Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Uganda and the outing of gays

An Ugandan newspaper "Rolling Stone" published a list of the country´s "top 100" gays and lesbians today, along with their identifying information and pictures. Next to the list was printed the words "hang them".
In Uganda, homosexuality is punishable by law up to a life in prison. Religion and old colonial laws together with Victorian moral codes are claimed to be playing a part in the attitudes against gays in much of the sub-Saharan Africa. The people named in the article are now living in fear, some having to quit jobs and live underground. The paper itself, having been in operation for mere 6 weeks, defends its actions.

Judgment against homosexuality is not, by any means, a solely African phenomenon. It lingers everywhere in our modern world. Heterosexuality is deemed as "the norm" in our expectations, laws, norms and cultural products. The majority rules, as they say. It always puzzles me how deeply rooted the ideas of "us" versus the dangerous and less valued "them" is. "Them" is a tabu, and needs to be weeded out of our way, not shaking the agreed upon view of  the world. Some scientists claim this need for dichotomy in organizing our reality is wired in our brains, some claim it is learned behavior.  But I wonder how long it takes from us all to accept these people and face the fear of them without talks of hanging. It is 2010. 50 years? 100?


No comments: