6 misconceptions about gay and Trans-expressions in Uganda




Thomas Muyunga.

BACKGROUND:
Self determination is affected by: criminalisation, religious anti-gay crusades, cultural insistence on heteronormativity, taboos on sexual intercourse, the tendency to depict same sex behaviour as sinful, abomination and that which will draw the curse of God. Media fans the flames through print, Radio and TV to narrate derogatorily same sex practices, parade and vilify persons known to practice same sex behaviour. Schools expel students, villages evict persons and families disown children. The most paraded misconceptions against gay and trans-expression all point towards misunderstanding and deliberate unwillingness to tolerate this kind of behaviour.

THE 6 MISCONCEPTIONS:
1.  Homosexuality is an importation and people are recruited into it because of poverty and greed.
2.  Homosexuality is an Abnormality and a communicable “disease”.
3.  Highlighting homosexual acts by naming and shaming in the media will wipes it out.
4.  Homosexuality is sinful and an abomination.
5.  Homosexuals cannot contribute to the fight against HIV.
6.  Homosexuals are different from straight Ugandans.
OVERCOMING SUCH MISCONCEPTIONS:
1.  Organising around self determination and encouraging membership enrolment.
2.  Provide advocacy training and outreach skills in community engagement.
3.  Encourage full attendance in schools to gain qualifications.
4.  Establish candid talk and dialogue sessions on same sex sexuality and identities.
5.  Explore contribution of same sex people in their communities.

CONCLUSIONS:
Demystifying misconceptions will improve on tolerance; improves awareness of people on sexuality and identity and provides platforms to question discrimination and stigma.



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