuable experiential lessons that may make for advantages in the world of work.
Gay managers in some of the world's largest companies - including Barclays, Disney, Deloitte Consulting LLP, PepsiCo and Morgan Stanley - are changing the face of the modern workplace. In workplaces under the direct leadership of non-closeted gay managers, I found environments where employees care about their work, are deeply committed to professional excellence and feel individually connected to advancing the success of the organisation itself. Rooted in a unique worldview that develops through their life experience as outsiders, gay managers approach their leadership role by placing primary value on the individual. Within these workplaces, each employee has the right to a place of foremost importance in the organisation.
Wow. But, there are caveats. These are out gay people. Not those who are bitter and closeted, hiding their sexuality behind various forms, fighting one another.
I know. I am a Ugandan. Kuchus, we kuchus are a very frightening people in a way. Especially the activists. They have passed through the fire, and, the very fire seems to cruelly make us people with characteristics that are not admirable.
Individualisic, competitive, ambitious, pushy, fighters- with the more gentle attributes shorn off.
I want to maintain my humanity, despite the battle, and war that I go through. I do that, with much help from this blog. Because it helps me expose, and organise my thoughts.
But, I do relate to some of the lessons in the article.
Especially this lesson on inclusion. I am lifting a considerable part of the article here
The importance of this principle became clear while halfway through the research. Sitting at my university desk one day, I received an email with a subject heading that simply read: "Gay Soldier/Iraq". My first thought was that it was some kind of promotion for a news item, but what I found was a very eloquent yet concise letter from an anonymous US soldier deployed to Iraq. He said that he'd read an article online that quoted me on how I believed opportunities for gay people to be out of the closet and successful were improving every day. While appreciating what I had said, he wrote: "It has no real meaning to me in my current job."
We exchanged several rounds of email, and as with many of the people who have written to me, he needed an outlet to talk about his "job" - the difference being that his job daily involved life and death. To this day, I still do not know his name or much detail about what his life had been like before going to Iraq. He always emailed me from a web-based account that was separate from the one issued to him by the US government.
In his emails, he primarily talked about how it felt to be expected to put his life on the line every day for an employer who did not value him enough as a human being to let him be who he is in the world. I found one message particularly profound, and which spoke volumes about the impact of the G Quotient principle of inclusion.
"Even though the people I work with think I'm part of their group, I'm not," he wrote. "You can't really be part of a group when you know you won't be treated with respect should you let them see the real you. That's why the respect they show me doesn't count. It's not real because they won't let me be real."
It does not matter whether you are employed by the US military or a shoe factory. In the new world of work, inclusion is what drives successful leadership - and, as a result, successful organisations.
Workers are desperate to be recognised for their immense capabilities and desire to contribute. It is up to all managers to provide leadership that will appreciate, value, and develop that potential. And they can start by learning a lesson, or two, from their gay colleagues.
That strikes right home, with me. Especially that paragraph about being 'part of the group'
"Even though the people I work with think I'm part of their group, I'm not," he wrote. "You can't really be part of a group when you know you won't be treated with respect should you let them see the real you. That's why the respect they show me doesn't count. It's not real because they won't let me be real."
At my place of work, first time a colleague saw me with a man who was a known homosexual, she took it upon herself to warn me, obliquely, informing me how much she hated homosexuals. I remember that, because she was really a friend. But, how could I tell her that I was one of the hated homosexuals?
I have been long with my workmates, and, of course they have started figuring me out. Long story.
But, I have discovered, in big and small things, that I tend to maintain a distance. And, it has always been commented how I refuse, obtusely, to participate as part of the group.
Yes. I am proud.
And, I am lucky. Because my individuality is actually a plus, and a bonus. Because it has not hurt me to refuse to be a part of the 'group'. Though I do feel the isolation even after all this time working with my colleagues.
Funny, interesting. Profoundly eye opening.
Hope you are having a great day. I have promised myself to do so, and, I am.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The need to think, and yes, to Blog
Thought, effective thought is a necessity.
