Now, for the dark side of Uganda.
I want to preface this by saying I adore Uganda. In fact I will be returning next year. And these “good” and “bad” terms simplify and almost trivialize the much broader and complicated issues facing a country with a myriad of obstacles: overcoming the scars of Idi Amin’s horrific regime, water and land insecurity in the face of climate change, western influences squandering native cultures, and the list goes on. However, these two major issues I am labeling as “bad” are the symptoms of much larger problems. But because they are so terrible, and I was witness to them firsthand, I feel the need to explore them here.
Extreme Homophobia: Uganda’s Anti-Homesexuality Bill was the first bill introduced that would make homosexuality punishable by death. It is hard to believe that this is true, especially in light of the huge strides finally being made domestically towards marriage rights for all. The extent of prejudice and shame to those who identify openly, or are even suspected as being gay, is horrendous. To be honest, it is hard to put the words down here to do justice to the injustice happening in Uganda, so please, take the time to watch the documentary Call Me Kuchu. You will feel as I do, and rethink how our actions here affect the lives of those in other parts of the world.
God “Loves” Uganda: Radical Evangelical Christians have preyed upon those in Uganda, and this is in large part responsible for the above mentioned anti-gay hysteria. This is not pointing fingers, but a direct result of an onslaught of Western religious extremists descending upon this country. Again, I find myself too upset sitting here to try to put the words together to express the atrocities these people are having to face in Uganda. Please watch God Loves Uganda, and make your voice heard to stand up for the brave men and women of Uganda fighting for their basic human right to love. I came across a rally held by one of these religious groups while I was here, and it was very disturbing to witness. There will be more death and suffering in Uganda if this is allowed to continue in the way that it is.
To donate, support, and find out more about the struggle of the gay community in Uganda, visit http://callmekuchu.com/act/.