Homosexuality is as good as new to Botswana, considering the sudden influx of youngsters claiming to be homosexual. It is almost like a “social cult” of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals parading their sexuality, as if on a rebellious mission to alarm society. I would like to believe that with some people it’s genuine, but I am also realistic enough to know that with others it’s a “fad”: just because someone became frustrated with the opposite sex they decide to claim homosexuality. Young people are known to be impressionable and will take up anything that seems “cool” and sets them apart. Homosexuality has now turned into a ‘fashion’.
I do not doubt that homosexuals exist in African communities. It has been established that homosexuality existed in pre-colonial times. However, the context and perception differed. In some parts of Africa, homosexuality related to spiritual powers and “possession”. Gays were left alone as the belief was that they could return as an ‘Ngozi’- an avenging spirit which could cause great havoc to the community’s procreation. They were a respectable spirit rather than offence usurpation of natural order, as is the case nowadays. It appears that colonialism gave homosexuality an explicit identity. Colonialism introduced a binary model of sexuality: as something to be defined and regulated.
During the times when most men had to migrate to urban areas to seek employment, they were separated from their women and so found “wives’ in other men. These “mine marriages” were a dislocation from traditional set up. Some men were imprisoned and gravitated to seeking sexual relief from other men. (The anus, I assume, creates a sensation similar to that of the vagina: the tightness and friction.) Naturally, there was shame associated with such practices. Same sex relations were not embraced as a norm or socially acceptable practice, not necessarily because it’s wrong, but because it defies nature.
It is difficult to think about homosexuality and alienate from the sexual element. The attraction and emotional bond between two people always leads them to connect physically- sexual intercourse. Human beings are the only creatures who partake in sexual intercourse for recreation. Human beings are known and expected to procreate and leave a legacy. Homosexuality is not reflective or represent able of that. The social importance of procreation denies same sex relationships social significance.
No matter how much I try, I struggle to capacitate issues at face value. Pardon my suspicious nature, but the sudden ‘forceful’ demand to legalize homosexuality is quite suspect, considering that for many years, it wasn’t a major social concern or area of interest mainly because it was not common practice. There must be lots of money, power and influence involved in these persuasions. Homosexuality is often encouraged by the faux elite. Some of these “circles” include pedophiles, misandrits and misogynists, hell bent on eroding the “normal” familial social structure of a mother, father and children. It is akin to Hitler’s obsession with the Aryan tribe and taking over the world: calculated and venomous. Homosexuality is being gagged on to people. It’s almost as if people are being forced to accept it and if they don’t there is something wrong with them: they are bad people!
Homosexuals are a minority in this country. In Botswana it is very rare to hear of sexuality biased killings or harassment. Cases of “corrective rapes” are very few and wide apart, if they ever occur. Homosexuals are not a special breed of people and their rights are constituted under Human Rights. Assimilating homosexuality into our lives is a process, not something we just wake up and embrace. There must be social regard for other people. Homosexuality is a “deep” and layered issue. Does modernization mean accepting everything that people bring forth? Is it really possible to accommodate every single person’s right, even if it isn’t applicable to a majority? What willlegalizing same sex relationships do for the country’s social landscape and how will it improve the quality of Batswana’s lives?