I know I haven't posted anything since May, and that's because I've had such a hectic and ever so changing schedule but I've decided that until I post something new and of value, I might as well post this letter I sent to a leading newspaper in Rwanda in response to a very homophobic piece they had printed in a 2006 issue. Here's a link to the piece and my response follows below:
Sent: November 22, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: sodomy, animal sex un-african by Patrick Bigabo
To Whom It May Concern:
I just stumbled upon this article on your website and I was puzzled by the level of blatant ignorance and utter hostility that it was written with. I’m not certain the author has done their homework before publishing such rubbish, but to quote an ignorant and downright dictator such as Nigeria’s Obasanjo speaks volumes.
For ANY African to claim that homosexuality is “un-African” and back their opinion on the fact that “the Bible says so” itself is contradictory and ludicrous. Need I remind Mr Bigabo that the Bible itself IS indeed un-African? Need I remind him that the same book upon which he bases his assumptions was used in the enslavement and the colonization of our ancestors and many other “cultured societies” throughout history? If he fails to see such an obvious historical fact, then maybe he should consider history lessons as a part time hobby?
He pathetically claims that a survey conducted, not recently but well over four decades ago, and might I add, very biased, concluded that homosexuals were having sex with boys between the ages of 16 and 19. Well, Mr Bigabo needs to be reminded that the said homosexuals were in that age range themselves. Also known as the age of puberty! And so did and still do, heterosexual males when they come of age. They have sex with members of the opposite sex within that same age range. What an absurd comment to make!
The Western World is not “assuming superiority” by pushing gay rights within third world venues. This is a moral issue. If someone’s rights are being unfairly reneged based on brainless assumptions and archaic beliefs, how do you expect the World to sit and turn a blind eye? Didn’t Rwanda suffer a horrendous genocide EXACTLY because of the same attitude?
I could go on and on about what Mr Bigabo or anyone else with similar beliefs, should consider before making hurtful and ignorant remarks, but my keyboard would have to be replaced. So I only have a few options here:
1) Take half an hour everyday to educate yourselves on human sexuality.
2) Research, extensively, locally or otherwise, and find out what indigenous attitudes were prior to the arrival of western colonizers into our lands in order to understand which is un-African. Homophobia or Homosexuality?
3) I challenge you to publish any findings of that research. Better yet I challenge you to publish this letter in your newspaper.
Lastly, I’d like to comment on Mr Bigabo equating same sex desire with bestiality. I’m sorry for having to lecture him but it appears he skipped his English Vocabulary lessons. Bestiality is a sexual relationship with an animal. Same sex desire is between two human beings. Is this really so hard to comprehend or am I missing something?
My humble opinion and thank you for taking the time to read this letter.