You know when a one-night-stand who’s left town for good calls you, it’s not going to be a good morning. That was exactly what I was thinking when a man I had spent a lovely night with called me on my way to work, effectively turning an already grey London morning even greyer. After exchanging pleasantries (it’s England after all), he told me he had tested positive for an STI and I should get checked out. Read the rest of this entry »
A cautious response on both sides of the issue and a member of the opposition party speaks her truth
By Melanie Nathan, September 07, 2014.
Members of Uganda’s Parliament have reaffirmed their commitment to pass the Anti-Homosexuality Act which was recently invalidated by the Constitutional Court on a technicality. The Act was set aside by the Court last month, because it had passed Parliament without the required quorum, back in December, 2013. No sooner than its demise, the Ugandan legislators vowed to fast track the re-tabling of the Bill before Parliament and signed a petition calling for its return. Now is surely the time for a more subdued reaction, as hopefully the West will not be tricked again into the political play book of over zealous politicians and a duped God fearing country.
Scott Lively corrupted Uganda with his revisionist account of Homosexuality and his attacks on gays. he is…
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Just after reading that the anti-gay bill was slowly making its way again in Uganda, it seems another African country has decided to go down that road. The Gambia, the smallest continental African country known for its beautiful beaches, friendly people and infamous autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh (of the ridiculous HIV cure) has passed a law that metes out life sentences for aggravated homosexuality – meaning having sex with someone who has been drugged, a minor (below 18 years), or with an IQ below normal. Currently gay sex in the country is punishable by a five to seven-year jail sentence. While The Gambian President is yet to sign it, I have little doubt that he will, after all this is a man who said on national television recently that : “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.” It’s quite interesting that The Gambia does deal out such sentences to men who sleep with underage girls or marry them. According to UNICEF, about 46.5% of girls are married before 18.
I’m not sure what this country plans to achieve with this new law. I’m not sure of the benefit to their president, seeing as he doesn’t have any major political opponents. If it’s to satisfy the Gambian people, I’m certain there other ways to do that besides attempting to control what some adults choose to do in their private lives with other consenting adults.
I keep wondering what I can do as an African gay man to stem this tide of hate.
While having a much-needed tea break in a nearby café just before closing, I ran into a friend and colleague I hadn’t seen in a few months. We’d become friendly after we collaborated on project but when the it ended and we went back to our departments, we never seemed to find the time to meet up. It was unfortunate as I enjoyed her company and she was one of the only gay people at work I was friends with. However I wasn’t out to her. She once described me as “the straightest” straight man she knew. While I was amused, I wasn’t sure I liked that description especially the frisson of pleasure I felt when she said it. Did that mean I was completely boring with no redeeming qualities? Was the fact that I felt some pleasure inside mean I was still clinging to the hetero-normative ideas of manhood and had a problem with feminine qualities I or other men possessed? Read the rest of this entry »
Leaders of LGBT rights groups in Uganda have asked Ugandan police to investigate reports that seven LGBT people have been stoned to death or burned alive in rural sections of the country in recent weeks.
Kampala-based LGBT organizations believe that the reports are untrue.
The reports came from the Friends New Underground Railroad (FNUR), an organization operating in the United States and East Africa that was founded to help endangered LGBT people in Uganda who wanted to leave the country.
FNUR said that three gay men, two lesbians and a transgender person were stoned by a mob during the week of Aug. 11. Five of them died from the stoning, while the sixth survived briefly until doused in kerosene and set on fire, FNUR said. In a separate incident elsewhere in Uganda, FNUR said, a 28-year-old gay man was attacked by another mob…
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I heard of a young man (within two degrees of separation), handsome and smart who committed suicide by shooting himself with his father’s gun. He had been troubled, sad, frustrated and felt he had no one to talk to. He cloaked his inner turmoil in humour, cleverness and life-of-the-party-ness. When he couldn’t handle it any more, he stopped.
For a while I’ve felt overwhelmed. I feel the weight of having to be responsible. Friendly. Sensible. Lacking the African shoulder chip. Feeling worthy of something when I know I didn’t put in enough work. Having to be capable. Smart. Funny. Fun. Caring. Confident. Knowledgeable when I feel like a fraud.
And I’m tired. I don’t want to see another therapist. Sometimes I feel I learned much more of psychologists than they ever did of me. How they attempt to shape your treatment based on what they think is right for you and not what is actually right – if ‘right’ actually exists. How they live vicariously through your own experiences. But I’m so tired of having to wear masks everyday. I want to run away to a place that I don’t have to be polite. Responsible. Sane. Reasonable. Friendly. I want to ride the wave of the anger, joy, happiness, irrationality, redness, light, darkness, weakness, power, nothingness that I feel rising higher and higher inside me and see where it takes me. I want to retreat so far into myself that the world ceases to exist. I don’t want to wear a mask today.
But I fear that if I give in, I will never find my way back. I cannot afford that. And so as I put on another mask and leave home, I believe everything will be okay.
I will be okay.