One of the blessings of writing is that one is actually forced to think.... support or desparage ones own opinion. And, challenge it with what others think. So, I like blogging, and, even when writer's block sets in, I find myself coming back. And, I blog interesting things,.... most of the time.
Weather has changed in Uganda. The dry, dusty heat has given way to some rains. Don't think they will be sustained, but, they are a relief. Was getting too dry.
The country went through elections.
Ok. Correction. Much as I would love to tout Ugandan democracy, being accurate has its costs. I cannot really say that these elections were free and fair.... LOL... witness the farce that occurred in the Kampala Mayoral elections. Yes, I do need to mention things like that. Because, I do not leave in a vacuum. And this is my country, too.
So, elections. Presidential, and local council. And, the ruling party swept through with majorities which show that there is overwhelming support for them. Or not.... I always like remembering what is happening the Arab world.....
But, we have our own problems.
After the farce of democracy in action, the lame duck session of parliament has been called. I believe the first sitting is today. And, if Mr Bahati does not have the Anti-Homosexuality Bill become passed in the next couple of months, he will have to go back to the drawing board.
No. Of course, I do not wish him luck. The dude has too much bitterness for me and people like me to be left to his devices. He is a threat to gay Ugandans, and will remain a threat to us. He simply hates us.
Yes, I am happy Buturo is out of the parliament. And, I have a reasonable hope that the President may not wish to appoint him again. Problem is, he might be necessary. To deflect attention from the corruption in the ruling party. Am quite serious. That is Buturo's real job. Going on crusades against the evil homosexuals, while the scandals of big men caught with their hands in the cookie jar are noisily swept under the carpets. Am talking CHOGM, Temangalo, NSSF and others....!
In other news, here is a photo exhibition in New York.. of Gay Ugandans. LOL, I do recognise some kuchus, really! LOL.
Scott Lively is still alive and well in his country. Doing his thing. Its interesting that a leopard will b so consistent in his failings, and strengths.
Does Apple, the huge tech company, support an app to de-gay people? That is what I gather... But, this blog article kind of put it in perspective. Apple is being Apple? Or is Apple being challenged because it is Apple. Interesting take on it.
There is more, but that is all the time am allowing myself. Of course I am back, never far from the blogging.
All the best
Friday, March 18, 2011
Religion and being Queer in Africa....
You know, I cannot seem to leave this topic. Cause, I am queer, and African, and I am bashed left right and centre by people who claim they know god.
Friend of ours has been having problems. He is straight, married, with family. A believer, a Christian. But, he is also a friend to us, a gay couple. Doesnt believe in the bigotry that the rest of the believers have. He is friends with kuchus in Uganda generally.
But, that is the problem. He is eating with sinners. Maybe he promotes the sin? The sin of homosexuality....!
So, he was thrown out of his church, with his family.
Talking about being more Christian than Christ.... don't know the details. Heard them second hand. Doesnt stop me from being mad, mad, mad. Because, far as I know, Jesus did eat with sinners.. and he was condemned by Pharisees for that. I don't mind being called a sinner. Fellow Ugandans think I am worse than a demon. Their pastors tell them so. But, my friend minds, and so I have to mind....
African activist takes a look at the constraints that religious people in Africa generally hold on our human rights. Not as just against gay people. An article worth reading actually. He examines the stance of the former president of Botswana. Clearly, the guy has his concerns. And, he is logical. He doesnt understand the stand by the zealots to violently condemn what they don't understand. Or, what they don't believe. Why arent gay people worth of human rights. [Of course, unless they are not human....]
I did not come out in support of gay rights but I did come out in support of human rights. I am not a pro-gay activist. I say I don't understand the sexual preference but they are entitled to it and therefore they should not be discriminated against, it should not be criminalised.
I can't understand why you say that homosexuality is un-African when there is evidence that it has always existed and exists today as it does elsewhere in the world. And therefore it appears to me that homosexuality whether we understand it or not or whether we like it or not is as African as it is European as it is Asian...We are trying to pursuade the rest of Africa and show them that homophobia is unjustified.
