Homosexuality: The reality is that it exists

A couple of weeks ago while I was in Lusaka, Zambia I discovered that a group of Zambians fighting for gay rights had tried to launch an organisation to lobby for gay, lesbian and transgender rights but was stopped before they could even do a mission statement.

Inside Track with Grace Mtandwa

I understand as soon as the group made its intentions known, the State announced that anyone who dared to join or associate with the group would be arrested.

Fellow Zambians were also encouraged to report anyone they suspected to be involved with the group. The organisation was massacred before most people could even try to understand why gay rights should be upheld.

Zambia is not alone in responding harshly towards anything to do with gay rights. Although Zimbabwe has the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (Galz), this does not mean the situation is any different.

Zimbabwe has just had a referendum, which accepted a draft constitution that bars same-sex marriages. Zambia is currently debating a draft constitution that will also not enshrine any gay rights.

In Zambia if you ask questions about sexual orientation you will get the standard answer, “We are a Christian country.” In Zimbabwe many people will tell you that being gay is a western culture or lifestyle.

A year ago Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni became the first African leader to state honestly in an interview with the BBC that, “We have always had gay people in Africa but these are things we don’t talk about. It is something we don’t want to publicise.”

And President Museveni is right. In Africa we are not comfortable talking about our sexuality. It is more acceptable especially for men to exude machismo and this is normally embodied in being seen around women, marrying a woman and bedding as many women as possible just to prove a point.

It is more acceptable for men to say how many women they have slept with, than to tell friends that they are attracted to other men —you stand a very good chance of losing friends and possibly your liberty if you do that.

But Museveni was wrong in assuming that by publicly acknowledging that gay people do exist in Africa, it will encourage young people to pursue a gay lifestyle. Gay people fall in love with other gay people.

The truth is that it is not just Africa that is uncomfortable around gay rights issues.

Even in the United States where the federal government has left it to the different states to decide whether or not to uphold gay rights, some states have refused to embrace same-sex marriages.

‘Homosexuality is not a lifestyle’

In South Africa where gay rights are recognised, gay people still have to struggle with acceptance. Their sole consolation is that at least their government does not form part of the army that despises and attacks them.

They have the constitution to protect them.

The reality is that being gay, lesbian or transgender is not a lifestyle. It is not a choice that someone makes over a cup of coffee. It is not something that Christians can pray against and it vanishes.

It is not a tradition or culture. It is a given sexuality — one that many struggle with because of the problems it brings. It is not easy for heterosexuals to accept the reality of homosexuality and it is equally hard for some gay people to embrace who they are.

We were all raised to accept heterosexuality as the norm which is why we have so many gay men who marry, have children but still seek the love they feel safe with elsewhere.

Some men and women are forced to live a lie or lead double lives because they so desperately want to be accepted by family, friends and society.

Gay people’s mission is not to convert heterosexual people into gays or lesbians.

Even if you do not want to think about gay rights, ask yourself why the number of stories in the news about married men accused of sodomising other men are on the increase? There are many people trapped in a pre-determined sexuality that is not necessarily theirs.

No matter how much people hate gays and lesbians, someday we are going to have to talk about them. One day we are going to have to face up to the fact that ignoring their rights and the gay people themselves will not make them disappear. One day we will have to admit that being gay is not a disease that can be passed on.

Yes most of us do not understand how a man or woman can love a person of the same-sex. And most of us really do not even want to be engaged in discourse that makes us think about the challenges and politics of sex between people of the same-sex.

Bring the gay rights issue to your own family level then maybe you will gain a clearer understanding.
Will your son no longer be your son because of his sexuality? Will you disown your brother because he is gay?

How will you handle it if your daughter is a lesbian? Will you ban gay people from your church?

Yes, we do not want to hear about same-sex people demanding that their rights be recognised.

But no matter how hard we try to block out their voices, turn a blind eye to their plight or ignore their existence, the reality is that they exist — they walk alongside us, they eat with us and sometimes we meet them at parties and they dance with us. They exist!

