The Other Team – Part I

By on November 23, 2015

I love women. I really do. I love the way their eyes look at me; imploring me to say something utterly inappropriate but dangerously suggestive. I love the way women’s voices lure me into thinking they are innocent, without blemish and sent from heaven. I love the way their (mostly) tiny little noses cling onto their pretty well tended faces – breathing in oxygen with calmness and composure.

I love their scent. But mostly when they are not wearing that cheap perfume bought through the window of the taxi off a vendor on a traffic jam packed Friday afternoon. I love their heavenly scent. Occasionally I might bump into a woman who smells like a plate of boiled eggs dipped in overstayed onions and fermented Stinky Tofu dish but generally many women are keen to walk out into the world smelling like freshly picked flowers meant for a wedding bouquet.

I love the way women walk. As if they are gliding into nothingness and basically drifting into a space only occupied by goddesses. I love the way their limbs switch positions to lift and drop their buttocks creating such a sight when you are behind them. I love the way all their body parts conspire to create some kind of tingly sensation in my mind and warmth in my loins.

I really do love women.

The other day I sat down and had a conversation with a guy who does not like women. At first I was baffled. This guy (let’s call him Tim because I don’t know of any Tim who plays for the other team) does not get turned on by half naked pictures of Taraji P. Henson looking like a plate of freshly baked Chocolate Cake. He finds absolutely no excitement in staring at butt naked females bending over and shaking their voluptuous behinds to ‘Bend Down Pause’ by Runtown,  Wizkid and Walshy Fire. Apparently, that is a boring sight for him.

Would you believe it!

This guy is interested in men. Not the way I would be interested in the Character of James Bond or Iron Man but in some other way. The guy is interested in men in a sexual way and from what he told me, he has been this way since his childhood.

Before he and I sat down for a discussion about this ‘strangeness’, I was not too sure what to expect. I had heard that he played for the other team but I was not too sure what to make of it. I mean we had had conversations on social media and he seemed like a cool guy. Not that players of the other team are not cool but I just didn’t see anything odd about him. On this particular day he wore an ordinary shirt slightly neater than mine and he was prim and proper. He wore simple everyday pants and had a cool pair of shoes. He spoke just like any other human being would; with well constructed words coming out of his mouth. He even had a sense of humour.

Nothing strange about him so far.

The prospect of sitting down to have a conversation with an openly gay person did not scare me one bit. I have shared drinks with more ‘abnormal’ individuals. I know someone who was once female but is now male, I know a girl who suffers from Multiple Personality disorder, I know a person who has been castrated and I know a whole load of lesbians. So I am not new to strangeness and over the years I have learnt to be more accommodating.

Besides, the last time I checked, gay people had not exactly been earmarked as terrorists except by Lokodo whose opinion I don’t necessarily hold in high regard.

So I did not necessarily feel unsafe hanging with Tim.

I never venture into asking about people’s sexuality unless they volunteer the information. This time round, I was doing the asking so I was feeling a little nervous.

When I stepped into his office he welcomed me with a rather friendly smile. He shook my hand with a firm grip and proceeded to ask me to take a seat. I was with a (female) friend so quite naturally we eased ourselves into the comfortable chairs knowing well that we were each other’s protector – in case of anything.

On the wall of his office hung a flag with the LGBT colours.

This guy was proudly gay.

My friend and I were quickly starting to get comfortable. Tim was that kind of person; the kind who you were told was a terrible person but when you walked into his office, you engage in conversation and before you know it, you are seeing an entirely different impression from what you had been told.

“Tim is actually a cool guy,” I whispered to my friend when Tim was taking  a phone call.

I looked around, attempting to feel as comfortable as I possibly could so we could have our discussion. My friend and I were supposed to ask him a couple of questions about his personal life and eventually write a piece about him for a magazine. I had my questions lined up but somehow he volunteered information that rendered many of my questions useless because he offered articulate response to all of them.

For the duration of the time I was with Tim, I learnt quite a number of things about these players of the other team and I had my eyes open up to very strange facts about the Sexual minorities group.

These guys are quite many. I mean the players of the other team; the gay guys. Many of them live quiet and simple lives among us and are very comfortable staying in the background, away from the spotlight – for obvious reasons. The society in Uganda is not exactly the most accommodating of gay people so many of them have decided to live quiet simple lives – away from the public eye.

All is usually well for them until someone is uncovered and hurled into the public eye for the tabloids and local gossip mills to devour. My friend Tim (yes, he is now my friend) is one of those advocates usually called in help snatch these guys out of the claws of the public which is often quick to pass judgment and levy the heaviest of punishments on these people. Many times, Tim is the thin line between life and death for these guys. He has chosen a life of advocacy because many of these gay people have no mouthpiece and no muscle to fight for their rights.

Tim makes it his business to fight for their rights or whatever semblance there is of their rights seeing as our constitution is not too kind to them.

From Tim’s story, I gathered that while there are many gay people in Kampala,  a good number are not too keen to come out. The only problem is while they are comfortably living in silence, whenever anything happens to them because of their sexuality, they often find themselves seeking for help from people like Tim.

And this can be really frustrating for Tim because he is trying to protect people who do not want to come out and be identified. But he somewhat understands their plight especially seeing as it will probably be a while before the Ugandan community starts accepting this people as complete humans with no intention to make the Sun stop rising in the East.

While we were having this discussion with Tim, I noticed that there were a few rather ‘interesting’ individuals who walked about in the corridors of the office. I was told that the entire premises was run by people of the sexual minorities group. As a matter of fact, there is an association called ‘Sexual Minorities Uganda’ with their offices somewhere in Ntinda and with a fully fledged team ready to offer as much information and assistance to both those in the LGBT society and the rest of us who have absolutely no clue how and why a normal man would get turned on by another man as opposed to the opposite sex.

There are quite a number of stereotypes about Sexual minorities that have been carried on from one generation to another and from what I gathered, it is right to assert that the ignorance that is among us human beings is simply unbelievable. For instance, there are a number of men who struggle with their sexuality so much that they convince themselves that they are straight. These guys get married, bear children, have families, only to fall back to having sexual relations with shamba boys and the like.

Crazy stuff!

According to Tim, these are the people who make it hard for the gay community because they end up living double lives and thus putting everyone at risk; both their marriage partners, and their secret same sex partners.

The prevalence of STDs is quite high among gay people because of tendencies like those. STDs have been rising among gay and bisexual men over the years. Recent surveys indicate that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up 75% of primary and secondary syphilis cases. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men often get other STDs, including Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections.

These guys are being screwed by STDs left right and center.

While giving me these stats and figures, Tim was careful to mention that he and the people he works with were wedging a war against ignorance. People who sympathise with the LGBT community and even those who don’t necessarily sympathise with them are often locked in arguments before even equipping themselves with relevant information.

And this is why I was here having a conversation with Tim; to equip myself with information and step out of the ignorant lot.

So far so good.

“When faith in our freedom gives way to fear of our freedom, silencing the minority view becomes the operative protocol.” ― Joel Salatin

a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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