Thursday, March 16, 2017

Writers Block and the Same old Ignorance

Writers Block.

And the cure is not to stare at the white sheet. Why did they have to make the sheet paper white? Why not come up with a sexier, trendier, more acceptable choice...., lol. Maybe I have a chance to change it? Haven't checked.

Just been reminded that gay rights are fragile. In Trump's America, of course that is quiet likely to be the norm...., even after marriage equality. So, the fight continues... Nay, we havent had the kind of clout to make us 'normalised', so, not a resistance, but guerilla warfare.

Conservative Uganda.....!!!

Just came across an article that gave me a huge belly laugh. See, this (once homophobic) Ugandan singer was recording a new video, and he was caught in the act having lip balm being applied to him.
In most other countries, one would look at this photo and think, lol, the dude is a hunk., isnt he?

Not in Uganda.
Comments included..., "i really wonder what kind man u r" and "u gay lipstick .... REALLY?" and "... in all the pics u could post u choose this one..., acting like a gay!!!"

Hahaha!

Really.

To my angered ugandan countrymates, male and female...., that is lip balm.... LOL. And, in most places it is not worthy commenting. Hey, makeup is applied during video shoots!!! And of course quite a lot of emancipated men apply lip balm without thinking it an attack on their masculinity. Seriously??!!!

But of course underlying that perception of disgust is the prejudice against homosexuality. It manifests in many petty things, and of course encases brains in resistant ignorance. Impenetrable.

So, I know am not going to teach anyone who is teachable here, but, I will laugh well.

Ugandans are the typical ignoramus, in things in anyway coming to link to my sexuality (and I am a gay Ugandan). Just the typical, ignorant and sadly unreachable homophobe.

And you know the challenge? We must reach them, win them over, hearts and minds, as Gay Ugandans and Queer africans.

Way to go!!!

gug

Monday, March 13, 2017

Queer is Normal; Get over it.

Hi.

Long time, I know.

Finding it tough to keep up......, but, when it is a long journey, taking a breather is okay. You rest, by the side of the road. You look at the cars zooming by, you wonder what it would be like if you were in one of the other vehicles. You toy with the idea of giving up..., and then you dont. You then get up and walk. Again. Or limp. Or crawl.

But, yeah, you do.

I am gay...., a Queer African. But, on the surface, you wouldnt know it if you met me on the streets of Kampala. I am as smart, or scruffy, as the streets I move on. Indistinguishable from the rest of my countrymates on the continent. Of course, in some places, my skin might be a bit lighter, or darker...., but that is no marker of my sexuality.

So, why the hell do judges of the world continue asking us to 'prove' that we are gay? I mean, I like sex as much as the next man, and get me one in the right circumstances, am quite ready to prove it...., if you know what I mean.

But, but....

How do I prove that to some people out there, some stranger who has never known what it is to be who and what I am...? Granted, coming out is a problem, but, can you imagine being deported from a country and it becomes known, in a country like Uganda that you had actually said that you were gay?

Anyway, this Ugandan is facing that challenge. He failed, of course. And after failing, today he might be on the plane back.

Tut tut tut...., how do straight people prove that they are straight? Just a question.

Here is some 'good' advice in a newspaper in Kenya. I say good, because, Kenya is known for its 'tolerant' attitude to homosexuality..., but that is because Uganda and Tanzania are neighbours. The advice is kind of mild..., at least there is advocacy not to beat the gay out of us...., but, the level of ignorance of human sexuality is really bad.
"In February this year, a school at the Coast was in the headlines when 12 of its students were sent home for lesbianism. The school principal was quoted saying she had asked the girls to fetch their parents in order to enable them receive joint counselling. 
In essence the 'counselling' involved severe beating from the parents and teachers, to prevent them from becoming psychollogically affected (by their lesbian behaviour). This mindset is understandable because in Africa, unlike the West, homosexuality is viewed as a mental illness."
Now, that is the more 'liberal' part of Africa.

These kids. Were they even gay? Or where they just kids experimenting? But, the kind school principal outed them to their parents, labelled them, and as the newspaper indicated, more likely than not they would get a great hiding...., according to the parents...., and they would of course be scarred for life.

The rest of the counselling is predictable.. Homosexuality is a disease...., instead of kids being led thru some confusion, they are pushed into closets or cut off from family. Stigmatised.

