Wednesday, November 3, 2010


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!


  1. If that's all he did, I'd say you were lucky. You seem interesting (and I'm not flirting. Cross my fingers). I'm gay-ish/maybe bi/ definitely attracted to males. And I'm Kenyan. Email me at, I'd like to talk to someone who's in a similar situation to mine.

  2. Well written!

    Isn't it amazing how some people make such a storm in a teacup about such things still...

    I like the fact that more than anything else you make people see that you're human ...

    Humans are so much more alike than they are different