Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The World's Worst Place To Be Gay - BBC3 Documentary

I'm not gonna lie, when it comes to documentaries, I really should get off my arse and watch more of them but I think the reason why I don't (and it's a rather childish one) is because usually they depress the living daylights out of me. Last one I watched was about a 95 year old woman running a hotel in Swedan almost single handed and that wasn't the stuff of cheers either.

However on Monday, I decided to tune into BBC3's hour long documentary, titled The World's Worst Place To Be Gay, hosted by radio presenter Scott Mills and my god, it certainly didn't bullshit on the title one bit.

Uganda was first seen as a slightly cosmopolitan African country but sadly, it's also a deeply homophobic one and for the guts of an hour, I think Scott Mills and his team managed to cement that home as best they did without trying to deride the country as a collective whole.

The scenes where Scott actually went to a witch-doctor to see if the man could cure his homsexuality were both ludicrous and highly disturbing to watch. Mental note - being spat on, beaten with a chicken and doused in water by an insane elderly man is not going to stop me from fancying men. Not that I thought it would. Then again, neither did our intrepid Mr Mills either and he was the one who had to tolerate the ridiculous ritual.

And as for the radio stations and local government - the less said about them, the better or maybe that should be more, given the sheer contempt they exhibited in this documentary. David Bahati is an example of the type of leader that neither Uganda not any country needs but sadly his staunch anti-gay stance isn't a minor situation either.

Throughout the entire documentary there were too many incidents from locals in Uganda who supported the idea of gay men and women being killed as well as the passing of an anti-gay amendment that would see gay men and women arrested, potentially murdered as well as their families who refuse to turn them in.

Topping off the situation, each time Scott Mills actually revealed his sexuality to any author, local figurehead etc, it seemed to result in either him being castigated for his sexuality or with David Bahati, a near warrant for his arrest and confisgation of their interview tape.

All in all, this documentary opened my own eyes about how far homophobia really does extend when a country like Uganda can have such little regard for the safety of it's own LGBT population and while things aren't always perfect in European countries, we are infinity more fortunate by comparison.

A special thanks to both BBC3 and Scott Mills for the documentary. It certainly was an eye opener.


Guada GN said...

It´s a cruel world out there, my friend, and we have a tendency to forget it... But yes, things like this, and those about women in the muslim countries, and all that crap, brings home the idea that as much as we complain about the place in which we leave, we have been dealed a rather easy hand to play.

shawnlunn2002 said...

It was definitely an eye opener. These people - journalists, politicians, police, neighbours, etc in that documentary were scary because they were so casual about their hatred, as if they were proud of it. I hate that people like that exist in this world but sadly they do.