December 16, 2009


The story of a young Ugandan gay couple: (from The Daily Monitor) A proposed anti-gay law could make Uganda perhaps the most dangerous place for homosexuals and drive the gays of Uganda further underground. In a rare interview, the first of its kind with a newspaper journalist, a lesbian told Saturday Monitor’s Rodney Muhumuza why she is very scared.
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Ms Kalende has been openly gay since 2002, several years before she became a rights activist with the group Freedom and Roam-Uganda, six years before she met the woman she calls the love of her life.
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In the intimate scheme of things, Ms Kalende plays the stronger partner, encouraging her lover, whom she affectionately calls Mimi, to be brave and allaying her concerns about safety in Uganda. “When she starts to cry, I don’t cry,” Ms Kalende said. “I want to be stronger than she is. But I feel bad, of course. She is really scared about what’s going on at home.”
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In press conferences hastily called to condemn the gays of Uganda, Ethics Minister Nsaba Buturo has been revving up the rhetoric, telling reporters that homosexuals can “forget about human rights”. In a recent press briefing, Dr Buturo asked homosexuals to “leave us alone”.
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When Ms Kalende agreed to talk to a journalist about how the proposed law made her feel, she first sought the consent of her partner.
She said yes, but with the caveat that “you don’t put me out there”. Before she left Uganda, Ms Kalende’s partner had sought to convince her lover to go slow with her activism, to keep a low profile, to just hang in there. It was the kind of advice Ms Kalende was always reluctant to accept.
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In one of those moments when Ms Kalende would stop to give a thoughtful response, she came across as resigned to a destiny she had no way of foretelling. “We’ve never been through this,” she said, preparing to ask a question for which she get no answer.

“Even with the existing law, things have never been this serious. I don’t know if things will ever be normal for us. Tell me, what will happen to us?”

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