By Kathryn Kazibwe:
“Facebook to release a statement on whether they will ban Uganda or not over anti-homosexuality bill.”
This, one of my friends' status update, is what I woke up to on Tuesday. What? First they threaten to take away the aid, now they're planning to deprive us of Facebook too? This homosexuality thing kifuuse kika, a Muganda would say.
Having grown up in a strongly Christian and very conservative family and society, I am obviously not very comfortable with the notion that there are people who are born 'liking' people of their own gender. As far as I know, boys like girls, girls like boys, and anything else is wrong, according to not only my parents, but the Good Book too. The Lord did not look too kindly on the guys in Sodom and Gomorrah who had the hots for His two angels of destruction! Islam isn't any different, with the Quran and Hadith frowning upon all who 'commit the sin of the people of Lut'.
Of course many will argue that these books are not something they base their actions on. For all they know, whoever wrote them is somewhere (not Heaven) sniggering at how gullible earthlings are.
So what, aside from religion, convinces me and many others that homosexuality is not normal? Ideally everyone should have a right to like/love/have sex with whomever they want, without the neighbors being obliged by law to report what they see to the authorities. And being a Black person who knows about the disturbing history of my race, I believe in freedom on all levels. But I have failed to understand the whole LGBT thing, and we all know how uncomfortable things we don't understand can make us. Also, the fact that all I have ever known as a guide to right and wrong is religious in nature means that I have trouble seeing this from any angle other than that one. Besides, I myself am not attracted to women, and neither do I personally know anyone who is, so I don't have much to work with. The little information I find on the internet is mostly vicious and offensive, from both sides of the gay-line.
An example is the 'Eat Da Poo Poo' video which went into gory details of how gays do their thing. And when I say gory I mean lock-yourself-in-a-dungeon-to-prevent-having-kids-that-might-turn-out-gay gory. Then there's the 'The Worst Place to Be Gay' documentary by Scott Mills, a British DJ. This one portrayed Uganda as a terribly homophobic country where gays are 'hated, hunted and being killed', and went a tad heavy on the drama.
I found nothing to help me form an unbiased, completely secular view on homosexuality. So if I had to defend my opinion in an atheist/agnostic convention, what would I say? My parents, like many other Africans, claim that homosexuality is un-African, and that is why they hate it, immediately after which they quote from the Bible to drive the point home. I wonder what the 'African' stand on homosexuality is. Too bad I don't have mama Fina's number.
I could take that view, but I ask myself, isn't Christianity just as un-African? It did come to us in ships from Europe years ago, right? But Africa has embraced it just fine. Besides, so many other (good and bad) un-African cultures have been imported and accepted, so I don't think that's very good reasoning.
On the other side, LGBT activists have asserted that gays are born that way, just like a Black man with his skin colour. I find myself having trouble believing that, because, I believe, any kind of sexuality comes about as a result of what one is exposed to in their formative years. Arguments have also been made that the fact that homosexuality exists even in the animal world should justify it in humans. I don't think that holds any water, unless we're about to go around killing offspring with 'unwanted' genes too. Or is this exactly what we're doing by pushing for the death penalty for homosexuals in Uganda?
Such confusion is why I either keep my mouth shut or turn to my Bible whenever such discussions arise. Call me shallow, uninformed or hypocritical, I just don't feel up to treading those murky waters!
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