I love parting and socializing a lot not because am drug a dict but because i meet and get to know reality of my town and what my peers think. it was on this day on Wednesday night when a friend had called us in his house for house warming at first i thought it was much for me as it was a working day but again said i would not stay long to the party…hmm i decide to join my other friends who hail from the same town.
On arrival we met a group of young men and women who came from same and none was new to each other as we are common pals we drunk and ate among the crowd there were some female sex workers (fsw) and some men who sleep with men (msms) who had been invited to the party by the house owner being a guy who works for an organization which works with the same target group and could not leave them out.
As we socialized they erupted from a guy who seemed to be very much opposed to gay men and he said i was out on Friday with some friends when came some four young men in the same club to drink as we drunk they could go and dance and made the whole place look like they owned it at first i thought they were here to enjoy themselves like any other person and go little did i know they were here to get clients like female sex workers he said..
It did not take long before a descent guy sent them some drinks through a lady who was serving our table then asked one of them who looked pretty presentable to join his table and one thing led to the other these two drunk and left after some time.It was at this point that a lady female sex worker joined as and had this to say when he saw the remaining three guys nkt..these guys have made life difficult for us in this small city!!!!!!!!! they take all the good and rich men. We asked her to elaborate when she said if you want to know go to the following pubs bla..bla..bla.. she disclosed to us the names which i cant share for security reasons but why do men take them and leave you ladies?I asked her men claim they have less expenses as compared to us they also claim they are few unlike us who are many and keep changing clients she said .and where did you get all that information i asked . She said i have a personal friend who sleeps with men and that’s what he told me when i asked him of same she said.
It dint take long before these others get different men to treat them just like ladies in the same pub we also learn t that most men feel easy around fellow men and that one could think they are workmate friends or even cousins the lady said the msms have no fear especially when they get drunk.What do you think should be done to them i asked the lady said they are still our friends because at times we get men who want them and pay us to hook them up or they get men who want both and they also invite us but we feel very much worried she lamented.
It has been hell of time and some people with with ill motive have taken advantage of the recently anti gay law bill that was passed in Uganda since kisumu is bordering the country in question it has been hectic for msms in both regions who have suffered silently with no one at their aid.
It was on Friday evening as was going round as always having my storming sessions at health care providers facilities to my surprise what i heard i couldn’t believe that still exist in this current world.On my visit to one of the msms friendly heath care facility that cant disclose its name due to security reasons i met a clinician who took me through his records not disclosing to me names of his clients who did not turn up for their medication (ART)
We have suffered a big blow and it seems we were not prepared Hans said not his real name ever since the bill was passed in Uganda we have not been getting our clients for treatment and we are worried as we can not reach them on phone. I asked why and he said most of our target group is the msms community as we are a youth friendly facility most of our nurses,Councillors and clinicians are sensitized and work with them in Avery harmonious way he said.Each month we receive new and continuing clients who are either referred by fellow peer educators or some organization but for this month none turned up.
Luckily there was one who sneaked in for his medication and we had to have a private talk with him. bonny not his real name said they are threatened by their neighbors who know them as msms,they also threatened us that we are promoting western culture and that we should be burnt to death he said as tear rolled down his cheeks. It was on this note that most guys flee away for the city to go for hiding for some time.
As this happened to our own community the same facility recodes the highest no of foreigners who came for medication away from their country Uganda to me that was more sensitive than the bill itself we can not loose lives just because one is gay life is precious.It was here that we also realized that msms have particular hospitals they prefer due to security and privacy of same.The main challenge is most of this men no one knows if they are accessing drugs or not in whichever hiding place they maybe in.
We appeal to anybody who may be threatening these people out there to let course take its place the bill was passed in Uganda and not yet in Kenya its so unkind for us to threaten our brothers to the point of making them run away from health care facilities we also urge the same community to embrace peace among them always.thanks to KASH (keeping alive societies hope) for their hard work in making sure all can access their medications at all time and also protects rights.
It has been a debate that has always hit media houses about gays and one is left wondering if this is some thing new that can be stopped like once.it was on Sunday evening when i decided tour my home town kisumu with some friends from within and went to have a drink in one of the pubs in town to my dismay i realized there were many cars with strange no plates and there were many new faces that had never met before it was on this that i took initiative to inquire what could be happening in town as i thought maybe there was a function but was wrong.
As we enjoyed ourselves i spotted one guy that i knew long ago in Nairobi and used to work and reside in Uganda and so moved to ask what brought him here and to make my conscious clear.On asking he also remembered me and there we joined the two groups and had our fun. As we enjoyed ourselves i asked them what brought a group like that to Kenya which he said Fabian not his real name that “our country is not safe at all”here we find bit safe because you people are a bit enlightened he said in Uganda you can not trust even your next door neighbor because the anti gay law that was passed has made even the citizens become greedy and very inhuman Fabian said in disgust.
During all this time we all remained mum and wondered why one would be that unkind to his fellow human but we reserved our comments.Fabian had four other men who were from Uganda too and they also had this to say in Uganda the moment you are seen going inside a room with a fellow man the caretaker for the place will come and stand near the door and listen to your conversations and alert the bar or restaurant owner who will mobilize the police and media guys and break in to your room and that leads to merciful beatings and shame.to me that was wrong because i feel there is right to privacy why would somebody come to listen to me in aprivate room and break in?
Jotham not his real name from the same country also said that at some point your enemies who knows about your sexual orientation will also be used to trap you posing as new clients and on arranging for the date they expose you this is so hurting and has made many of us come here at-least to take a break from all that humiliation.I personally went through such and had to pay some guys a lot of money to save my reputation what we are left to wonder about is how can someone explain and convince you about what they feel can heart or feeling matters be explained? If you look at HIV prevalence rate in Uganda as compared to Kenya Ugandans is much higher and we suspect that larger number is contributed by unprotected sexual intercourse between the gay and bisexuals in the community i wish our president could hear as out and know that we are not trading or copying the western but being real…..look at me do i look poor to you i have my own company and employed straight men and women do they put that in considerations???? he lamented i could feel the pain but had very little to do and again the man looked stinking rich.
since it was getting late and our new friends were not very sure of their safety they asked to leave to go and have rest in one of the prestigious hotels in kisumu where they confirmed most of them love due to their good services and privacy.we left each other with nothuing but encouraged then and prayed that one day Uganda come to realize that threatening and harsh punishment will never solve any problem but should embrace dialogue and understating for the LGBTIQ community