Thursday, November 25, 2010

WATOTO CHURCH'S PLANS FOR 'THE GAYS'

You may have by now heard about Watoto Church’s apparent plans to help reform homosexual youth. If I were in the Western world I would be furious, because I know the dangers of reparative / conversion therapy all too well…but I’m in Uganda where the Ssempas of the world meet the Muhame’s. We’re in Uganda, home of bulls#*t rags that call themselves newspapers and post pictures of gay people calling for their hanging. We’re where gay people go to jail without trial or even face death because they’re different, so it may actually be a win situation for the Ugandan gay community. I know some of you might have lost me there, but well, let me explain. 

Watoto Church is the first mega Church in Uganda let alone group that has actually come out to say they want to help the ‘gays’. I know it’s not exactly help but isn’t it a step away from the way the churches have been demonizing gay people. I mean, seriously, this can’t be worse than the ‘no room for discussion/ interaction, arrest them!’ attitude most people here have towards homosexuals…so it may be a small step in the right direction to Ugandans realizing gay people do not choose to be gay. It even makes the reality of gay people really being there more ‘put out there.’ Imagine if instead of churches here preaching against gays and for the Kill The Gays Bill, they actually started trying to ‘help’ the gays change…I know it's dangerous psychologically for the person they're trying to 'change', but I suppose we should roll with the lesser of the two evils. A parent somewhere is going to find out their kid is gay, they're going to take him to be reformed...he will seem reformed for a while but later they will find him out and realize he never really changed, and voila! we have a realization that people are born gay; well, in most cases, some parents will resort to throwing the poor kid out. Anything that will contribute to the shift in the homophobic mindset that is dominant here, I’ll tolerate, not that I’m going to sign up to be ‘repaired’ or anything…I’d just rather I be looked at as someone who needs help when I actually don't, than a demon that should be destroyed...just saying.

There are a few quotes by the church I find rather amusing though; “...identifying, providing care for and reforming homosexual youth, helping them re-integrate into societyUhhh, okay…they want to identify us, and how do they plan on doing that??? Rounding up all the limp-wristed men in Kampala? They really had me at re-integrate! Ha-ha. I can assure you that the majority of LGBT youth have no problem with that…they have integrated themselves into society so much that there are probably a couple serving in your church, so much that many of them even talk ill of gay people, and by ill I mean vile and repulsive. They are at pulpits, they are in boardrooms, they are in hospitals, they are in your homes…why are they hiding, you ask; because none wants to be demonized and persecuted. If anyone should teach the art of blending in, it is gay people, we have mastered it. We exist. We are everywhere! Be terrified! ; )

Thursday, November 18, 2010

SIBLINGS AND DEATH TRAPS


















My brothers come home this week... just when my life couldn’t get any easier! This means knocks on my door at 9 in the morning, having to look around for my cologne only to find it halfway and mostly having to delete my internet history every time. Sigh! On the brighter side, I've kinda missed them, plus it means I don’t have to do all the driving around. You know how when you get your license you’re so excited and jump right into every opportunity to get behind the wheel, oh how those days are so behind me; I’d give anything to not drive anymore in this danger zone of a town, it’s exhausting! I usually can literally feel the life being sucked out of me. But once in a while I get a good laugh in noticing a few foreign drivers on our roads, have you noticed them before? Looking all panicky like they’re in a freaking death trap; their faces flushed red and beads of sweat shooting out of their pores. Oh how hilarious!!! Who can blame them? Driving on these streets is a daily battle we’re used to. The ‘Boda Bodas’ think every route is for them; one ways, red lights, even the sidewalk! Then there are the Taxis (matatus) that are always trying to squeeze into any small gap available, spewing obscenities and leaving dust in their wake. Did I mention the potholes? Driving on these roads is about trial and error; or trial and terror is more like it. Good God have mercy on Kampala and all who inhabit it!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

CHRISTIANITY, HYPOCRISY AND SELF ACCEPTANCE.

