Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Openly Gay Bar Opens in Kampala

I still get excited thinking about it. Sappho Islands. Yes, the great lesbian Greek poet has come to town. I last took a beer during the October of 2008. This is probably when I last went out to a bar to drink. Most of my friends are socialites and I respect that. Being a Born-Again Christian has made me look at my life differently but I am not the kind of conservative Christian who thinks what I do not do automatically becomes evil if other people are doing it. This is why I still hung out at bars with my friends if I have to. My reason for quitting beer was basically because I have never liked drinking. I don?t like the taste and I have never had a genuine reason to take alcohol.

The opening of Sappho Islands is to me a political statement. Looking how far we have come, I cannot ignore the fact that the Stonewall revolution in the U.S.A sparked off from a bar. When I first heard about Sappho Islands, I saw progress. I celebrated change.

Sappho was a Greek poet whose poems talked about emotions and love between women. She lived on an Island called Lesbos and it is said this is where the word Lesbian came from. Multitudes of lesbians visit Lesbos Island every year in celebration of their identity. Sappho Islands, the bar, may not attract hundreds of lesbians from all over the world but the decision to name it after Sappho gives us a reason to celebrate our identity.

I have lived among LGBT communities for the past eight years and I know how much having a social life means to LGBT folks. I have learned from listening to people?s stories that sometimes anti-gay laws are not what LGBT persons are most concerned with. They are concerned about being able to meet people like themselves, laughing and forgetting their daily struggles even for a single time. I have been to LGBT social evenings and seen how folks do not want to go back home after the party is over. They value the only time they can be happy and have a good time.

It is a beautiful way to end 2010. Three cheers to Sappho Islands.

Posted by Val Kalende at 12:55 PM
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