Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-07-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWPOINTS Exterminating gays in Uganda: Not a spectator sport
by Sarah Toce
2012-12-12

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Hi, it's _________ from Kampala, Uganda.

What advice do you have for me, you know we are discriminated here and our country is about to pass a law in parliament to sentence anyone who is a gay and lesbian?

Yours,

___________

As a prominent writer/editor in the United States, I receive letters like the one above more often than I would prefer to recall. The words have haunted me since Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill began to pick up speed and activist David Kato was killed.

About one year ago, I posted a story on The Seattle Lesbian regarding a Ugandan woman and her partner. I took a special interest in the angle because it was delivered with a very candid note that read, "Please share this story so that others may know what is happening here, but you cannot mention my name or I will be killed."

No pressure.

I pushed the story through the wire and, as instructed, did not mention her name. As I clicked "publish" and her plight went viral, I wondered if it would somehow trace its way back to Uganda and put her in harm's way. Surely there was no legitimate way that could happen. The government there must have had other—more pressing—items to mull over with their pre-perforated time. Then again, one might argue that they would not have the time to hunt down and kill all the gay people in their country, but that would have been an inaccurate assumption … and you know what they say about assumptions.

The reader did not make contact to incite internal bargaining on my part. She reached out to me for help and for visibility about the very real and dangerous issues affecting her life and, by doing so, was risking the very thing she was trying to protect the most.

Over the next several months I began to receive more letters like the one above. Friend requests poured into my mailbox on Facebook from various other parts of the world and there was a proverbial ear bending occurring that couldn't be ignored. I listened ... and I wrote. To some, those two things would have been trivial, but to my readers, it was a lifeline.

Social responsibility is an art form at its best and a meandering pain in the ass at its worst. There is no instruction booklet. Everyone has an opinion and not all are qualified to offer it. In fact, very few are! At the end of the day it's the essence of the public awareness trickling down that causes inflection and, in effect, institutes necessary societal change.

Calling it a "Christmas gift" to the Ugandan people, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has promised she will pass the so-called "Kill the Gays" bill in the next two weeks. In effect, this would place a bounty on any head deemed LGBTQ.

According to AllOut.org, "The only version of the bill that is public today still includes the death penalty provision for 'aggravated homosexuality'" said Kasha Jacqueline, executive director of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG). "We know that the bill still refers to death, contrary to what the media is saying."

My dear friend and comrade, Shaun Knittel, asked me to comment on the controversial bill. He serves as founder and director of Social Outreach Seattle (SOSea) and I am his right-hand woman in the tangible community project. I said, simply, "With limited quantities of resources and understanding, homosexuality was declared a mental illness until it was removed from the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973 and ratified in 1974."

And then the real magic happened—I got fired up: "We are not wild animals in need of correction. We are human beings and we deserve to be treated as equally as any other flesh and blood being in this world. Location matters not. Whether you reside down the street or around the world, if you are a human being and you identify as LGBTQ, this bill affects each and every one of you. It affects us all."

Indeed, Uganda's stance on homosexuality affects us all. When one of us suffers, we all suffer. Call it socialism … call it naive … and then, when you're ready, call it the truth. Time is up. This is the time. The time is now. There is no more time left.

Sarah Toce is principal, owner and editor-in-chief of the Seattle Lesbian.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Northalsted Market Days previews fest favs and debuts 2016-07-25
VIEWS Crayons and Black lives 2016-07-19
VIEWS The Problem is Fear: Gun Control and the LGBT Community in Orlando's wake 2016-07-13
VIEWS...While Black 2016-07-13
VIEWS The problem is fear: Gun control and LGBTs in wake of Orlando 2016-07-12
VIEWS: Talking guns and race 2016-07-08
Blessed Body book looks at Nigerian life 2016-06-29
LETTERS Remembering Edward Sotomayor, calls for inclusion, unity 2016-06-29
VIEWS Targeted act of a terrorist's hate 2016-06-28
GUEST COLUMN Know Your Rights: Combating Health Care Discrimination 2016-06-22
Letters to the editor: A call for unity 2016-06-22
VIEWS In the aftermath of Orlando: Beyond ISIS 2016-06-22
VIEWS Targeted act of a terrorist's hate 2016-06-21
VIEWS My name is not Harvey Milk, but I still want to recruit you 2016-06-21
Ride sharing: Fighting change rarely results in progress 2016-06-17
Post-Orlando: Living and navigating two Identities 2016-06-17
Orlando: Making sense of senseless acts 2016-06-13
VIEWS UMC's inhospitality toward its LGBTQs 2016-06-08
Views: The Bathroom: America's New Civil Rights Battleground 2016-06-03
Open To Thinking: Nigeria: Jail the Gays or kill them 2016-06-01
MOMBIAN Making museums welcoming to all families 2016-06-01
VIEWS North Carolina governor's ignorance of trans identity 2016-05-25
How to donate a kidney to one of your newspaper's readers 2016-05-17
On RuPaul's Kim Chi: No fats, no fems, no Asians 2016-05-11
Massachusetts has no trans-accommodation bill, either 2016-05-11
MOMBIAN Do we still need to study the worth of same-sex parents? 2016-05-11
VIEWS Is dead white Christopher Isherwood still relevant? 2016-05-04
Open To Thinking: Discrimination: Religious liberty?! 2016-05-04
Guest column: Do you know your fair housing rights? 2016-04-27
VIEWS Pope's damaging message to trans teens 2016-04-27
Life: You, Me, and A.D. 2016-04-20
VIEWS How to stamp out transgender 'bathroom panic' 2016-04-20
GUEST VIEW Five reasons for a gay Asian brotherhood 2016-04-13
VIEWS Laughing at the absurdities of Black homophobia 2016-04-13
Open To Thinking: Sheltering the artist at risk 2016-04-06
SENIOR MOMENTS Dignity? Decorum? 2016-04-06
MOMBIAN Gay dad pens funny new memoir on international adoption 2016-04-06
VIEWS A feminist takeover remembered 2016-04-05
GUEST VIEW Why some gays are part of the problem 2016-03-30
VIEWPOINTS: Bathroom blues 2016-03-30
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com