Being an activist does not make me lose my sense of what is logical, and the fact that my ally may find it tough to support me. I accept what my ally offers to me, a space for dialogue, as opposed to those who want no dialogue, because, quote, being gay is un-African.
What am saying is that I understand my friends sacrifice, being called and shamed in front of people that he shares faith with. And, Mogae of Botswana not being willing to lose an election because of a gay friendly stance... (Obama for his nuanced position on gay marriage?)
I am a pariah. And, good hearted believers in god and gods will seek to kill me in the name of the purity of the country and continent I share with them. Yes. A depressing thought. Read the article. It is worth the time. Here.
So, in Uganda, Ssempa was enraged when the opposition candidate dared to mention something vaguely supportive of human rights in the just concluded presidential campaign. And, same thing is happening in Zambia, according to African activist.
The church has vowed to campaign against Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata for advocating gay rights.
And Chief Government spokesperson Lieutenant-General Ronnie Shikapwasha said what Mr Sata is advocating is an abomination and the church must rise against such leaders.
"Churches that believe in Jesus Christ should condemn Mr Sata's statement because the bible condemns it as an abomination," he said.
Yes, it is politically incorrect to mention, even vaguely, anything about human rights for gay people in Africa. In Malawi, why... that deserves a blog post of its own....
I mean, religious leaders were called to take part in an HIV prevention campaign. Gay people were mentioned. The religious leaders were adamant. Death to the gay is the punishment mandated by the Bible, and Quaran, these principled leaders stated.
We have come far. A lot of distance we still have to cover. Just hope we continue to have the strength to walk and run and crawl it.
Buturo Out. Still fighting Kuchus.
So, Minister Dr Nsaba-Buturo, bane of gay Ugandans, 'gracefully' bows out of office.
Dude has had political misfortune, as Afrogay notes. He was rejected by his people in his parties primaries. He decided to stand as an independent candidate, and lost.....
And, before he even lost, the Constitutional court had effectively thrown out his position as a minister. So, he resigns.
And, not without taking a swipe at gay Ugandans. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill should be passed, says ex-Minister Buturo. I have never heard of the guy who is supposed to replace him.
The outgoing Ethics and Integrity minister Dr James Nsaba Buturo has urged all Ugandans to pressurize parliament to amend and pass the anti gay bill.
Dr Buturo who has been on the frontline in the fight against the practice has made the call at a ceremony to hand over office to his successor James Baba.
Buturo is one of the 9 ministers suspended following a ruling by the Constitutional Court that it was illegal for members of political parties to contest for Parliament as independents or independents to run on a political party ticket without first resigning.
The Monitor story is here. Kind of more fleshed out. But, that is old news..... Really.
I have not been blogging. The curse of too little time in the day to do all the things that I would love to do.... but, I can still blog, cant I?
Doing the rounds. Corrective Rape of Lesbians in South Africa. That thing is really sick.
The South African government has agreed to activist demands to address the increasingly common hate crime of "corrective rape", whereby lesbians are raped by men to "cure" them of their sexual orientation.
Although statistics are lacking, gay advocacy groups estimate about 10 new cases of corrective rape occur every week in Cape Town, a city of 2.5 million.
SA has this reputation of being legislatively good. But, I believe the assesment below is true.
"We're famous as a country with beautiful laws that are not implementable," Yvette Abrahams, the commissioner for gender equality, told IRIN.
"We're sitting in a country where six women a day die at the hands of a husband or intimate partner, so if straight violence is like that, to try and get attention for homophobic violence becomes very difficult."
Guess the good thing is, they can have their government to listen to them. Yes, that is a good thing. I cant imagine what used to happen in the days of Apartheid. Another really sick institution.
I will get back to blogging. Maybe tomorrow. Or, earlier, maybe!
Before... well, here is an interesting take on being gay in Africa. Apparently, these interviews are from Ethiopia.
The kind of thing Buturo and Bahati would love.... the kind of testimonies that they use to justify the persecution of gay Africans.
