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Homophobia that grips our island

BEA DOTTIN, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 01 March 2011

On February 14, the documentary The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay was aired on BBC – which I watched with intriguing interest. The programme examined the demise and murder of gay rights activist David Kato and the expulsion case of lesbian Brenda Namigadde in Uganda. In this critical documentary, Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills goes to Uganda, risks being detained, and as he journeys through the country he realizes the harshness of the circumstances. In the programme Scott Mills admits he had never encountered any problems of being gay in Britain. Contrary to his statement on the programme, it is made known the intensities of odium and narrow-mindedness, and misleading attitudes on homosexuality he encounters on the streets of Kampala which becomes an austere aide memoire of how fortunate he is. Young children are brainwashed into believing that homosexuality is a sin by the church and schools. It was a challenging undertaking for Mills. However, he heroically meets head-on the Ugandan MP who proposes a bill where homosexuality should become illegal, punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty. At one time of the programme Mills meets a witchdoctor who can cast a spell to cure homosexuality. Be that as it may, during the poignant programme I realized there were similar situations of homophobia in Uganda and Barbados, such as how the church plays a major part in spreading homophobic propaganda in the countries, harassments and assaults on homosexuals and lesbians, of which I have personally encountered being harassed and assaulted while living in Barbados, and lastly killings of gay men. In Barbados, it is heart-rending that homosexuality is illegal and the penalty is life imprisonment, not to mention there have been cases of homicidal deaths of homosexuals and some have gone unsolved. It is especially discouraging because with homophobic homicides in Britain they are without doubt solved and justice brought against the perpetrators who have committed the horrendous offences.

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