And nothing can become more cutting than the rejection of our big families. For, to many Africans, family is everything.

Or, there is always the shadow of 'therapy', from the traditional or 'Christian/Moslem' healers...., or quack conventional practitioners. 

We are normal, we queer Africans.

And, that is the greatest struggle that we have to fight. The knowledge that, after all that we have faced, we are still normal human beings.

We queer Africans are normal. Now, who in Africa dares think so?

gug

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

All the Haters.....

We are Queer, and we are Africans....

And, lots of our brethren are haters. Pure, haters.... And, that is quite mild.
So, you know that FIFA has this 'non-discrimination' article in its constitution. FIFA as in the international soccer federation. The corrupt guys....
And, dear Zambia had to sign and say they wouldnt discriminate against GayZambians in soccer, football as we call it on the continent. And, believe it or not, the 'church' is mad about that. 
Former FAZ executive committee member Masha Chilemena told AFP: “Zambia is a Christian nation and any instructions from FIFA which will conflict with Christianity are not welcome.” 
He insisted that the association “cannot go against what is stipulated in the law of the land” and that if FIFA were to take action against FAZ over the issue then “we will play in the local league”. 
International Federation of Christian Churches president Simon Chihana also told AFP that the draft constitution was “inviting the wrath of God” and warned that it would “bring the happenings of Sodom and Gomorrah here”

What can I say but that they are 'haters' as defined by the Generation X...!!

But, that is okay..., because there are others where they cannot be answered, except with frowns of incredulity.

This is in Tanzania. And, the haters happen to be the Ministry of Health. And, against gay Tanzanians. The private health centers where they could receive HIV treatment have been stopped from providing HIV services. Because they 'promote homosexuality'
On Thursday, the government announced it was stopping many private health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of providing services to homosexuals. 
"We have suspended the provision of HIV and AIDS services at at least 40 drop-in centers operated by NGOs countrywide, after it was established that the centers were promoting homosexuality, which is against Tanzania's laws," Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a press conference. 
Last year, Mwalimu said it was estimated that 23 percent of men who have sex with men in Tanzania were living with HIV/AIDS. 

So, aren't they haters? Of course they are.

I dont mince words to people who use their powers to try make sure that gay people dont get HIV treatment.

So, to all the haters...

But, they are hurting my people. Queer Africans like me.

I cry.

gug


Monday, February 20, 2017

Being a Leader

For some reason, this morning, when I opened my twitter feed, I shied away from it.

Yeah, there are days like that. I like twitter, because it feeds news of home, friends and far in an instant..., only 140 characters, and I can ignore that which I need ignore, and embrace or read more that which I dont. Of course, I need become an expert on judging fake news..... Sigh. Are there really gangs of immigrants running amok in the streets of Paris? Apparently the mainstream media is ignoring that juicy tidbit.

Today it was a sick feed. I think what bothered me most was reports of MPs of Uganda budgeting for a helicopter for the Speaker of parliament. Of course, when it comes to the famine in the north of the country, and starving citizens, those are conveniently not on the budget. The same MPs have increased their salaries, given themselves huge bonuses, and cars at the tax payers expense, and have a problem with taxes on their earnings.....

Sigh. In a country of the poor, making sure that only the rich get into the parliament or whoever becomes an MP automatically becomes a billionaire......

anyway, that is life. And it aint fun.

Ugandans who were not MPs were having fun on twitter. The kind of sick jokes that attend such public madness. How can leaders justify that kind of thing? Sincerely?!!!

I mean, the dear Minister of Education, the First Lady of the Republic of Uganda was in parliament last week, saying there was no funding for school going girls to get sanitary pads. But, there are billions budgeted for the Speakers Helicopter..., after the amounts so far spent on the speaker.
Government has backtracked on its earlier pledge to provide sanitary pads to school going girls so that they do no run out of school when their menstrual periods start.

Sigh. And the speaker of the republic at this particular moment is a woman.

Anyway, beware of having rich people making all the decisions....., lesson for Ugandans...., and for as far away as the US.....!!!

But, there was this beautiful letter from Wentworth Miller that he presented I believe last year.
He was talking about his life, how he tried to commit suicide when he was 15. The attempt failed. He told no one, was back to school after the weekend.

