By Jill Lumina—Special Guest on LGBT-Today
Ugandan flag--Standing now for a national blood-lust over killing homosexuals and even those who are heterosexual are in danger if they don't report them thanks to the efforts of American evangelist Scott Lively who is on trial for Crimes Against Humanity here in the United States as a result of this bill.Editor’s Note—Jill Lumina is an aspiring young journalist. Josh is a pseudonym for the young Ugandan man in the interview, as revealing his true identity would place his life in danger.
Josh: Hello, I am Josh. I am humbled by your friend request… Richie says you want an interview me. I am here. Jill: Yes I am working on raising money to get you to America. I will pick you up from the airport and interview you. I hear you are a very sweet person and I look forward to meeting you. You have many people fighting for your freedom right now.
Josh: Okay I am pleased… Thanks a lot. God bless you.. I am really looking forward to being free, because I'm truly aware of myself. I am a peace maker and i love all people, except those who hate others. Jill: I am just like you. You are a good person and you deserve to be happy and free. That is why we are fighting so hard for you. The world needs good people like you. Josh: I am looking forward to going to Uganda soon to start up the process. If u may need to know its not easy to get a US Visa. Thanks. We need each other equally ...Surely I just wonder if we have new things?? Apart from TechnoJosh: Hello, I am Josh. I am humbled by your friend request… Richie says you wanna interview me..am here.
Jill: Yes I am working on raising money to get you to America. I will pick you up from the airport and interview you. I hear you are a very sweet person and I look forward to meeting you. You have many people fighting for your freedom right now
Josh: Okay I am pleased… Thanks a lot. God bless you.. I am really looking forward to being free, because I m truly aware of myself. I am a peace maker and i love all people, except those who hate others.
Jill: I am just like you. You are a good person and you deserve to be happy and free. That is why we are fighting so hard for you. The world needs good people like you.
Josh: I am looking forward to going to Uganda soon to start up the process. If u may need to know its not easy to get a US Visa. Thanks. We need each other equally ...Surely I just wonder if we have new things?? Apart from Technology??? Or electronics??? Because people like me have existed all throughout creation right??
Jill: Yes. Since the beginning of time. The ancient Greeks were like you. The great philosophers such as Aristotle and socrates, they were just like you. A lot of people don't know that.
Josh: Ooh yeah... I am very proud of.Richie has made me realize I can stand out on my two legs and accept what I am.
Jill: You are perfect the way that you are. Other countries have different views. Here in America, you can be yourself and people will smile at you.
Josh: In fact here.... life is changing from the 21st century to the 10th century.
Jill: Here there are big celebrations and parades to honor people like you.
Josh: Thanks. I pray that I can be able to. I have always been good to people ...
Jill: There is nothing wrong with whom you are. It is your country that has a problem, not you.
Josh: One hurting moment ever in my life is one day when i became the talk to everyone in a small township because someone leaked news that I am gay. Almost everyone who could see me would tell the others look at him. I felt so bad. But it was unavoidable. I almost lost all friends … I also lost my small job. The world turned against me but I stood it out, I was still helpful, and a few started to believe I was not a person.
Jill: So i am going to ask you about 10 questions and I wanted you to answer them from your heart, is that okay? If there is a question you don't feel comfortable answering, that is ok, you can tell me you don't want to answer.
Jill: And the point of all this and this interview is to make the world better, okay?
Jill: At what age did you realize you were gay?
Josh: When i was 16
Jill: Can you tell me about your childhood? About growing up? Are there any details that stand out? Not just about your sexuality but everything in general.
Josh: I am born from a polygamous family. My father had married two wives. The other woman and my mother were staying in the same house...The other woman had three children, and.my mother had ten children; four boys and six girls. The first was a girl and the following was a boy. Those two passed away. Then came a boy, and then a girl, then a boy, then four girls, and then me. So I had more time with my sisters than my brothers since they were all studying at boarding schools far from home. I stayed mostly with my sister and almost adapted such characteristics. Doing work and maybe being loved so much as a small kid and a boy in that case, and being the last born. So I even could go to church with them and now, worse, is I began adapting to the way they talk, walk, and dress up. Getting attracted to that. Since I was young I admired mothers...carrying their babies on their back. So most times, I would carry a stick on my back and my mother would tie it with a piece of cloth to make (me) feel happy, although i was young. My sisters would laugh and tell me "You’re a man. Men don't carry children like that." So i grew with feminine characters in me (just to be frank) and most people even now say, "but u look just like a lady", which initially offended me, but am used to it.