Email: mudiwa2002@yahoo.com
Twitter: GraceMutandwa1

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32 Responses to Homosexuality: The reality is that it exists

  1. J. Mhlanga April 7, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

    Its sad how people want to embrace this unnatural or perhaps for lack of a better word, sickness, and call it normality. Since the fall of men, or rather, since the seed of warped thinking and behaviour, which runs against everything that defines humans has been growing and cleverly “sold” to gullible simpletons, we still hear echoes of gongs that resonate with this filth in our midst. Not even animals, who don’t have “brilliant minds”, are not known to practice this weirdness. In their quest for knowledge, they have embraced foolishness and called it a “human right”. If one is sick, surely that cannot be called “health”.

    • Dan Kase April 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      There’s absolutely nothing unnatural about love. You’re human and they’re human, you were born with arms and legs and they too were born with arms and legs. You have the right to love who you want to love without persecution and they should be afforded the same inalienable rights.

    • GettierProblem April 11, 2013 at 4:37 am #

      What have homosexuals ever done to attack you or your religious rights? Think. Now think about what you have done and said against them and how your ideology attacks their prerogative to be happy without harming anyone else.

      Now you know why you deserve their hatred and disgust, and they do not deserve yours.

      Also yes, nearly all sexually reproducing animal species display homosexuality. The only possible exceptions are, ironically for you, insects whose behavioral programming is as simplistic and rigid as your values. Homosexuality is simply a sign that a species is advanced enough that its every action need not be focused on the common denominators of animal needs (such as nourishment and reproduction). This alone says nothing about whether it is good, bad, or permissible, but it does say that your naturalistic arguments against it are stupid on every conceivable level.

  2. nix April 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    dont tell us nonsense god did not create a man and a man period, its even taboo in our culture, god destroyed sodlom and gomora for that, so stop the gospel of satan you are spreading

    • Idahosa April 8, 2013 at 5:57 am #

      Sodom and Ghommorah is how it spelled and really… the gospel of satan? Homosexuality has been found in THOUSANDS of species so obviously its a part of nature but not many Africans in Africa know that. The colonialists suppressed gay history in African culture, and talking about sex in general is taboo in African culture but homosexuality has always been known to Africans LONG before European colonization.

      • Dan Kase April 10, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

        Agreed

      • GettierProblem April 11, 2013 at 7:07 am #

        Spot on. This nix guy needs to read the Bible and learn history. (Just not at the same time.)

  3. julietr April 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Who cares what consenting adults do in their own bedroom, why this fixated obsession with controlling people’s love lives? Anti-gay prejudice is irrational and harms an entire class of people.

    Within our lifetimes, Africans will look back at anti-gay prejudice and judge it to be just as irrational an evil as apartheid. Gay rights are human rights. Please support human rights.

  4. J. Mhlanga April 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Nix, if God did not create a man and a woman, what then about sodom and gomora? He would have found no cause to destroy it as you say. I agree with you when you correctly say the gospel of allowing this taboo, is of satan.

    • Idahosa April 8, 2013 at 5:55 am #

      Sodom and Ghomorrah? well first off, that is how you spell it and second of all did you even read that text? Because it said absolutely NOTHING about homosexuality. What it did say is that they were wicked cities and that the men of the city wanted to rape the angels and they would do to Lot worse than they would do to them. Lot even offered his daughters rather then have the city rape the “strangers”…. They were not gay men, they were wicked men who wanted to rape the angels to “show them who’s boss”…. if you quote a text, know what it says.

      • GettierProblem April 11, 2013 at 4:53 am #

        > …they would do a Lot worse….

        Heh.

  5. D Sikoya April 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    That’s trully Satanic gospel in my own opinion

    • Dan Kase April 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Satan doesn’t exist.

  6. D Sikoya Kanyemba April 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Abomination, a trully Satanic gospel in my own opinion.