I don’t know why I’m constantly drenched in rain water every Sunday on my way from service. Perhaps it’s mother nature’s way of telling me to stop going just because the music at my church rocks. Seriously, I’m a sucker for good music, secular or Christian. The church I go to in the middle of Kampala makes just the cut and no amount of anti gay rhetoric can keep me away from it. Unlike many gay people in the world I find it a waste of my mental energy to be so against Christianity. It’s such a drag being against anything or being angry all the time. Sure, I sometimes want to hit religious zealots in the head with my shoe but I don't make it a lifestyle to constantly be negative about 'Born-Agains' or Evangelical Christians. I try not to be angry or anti-anything. Mother Teresa said; “If you want me to come to an anti-war rally, don’t expect me to show up, but if you invite me to a pro-peace rally, then I will…” or something like that.

Some gay people I’ve spoken to are often repulsed at Christianity or the Bible, because of how they’ve been used to condemn them. I’ve never found need to lash out against any of these things. If I don’t like the way the pastor portrays gay people I just ignore it, because he might never come to know the truth that gay people are born that way. If the stonewall era-gay activists spent their time condemning Christianity rather than focusing on gay rights, the U.S would have come an insignificant way in LGBT acceptance.

Sitting in church today, for some reason I recalled how I had once immersed myself so much in Christianity in my first four years of boarding high school ( yeah we do six years here). I was in the choir, church committee, I led praise and worship, gosh I was so on fire! One Sunday during service it just clicked in my mind that there I was putting myself in a role model position in a way of life that condemned who I was…I was gay. I finally accepted. The preacher was going on and on about “how the gays are going to destroy our country, how they’re disgusting and how they’re unnatural.” How could this be unnatural when it’s all I’ve known my entire life, I thought. How could this be unnatural when I’ve tried to bury it and it has all failed? At that moment I walked out and I never went back. I figured that if there was any way I could honor this Jesus that I so deeply believed in, it would be to stop hiding my sexuality from myself behind veils of church leadership.

In the days that followed I pulled myself out of the weekly fellowships and ditched the committee meetings. When I left I had been really looked up to as a Christian figure in school and many people were let down. People kept approaching me asking what was wrong and I’d just shrug. It was kinda sad.

These recent months the realization has hit me that there are plenty of Ugandan gay youth in the church, that are the way I was then. There’s this 25 y/o guy I recently I met on the internet and weeks later we had a 'date'. I was nervous…what if he turned out to be not so good looking? That fear dissipated when I finally saw him. He was perfect. He had said earlier that I’d meet him at a meeting then we’d leave later. Awkward! I thought, but he was hot so I let it slide with little more than a whatever. Later I found out that meeting was actually a Christian fellowship and that he was a Sunday school teacher at his church. I was warmly welcomed into the fellowship as a friend of his. We sat far apart from each other, him on the opposite side. As I was seated there, the leader of the fellowship announced a verse and my ‘date’ was happy to read it…it was one of those that condemned certain things, one of which was homosexuality. I looked at him and wondered how he did it.

It really beats me that all these closeted, gay Ugandans I’ve met or heard of are actively part of their churches. They are in the choir; they are part of the counseling team, they are ushers. Some of them even gay-bash with scripture.  Are they trying to distract themselves? Are they looking to be healed of their homosexuality? If it is the latter, I can’t complain. Who am I to say they can’t be healed. It’s their experience not mine. What I can say is I’ve had my experience and I’ve learnt and decided a couple of things. One is that I’m happy to be gay and just another inactive person in church, one that is just there for the enjoyment of the lights and music and the occasional feeling of being connected to this God person, and mostly, one that responds to the Homophobic Churchy bigots with absolute apathy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UGANDA NEEDS MORE GAYS.

