Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Myths and misconceptions from Gideon Byamugisha’s article

Reading Reverend Gideon Byamugisha’s article, a few things rubbed me the wrong way.

True, ours is a toxic environment, and his was a great call out of the pharisees in the churches, but I had to remind myself that allies are allies.
Kuchu (LGBTQ+) allies are necessary.., we are a minority. In our countries, in most of Africa, our allies literally speak for us. In many cases that is because we cannot speak on our behalf, for one reason or another.
But, they don’t necessarily truly know us.

We are a minority, however much the haters mobilise more hate by painting the farce of us ‘taking over’, or ‘turning the world homosexual’ as Archbishop Kaziimba and President Museveni believe. Sincerely held beliefs.
(Snigger, ridiculous and sad as it is, the President and Archbishop believe we homosexuals have an agenda to literally destroy the world.., in some way, and that is from their own mouths.)

Reverend Byamugisha is also a person in the Ugandan environment. He has been influenced by the lies, disinformation and myths that are peddled without challenge in Uganda. (Just like we, kuchus, internalise the homophobia in our environment).

In the first paragraph Byamugisha states


“Our grave challenges from some selfish homosexual practice recruiters and promoters notwithstanding…”


It is important to assert, again and again. We do not ‘promote’ homosexuality. We don’t need to promote what comes naturally to us. We just are. The rest is an invention of those who literally hate and tell lies about us.
In the same breath, we kuchus have to assert, we do not recruit into homosexuality. If one really thinks about it, it is a very ridiculous assertion, a BIG LIE that has taken root, especially in Uganda, promoted literally by anti-gay activists like Martin Ssempa, transplanted as is from the American Far Right. We kuchus, LGBTQ+ people, do not recruit! We don’t make people gay. We dont have an army to ‘recruit’ for. That language and the lies have only one purpose, to dehumanise and demonise kuchus, making us feared and hated by the public. To increase the prejudice against kuchus.

It infuriates me.., that the world has fallen for this false narrative of LGBTQ+ ‘recruiters and promoters’.
Byamugisha is stating what is general belief in Uganda. Homosexuals are dangerous because of ‘recruiters and promoters’. Apparently we as homosexuals have the itch to increase in some way. Thus the ‘recruiting and promoting’.

It is not only in Uganda. It is not only the ‘under-educated’ masses in Africa who believe this nonsense, though we are an easy mark. The anti-gay activists like Family Watch International (FWI), right wing proselytisers have been quite successful pushing the narrative that we kuchus of the world are ‘recruiting and promoting’ homosexuality. And of course the icing on the cake, we homosexuals are supposed to be ‘coming for your children’.

And the world believes that nonsense.

It shows a basic lack of understanding of sexuality. And an underlying desire to believe any and all evil of a stigmatised group. A willingness to suspend common sense, when the target is wrapped in ignorance, myths and there are some willing to push the big lie, in the name of religion or culture, or sovereignty…, or for whatever the reason is.

It is a lie. It is believed. And that is what is…

Yet I still wouldn’t want an ally to drop into the cesspool of thinking that we kuchus have this agenda to ‘recruit’, ‘promote’ and of course ‘come for their children’.

Yes. I know. ‘Promoting’, in the minds of anti-gay forces, especially in Uganda, means me defending myself, like I am doing in this post, debunking myths. That is what is called promoting…, and it is currently illegal in Uganda (Bite me. If that is promotion, I will promote…!). This blog is a shameless promoter of homosexuality.

Rev. Byamugisha also states


“Just like people living with HIV/Aids, suspected homosexuals suffer…”


Byamugisha has experienced first hand the stigma and prejudice of HIV/AIDS. And in his mind, the stigma and prejudice of ‘homosexuality’ in Uganda might seem similar.

I don’t think it is, though the processes might be similar in social psychology. Ultimately, HIV/AIDS is an infection. Its stigma was largely based on fear. The stigma and prejudice due to homosexuality especially in Uganda and much of Africa is different. Most people don’t realistically fear that they will become homosexual. We are a small, marginalised population which is not growing, despite the anti-gay hype. We are not going to make YOU homosexual! Most adults confident in their sexuality would not believe it so…, but, the anti-gay activists play to that fear, extensively.

HIV infection particularly affects kuchus. We then suffer a double stigma. Stigma of HIV infection and the stigma due to our sexuality.
In Uganda, at the moment, it is easier to come out as a person living with HIV. It is much, much harder to come out as kuchu. And those of us who are forced to come out would embrace being HIV positive before we embrace or come out as kuchu. That is brutal, but it is what is on the ground.

In the end, Rev Godfrey Byamugisha was very, very courageous. Calling out one’s bosses for moral failings is suicidal…, metaphorically speaking. But, he does it. And he does it on behalf of a minor, marginalised, persecuted social group, the kuchu in Uganda.

Damnation…, whenever I start cementing my belief in the evil of religion; Christian and Islam in Uganda and Africa…, there comes someone with the guts to call out my budding prejudice.
Most Christians and Moslems would lynch me, literally and metaphorically in Uganda and Africa, because of my sexuality. But, most does not mean all. There are a brave few willing to challenge the rivers of hate flowing.
Yeah, they do deserve a certain respectful notice. The Godfrey Byamugisha’s, Justin Welby and Pope Francis’ of this world. They are boulders rolling against the flow of rivers of institutionalised hate, and deserve my respect.



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