  7. agatha paul April 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    Grace Mutandwa’s articles on Homosexuality that were featured in The Standard of April 7-13 2013, page S9, can not go unchallenged. And it is appropriate for another woman to comment, because it will appear like most women share her views on the subject, which is not the case.
    I am a Zimbabwean Christian woman and am in the process of setting up an organisation which might be called Zimbabwe Christian Women’s Forum (ZCWF). The main objective of this forum will be to promote sound biblical views on issues that affect the society. I have noticed that there are many women activists in our country who lobby for different reasons and usually they claim to represent the majority of us and the rest of us especially Christians do not necessarily agree with them, so this platform will be be lobbying for righteous noise with the aim of pointing others to the truths found in the Word of God.

    My Response to the articles:
    Homosexuality is a sin and any government that claims to be “Christian” is very right to refuse to yield to any pressure from anywhere to allow any rights to be given to sinful behaviour. The fact that homosexuality has been with us from the very beginnings of human civilisation does not warrant it any right now to be recognised as normal behaviour.
    The very first recorded acts of this sin is in Genesis 18 and 19. The result was that God had to totally destroy everything by a rain of burning sulphur and that was the punishment for a homosexual community! All sin is traced back to the Fall Man in the garden of Eden in Genesis 3. This is when sin entered this world and that is basically the beginnings of human civilisation that I had referred to. Sin is a violation of God’s Laws, murder, adultery, incest, theft, bestiality and many other sins we know of.
    The difference of these sins with homosexuality is that you hardly hear those people who love to have sex with animals for example lobbying for their rights to marry. Are they lesser people? Why can’t rapists be allowed to fight for their rights? Are there no thieves who want to resuscitate ZATO (Zimbabwe Thieves’ Organisation)?
    We can not copy what other nations are doing especially what we know is evil. If people next door are cannibals should we also follow suit? Our leaders have come out in the open about our faith and religion, so why should they violate our God’s laws, just to please a minority even a majority of misguided people?
    Grace said that homosexuality is a given sexuality, who gave that if she may clarify? The Holy God that us Christians believe in, The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit does not give out sin as a gift. If we are to quote Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans 1:18-26, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” Onwards we read that because of men’s foolishness and darkened hearts, God gave them over to shameful lusts and women became lesbians and men gays .
    So Grace, it is a judgement from God not a gift. Further down the passage in vs 32, Paul says that they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death. And this decree includes those that approve of them that practise these evil deeds highlighted in vs 29! God does not force anyone into anything, people choose their destiny. But, He is faithful to forgive any sin and cleanse one from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9-10). If we say we have no sin then we are liars, President Museveni is right; homosexuality has always been there in Africa and everywhere else for your own information.
    It is the gays who want to convert the Christians to accept them, we will not do that. On the other hand we do not hate them to the extent of stoning them, we hate the sin not the persons. These are our teachers, our pastors, our husbands and sons and daughters.. We will continue to pray for them, but our prayers are not the ones that change them , only God is able to do that if He wills it. What we know is that all sin will disappear when Christ comes back. But that does not make us turn a blind eye and allow it to spread and corrupt everyone.
    I would like to say that look at nature, there are male and female species of everything that has life, plants , trees, animals and etc. Same sex is not natural. God , who created everything did not say, “Man, you shall leave your father and father and marry another man.” “Male and female He created them “ (Genesis 1;27).
    No one is perfect, we are all sinners, but we do not have to stay that way, neither should we throw stones at each other, we are to rebuke, instruct and correct each other through Scripture, (2 Timothy 3:16). Unless if you are not a believer, you may choose not to listen, but if God has elected you as His own you will one day change. The penalty for ALL sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life through Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
    From
    Agatha Paul, I am currently pursuing a degree in theology locally.
    My cell no. is 0774 148 416.

    • Idahosa April 8, 2013 at 6:01 am #

      Same sex attraction is a part of nature but not many Africans want to even find out because they feel like it will disrespect God when it won’t plus you can quote the bible to say a lot of things. Europeans did it all of the time when they enslaved Africans, jailed astronomers, and basically when Europeans said they were the superior race. But to justify your hatred by quoting the bible is not Christian and humans have learned over time. Africa, in the state that it is in, has much more important things to worry about. Corruption and poverty actually hurts Africans, gay people…. not so much.