So, why put it here?
Not so simple, life. It is because I am gay, and African. And, I have to remember that there are others out there, who have gotten to the point of being so self hating that they will actively seek to destroy what they are. As and when they can.
I am speaking of the George Oundo's of this world. I am not sure that Paul Kagaba is not in it for just the money.....!
Friday, March 11, 2011
Logic made in Uganda
Bahati was right. His Anti-Homosexuality bill is inspiring other African countries to enact similar laws. So, why is it of a sudden that Homosexuality is such a burning issue on the continent? Hope this bill also 'dies' in committee. This is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, former Zaire.
"If nothing is done, considering the support the bill has received in the public opinion, the parliament will probably pass the law that criminalizes homosexuality. Elections are around the corner; therefore the vote of the parliament will depend on the role that law could play in political campaign and calculation. "
The Sexual Practices Against Nature Bill will, if passed, criminalize homosexuality and sexual practices with animals such as zoophilia and bestiality
It will also criminalise any activities that promote the rights of LGBTI persons. Section 174h3 of the Bill stipulates that, "all publications, posters, pamphlets, (or) films highlighting or likely to arouse or encourage sexual practices against nature are forbidden within the territory of the DRC and "all associations that promote or defend sexual relations against nature are forbidden within the territory of the DRC."
Any offender contravening this Bill will be punished by 3 to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of 500,000 Congolese francs (Section 174h1).
OK. Fact is, I have always to acknowledge the weird logic of Bahati, and Ssempa, and the others. Living here, almost insulated from an appreciation of the bigger world out there, they can, and do things which would sound realy off putting. But, in Africa, in Uganda, they just make things what they think the world is like.
Now, here, courtesy of Uganda Urgent Action, is the suggested response of Dr Nsaba-Buturo to any Ugandan who writes to their member of parliament saying that they should not be persecuted. Here is the supposed official response from the government of Uganda.
OFFICIAL SUGGESTED RESPONSE:
Dr. Buturo used a letter he had written to someone who
self-identified as gay and it was this reply which he
suggested as a template for other MPs to use.
Dear _________________ ,
What you have described yourself as is a disorientation proper! It is an abnormality per excellence! In their wisdom, most Ugandans see that state of affairs which you are caught up in as an abomination. It does not mean homosexuality does not exist in our society. It does as yourself can testify. There are over 60 former homosexuals whom government is supporting in their rehabilitation effort. They are reverting to their former heterosexual status before they were lured into homosexuality. You too can change under a proper environment. Clearly, it is wrong to ostracise, harass or take harmful measures against the likes of you that have, following different reasons found yourself in that class. You need all manner of support with a view to rehabilitation. I hope that Members of Parliament, in their wisdom will pass a law that protects the human race (Ugandans) while at the same time suuportive of measures that help victims of the abomination. I believe that Homos are human beings with rights to protection and love that we all need. This must not be denied. What should not be acceptable is promotion of a practice that even animals don't practice! Distortion of the Word of God for purposes of selfpreservation is ungodly.
I have been feeling good. The horror of that letter makes all my good spirits to disappear.
Let me try to deconstruct it. I doubt that I will be able to, not in full, not the way that I feel, emotional about it. But, let me try to.
To Buturo, PhD, it doesnt matter that medics don't consider me sick. To him, I am sick. Disoriented.
I am in need of his special kind of help. Of course. Not another persons who will affirm me. Someone to rehabilitate me to my 'heterosexual self' indeed.
It is wrong to persecute me, clearly. Only if it is done in the name of the law, (and God, of course)
Members of parliament to pass a law to protect the Human Race! Indeed. To protect against me!!!! gods in heavens.
Believes that 'homos' are human beings...... gosh, that needs no comment.
Gosh, I cannot, and will not, go ahead to try to reason with this man.
As I said, the letter is quoted from Uganda Urgent Action. But, it is dear Buturo, pure, simply un-adultered, vintage Buturo.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Africa, Homophobia, and the Export (and import) of Homophobia. Case analysis Uganda; of course.