I was walking down Bombo Rd when it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks….Kampala desperately needs more gays. Yeah it must be sad for some people to acknowledge this but it’s so true. As a nation we should start kissing some gay ass, seriously. The reality of the world today is that gay people are among the most intelligent, creative, innovative, witty people there are. On top of all that we’re just so goddamn fabulous! And what more, what more could Uganda possibly need to resurrect its tragic comedy, drab journalism, uninspiring architecture and criminal design scene. There, I said it, it’s out there… Sorry Sylvie-O!

I’m not saying there aren’t any straight people in the creative arts or science, there certainly are…plenty. What I’m saying is the best are always the gay ones, go figure, don’t make me start naming names. This is all probably because young gay people, direct their frustration due to the intolerance of society and homophobia in most communities around the world into things that distract them from this. They direct their frustration and energy into drama, art, science, music, writing, you name it, they bury themselves in it.  What we need to get rid of the mediocrity in our advertising, design, theatre, film and television, etc, is this kind of talent.

I’m not trying to soften anyone’s heart towards the gay community, God knows I am anything but an activist, just an annoying gay teenager that sees and thinks. I’m just saying it as it is and if you don’t like it, well, you can just suck my……….toe!

So you see, we need the gays to come out wherever they are and start to shine. It is very likely most are already shining, but in their closets. Most of all we need this country to make it possible, and that means getting rid of that ignorant bill, teaching tolerance and putting laws in place that protect them...Oh, and shutting up bigots like Ssempa. It may take time but it will happen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO.

I must admit I’m not quite the documentary fan, the closest I’ve gotten to ‘documentarish’ is the real housewives of orange county…but I recently stumbled upon one that I think everyone should watch whether they’re gay or straight, it’s called FOR THE BIBLES TELLS ME SO (Religion: The Horrors, Beliefs and Homophobia). It’s about the misuse of the Bible to justify Homophobia and other kinds of prejudice. Watch the trailer below:


                      video
Many people in Uganda lack education about homosexuality and I guess this does just the trick. All I know is I’m definitely showing it to my parents when I fully come out…that’s if they’ll want to hear me out. But it is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever watched. This is the you tube link to the full thing, so is the one in the text above. It’s in parts so just follow the numbers. Enjoy!  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

THE MANY DELUSIONS OF GILES MUHAME

The Interview.
Giles Muhame and his little elf Abenaitwe Cliff make quite an interesting study…well, along with a few other Ugandans; but Giles Muhame definitely takes the post of mayor of crazy town. I have never met anyone with a mind clouded by so much delusion in my entire life. It’s so bad that he actually refers to his little rug as “The Mighty Rolling Stone”, and I’ve had beyond my fair share of lol’s. They both seem so justified in their pit-latrine journalism its hilarious, the irony is delicious! The funniest yet is how he thinks he’s doing good…On the rug’s facebook page (which seems to have been taken down by facebook by the way), he posted: “The mighty rolling stone is making headlines around the world…”,or something of the like, and some other hogwash.  Its very mind boggling that he really can’t see that the reason its making headlines is not because of how ‘mighty’ but rather how asinine it is, like a foreign user had stated on the page.

Abenaitwe, who also works for the paper as you might have figured, has a similar mindset…on his facebook profile he constantly rants about gays in the country and how they should all go to a ‘special hell’, as if there are no more important journalistic topics in Uganda. Has this become his whole life? What happens when this anti-gay fire burns out, what then will become of the 'Mighty rolling rug'? In reading a couple of his recent posts it is clear that he feels very empowered, like he has finally found salvation, like this is his calling, ‘to name and shame’ the gays,lol!!! His and Giles' attitude seems to be that of a kid that shuts his ears and shouts ‘Lalalalalala’ when they are being told what they don’t want to hear…evidence of this can be seen when one of his friends comments on one of Giles' vile posts that he is targeting innocent people.(there are some sane Ugandans after all).
The one moment I thought I saw evil reincarnated was when I was watching Giles’ interview with David McKenzie, he said:
 "We thought by publishing the story, the police would capture them, prosecute them and hang   them!"
I looked into the eyes of the man who had just given voice to those words and sighed. Didn’t know what to feel at that moment, it was a mix of amusement and shock, I laughed for a moment, it was all so surreal before but I had finally realized that this guy really is demented, that there was no amount of rhetoric or education that could get him out of that brainwashed thinking. The interviewer was clearly taken aback, and throughout the interview his facial expression screams "Dude! What the hell is wrong with you?" I recently found out Giles did another interview and in it he said: wait for it…….. "We published the areas where they live so that counselors could find them and help them," I mean really? What counselor in Uganda does door to door service? What a lame cover up! What an a**!!!

