I have been troubled by the coverage of African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) issues in the United States and Europe for some time. It is heartening to see that African intellectuals like Keguro Macharia and Sokari Ekine are talking about the issue. You can read Macharia's article titled "How not to explain African homophobia" at Kenya Imagine and Ekine's response to this article titled "Single story homophobia and gay imperialism revisited" at Black Looks.
For many people in the United States and Europe, the sustained media blitz around the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 in Uganda has created another "single story" about Africa and particularly about Uganda. Some of the really important stories about Africa and Uganda have been completely missed. Here are some examples:
- The Human Rights and Peace Center at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda organised The Human Rights and Sexual Orientation forum through Baraza. African intellectuals and human rights activists have been working tirelessly to assure that democratic institutions thrive in Uganda.
- It was a special committee organised by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni that recommended the withdrawal of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 from Parliament. Clearly Museveni saw the danger of the bill to Uganda's democratic institutions and demonstrated skilled leadership to make sure the bill never made it to the Ugandan Parliament floor.
- African Religious leaders have been at the forefront of taking a stand against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. These leader include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Bishop Senyonjo.
- African LGBTI Christian Evangelicals often suffer the most at the intersection of faith and sexuality.
- The Psychological Society of South Africa issued a groundbreaking statement on the goodness of all sexual orientations.
This was the masterful thesis of Chimamanda Adichie's lecture at TED titled, "The Danger of the Single Story."