I guess is should be natural that African homophobia gets exported to the countries we go as immigrants.
Pity my friends in Uganda who would love to run off to these countries, and will get there and want to stay connected to their African brothers and sisters. Yes, it will be easier, but, we do not leave all our demons home. We move with them. Even in Europe.
'Homophobia widespread within UK African communities'
DISCRIMINATION: Hostility towards gay men and women on the rise
HOSTILITY TOWARDS gay men and women within African communities in the UK is on the increase, claims a leading African magazine.
Mambo, a health lifestyle magazine for Africans, reveals in its new edition what it's like to be gay in UK African communities, where people can experience a life of victimisation, abuse and discrimination based on misplaced beliefs about homosexuality.
Discriminating against gay, lesbian or transgender people is a crime in the UK, yet Africans who are not heterosexual often suffer serious abuse, verbal and physical assault from their own community says the magazine. Some are even disowned by their family. As a result of this hostility, only very few gay Africans have the courage to openly declare their sexuality.
In an opinion article written for the latest Mambo, which is published by HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), award-winning journalist Sorious Samora describes his shock at the levels of hostility that he found towards gay people during his visit to east and central Africa to film his documentary, 'Africa's Last Taboo', for Channel 4's 'Dispatches' programme.
Samora says that homophobia is being encouraged by religious leaders, the very people he says should be promoting tolerance and understanding.
Of course, it is kind of logical. We are very, very homophobic. Us as Africans. The seeds of that have been well laid in the teachings of the churches in Africa. And, yes, I do lay it at the churches themselves.
Here is another article. It is an analysis of the Pastor Wars in Uganda.
This article exemplifies what so angers me with the 'church' in Africa. Read through the article, from top to bottom, and see whether you agree with me.
We kuchus in Africa come off as the scapegoats. We are turning Christians homosexual. [Sigh], and we are blamed for the churches going empty.... [No. that may be happening in Europe, in Africa, the churches are bulging at the seams.] I know, I have at least five churches within a km of where I live in Kampala.
Kuchus are blamed for turning the pastors gay. But, what comes out in the article is that the pastors are fighting each other because of simple greed and jealousy. Of course, all in the name of Jesus. Imagine, outside the courtroom, the believers took to deciding the problem with fistcuffs. No. There were not homosexuals fighting it out with the Anti-Homos there.
And, for your information, even the pastors who are accused of being gay cannot dare stand up for gay Ugandans. It would be social suicide for them. And, they have their money generating machines to protect at all costs.
We, as in Gay Ugandans, gay Africans are losing out. Because it all continues to ferment the climate of sickness. Kuchus, gay africans cannot be good. Look at this excerpt from the article above.
"We came in to stop the fight of Christians from the two camps. One of the groups fighting claimed that their priests were being framed by malicious priests. The others supported the ones who pointed out the priests they claim to be gays."
Some Christians are buffled by the wars between pastors. "I am confused by the stories saying that some of our priests are gays", said 59 year old Simon Kasumali, a catechist in St Andrew church in eastern Uganda. "It is difficult to confirm whether the accusations are true. I personally do not believe in them. Our priests are being framed" he added.
But 45 yr old businessman, Andrew Nyeko thinks otherwise. He said: "I am not surprised about the accusations. Some of the churches in the country are managed by money hungry and amoral people. They can do anything evil."
We personify what is evil. Not the pastors fighting with each other. It is us the kuchus who lose out.
It is a sobering article in a way. Because, for once someone dares to look beyond the 'gays are evil' and take a kind of closer look at the people who are saying that gays are evil.
And, do not mistake me, very few Ugandans have this point of view. Very few Ugandans are actually looking and assesing what is coming out of the mouths of these 'men of god'. Ssempa, Male, they are honoured guests of honour at any function in Uganda. And, I bet you they will soon be receiving more 'anti-homosexuality awards'. Because,
well, they are fighting the war for god. Isnt it?
I will sign off here. Be well
Uganda and Botswana
I find that I have multiple personality disorder....
