Strange White Stuff: Defending Homosexuality

A gay wedding in Sweden between two Ugandans

A gay wedding in Sweden between two Ugandans. Notice who is in the guest list?

As late as 1979, homosexuality was classified as an illness in Sweden. President Yoweri Museveni has just signed a Law banning homosexuality in Uganda, a practice which is already banned in Zimbabwe where President Robert Mugabe signed a Museveni-like Law many years ago. In Kenya, attempts to include clauses that supported homosexuality in the country’s New Constitution were all thwarted due to strong opposition by the Kenyan population which apparently argued that homosexuality is un-African, un-natural, if not, a product of Western moral decadence. So far, Museveni and Mugabe have been the leading lights in the illegalization of homosexuality in Africa, a move that has attracted the ire of Western leaders and pro-homosexuality activists.

This article does not seek to support or condemn homosexuality but to highlight the “strangeness” of homosexuality as a practice readily accepted and defended by white people. The article is part of a series of KSB articles about “Strange white stuff”  as seen from the point of view of non-white people especially within the African aka black community. Under the “Strange white stuff” series, articles which have so far been published here at KSB include “the flower culture, “kissing in public” and “monitoring spouses”.

Despite attacks on Museveni and similar attacks that were directed at Mugabe following the stand of the two presidents on homosexuality, my bet is that on this issue, the two dictators have millions of secret supporters, both in Africa and in the African Diaspora. The fact that millions of Kenyans opposed pro-homosexuality clauses in their New Constitution that was promulgated in August 2010 can be cited as evidence to argue that majority of Kenyans are both with President Museveni and Mugabe on the question of banning homosexuality in society. In fact, the issue was so hot in Kenya that propaganda against homosexuality took center stage during campaigns as protagonists on both sides of the Referendum debate feasted on anti-gay and anti-lesbian fodder to try and gain political mileage.

In the end, any words, phrases or clauses that could remotely be construed to be pro-homosexuality were effectively kept out of the New Kenyan Constitution. In retrospect, it can be safe to conclude that by consciously keeping the New Constitution “clean from homosexuality”, millions of Kenyans passed an unwritten law “Museveni style” banning homosexuality in the country. Interestingly, no one has been talking about this dramatic development (including Western leaders backed by their gay and lesbian activists) as Museveni is cast on the frying pan. Why? Because it is easier to condemn an individual’s action than the resolve of millions of people. In paraphrase, the world is faced with an awkward situation in which millions of Kenyans were right while one Museveni is wrong even though both parties are opposed to the same practice that is the subject of controversy.

In Africa (and other Third World countries) opposition to homosexuality has mainly been based on both cultural and religious grounds. While Museveni and Mugabe have both exploited arguments based on African culture to push their cases, almost 90% of populations in Africa where Christianity and Islam are rooted can be assumed to be automatically opposed to the legalization of homosexuality across the continent or its practice. Since the two religions are the dominant religions in Africa, and given that “African culture” is the leading reason usually cited by anti-homosexuality operatives, it can safely be assumed that majority of Africans are opposed to homosexuality. For this reason, millions of Africans (and non-whites close to the African position) find support for homosexuality among white people very strange and this is the crux of this article.

Same sex marriages
For opponents of homosexuality, the tired questions are innumerable: how can two males or two females have sex? Biologically, the ass-hole is designed to be the final exit point for shit and since any shit stinks, the ass-hole is deemed to be the dirtiest hole on the human body. Under the circumstances, and for many non-white people, what is strange is how millions of white people can openly support the act of a man knowingly or willingly forcing his manhood in another man’s shit-hole in the name of sexual rights! Worse still, imagine a man putting his tongue on another man’s ass-hole “to stimulate him” in readiness for action then such an action is supported by white people! If it does not sound strange to you as a reader, may be you are white!

