How ‘gay’ is the Sexual Offences Act?

Author: Phillip Matogo. PHOTO/FILE

At A-Level, I studied in St Charles Lwanga Senior Secondary School in Masaka District. It was a single-sex school, which means boys school. Even though, in this age of non-binary genders, I might’ve been in both a girl and boys school without being in either! 

At any rate, I was elected as a prefect and so I was privy to the secret identities of suspected homosexuals at the school. 

This long list reminded me of the Hollywood Blacklist compiled between 1947 and 1957, detailing Hollywood personalities who were forced into unemployment by the House Un-American Activities Committee for allegedly sympathising with the American Communist Party. 

It was the product of a witch-hunt called McCarthyism after US senator Joseph McCarthy.  Our high school McCarthyism revealed that I and my fellow prefects were part of a shrinking heterosexual minority!

When these revelations were made public, that the school had more “gays” than “straights”, Kasasa was all but closed.

In my day, Kasasa was a school of close to a thousand students. Today, it is a mixed-sex school whose student population is so tiny that it could approximate the size of a classroom!

With mass expulsions, the homosexuals were scattered to the four winds. Many went on to become prominent members of our society.

In 2019, I moderated “Creative Talks” at the Nyege Nyege music festival in Njeru, Buikwe District. 

The talks lasted for the duration of the four-day festival and comprised interviews with major festival musicians, alongside group discussions.

In one of these discussions, we discussed homosexuality. 

The talks were confidential as homosexuals, male and female, didn’t want targets painted on their backs as they spoke up about their lives. 

I was asked to relinquish the role of moderator for this particular talk because I kept inadvertently insulting discussants by calling a non-binary individual “he” or “she” instead of “they”. 

As I was sent to the naughty corner for being a suspected homophobe, a rather effeminate man with a limp wrist and colourful nails told us that “they” were looking for funding and have plenty of parties.

At these parties, people are encouraged to get high on narcotics so they can bond freely with one another. 

Recently, Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Bill, 2019, reintroducing the ban on homosexuality in the country. This Act has its origins in the Anti-Homosexuality Act passed by Parliament in 2013. 

I will not go into the morality of the said Act, but I shall note that it has led to a hardening of animosities between gay rightists and the government.

I will, however, note that if the rightists promoted their Africanity in the same way they defended homosexuality, Africa would become part of the First World. Yet they ignore what has left them most victimised (the colour of their skin) in favour of asserting their sexuality in the name of humanity (read funding).

As the gay rightists and the government go eyeball to eyeball like it is high noon, both are linked by my Kasasa and Nyege Nyege experiences.

That’s because the government rigged the last presidential election against the National Unity Platform, who they accuse of being funded by “the gays”.

This accusation implies that the seemingly heterosexual government is in the minority, as I and my fellow heterosexuals were in Kasasa.

Similarly, the government is also high on the narcotic of power as a means to bonding patron with client in an orgy of neo-patrimonial politics that has left our civil liberties sodomised.

So the question arises: if homosexuals are guilty of contravening the Sexual Offences Act, why doesn’t the government also stand accused?

Mr Matogo is co-host of the RX Radio satirical show: Hear Me Out.