OK. Not that melodramatic. Split personality, really. I am many things to many people, a chameleone that adapts and blends into the environment. But, when it comes to splitting my presence.... I kind of find it hard.
Am at a place where apparently, I can post to my blog, but, find it difficult to access it. Maybe the ISP, but, our world is diverse, isnt it?
Cruising the net, I find some interesting things. In Botswana, someone dares to believe the law will be on their side. They are gay, and being gay, they believe they should not be criminalised. So, they challenge that law in the courts.
High Court Judge Zibani Makwade has been allocated a case in which a confessed gay, Caine Yougman is suing state over the criminalisation of homosexual relationships. The dates of the case has not been set.
In his founding affidavit, Youngman, 29 says he has never been able to freely express his sexuality because of the law that criminalises sex between people of the same sex referring to it as 'carnal knowledge against the order of nature'.
"In order to do so I have to cross the border to South Africa where my sexuality is recognised and protected by law." Youngman says he hates to cross the border constantly as he suffers grave inconveniences both financially and travel wise.
"Sometimes I fear for my safety in South Africa, in fact I was nearly hijacked before, many times I feel like a criminal when I enjoy my sexuality and I suffer prejudice in the communities when I openly express my sexuality."
He says the prejudice is entrenched by the government as manifested by its refusal to register as an association of gays called Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual of Botswana (LEGABIBO) in which he is an active and founding member.
Youngman says it is his belief that this denial was attempting to give credence to Section 164 of the Botswana Penal Code which section criminalises sexual acts between people of the same sex.
"Furthermore, prospects of registration in the future are slim because the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs is on record as saying his office would have difficulties in registering LEGABIBO and decriminalising homosexuality."
He believes that existence of section 164 effectively sanctions discrimination against him on the basis of sexual orientation, and violates fundamental human rights and freedoms inherent in all human beings as guaranteed and protected by the Constitution of Botswana.
"The constitution of Botswana under section 3(a) provides for the protection of everyone's right to 'life, liberty, and security of the person and the protection of the law' whatever his/her 'race, place of origin, political..., creed or sex..."
Hmmmmm It does sound interesting. I will definitely want to see what happens.
The Worst place to be gay in the world?
Miles came to Uganda. And, he had his take on the country. Well, Miles is gay. It was a very personal experience for him, coming to Uganda and seeing what Ugandans think about him personally.
Proud, happy Ugandans are acting realy puzzled by all the hullaballoo. Surely, surely, we are not that bad?
Fact is, I am laughing. Because it simply is true. Yes, with regards to my sexual orientation, my country, Uganda is that bad..... And, it is good that you at least have the chance to see how ridiculously hard you make life for us gay Ugandans. With your embrace of hate of us, gay Ugandans.
What am I going on about? I keep coming across reaction to BBC Miles documentary, and Ugandans are not happy with the characterisation. Surely, surely, this is a lie? Nope. It just aint a lie. And, yes, Uganda is in the spotlight, but since it is our leaders like Bahati, Buturo and Ssempa who came up with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, we richly deserve our place in the sun. Here is an excerpt from the blog in the Observer.
What do you want Uganda to be famous for?
Uganda holds a reputation for being beautiful, peaceful, hospitable, a haven for tourists and investors; the 'Pearl of Africa'.
Recently Uganda has been making headlines. On the February 14, 2011, the BBC aired a documentary, The world's worst place to be gay. Gay DJ Scott Mills travelled to Uganda, spoke with people on the streets of Kampala, asking their opinion on homosexuals, and some of the responses were, "I hate them"; "they should be killed", and "it's disgusting".
Mills visited a gay bar in Kampala where men spoke of the fear they live in. One young lesbian told him that she had been raped in an attempt to cure her of her orientation, leaving her pregnant and HIV-infected.
Then came his encounter with legislator David Bahati, who, Mills says, wanted him arrested. The documentary focused on the alleged institutionalisation of homophobia in Uganda, the belief that it can be cured and the negative opinions that many hold on it.
