29/1/2014:. Forget the Geneva Conventions and all those important instruments. Forget the constitution of Uganda and its almost nonexistent ‘rights for all’. Heck, forget the legal implications of the AHB or the political and economic ties Museveni must have on this Bill.; The Anti Homosexuality Bill.
This has been my life, for a while now as I’ve known it and I will attempt to spill some raw emotions here before some Muzungu journalist comes to ask me that dreaded question I hate so much: “so tell me about the Anti Homosexuality Bill” they inquire with a sigh of relief that lets u know they couldn’t wait to get to this part.
The thing is I have not had a single good night sleep since 20th/12/2013 when the dreaded anti homosexuality Bill was passed. It has been terrible, fitful nights but last night was particularly nightmarish. I slept off on the couch only to awake at 12am covered in sweat and terrified. I dreamt that the police and a gang of boda boda cyclists came to our office (an LBTI organization) and they raped us (my colleagues and i) as the police men (and women) cheered them on. I went to bed, curled up in a corner and wept quietly that my son may not hear.
There has been a series of arrests of suspected homosexuals. Some have been bundled up from the streets on to police trucks whereas some have been snatched from their homes as they lay around in boxer shorts watching movies. The suspects have been paraded in front of the media and subjected to body searches to ascertain if they have had anal sex recently…Please!!! The Bill has not been signed into law by the president but such incidences are already happening. This kind of charade instills hatred in the general public; that it has become risky for some of us to move around freely or even go out to work. The trick is to buy groceries and just lay low in our homes. Kasha always says that’s exactly what the anti gay pushers want, which has come to pass. Their motive is to have us panic and go underground. But what happens when a person is backed up against the wall??? We shall see more suicides, blackmail, and breakups in same sex relationships. Need I say more?
My best friend (the most bold, masculine woman I know) and I were moving on the streets yesterday when a boda rider asked if he could take us to the office (mentioning the area where our office is located). It would take the slightest provocation for them to actually gang up and lynch us let alone rape us. It’s just not safe anymore.
After over 3years of battling for custody of my son at several clan meetings and children’s courts, I finally have him. I should be celebrating but am terrified. It is hard enough raising a son as a single mother; single handedly, but fear engulfs me constantly as I question myself if having him at this time is safe. I may be arrested anytime. I am afraid that he will be bullied at school… “oh there goes the kid with the lesbian mother.”
I have to double check the window and door locks every night just in case the police decided to stop by. I nearly slipped and fell in the bathroom as I shoved some of my organization material in the ceiling. I want to spend nights in the closet (literally) only I can’t fit.
So first the president said he wouldn’t sign the Bill until he had done thorough investigations into it. Then he sent it to the NRM caucus where it was agreed that doctors be consulted to prove that homosexuality is an abnormality which would guide due recommendations to the Bill. Then a letter manifested in which the president blasted the speaker for allowing the bill to pass with no quorum in the house. In the said letter, he ‘mercifully’ stated that homosexuality should be treated as an abnormality and that gays deserve a lesser sentence than death and life in prison. Funny bit is he said lesbians are sexually starved women who have failed to get men to marry them.
I would hate to get into the politics of things but would love to tell Museveni that I, A LESBIAN, was married to a man who on average could give very good sex but fortunately (key word Fortunately) men just don’t do it for me. So as a sexually liberated woman, I would at times leave my husband in our bed and go out to meet my own. Believe me it happens. Maybe Uganda needs to rethink the whole HIV strategy along those lines.
Uganda is not yet the worst place to be gay but I can say we are headed there; full throttle.
When times are hard such as this one, I go and lie on my mum’s laps and talk and feel better but my mum is one of the people who believe gay people should be shot… to death. My friends, just like me have their burdens to bear.
What can we do now????
It feels like being on death row not knowing when you are going to be killed. We may be out of cages but we are prisoners of our fear, of this uncertainty, of the threats, of the derogatory remarks wherever we pass, of having to constantly look over our shoulders just to be sure. It is sickening!!!
No Museveni…We are not crazy but this situation is surely driving us crazy.
A Lesbian mother