And what had brought such to this incredible man, the character from Prison Break series?

He was a mixed race child, and gay. Bullied at school. And he was in survival mode.

Here is the video.




And, listening to him, as he comes out hesistantly to speak of the pain that his life has been, and the knowledge that he has been able to beat it and be who he is.....

Thanks, Wentworth Miller, for being a very human, human being.

You give us some faith in the human race.

gug

Friday, February 17, 2017

To A Moral Uganda?

That sounds like the most innocent, most wonderful, 'godly', heavenly idea...., in a country of 'god' fearing people like Ugandans.

Problem is...., when the details are down to whose moral ideals...., it becomes an insurmountable challenge.

In Uganda, almost all meetings, including in Parliament, start with a prayer.
No, the constitution of the Republic of Uganda states, and I quote
Chapter Two : 7
"7. Non-adoption of a State religion. 
Uganda shall not adopt a State religion."
But that is what it says, and what happens....., and of course, since 85% of Ugandans are Christian...., or call themselves so, then  the prayers are always to god as the Christians think the deity to be.... Though is supposed to be same god with our Moslem siblings ....., oooohhhhhh! 

Yeah..., am betraying my faith. Don't you dare. Make conclusions..., that is.

Anyway, besides engaging a Ugandan on abortion ...., shit...!!! I saw this headline.
MPs to form a forum on ethics due to the increased moral decay
The parliamentarians in question are Ugandans. Led by the Right Honourable Nsaba Buturo, former, and first Minister of Ethics and Integrity...., and right now in retirement.

But matters of morality dont rest. And Nsaba-Buturo is a mighty warrior on the morality front.
He was the Minister when the Anti-Homosexuality bill saw light in the Ugandan parliament. He was strongly supportive. Moved all that he could. Sadly...., sadly..., it delayed and was broken...

This dude wanted us dead and in prison for life just because we were homosexuals who loved others who are gay.

So, whose morality do you think Nsaba-Buturo would be enforcing?

Morality is a funny thing. Because I am a Ugandan, Nsaba-Buturo would assume, that as a matter of course, I would have the same 'morality compass' as he does.

But that is sheer impossibility.

We are all different. And, for a nation of near 34 Million people, it is impossible for us to agree on as many things as those which constitute a moral compass. After all, just a few years ago, Nsaba-Buturo thought it within his moral compass to mandate the death penalty to Ugandans such as me who dared to love other Ugandans of the same sex.

At that time, I was in my first long time relationship. I remember once, after a wonderful bout of love making that I thought, incredulously, that that is what my fellow UGandans felt was worth killing over? Simply because I made love to a guy that loved me and I loved them, and we lay together in each others arms in post orgasmic satiation......

I guess I was never so utterly convinced of my...., NEED...., to get up, and get out there, and affirm that I was a normal, adult, responsible human being, and that those who felt that it was within their moral compass to condemn me for who and what I was and what I did....., I would fight them.

And, that has been driving me for a long time.

And, I remember it. Even now.

So,

Buturo seeks to do something about Uganda's deterioreting morality. I would support him....., if I thought within that rhetoric hid a love for the country. But, there isnt.

There is a desire for him to enforce his morality onto the country...., and against me..., and against those who like me think differently from him.

Not against those who are raping the country.

Not against those who, in corruption, are crippling the country.

But, against people like me, Ugandans who are gay, queer, and different. Minorities who are naked and defenceless against his ability to marshall the state resources to get us into prison and onto death row for the simple problem of disagreeing or not seeing the same way as his moral compass....., the sin of loving one who is similar to me, a gay human being.

No. 

I would hold onto the spirit and facts of our constitutituion.

And fight to make existing laws against corruption, governance and human rights work as should be.

Because 'morality' in the view of a Nsaba-Buturo is very different from 'human rights' as agreed upon by most of the countries of the world.

And, any day, I would take human rights over 'morality.'


gug

Thursday, February 16, 2017

BBC Witness; A Valentine's Day Special....

Hey,

see, the news comes out and is on the net, and one trawls and nets it.

This is a stand alone...., to all Queer Africans. A Valentines Day Special

Just click on the link and listen to the program...., it is edifying...

Yeah, it is hosted on the BBC website, a radio link, but it should play well anywhere. 9 minutes.