    • Dan Kase April 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Yeah, but according to your religion, it’s not your place to judge others on whether they’re living in sin or not.

      Also, not everyone engaged in same sex love is Xian, being that they’re not Xian they should have the right to go about their business as they so please.

      1 Timothy 2:12

    • vic April 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

      The bible can be used to argue anything. It was used to back up slavery, racism, sexism. What was it 1 Timothy 2:12 said about women teaching men? Ah yes, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must remain silent.’

      You can either take the entirety of the bible and follow all laws (so no more wearing mixed fabrics, or using a toilet indoors, slavery is allowed, and a woman must marry the man who raped her, or be put to death if she didn’t scream for help even if he had a knife to her throat), or you can admit the bible is flawed, a product of whatever class was ruling at the time each bit was written, and decide to live life by the only ethical law: don’t hurt others. Homosexuality hurts no one.

      People use the bible to justify their own hatred, and that undermines the message of love and compassion that Jesus taught, and makes Christians look bad. Where is the charity and love in hating a group of people for how they are born? I am not gay, but if people want to be gay, what harm does it cause me or anyone else? The world needs more love, and less hate, and all good Christians should remember what their religion is famed for, instead of turning it in to an instrument of hate like so many other religions.

      Be a good Christian. Love and respect your fellow man, and judge him not.

  8. Leeroy April 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Women empowerment is a taboo in our culture. The Bible also condemn women empowerment. Wats so perculiar about gayism? How does it affect the nation economically? Focus on major things and let gay doctors, teachers, nurses, etc enjoy their life in Zimbabwe and serve fellow citizens. Its better gay people live, work, enjoy and develop their country than doing it in other countries seeking refuge. Thank you. Unhu/Ubuntu, you are becoz I am. Love thy neighbour

  9. Leeroy April 7, 2013 at 10:24 pm #

    Only narrowminded people hate gays and lesbians. They sin everyday. If you are not a sinner, go ahead and judge gays

  10. Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui April 7, 2013 at 11:25 pm #

    Same-sex marriage is an injustice, a tyrannical ploy being perpetrated upon our society, the pernicious consequences of which are simply mocked and laughed at by its supporters. Ignorance and prejudice have taken the place of knowledge and reason. Caprice and passion substituted for prudence and virtue. The happiness of society, the good of all families, and the welfare of mankind fall victim to the injustice of selfish love, which calculates every thing for itself while taking no notice of a child’s best interest or the public advantage of the government promoting ONLY the traditional family.

    In the eyes of a child, same-sex marriage appears adulterous by nature. Someone is not present in his/her home who is his/her true mother or father. No good can come from adultery, only broken homes and broken hearts. At best, an adoptive virtuous heterosexual man and woman can soften the evil sustained by children of adultery, but same-sex proponents want their adulterous families to be considered normal and “equal” to a monogamous heterosexual marriage — which study after study has proven to be the best environment for child-rearing. There is simply no virtue in ignorance, or in denying truth.

    Here are two truths regarding marriage: (1) A man creating a family with another man is not equal to creating a family with a woman, and (2) denying children parents of both genders at home is an objective evil. Kids need and yearn for both.

    Same-sex marriage in unconformable to the state of a rational social being, it is defective in principle, and has ONLY a deceitful appearance to young and old because it denies Natural Law. All babies grow up to eventually figure out that it takes a man and a woman to bring a new life into the world.

    At school, those kids who have two mothers or two fathers will be different, and the other children will notice that the child of a same-sex couple is different in many ways. Besides the obvious exclusion of either a mother or a father at home, a same-sex-marriage child is deprived of one necessary gender role model at home, and will undoubtedly interact differently than other children of his/her gender, and especially with regards to interacting with the opposite sex of his/her same-sex parents. It is without a doubt that these children will be recognized to be different by the children who have a mother and a father at home, and especially when they have both of their biological parents at home.