What about lesbians? There is no question that whatever two women perform in a room privately ought to be their business. For example, if they decide to use their fingers to imitate the male organ so that they can derive pleasure by dipping into their vajeyjeys during the so called “gal-to-gal articulation”, the act should be nobody’s business. Just like gays, the lesbians may be black, white or even non-white. Regardless of the justification, millions of non-white people (especially Africans) find it strange that apart from the need to leave lesbians alone to do their thing, many white people are likely to support them. This article does not seek to suggest that homosexuality is strange per se. It seeks to underline the huge support homosexuals enjoy among white people. On the subject of “strange white stuff”, it is this support that looks strange. In fact, the massive support for homosexuality among white people has always led Africans to pose the question as to what is wrong with white people.

Alternatively, supporting a man kissing another man in the name of love may sound very strange to an African. Then of course, there is the place where homosexuals get married to live like husband and wife! In Europe today and the United States, it is an accepted practice that the marriages take place in designated churches! This may be very strange when such actions are supported by white people.

This is not to suggest that homosexuality is not practiced in Africa by Africans or that it is not practiced by other non-whites. In Africa, the practice is as old as the universe. The difference is that it has no mass support because it is deemed “unnatural”. There are many strange white stuff which seem very normal to white people but support for homosexuality seem to be one of the most extreme when compared to other stuff which have been named here like the love for flowers, kissing in public and monitoring spouses. It needs to be mentioned that there are white people who do not support homosexuality. The point with this article is that majority of them do support the practice and this is what constitutes “strange white stuff”.

Okoth Osewe


  • Sweden: Married Ugandan men victims of ‘lottery’ asylum system

    Two Ugandan men living in Sweden, who claim they are the first gay couple from their country to get married, may be separated once again after a lucky reunion following a decision by the Swedish Migration Board.

    Lawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda were married last week at a small church in Järfälla, a suburb north of the Swedish capital, Stockholm.

    It was fortuitous that the pair were even in the same country, as they had fled Uganda separately after facing persecution for their sexuality.

    Mr Sserwadda left in 2008 after being arrested and beaten for “promoting homosexuality”. He left behind his long term partner, Mr Kaala, as “he would have insisted on coming with and that would have put our lives at risk.”

    Mr Sserwadda was then granted asylum in Sweden and became active in the local LGBT community as a member of the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), through which he helped other LGBT asylum seekers with their claims.

    RFSL ran published a story about the Swedish Migration Board and how getting a successful asylum claim could be a lottery in a 2011 edition of their magazine, Kom Ut (Come Out). The story ran with a prominent photograph of Mr Sserwadda.

    By chance, Mr Kaala had also been forced to seek asylum in Sweden. When he saw a copy of Kom Ut bearing Mr Sserwadda’s likeness he got in touch.

    “I was shocked. I thought it was a joke,” Mr Sserwadda says of the call he received from Mr Kaala.

    “When we finally met in person, Lawrence said, ‘Yes, darling it’s me!’ As we hugged he then asked me why I had left.”

    Mr Kaala forgave Mr Sserwadda for leaving, having “never stopped loving” him. The couple quickly rekindled the relationship that had been broken up three years earlier. As equal marriage is legal in Sweden, they were able to fulfill a wish to get married which they had first spoken of in Uganda.

    Mr Sserwadda said: “If we could have gotten married in Uganda if we would have and when we found each other again here in Sweden it felt natural to go ahead with it.”

    However, the marriage cannot guarantee that the two will be able to remain together. Mr Kaala learnt days before the ceremony that his asylum application had been denied despite having made a similar claim to Mr Sserwadda, and having scars from beatings he received for being gay in Uganda to prove it.

    “A lot of the rejections are strange. It’s as if they have no concept of what LGBT asylum seekers face back home,” Ulrika Westerlund of RFSL told Swedish paper The Local.

    Mr Kaala could return to Uganda to file a residency claim on the grounds that he is married to a man with permanent leave to remain in Sweden, but doing so after being openly married to another man would likely be a death sentence.

    Instead, the couple are pinning their hopes on appealing the decision, which they must do before February 11th to avoid deportation.

    “We haven’t had time for a honeymoon. We’ve been working around the clock since the wedding to get things in order,” said Mr Sserwadda.

    LGBT people in Uganda are at a particularly high risk of danger as the country had planned to pass a severely anti-gay bill, commonly known as the “kill the gays” bill, in December last year. The motion was delayed and the future of the bill remains unclear.

  • Kenya Elites suffering sydrom>

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