On the raid of a gay pride event.

The Ugandan government, media and anti homosexuality activists have hammered it into our heads: LGBTQ is not African. Those that subscribe to those identities are a result of western influence. That Africa has way too many problems to prioritize this particular freedom. That Africans in general just do not do this sort of thing. But I remember that boy in primary school. We all know the one. Before we ever had of all these sophisticated words, there was this little boy who was a girl. He didn’t flick his hair and pronounce his female-ness in that sassy manner we’ve come to know and love but he was the most feminine person we’d ever met. It was always a big deal when he was new but a fortnight later no one really cared anymore. He made friends with girls and talked about boys and sweet valley high. He played dodge ball with the girls and couldn’t comprehend football. He wrapped his school sweater around his waist when it was hot and looked lost whenever they’d ask us to be in gender based groups. Every single person I know has met that boy, not to mention the ‘tomboy’. Now I’d like to clarify that most of these are just ordinary girls but those of us who grew up in Uganda know the tomboy I’m talking about. She was extremely cool and really popular. While the rest of us would have a fit whenever we had to make our way through a corridor filled with boys, she wasn’t even bothered. She had the latest hoodies and sneakers and always talked in a deep voice. We met her later on in university at a bar; with her girlfriend. How about that uncle everyone kept talking about. Or that male teacher that was fabulous!

The colonial administration between 1902 and 1950 implemented a law against what we know now as “sexual minorities”. It stated that a person, “who has carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature; or permits a male person to have carnal knowledge of him or her against the order of nature, commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment for life.” The people that this law was aimed at persecuting, where had they found this ‘western influence’ that everyone keeps going on about? Homosexuality has always existed in Africa; it’s time we accepted this . Basing the segregation, abuse and imprisonment of countless Ugandans on this argument is bullshit.

The African baby boomer generation’s ability to be adamant deserves them a gold medal. I can already picture my entire community shunning me for saying this but someone’s sexual identity is NOT a habit. It’s not something they picked up from tv. It’s not something that can be ‘cained’ out of them. Prison or mob justice will not cure it. Disowning them will not change who they are. We treat each other worse than the colonial masters and they didn’t even think we were human enough. We always seem to have the resources to track down gay people but never to uphold law and order. Margaret Muhanga expects us to believe that she earned 10billion Uganda Shillings from the sale of livestock when her husband can not account for UFA monies from 2011–2013. The Revenue authority will not follow this up. The IGG will not be follow up but just ask them about homosexuality; all of a sudden we are about what is right. I don’t think the Bible would appreciate innocent people not being treated because the hospital has no gloves! Or women suffering with fistula because the nearest hospital is in other district. Police still can not find the uniformed driver who was caught on camera running over a civilian during a protest but just whisper that you're gay…

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