    In order to protect the child of a same-sex marriage from any perceived harassment, that child will become a special protected class in the eyes of the government. School officials will have to punish and “re-educate” any child who “offends” the protected-class child by simply expressing that it is strange that the child of the same-sex marriage is missing a mother or a father, or that the child acts in a manner unusual to his gender contemporaries.

    This unjust punishment to subvert the natural understanding of children is evidence enough that same-sex families do not follow core principles of Natural Law, and because same-sex marriage defies Natural Law, pernicious consequences will inevitably happen. To punish a child for saying what he knows is true (all children have a mother and a father) is nothing less than a tyrannical oppression to children who instinctively rely upon Nature’s Laws to help them understand life and natural consequences. Children will be coerced to accept as “natural” what are unnatural behaviors, and this challenge to their instinctual knowledge of right and wrong will result in confusion. A morally-confused child is more susceptible to evil and perversion than one who is confident in his knowledge of right and wrong. Evil-doers know this, and will thrive in a society that indoctrinates its children to see no inherent evil in disregarding Natural Law. Alas, those who support same-sex marriage have apparently fallen too far into the depravity of tolerating licentiousness themselves to realize or acknowledge the harm and injustice same-sex marriage imposes upon our children and thus our society. Society institutionalizes marriage to enforce the natural rights and responsibilities of the organic family unit.

    Marriage was instituted to protect the Natural Rights of children. Same-sex marriage ignores nature and tramples those rights in the name of “equality”.

    • vic April 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      I ignore nature every time I get in a car. What is so good about nature?

      Many, many studies have shown that the children of same sex couples do as well in school or careers as those of heterosexual couples, so children aren’t being harmed either.

      Allowing gay people to have proper marriages would actually protect their children, as if one of them died, the other would have all the rights of a full parent to look after the child, instead of the government having to put the child in an orphanage like happens currently.

      And as for the religious argument – do you follow every rule in the bible? Those banning you from eating pork and shellfish? The ones banning you from using a toilet inside a home? The ones about not wearing mixed fabrics, or cutting your hair? What about the ones that say your daughter must marry the man who raped her? Would you kill a woman who was raped but didn’t scream for help when the man was holding a knife to her throat? The bible says you must.

      It harms no one. If you personally don’t want a gay relationship, no one will force you. Why deny 5-10% of the population a happy life because of your own fears? I am happily married to a woman for 6 years now. If my son grows up gay, I will be happiest when he is happy and can live a life without fear. If my neighbor is gay, what does it matter? What he does in the privacy of his own home is no concern of mine, just as what me and my wife get up to in our bedroom is no concern of his.

      A lot of research has shown that those most against gay rights, are those who are secretly gay themselves and trying to repress it. Wouldn’t you be happier if you didn’t have to lie about who you loved?

    • GettierProblem April 11, 2013 at 6:01 am #

      “…which study after study has proven to be the best environment for child-rearing.”

      Study after study has proven that it is best for children when their parents are married. No rigorous, peer-reviewed research has compared the competency of married heterosexual parents, specifically with that of same-sex parents, and concluded that views like yours are defensible. They have, however, shown overwhelmingly that your ideology is harmful to the families of same-sex couples and therefore, since they serve no redeeming function for the rest of humanity, an overall detriment to society.

      Furthermore, children do not “need and yearn for” parents with different genitalia, you reductive pedant. What counts is that they have parents who love and protect them and give them a chance to be happy, productive citizens—something which you unequivocally would deny the children of gay parents.

      You simply do not speak for “children”; children who have not been trained to hold an opinion on the subject are perfectly unscathed and non-perplexed when confronted with the reality of gay people for the first time. Sexuality and romance in general are black boxes to children; they look in on them from the outside and know what they look like in their own family, but cannot yet conceive of what they entail in more general terms, what these feeling mean to lovers and WHY they have inspire family cohesion. If children were not equipped by nature to accept that some people fall in love with members of their own sex, just because they cannot empathize with these feelings, then they would be in such a constant state of bemusement in a world replete with sexual beings, that they could not function.

