I have been on the edge of fighting the deadly disease of homophobia in Uganda for more than 15 years. I have not always worked alone, but I have come to the US on my own with what I realise is a critically different message and plan.
Homosexuality is not new in Uganda and on the African continent. Like everywhere, it has existed forever. Homophobia, however, is new. It didn’t start in Africa. It was strategically imported from the US and Europe. The goal of the missionaries, who carried this disease with them, was to have homophobia spread. They have been more successful in Africa than they have been anywhere else. It is now lethal.
The real import to Africa was not homosexuality but homophobia.
You understand the importance of combating and preventing the spread of diseases like Ebola from the African continent to yours. You come to our continent to enlist our help in doing so. I’m here to enlist your help to combat and prevent the further spread of the disease of homophobia from your continent to ours.
Christianity in Africa has climbed from 9% in 1910 to over 65% now. In 2008, after losing ground in the US, many of US conservative missionaries brought their homophobic hate to Africa. Their hope to add numbers to their homophobic voices was to engage Africans. Indeed, these conservatives persuaded African churches to incorporate themselves as members of the union of churches in the US. For example, initially the African Methodists were not a part of the US United Methodist Church. During this 2016 Methodist convention, 30% of the delegates were from African countries. Whether it has been the Methodist or other Christian fundamentalist missionaries. Homophobia is the tool used to persuade and recruit these new members.
The homophobia the US exports becomes an even more dangerous disease when it reaches our shores. Indeed the very bill before the Uganda Parliament that would make homosexuality punishable by death was drafted in the US. Uganda is experiencing a brain drain as LGBT individuals attempt to flee the country to escape persecution, extreme poverty, imprisonment, and death.
Why do I care?
My own family conspired to murder my brother when he came out as gay. Since that time I have risked my life as a straight ally to fight for LGBT and human rights. I am here to find collaborators who can help me stop the disease of homophobia at its source and combat the disease where it is spreading at an alarming rate.