And, you know what, gay love, queer love is special, because of how ordinary people walk thru fire to enjoy it.


gug

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Irresponsible Reporting

We all learn lots from media. And, in most of Africa, it means newspapers.....
And that means depending on reporters.

Not sure how much we depend on these sources? Remember #FakeNews and the effect on the 2016 US elections? We have many analogue equivalents...., except that much of the fake news is main line.......

Imagine this irresponsible headline. 
An old article, Dec 2016. But, it serves well to illustrate the point.

Of course the expert could have been talking about something totally different, like HIV is spread by sex..., and for parents to acknowledge that children can have sex with one another...., consensual sex (hell, 'children' is defined by under 18, which would mean most of us actually first had sex as children! Fact. Not to underplay the very real occurrence of child sexual abuse.)

Yep, I dare to say, that, as teens, when our sexual hormones first flood our bloodstreams, we begin to have very normal sexual thoughts, and act out our dreams....., of sex and sexuality.

That may label me a pervert (especially in Uganda..., with our hypocritical attitude to sex and sexuality). But it is a truth that I had to verify till I understood its normality.

But, back to the story. It was supposedly a press briefing from the National AIDS Council of Zimbabwe on the 'hotspots'
NAC provincial Aids coordinator Mrs Sinatra Nyathi said all boys’ schools were a hotspot as the environment made it easy for boys to engage in risky behaviour. She said same sex relationships in boys’ schools could be fuelling HIV.

Not very nice at all. And the big 'h' word has been dropped. That serves to blind to everything else. One of those words which cause our brains to switch off into stereotypes.... Use it responsibly...., or not.
 We have reports of boys who abuse drugs, engage in risky sexual behaviour during Vuzu parties and we cannot rule out the issue of same sex relationships which is slowlycreeping into our schools,” said Mrs Nyathi.

Hmmmm, more and more red meat to those who are triggered bloody by it....
“Unfortunately due to policy, we do not have evidence neither can we conduct studies related to such as we know that our society does not readily accept the existence of same sex relationships. The same situation is likely to be obtaining at girls only schools though these arenot part of our hotspots.”

Uh....., So, all this...., from no evidence? Only rumors????!!!

Of course am the first to concede that in schools, horny teenagers will do all they can to experience the pleasure of sex. Of course it happens. And no amount of denial will take it away. But, taking a nice big brush to casually flick it on this wall is not the way to go around informing a homophobic public of the possibility of gay sex in schools...., and of course in the same breath string along HIV. People, stigma is a surprisingly cruel, living entity..., malignant beyond belief! HIV stigma, homophobia, they are real!

And. Why is their no evidence? 

The problem of conservative Africa. Children are below 18. Sex is for adults. So, children below 18 need not know about sex. Simple logic...., stupid. You dont believe it? Well, in Uganda..., here is a recent article in the government daily reiterating 'Abstinence only' as the policy for education in Ugandan schools. And, remember that just last year, 18,000 kids were thrown out of school, because they were being taught something about human sexuality....! Better for them to stay illiterate..., than to be taught anything about how our wonderful body function with regards to sex.
“You will notice that besides all boys’ schools, we have a growing trend of teenage sex workers in our suburbs. These sex workers, who include boys, then fail to access health care and important HIV preventioninterventions because of their age. For example we are now rolling out Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in some districts but those teenagesex workers cannot access it or get tested because of their age,” she said.
More red meat. Of course, in a conservative society, blame HIV on homosexuals and sex workers.

Of course.

And, worst of all, the paper puts a pic of two guys on the article. At least online. Are they gay? Or just models? Have they given consent to have their images associated with such an article? We are not informed of any of this....., all that we see is the headline, the ill constructed story, the innuendos and a devastating picture painting the two as guilty without any word to that effect.

Pity the guys...., and anyone that might resemble them, in Zimbabwe.

And in case you think am exaggerating, here is the story of a man who was beaten to death in Nigeria, because he was mistaken for his brother who had been chased from the parents home because he was suspected to be gay. And, the ones who did the chasing and the beating, a group of youths. Vigilantes to keep the village clean of homosexuality.


Words matter. Their effects can be devastating to a vulnerable, stigmatised population like Queer Africans in Africa.

gug