      If you had any humility you would be ashamed to misappropriate the innocence of children in your small-minded appeals against the rights and security of same-sex couples and their families, against the impartial treatment of all human beings. I am able to correct your assertions authoritatively not only because I have observed children’s eyes glaze over with disinterest when they are made aware of non-heterosexuals for the first time, but because of first-hand experience from my childhood.

      If you doubt any of this, ask yourself at what time in your life, and under what circumstances, you were first told about homosexuals. It would be a safe bet that it was at the same time you were indoctrinated into homophobia; your mind was hardly pristine. That is not unusual even in western societies; but when forced to look honestly at our prejudices without appealing to doctrines that not all reasonable people share, cultures such as mine have gradually learned to reassess their priorities on these issues—priorities that have been exported wholesale to your own culture. Take it from an ex-homophobe: History will judge you and find you wanting if your heart remains so hardened against compassion.

    • GettierProblem April 11, 2013 at 6:13 am #

      Oh and you’re a fool if you think you can prevent families different from your own from existing; they already do. You have as much power to make their lives easier as you have to spread mistrust towards their difference, and so through willful ignorance you are remiss in your duties as a moral agent.

  11. Jason katts April 8, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    although i do net speak for the majority, how does who i choose to take to my bed affect anyone else? albeit as long as its a consenting adult. . . you people go on and on and on about homosexuality when the really is we are here living, working, teaching, commuting with all of you and yet when you know who i choose to take to my bed you judge me!!!! bringing Christianity into it is and always as total rubbish because clearly you do not understand the fundamentals of religion.
    one important thing i will say though, whether you like or not, support it or not, ignore it or scream on top of every building you can find in harare every homophobic statement you can come up with we are there. .. very much in Zimbabwe, living here and that you cannot do anything about.

  12. Jason katts April 8, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    lol forgive the typos. . .

  13. Idahosa April 8, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    Wow all of you guys disappoint me. First you use an imported religion to spout this hate and THEN you call it African culture. Wow Africa needs help and NO nobody chooses it. None of you chose to be straight no matter how many times you say you did. But Africans need to be educated on a lot of things and with the way it is now, I am not surprised because in Africa, human rights violations are always happening anyways. Whether its gays or forces female circumcision or torture in jails or starving prisoners and then saying it is a part of the culture. Give me a break and this is coming from a Nigerian…..

  14. Idahosa April 8, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    Plus Zimbabwe recently had to get rid of their dollar…. corruption on the continent and you want to talk about gays and “kill all gays” which by the way is not a very Christian thing to do, you pick a topic that has no affect on you but ignore the ones that do like curropt politicians…. do not act like Africa is a continent of saints when in people perform rituals all of the time while claiming to be Christian. Whether you like it or not, gays have ALWAYS been in Africa and it IS a part of nature and it is close-minded to think that it can’t be.

  15. Jason katts April 8, 2013 at 11:47 am #

    well said Idaho. for a continent full of ritualistic beliefs and a people so torn over there own identity and obviously all the various religions people surprise by spending time worrying about who another adult takes to bed. seriously???!!! and i agree that homosexuality has and always be a part of who we are whether politicians and religious zealots scream and say it’s a western import. we are happy with who we are, i refuse to be forced to conform to “Christian” nation hoopla when they that always remind us of it are the bigots!!!

  16. Tau April 8, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    hey…this homo thing sucks,we r tired of it.jss enjoy urselves in bed and stop tellin us about the rights anymore.Just leave the judgement to God alone.

    • Dan Kase April 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Without equal rights, they will not be protected under the law. You know this. This is why you want it to be swept under the rug.. Why not fight it and just give them the equal rights they deserve??

    • vic April 10, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

      so why not give them the rights every human deserves so it’s no longer an issue? It doesn’t take anything away from straight rights to allow gays to have the same rights. What does it hurt you who someone else loves?

      If you had a child, would you want them to spend their lives in misery hiding who they were? Or what if they are straight, but marry a gay who is in hiding? Even though it’s a straight marriage, they will have no love there, and both will be miserable because of it.

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