Kampala Tatler #14: Bells toll

Also known as the pains of being LGBTIQQ in Uganda...while the leaders cruise in fancy cars!


My father, my mother, my teacher, my village friend, community hall manager and the Straight Code evaluator kicked me out of the community hall. I am no longer a representation of decency and all that is dignified. The community hall has a very big notice: Management Reserves The Right To Admission. 
As people passed by me, I would hear sneers, taunting comments and direct verbal abuse. Slap! That was from a man we call the village drunk. 

I see him through tear-filled eyes. He walks with a zigzag gait, walks three steps ahead then walks five steps back with the back stooped and arms hanging like tails of cows. I know he is not drunk; he slapped me after he was promised the bottle of ‘battle-drink’ or two. He is the self appointed village-crier specialising in gossipy titbits. In a drunken stupor he shouts aloud slurred gossip. He is the community outlet. Now, this situation has caught up with me.

My father, my mother, my teacher, my village friend, my community hall manager and the Straight Code evaluator do forget; I am a member of this community and I remember helping in building this community hall. I know am the Straight Code evaluator’s cousin who is a slider; I know am the community hall manager’s nephew who is a slider; I know am my village friend’s friend who is a slider; I know am my mother’s child who is a slider and; I know am my father’s child who is a slider. I am their kin and kith!
My energetic age is wasted by watching out for the next expulsion or eviction or beating. The 3-D squads are everywhere conducting all sorts of heinous acts of abuses. Yesterday a Society hall leader was charged with housing a slider. The big home in which he had raised his family for so many years; the two cars and everything else were looted. What couldn’t be taken was burnt. The leader was cast out! I have been running all my life.  I need to grow, love, live and be focused. Otherwise am to spend so much of my youth hiding, fearing, annoyed and non-productive. When it comes to 50 years what shall we all show for life? I talked to our slider leaders and all they were saying was to wait, wait, wait and wait. 

Meanwhile they can afford to have two or more vehicles, live in fancy apartments the other side of the city, a couple of fancy state-of-the-art cell-phones, gold and bling-bling chains. They give out gifts to those who please and pleasure them. All I need is a credit opportunity to complete my studies at University. I wrote a personal appeal to Deus’ assistant and I was told by the leaders that it was they who were supposed to represent me. The letter never reached Deus' assistant!

They even blamed me for taking the initiative to talk about my problems. Then I told them that instead am sending my appeal to the Oversee Organisation. Even there, I was told it is they, the leaders, who are the ones to talk on my behalf about my problems. 

I waited for any feedback and none has come yet! Meanwhile the leaders continue fuelling their fancy cars, paying annual rent fees, changing into the best attire and matching cell-phone colour. The streets, to them, are the ever beckoning cat-walk. The worries of individual sliders will, well, sort themselves out automatically.
My last resort is to send this appeal letter to Deus’ assistant:
“Dear Deus’ assistant,
In the name of Deus, I appeal to you for consideration. Am a ‘sometimes man sometimes woman’ I was evicted from our Community Hall and now can no longer access a home, education and food. I am forced to scavenge around. I met a child with whom I made friends. The child brings me food. I appeal to your office to provide me with needs. I am the beggar you see on the main street corner in the brown ragged clothes. Thank you.”

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