I am really about to despair at this drip-drip stuff coming out of Western left and right field, propagated by our friends and sympathizers which, however, has no bearing on the truth whatsoever.
There is NO violent anti-gay movement in Uganda, really there isn’t, and we who know the truth and, dare one say it, live it, need to say it loud and clear. The evangelicals are doing what they can to foment anti-gay sentiment, using well-known proxies, but it is a travesty of the truth for the New York Times (Roger William Ross) to claim that they have succeeded. These kinds of “cry wolf” reports might just be what drives the movement to take effect.
We, gay men and women on the ground, need our Ugandan neighbors to understand us, something that might never happen fully in my lifetime. But these hackneyed videos of recycled, clichéd stuff, only serve to create indignation in the minds of people who would otherwise see our point of view, however gradually that may be. The reason for this is that stuff such as Roger Ross Williams’ video perpetrate the impression that Ugandans are hateful, vengeful homophobes, something that is a caricature of the truth.
Watch Williams’ snippet; you will not see the evidence of a violent anti gay movement and the reason is simple: Ugandans are quite simply not that kind of people.
Let’s be clear. Pockets of influence are trying to make political careers and money off of the backs of homosexuals in Uganda. They don’t speak for the majority of Ugandans, however. Indeed, with the level of anti-gay sentiment (not violence!!) in Uganda many of these people who are making videos about homophobia in Uganda would really best be advised to put things in perspective.
They might be surprised to learn that far more gay men and women are being killed in South Africa, which has solid anti-gay laws on its statutes. Indeed, more gay men and women have been killed in Washington, DC in the last three years due to direct homophobic attacks than in Uganda in the past 10 years. Roger Ross Williams cannot contradict me on this because, of course, I am right.
Martin Ssempa and his homophobic friends are in cahoots with American evangelicals, mostly for money. Ssempa, however, has a following of perhaps 2o0 die-hard souls, in a country of 34 million. For any writer to use this man as a representative of “violent” Uganda is, frankly, offensive. And I am saying this as a gay man who lives in Uganda, not some fly-by-night film maker who makes a whistle-stop tour and then reaches the conclusions he was looking to reach in the first place.
Mr. Roger Ross Williams, I feel more threatened by your scare-mongering hyperbole, which might push the Ugandans who already know I am gay to turn against me because they may finally decide to live up to the rash claims you are making against them. It is half-baked, hastily scrambled stories like yours that will likely make Ugandans indignant enough to act on their antipathy towards homosexuality – antipathy they are entitled to but which they are not acting upon in the ruinous way your video tries to claim they are.
And, no, I am not on the payroll of the government of Uganda. I am a gay Ugandan who sees this kind of wild, baseless, self-serving, ‘cry wolf’ journalism as more harmful than helpful to our cause and case in Uganda.
I don’t know of any gay violence in Uganda that is unique to Uganda alone. I hear of more frequent anti-gay horror stories coming out of South Africa and, dare one say it, the USA. I know of Ugandan politicians and evangelical barracudas trying to make a living by inciting gay hatred, but I don’t know of any mass action by Ugandans against gays. No one I know of has ever illustrated that that sort of thing is happening – yet.
Enough on this already.
- 2012 gone – bring on 2013 (sebaspace.wordpress.com)
- Ugandan Catholic Priest Persecuted by Scott Lively’s Anti-Gay Campaign speaks of bribes (oblogdeeoblogda.me)