I have on many occasions met plenty of Muhames and Abenaitwes, people who feel so justified in their thinking  just because, just because what? Its unnatural? Unnatural meaning you’ve never seen or heard anything like it? Well, news flash! the whites in America felt exactly that way towards the blacks a couple decades back, but we've moved on. And when we see new unfamiliar things or characters we don’t just lash out now do we? As human beings we try to learn and understand in order to determine whether or not it is a danger to us before we condemn. The medieval attitude of labeling whatever we don’t understand as danger should be long gone…we should be wiser after those lessons we learnt from the Genocide, The Holocaust, The Civil rights movement, Apartheid and yes, from the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

LOL'Z

                                                        Haha...Ssempa comes to mind.

INQUISITIVE HIGHSCHOOL BRATS

I am constantly amused when I look at how most Ugandans react to Homosexuality, its pretty appalling most times if you ask me. However there are few reactions that stand out.

I remember coming out to this one straight friend; Tom. He was the first person I told. I was in my final year of high school. He always had an inkling but he wanted it confirmed, so he kept harassing me to tell him until one night, feeling alone and frustrated I finally told him. It was all so surreal to him. He took it well. Then he started asking me questions like…How do you do it? And i was out. Well, I finally had someone to talk to about sex, crushes and hope for the future…on many occasions my dorm-mates would be perplexed at our abrupt laughter and coded conversation, many times trying to listen in but failing miserably.

For some reason a couple of boys in my class…the ones that ruled the scene and dated all the hot girls-took a huge interest in my sexuality. I was the kid that always seemed like he had better things to do. I liked to think of myself as the face of the sophisticated crowd in school, so as a result it was hard for some people, even my own classmates to reach me or get to know me, especially the girls; I could tell they wanted to but there was no route. I strictly kept to my circle of friends. And now that the pressure of curiosity had overwhelmed them, the ‘Ganja/soccer/testosterone pumping’ crowd had gathered in my cubicle. We talked about random things and laughed amongst ourselves, they were quite comical. Soon they were firing question after question: Which girl do you find attractive in class? Have you ever had a crush? Porn???...And to all these I would answer “I don’t know” or “no”, but in a not so serious manner.

These scenarios happened quite often and always ended in conclusions that I was gay and the boys walking out saying ‘its official the guy is gay’ like it had been a major topic of discussion prior to that. A shrug from me always followed. But for some reason it was never final because I never gave voice to those words: I’M GAY. So in no time they’d be joking around with me again. It was a never ending cycle. I still to this day have no idea why those boys; who are still friends with me today; took and still take a peculiar interest in my sexuality. Perhaps the reason they can't come to a conclusion is because the presence of gay people in this country is almost inconceivable to most. Or I'm just too seemingly straight.

The one reaction that stands prominent in my mind was that of Jack…a guy I had an immense crush on. He had always sent all these signals and flirted with me from time to time. Although several other boys flirted with me usually in a joking manner, he always kept eye contact. So there we were in the heat of the afternoon sun watching  those gnarly basket ball players run to and fro across the court. We were in deep conversation and somehow got to the point of girls. I wasn’t showing much interest so I said bluntly that I liked boys. There was a pause for what seemed like forever until he finally said; “No, I know you can’t be gay!” Now I was confused…isn’t that what he wanted? ...For me to be gay? I then said, with a wry smile; ‘no really…I like boys’. He took one long stare into my hazel eyes and walked off. Yikes!