Specifically, I want to be hired by Uganda’s president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as his spokesperson on homosexual affairs.
Okay, perhaps that would be too narrow a remit. Can he maybe hire me as his special adviser on matters relating to sex and sexuality? If you bear with me, you will see why this is such an excellent idea.
I am ready to be your public relations manager, your consultant, your special adviser, your go-to person whenever human rights activists from the USA or wherever come to nag when you are resting at your country home in Rwakitura, or when you wish to clip the ears of a stubborn member of Parliament or wayward Speaker of the House.
What’s brought this on?
Simple. Who better to hire than a gay man whose fabled objectivity keeps friends and foes on their toes in trepidation that he might call them out?
Secondly, Mr. President, you need simple lessons in sexual public relations. Of course you are right when you argue that [in a manner of speaking] if you were to kiss your wife in public you would lose an election. That would be a very Ugandan reaction.
Mr. President, in me you are preaching to the converted on the issue of exhibitionism. Yours truly has lived on four continents and attended more gay pride parades than some people have had hot dinners. But I have nonetheless remained unimpressed by public displays of affection, preferring instead the Ugandan demure, roundabout, way.
Yes, this means that I frown on gay pride parades, hanging by the chandeliers or engaging in lesbian cat fights in public bars, men having backseat sex in public car parks, “cottaging” (having sex in public toilets) and any form of militancy that seeks to push the sexual envelope with lurid, simulated, sexual displays. That is ‘cut and paste’ stuff’ that might look good in San Francisco’s Castro District. In Uganda, it should be taken home and kept there.
Yes, Mr. President, we should keep our gay sexual peccadilloes in our gay bars (even if we don’t seem to have any), at our private gatherings, in our bedrooms. But it would help if you would say this not only when you are addressing American pressure groups, but Ugandans too. Activists must indeed respect the confidentiality of sex in our traditions and culture, but so should Martin Ssempa and his ilk who fail to respect our traditional expectation of sexual confidentiality when they try to incite the masses with pornographic shows on the pulpit.
We just need to make sure that our repressed attitudes towards sex are not used as an excuse to deny gay Ugandans equal access to the medical care they need – as is now the case.
As for your perennial refrain of there being “… no discrimination, no killings, no marginalization, no luring of young people using money into homosexual acts,” you are right. Well, almost totally right.
The problem is that you say there is no discrimination and then stay deafeningly silent when your Minister of Ethics barges like a bull in a China stores into gay and lesbian gatherings in hotels in Entebbe and elsewhere . How can that be looked at as anything other than discriminatory when it is fairly plain that the activists have a right to assemble just like any other Ugandan?
Also, why is there such a time lag between the silly, ignorant pronouncements from your ministers and members of Parliament that young people are being recruited into homosexuality and your repudiation of these foolish claims? Hire me to monitor and alert you to such paranoia so that it is addressed by [what would be] our office promptly.
Please, Mr. President … hire me. You can reach me on email@example.com. I am available for discussions (interviews if you like but I am really so good you would be missing a critical opportunity not to jump at my offer) any time, at your convenience of course. I recognize that there is a time element to this so I hope you will respond to my excellent idea quickly, certainly before the next delegation of human rights activists from the USA, Britain or Canada come calling which we all know they will.
I not only promise to help you clean up Uganda’s battered reputation as the worst place in the world to be gay; an utterly outrageous claim when viewed against places such as the United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Iran, rural Georgia and North Dakota, (USA), I will also help you figure out ways of taking the politics of mendacity, exaggeration, obfuscation, double speak, opportunism and hysteria out of the debate.
I agree that you have fundamentally changed your position and are not an enemy of the gay community despite what some on our side rashly claim. But you could surely do with a consultant to fine-tune your ‘gay’ message and infuse it with much needed consistency.