Incidentally, some are proud of the image the documentary portrayed of Ugandan society. Kampala based graduate Nicholas Bainomugisha said, "I am glad that the BBC have shown such a programme; it shows the world that we will not accept such ungodly behaviour."
Manchester based business manager, Flora Namirembe, was also impressed by the hard-line opinions of Ugandans interviewed.
"Why should Ugandans have to hide their opinions because the West does not like it?" she said
Actually, I am kind of glad. Because, for once, we are beginning to debate, even in the media, and honestly, the unthinking hatred that Ugandans have for us, gay Ugandans.
So, if it takes them looking at themselves and seeing an unflattering image in the mirror... well, it is better you see than you congratulate yourself on your fantastic perception of good. I love the first sentence of that article.
Uganda holds a reputation for being beautiful, peaceful, hospitable, a haven for tourists and investors; the 'Pearl of Africa'.
Uh.... talk about Kony, and the war in the North... sometimes our capacity at selective perception is truly frightening. I wonder how people will react to the BBC documentary which was filmed recently in South Africa, featuring Bahati?
Have a good day, I am still surfing, even when I cannot see my blog at all.
Friday, March 4, 2011
It is Friday.....
Kept me away from my computer, and the net. But, I am not saying it was too bad a thing. But, I need to go out and have some air. So, before I do, let me cruise the waves, and surf, and find somethings interesting.
The BBC has been stirring up the waters.... LOL, I know people will always have an opinion on what the BBC does, but, I laud them for putting the question of my sexuality firmly in the public debate. And, they manage in a very interesting way.
Recently, they were in Johannesburg, South Africa. And, they want a debate, and invite dear Bahati, MP, Uganda. And, that was something. I am told that it will air on the BBC, but someone who was there has this to say.
The five-member studio discussion panel included David Bahati, the MP behind the Ugandan bill which seeks to impose the death penalty in certain cases of homosexuality, the former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, as well as South African writer Eusebius Mckaiser.Wow, Bahati..... the lesbian kiss!
Studio audience members were seemingly evenly split, representing various LGBT activist groups as well as anti-gay organisations including the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) and the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP).
Mambaonline was not allowed access to the studio by security, but according to Coenie Kukkuk, the Director of Operations of Mr. Gay South Africa, who was a member of the audience, the debate was "very emotional".
Kukkuk said: "The shouting from both sides in the audience was so loud that you couldn't hear the people speak. It nearly came to blows."
A key issue in the debate was the question of whether homosexuality is “un-African”, a position vigorously defended by Bahati, who is a born-again Christian.
He also claimed in the debate that children were being "recruited" by gays in Uganda and that gays and lesbians were placing the family under threat.
You know what, it is quite interesting when Bahati comes face to face with gays and lesbians. So, he wanted to arrest Miles of the BBC. And, the couple kissing makes him determined to pass the bill? Someone told me that he went and told Bahati, after the debate, that he was gay, and, why the hell did he think he was not African. That, Bahati choked up, with anger apparently.....
LOL, the guy does believe that we are not AFrican. Truly, he seems to do so.
I found a letter in my inbox, supporting Bahati. The premise of the writer was that they had commented on the BBC website, but would most likely not be posted. So, they copied it to me?
I dont know. I am certainly not a worker with the BBC.Maybe they expected me to post it here?
I am not, but, I am picking out an excerpt of the letter.
Some Ugandan men, and Westerners are taking advantage of the undeveloped legal enforcement system/police system, and are hiding behind the guise of equal rights. My uncle is a catholic priest and was abused in boarding school. American visitors came to his school when he was a child, saw him singing in the choir and raped him. In his teenage years he dated a wealthy German man . My uncle now gay is a abusing children. He holds gay parties at our family home in Uganda, in which many underage people attend. He has recently opened an orphanage.I am afraid that my answer was not nice. I do not like to be lumped together with paedophiles. And, Ugandans forget that most of the stories in the news about adults having sex in Uganda, (defilement, it is called) are actually heterosexual sex.