Jill: How do people in your hometown feel about your sexuality? And what was the worst part? Also, will you tell me a little bit about your escape to Tanzania? And then after this I have happier questions for you.
Josh: People in my hometown all look at being gay or bisexual as evil and barbaric—inhuman—something abnormal, and no.one would allow me to be gay at all. In the place where i was staying, many people were suspicious about my sexuality, especially boys of my age, and they would make me their great enemy, even though most of them I tried to show that I’m a peaceful person. (The) worst part is when some time back when I was working with one pharmaceutical company as a warehouse attendant; I met one man who was a general manager. He seemed to be friendly to me, and in the end I discovered that he was gay. He confessed he was gay to me but remember he was a top manager. So him being a friend, just a friend, he used to invite me for evening coffees, outings and he would send his driver to pick me up. So one day the driver went around the whole company telling people that me and the manager we were an item and I was called to answer to people in the human resource manager's office on what type of relationship I had with a manager since he is Indian (from India), top manager, and not in my age bracket. It became the talk of the whole company. I felt so bad that everyone looked at me as a disgrace, as immoral, abnormal and not worth being part of them. I lost many friends that I had made in the warehouse where i was working for a short time. One family accepted me. They never asked me about my sexuality, but made me their friend, and always advised me and helped to feel okay again… But that was the worst part of my life, when all my worker mates in all branches in the country would come to want to know who I was and talk about me as i looked on because i couldn't leave the job. I stood the shame. The top manager lost his job and I was warned, but after the manager went away i was also made to resign. From there, I looked for a way to survive. I had to come to Tanzania to see a friend and their family, who I stayed with. And while here I didn't know that I had people who were looking for me since the law was signed to beat me up. I used to get messages of threat, asking me to be careful, that the president had allowed them to kill all who are expected to be gay! Like me. I was being warned
Jill: Do you think what’s going on in Uganda will get better? And what do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies, things that you like? Also, what talents or skills do you have?
Josh: I don't expect any change in the mind of the poor (and) illiterate people of the village to understand this, that being gay is normal and gay people are people like them. We are peaceful like them; maybe it’s them that are arrogant by killing us and beating us up. In my free time, which is after a hard day’s work, I love to chat with friends while we drink something. I play basketball. I love dancing, and singing. In fact I am a good member of our church choir and I am computer literate.
Jill: When you come to America and you have your freedom, what is the first thing you want to do? And when you come here, what are your plans for the future?
Josh: I would love to study something.
Jill: What would you like to study?
Josh: I love to work with the sick! I would like to be a nurse but I didn't do science subjects.
Jill: There are schools over here that will train you. What are you most excited for about your freedom in America?
Josh: Apart from being a nurse I admire and would love to be a counselor! Talking to people who have different problems: For an example the show with Oprah Winfrey.
Jill: So you like to help people.
Josh: In fact, about the excitement, I am not too excited, but just ready to face a new life. First here I have to be frank to (yo)u that many gay people in Uganda are prone to sexual promiscuity, but me, I am a different person. I am very careful and very strict to (the fact that) I respect my body and respect other people and I am caring about that issue. I love and always pray to be controlled on that which I observe seriously! I love to help. In fact, I have helped one time in one of the hospitals in Uganda for one month and two weeks each long holiday without any pay. All that time am proud to have known Richie, four (ago), I think. I love to change the world. I love and feel for the oppressed and marginalized. Being free in America, I am looking forward to meeting people who are open minded; meaning no one will be able to pin point me, or when someone sees me he or she whispers to a friend and talks about me. Saying that he looks gay. Or he should be gay! Something like that. Because here, if you see something like that, I always felt very low, and very separated. I wanna be free and put in clothes smartly, in skinnies, shorts all many nice outfits that I feel like. In fact, one friend said that most girls would wish to have a gay friend to be out with, like that.
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