Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am illegal in 82 countries

This post is dedicated to David Kato, below, and Brenda Namigadde.

Two names you may not know, but ones you should.

David was a gay rights activist in Uganda who now forever has verbs conjugated in the past tense following his name after he was bludgeoned to death a few days ago.

Brenda is a 29-year-old lesbian who had fled to the UK after she claimed she was beaten and ostracised for her sexuality in her home country.

Just this past week, she was facing deportation to her homeland until a few hours ago, when she won an eleventh-hour reprieve - while she was sitting on the plane.

She told news outlets she was shaking in fear at the thought of going home, certain she would be killed. Can you imagine being her, sitting on the plane as the engines started revving?

My god.

I heard the news about David Kato on the way to work Friday. My jaw involuntarily dropped. Beaten to death with a hammer. The police apparently noted it down as a robbery.

Not only had he been viciously murdered, the chances for justice are slim, with homosexuality a crime in Uganda and newspapers running a "name and shame" campaign, printing photos of suspected "homos" under the headline: Hang them.

Google "homosexuality is illegal" and prepare to be horrified.

I was going to copy and paste the list here, but I am ashamed and sickened to say it is too long. Find it here.

And watch the hell out if you are openly gay in Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the Chechen Republic, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mauritania or the Sudan: there, they will put you to death if you are caught.

Thankfully due to an all-you-can-eat buffet of other atrocious shit going on in those countries, visiting them is not likely to be on anyone's agenda. It's certainly not on mine and, man, I am shocked about Saudi Arabia. But I guess the entire Middle East is not glitz on steroids, kind of progressive Abu Dhabi.

But save your gasps for the thousands of others who are no doubt taken care of in endless makeshift vigilante murders where the consensus screams: "it might not be officially punishable by death here, but unofficially it most certainly is".

Apparently Uganda is seriously considering introducing the (official) death penalty themselves. That's right, parliamentarians and politicians elected to represent their people - in the year 2009 - seriously debated the prospect of mandating human life extinction based on sexual preference.

2009 was an interesting year in Uganda. Seems they were paid a visit by a team of evangelical Americans who reckoned they had a program that could cure homosexuals. They got in Parliament's ear and told them there was a gay agenda that involved gay men sodomising teenage boys. That old chestnut, all gay men are paedophiles. Where do the ignorant bigots stand on lesbians?

And these people so proudly call themselves Christians? I spit on them across the internet, and would happily do so in person.

The same day David Kato died, that idiot shop owner in small town Arkansas placed a plastic shield over the magazine cover showing Elton John, David Furnish and their new baby boy.

"Newsagent censors Elton John magazine cover", I read online and then clicked, imagining Elton had had a few too many Cinzanos at the photo shoot and consented to posing the child buck naked, thereby thrusting a baby penis onto the shelves of middle America.

No, the child was fully clothed. The offensive part was the fact that, well, what? That two men dared to express their happiness at becoming parents?

I honestly do not know where to start.

One glance at this blog's title and you know I am biased here. But COME ON!

How can you call yourself a decent citizen, a good Christian or even a nice person if you agree with any part of this behaviour?

And I laughingly detest the fact that so much of this hate comes from right-wing Christians. People who claim to have been made in Jesus' image, or to at least be his number one fan. You know Jesus, right? Apparently the most humble, tolerant man of all time who forgave easily and welcomed all into his embrace, minus any discrimination or judgement? Yeah, that guy. The one who preached something about sinners throwing stones: you're only allowed to cast one if you are clean, my friend. And, sorry, but we are all dirty. We're human!

Why commit your life to speading hate? What good can possibly be done from that? And based on something so banal as sexuality. So what if who I choose to sleep with doesn't rock your boat: it's none of your god damn business. In the same way, it's none of my business who you sleep with. And we all know it's the good Christian men with wives and children who are cruising for young gay men in certain public toilets, don't we?

Hmm, bigoted, ignorant, scandalous and baseless generalisations hurt, don't they? Stereotypes are nasty, aren't they?

Life is a two-way street, why doesn't everyone just stick to the road rules and play nice?

Ugandan Parliament is still discussing the anti-homosexuality bill.


  1. Oh, Bec, the worlds is a very scary place. This blog post is disturbingly eye-opening. Thanks for sharing with us. x

  2. I read about David Kato over the weekend too and found it so upsetting. Think how brave he's been to even fight. And then I think how horrifying his death was - his reward for his courage and speaking out for others who are afraid to.

    Sometimes I feel so frustrated with our own society. I remember when we were trying some IUIs with donor sperm a billion years ago being torn because some of the profiles said they wouldn't donate to a same-sex couple. I didn't want that sperm in me, but then also felt like I shouldn't waste sperm on me that could go to a same-sex couple. And I think about someone I know who is married because when he was young and coming from the small country town he did he couldn't tell anyone he's gay. I think about all the pain he's been through not being able to admit who he is.

    And then I realise those are just annoyances compared to the big horrors in the world. :-(

  3. You are my new hero! Thank you!

    St. Murphy

  4. Thanks all! Saint Murphy, I shall pray to you and only you from here on in - and plainly, we need to be doing a whole lotta praying with the state of the world the way it is right now!
    Strength people! Intelligence beats ignorance every day of the week!

  5. I can't believe sexual orientation needs to part of law, it honestly defies belief.

    As for all the people doing Jesus' work - if only he were a smiter - wouldn't he strike them down first?