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Fight for love

 

Dear President Yoweri Museveni,

 

I am writing you out of the urge to share my views and many peoples’ opinion on what is happening in your country with regards to the criminalization of the LGBT minority in Uganda. I have lived in West Africa seven years of my life and I have learned a lot about Africa, its values, its people, their fears and ways to manage life, even secretly as a gay person.

 

Even if you lock up all existing gay people of your country, new people are born every day, and from those people, about 5% will be gay. Homosexuality is not a choice, it’s a natural fact, a minority observed in even 1500 other species worldwide. Homosexuality is observed in all races, and it is surely not an un-African issue. There are historical documentations of homosexuality during the Egyptian times 8000 years ago for example. Your fellow African countries like South Africa, Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau are not punishing people’s sexuality. Are they un-African?

 

I fully understand that you personally may have a disgusted feeling towards homosexual people, but that is personal. By punishing someone’s nature, you are not punishing the West, but your own fellow citizens who are growing up in fear.

 

What does a homosexual person do? He or she grows up like all others; they go to school, go to work, and you may have even gay people surrounding you without you knowing it. They pay taxes, are hard workers, take care of their families, maybe some are the sole bread winners of their families. They are completely innocent people who don't steal, don't kill, don't betray nor assault others. Didn't we go through all this in the past? Isn’t the violent history of mankind enough already? If you are portraying your stance on religion, I would also have to challenge this by pointing out that your religion is even more un-African, a western import during the times of colonialism; a western implementation that you accept, but homosexuality, the one many call “western”, funny enough, is not.

 

Black people have been victimized because of pigmentation, hence just the color of the skin. Women are victims, just for being women. In a global world, isn't it more important to focus on the needs that concern all of us, like development, health, tolerance, energy, child care, than to blame or punish innocent people who are just what they are? As I mentioned before; you may feel horrified by same sex sexuality, but that is just one small part of the personality. He or she may be a very kind, caring and a loving person. Our world has seen gay people bringing development and entertainment, support and leadership.

 

Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS(23 June 1912– 7 June 1954) was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher, computer scientist, mathematical biologist, and marathon and ultra distance runner. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer. Turing is widely considered as the "Fatherof Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. He was a homosexual man. Would it have been helpful to lock this man away or even kill him?

We have singers like Elton John, George Michael and politicians like Guide Westerwelle, the former German Vice-Chancellor, the black musician Langston Hughes and many more. Do all these people would have been better locked away?

 

If you don't want homosexual people to show their same sex affection in public, why wouldn't it be enough to just request that? If two people meet, like or love each other, and they show their attraction and love behind closed doors, wouldn't that already solve the problem you may have? Instead, now hundred thousands of men and women will grow up and live in fear, in suppression, maybe incapable of doing a great service to the nation through their creativity, their work or their support. Tourism will be affected, due to these laws keeping spending tourists away, and I am not talking about gay tourists, but ordinary straight people who value the rights of each human. Courts are used for something that is not a crime. And what about all animals caught engaging in homosexuality? We are in the 21st century, and we know that homosexuality can't be taught, passed on or grown in its quantity. The percentage of gay people is the same everywhere in an open and liberal society, as well as in a society where it is punishable. And finally this law spreads hate and aggression against innocent people. There is no rational reason to punish or blame gay men and women, unless to use them as a projection, to turn peoples attention away from the more important issues to be solved. I asked myself; where does all that hate come from?

 

Your fellow gay citizens would like to be proud of their country too. They surely want to live in peace, go to work and pay their taxes. They want to love and be loved by their family. When a child is born, you would not know its sexuality. But you will adore, love and raise the child with care and all you can give. You will kiss the child goodnight; you will be happy with the child if it succeeds at school or has made you a present. You will simply love your child. Now when it grows up and this child comes out as a lesbian or gay man ... what now? Will you suddenly reject your child, no longer love it, no longer help or feed it, no longer support it? Would you even report your child to the police, to be arrested and jailed? Could you look into the eyes of your crying child who loves you and would be there for you when you are old and in need of support from his or her salary, or just be there to help? By jailing people just for what they are, you are not just punishing the homosexual person but the entire family as well, so the suffering goes much further than within.

 

Homosexual people are not a threat and they are also African, as well as Asian and European, American and anywhere you can think of. The only difference is their attraction to the same sex, and if two of the kinds meet, like and love each other, how does that affect the heterosexual majority? And again; you may not like mangoes because the taste disgusts you. Now with a man of power, would you remove all mango trees just because you don't like them? Or wouldn't it be just better to leave them where they are, not disturbing anyone, not being forced onto your plate to eat? We all don't like certain things, but that’s life. Our human species is colorful, broad and full of different people. Isn't society even more interesting with colors than without?

 

Dear President Yoweri Museveni, there are many gay women and men in your country that can't speak out, some brave few do. One day, and I am sure, if not under your rule, the leaders of your country will realize that kindness, care and love can achieve more than hate and isolation. Hate achieves nothing and it cannot be squeezed into a form. Man cannot cut away forever what naturally grows. You can hide things and make them seemingly invisible, but they are still there all around you. I am convinced that more beauty, peace, development and love in society will grow a country better than suppressing and blaming innocent groups and communities. Please don't just think about the sexuality, think about the individual person and his or her mother, father, family and friends. Locking away one gay person punishes the several people surrounding him or her. It cuts families apart, destroys friendships, removes a great student or enthusiastic worker. Enough tears have been shed all over the world. Let’s not artificially add more problems and tears on top of what we already have to deal with.

 

I am a citizen of this world, reaching out ....

 

Yours truly


Thomas Fleckner

 

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