My Brain Hurt.
As I sat next to Frank, I wondered what it would be like to go home having learned that a supporter and colleague had been murdered. Frank was in the US when the news that David Kato was murdered in Uganda. They both had been the target of a newspaper article identifying 99 homosexuals with names and photos that should be hanged. Frank Mugisha is the head of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
I sit by him in a restaurant in Minneapolis at the Creating Change conference. It seems so normal, and yet his friend has been murdered, and he will be heading home right back into the same hostility.
Here we hold prayer services. The historic “cradle of the black church” Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York’s Harlem hosted Frank and Bishop Yvette Flunder and others for a memorial service for David—remarkable, powerful.
Here we sign petitions and send emails to stop US preachers from spreading hate in Uganda and to stop the “kill the gays” legislation mostly unaware that being gay already can get you a 7 year prison sentence.
As a short guy myself, I notice Frank may be a bit shorter than I am and is clearly much slighter. I wonder what he will encounter when he returns home. I wonder if he would consider asylum here in the US. Others have done so. I wonder what that would mean to those in Uganda to lose his leadership on top of already losing David’s.
In a workshop at Creating Change, “Global Justice or Queer Colonialism” we struggled with the desperate needs, the desire to take action, the hope to not repeat the colonialism of our country and church’s past, and just exactly what does global justice require of us. My brain hurt.
I didn’t know David, but I do know Frank. He is now in my heart. But, I know that is not enough.
For more just google “Frank Mugisha SMUG”.
Prior to RMN, Troy served for 13 years on the pastoral staff of Bering Memorial United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas. He directed Bering’s on-site counseling center for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Outside Bering’s sanctuary in 1999, he performed a “street wedding” for a lesbian couple celebrating 25 years together and facilitated Bering’s equal treatment of all couples policy. He also coordinated Bible Study, mission trips, retreats, and nonviolence training. Facing a bomb threat with 50 other couples, Troy and Walter, shared promises and rings on Freedom To Marry Day, February 12, 2003 for their 5th anniversary.