Dear Citizens of Uganda,
My name is Adam Rogers and I live in the United States of America. I am writing because your country’s government is currently debating a bill that I consider to be extremely dangerous and morally reprehensible. It is my understanding that a significant majority of Ugandans support the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that MP David Bahati has introduced, but I believe your support of this bill is based on only one side of the story. The leaders of my country, as well as many others, have urged your leaders to drop this effort, but I would like the opportunity to address you, regular citizen to regular citizen.
I plead with you to continue reading, because the lives and safety of your fellow Ugandans are at stake. After such a despicable history of imperialism, I understand that you are weary of anything you perceive to be a Western export, but I assure you that homosexuality is not the export. Though not always accepted, same-gender affection has been detailed in every culture throughout history. The Western exports you should be concerned with are the lies you have been told by the American evangelical leaders who have been visiting your country.
The message that “homosexuality is changeable” is a fringe and extreme viewpoint that is not based on any reputable science. You have been taught that the gay movement is “an evil based entity” and that our goal is to “defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of promiscuity.” This could not be further from the truth. We do not want to defeat the marriage-based society, we simply want to be a part of it.
Let me clear up some other lies that you have heard. Pastor Martin Ssempa has worked hard to convince you of how different and scary gay people are. He has repeatedly said that we are trying to recruit your children and he has tried to make you afraid of us by saying that we eat each other’s poop. I beg you not to listen to anything this man has to say. He does not spew these lies to fight for Ugandans, he lies because he knows it gets him global headlines. Ssempa has a long history of using his country’s challenges to gain fame -– including burning condoms in the name of Jesus.
The reality is that homosexuals and heterosexuals are not different at all. We all value the same things: family, friends, happiness, freedom and love. I assure you that gay people are not to be feared or hated -– we are painfully normal, as evidenced by my story.
Since I was a young child, I have been attracted to men in the same way that many young people develop an attraction for members of the opposite sex. I fought against these feelings in my early years and I tried to force myself to have feelings for women, but it was a lost (and unnecessary) cause. When I was 18-years-old, I told my parents, family and friends that I was gay and I was blessed with their support and love.
Now years later, I work at a University and my husband is an elementary school teacher. We have been committed to each other for over seven years and we were recently married in front of 150 members of our friends and family. We live a very quiet and peaceful life and the fabric of the traditional family has not been destroyed because of our love for each other.
Pastor Ssempa has urged Ugandans to not use the word “gay” because it means “happy” and “these people are not happy.” I personally am extremely happy because I am able to spend the rest of my life with the person whom I love. I fear it is your fellow Ugandans who will never know happiness, because they are being forced to live their lives in secrecy out of fear that they will be imprisoned or killed because of who they are.
I call upon you to not let Pastor Ssempa and MP Bahati speak for you on this subject. Please do not rob gay Ugandans of the same chance at happiness that you enjoy.
Thank you for listening,
Adam Amel Rogers
Photo credit: freeuganda