The Performer

The Performer

Audre Lorde

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Press Release. Brutal Killing of Ugandan Gay Human Rights Defender.

Press Release by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, 26 January 2011
Brutal Murder of Gay Ugandan Human Rights Defender, David Kato

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and the entire Ugandan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Community stands together to condemn the killing of David Kato and call for the Ugandan Government, Civil Society, and Local Communities to protect sexual minorities across Uganda. 

David was brutally beaten to death in his home today, 26 January 2011, around 2pm.  Across the entire country, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex Ugandans mourn the loss of David, a dear friend, colleague, teacher, family member, and human rights defender.  
David has been receiving death threats since his face was put on the front page of Rolling Stone Magazine, which called for his death and the death of all homosexuals.  David’s death comes directly after the Supreme Court of Uganda ruled that people must stop inciting violence against homosexuals and must respect the right to privacy and human dignity.  

Sexual Minorities Uganda and the Ugandan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex Community call on the Police and the Government of Uganda to seriously investigate the circumstances surrounding David’s death. We also call on religious leaders, political leaders and media houses to stop demonizing sexual minorities in Uganda since doing so creates a climate of violence against gay persons.  Val Kalende, the Chair of the Board at Freedom and Roam Uganda stated that “David’s death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S Evangelicals in 2009. The Ugandan Government and the so-called U.S Evangelicals must take responsibility for David’s blood!”

As United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently declared, “I understand that sexual orientation and gender identity raise sensitive cultural issues.  But cultural practices cannot justify any violation of human rights. . .  . When our fellow humans are persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, we must speak out. . . . States bear the primary responsibility to protect human rights advocates.  I call on all States to ensure the freedom of expression and the freedom of assembly that make their work possible.  When the lives of human rights advocates are endangered, we are all less secure.  When the voices of human rights advocates are silenced, justice itself is drowned out.” 

David’s life was cut short in a brutal manner.  David will be deeply missed by his family and friends, his students, and Human Rights organizations throughout Uganda and around the world.  Speaking about what the death of David means in the struggle for equality, Frank Mugisha, the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda said, “No form of intimidation will stop our cause. The death of David will only be honored when the struggle for justice and equality is won.  David is gone and many of us will follow, but the struggle will be won. David wanted to see a Uganda where all people will be treated equally despite their sexual orientation.”

Burial arrangements are underway for Friday 28, 2011 at 2PM at his ancestral home in Namataba, Mukono District. 

Press contacts:
Frank Mugisha: +1 646 436 1858
Val Kalende:   +1 857-247-1184
Pepe Julian: +256 772 370 674

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy 2011!

Happy new year lovely people!

Happy new year to what?

Women getting raped every second in Kenya?
Politicians playing 2010 politics with when hungry Kenyans are dying of hunger?
Railaism that keeps reminding that gay community have no place in this society let alone have rights?

I have been pondering over these and other issues over this new year. I got tired of making new year resolutions coz I hardly ever stuck to any 365 days later! I instead concentrated on investing my energy around violations that women and men especially in the gay community face on a day to day basis.

Last year we lost several members of our community to disease and the very last one in December 2010 to violence. However, have you paused to think about how many LGBTI people in Kenya commit suicide for realizing that their being themselves causes so much pain to their families, instigate hate from every corner they seek an understanding ear and so on? Has it ever crossed your mind that you may have uttered a word that may have offended someone over the past year or acted in a way that would automatically make another feel like you do not really care for them?

Do you rejoice at watching someone's heart break to pieces right before your eyes? Or have you put a smile on someone's face and manage a bounce at the end of the day/night? There was a lot for me to think about and as I ushered in 2011, in my bed, I was overwhelmed by all these feelings. I listened intently to neighbours at the new place I now called home screaming and shouting hours before midnight (which was the countdown to 2011) and I asked myself, 'so what?' Life goes should go on but how come nothing about violence changes? Nothing about discrimination has ever changed. Right about the time someone is busy ushering the new year, a helpless woman is probably pinned down by some bloody male to strip the dignity in her! Another is dying of hunger...and another mother is giving her final blessings to her children before she quits living.

I had very many reasons to celebrate the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011, but I could not quite get myself in the celebratory mood. Thankfully, I will never save the world and I know it, but can I make situations better than they are now? Can I make time to sit and brainstorm with the women to see how we can get our very own from the streets? From doing blow jobs to get Ksh.50 for a plate of oil dripping french fries? From getting their cunts invaded by drunk men who cannot find their way home but have all the energy in the world to fuck?

Is it possible to reduce the number of men who have sex with men (msm) contracting HIV/AIDS in Kenya today? Can we do the same for the many gay women that have made careers out of alcoholism, drugs and substance abuse qualifying them for cancers and all? Then someone asks, ' why should I bother about another who, besides being part of my community never cares for themselves?' And I'll ask you, 'what have you done...have you tried reaching out to them? Have you tried to identify whether they are emotionally in distress? What makes you think that you are any better than they are? These are too many questions to ask but am wondering why I think so much? Its mind boggling, and unlike you, I love it!

It gives me the energy to see another day (if god grants it)! Its 2011, I have not made any new year resolutions, I am not intending to come up with any...oh! Well I did. (ha ha ha) I vowed never to smoke cigarettes...until today, 18 days later, when the urge was too strong and irresistible that I had to dash to the kiosk outside the office and puff the afternoon away! See? I felt silly afterwards but am sayin' this: I will not do it again. I will not!

Anyway, I will leave you with that to think about...thank you for the emails you have been sending me. You made the year 2010 worthwhile for me! You inspired me to write a great deal of beautiful stuff, some that have been published (of course with permission) by several journals within and outside of Kenya.

I am back, to give you a lil' piece of me, humbly and relentlessly. I love you! Hope to start seeing some of you very soon...and I meanm VEEEERRRRRYYYYYYY!!!!