The point being made here is that some wealthy/NGO workers/senior gay people are abusing boys in organised way. They are able to get away with it because they have religious respect, money or political power.
Some members of the catholic church and western charities are using the battle for human liberties to disguise and multiply disgraceful activities.
So, what did I reply?
Well, short brief angry answer sent first.
Then, a second later. I advised her to report her uncle to the police. Because it is necessary. The guy is 'defiling' children, giving them drugs. And, Uganda's Penal code covers all these things. So, she should report her uncle to the police. Not try to kill me for her uncle's sins.
Was I too harsh?
Well. I am not happy with those who accuse me of all things that they can, simply because I am gay. I mean, where is the reasoning there?
The Red rug blames Buturo's fall on gays... oh well....!
Now, to some good news.
I am deeply sceptical of religion.... because, some people like Bahati hang on their religious clothes to make a fool of me, and want to kill me. But, when a sincere request is made for forgiveness, I take the gift and examine it. Like this one. It is moving. Read it please. No, it is not in Africa.
A rather unusual event recently took place in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Fort Washington, Md. Several ministers of black churches met with members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community -- and formally apologized for what the organizers described as the church's judgmental attitude toward individuals who experience same-sex attraction and their loved ones.Its a long story. But, if, you, like me, are concerned about the hate speech from the body which claims the Nazarene, you will be gladdened that some are able to pray for forgiveness. Here is the story again.
I have been telling a colleague that rest and relaxation are very important.
I am taking my own medicine, though I would dearly love to write more.
Be well, and be good
Thursday, March 3, 2011
The day as it was...
I watched in horror when a programme was aired on BBC3 naming Uganda as the worst place on earth to be gay.Nope. We are not special. And, when a respected member of parliament dares to introduce a genocidal bill in the parliament of the republic seeking to kill me or have me put in prison for life, I kind of see little funny in your cries of injured pride. Maybe you will feel worse when you are the one under threat?
I realised then how African countries are being publicised for all the wrong reasons. It amazed me how the gay community in Uganda is blaming everybody for their misfortunes while alleging that some of them live in the Bwaise slum because it is the safest place for them as a result of homophobia!
It is not right to say that most people living in the slums are gay. The programme also portrayed gays as being economically marginalised. I believe they are just down right lazy; they should get off their backs and go look for work like other Ugandans. Why should they be special?
Others complain that too much attention is given to us, rather than the other problems of the country. Check this one out. The writer is Ethiopian anyway.
Questionable interest has been shown by the western media which many regard taking the story overboard and accusing the Ugandan society of hate crime. Some speculate their interest does not end at a human right activism only, but rather seen as an opportunity to ‘impose’ the western way of life.LOL, as kuchus, we can never win. Even when we apparently do.
Another theory for the west to have a special interest on the story is that it is considered as an instigator of conflict in the country and the region as a whole. Hence, it was just easier to blame the whole thing on a hate crime. The western media rather report that an Ugandan gay activist was brutally killed but will not comment on a leader who have stayed in power for more than 20 years and supported by Western Governments.
But, at least there is better news from Mozambique.
An LGBT association in Mozambique has welcomed clarification of the law by the country’s justice minister at the UN, but has expressed concern that the constitution and penal code are still ambiguous on gay rights.Now. For my room... or bed. To ceasar what is ceasars.
The Republic of Mozambique has strong equality credentials compared with some African neighbours, but campaigners are pursuing absolute clarification of its stance on homosexuality.
LAMBDA, an organisation which is not currently recognised by the state, welcomed a statement by Benvinda Levi at the UN in which she said that homosexuality was not illegal in Mozambique.
But they expressed concern over Article 71 of the Penal Code, which orders “security measures” against those who habitually commit “vices against nature”.
“Security measures”, defined in the Code, include hard labour, internment in an asylum, and debarment from professional activities.
The term “vices against nature”, which was a 1954 inclusion, is not defined, and the campaign group is concerned that without explicit protection of homosexuality, a court could rely on this clause.