Hard being black, gay and Motswana

This is a story of a young black Motswana (from Setswana language) man in Botswana (a country) who had it hard admitting and accepting that he was gay and just had to live with it.

The poor man had done whatever many in his awkward situation would have done, or every trick there was. He went to church and even at one point had to change from church to another thinking he would be prayed for better than he had long prayed for himself and that he would all of a sudden be a “born a again” child of God. And not just relying on others’ prayers, he went on to pray for himself believing that God would change him to being a “normal” person like other men he was told of. Worse, the poor man [I prefer to call him that] even consulted a shrink during this gay-discovery-journey process thinking he’d be told something different to what he had long known, that he is not gay.

Kaene, the now happily gay-discovered, said he is now a “very proud gay gentleman” and a “responsible working man” born in Botswana who is, like most working people, paying his tax. More than that, he, again like most of us who are lucky to be working, support his family and friends. But unlike me, he is of a Buddhist religious practice.

Kaene writes:

“I was born into a Christian practicing family. I went to a Christian Day Care Centre, a Catholic Primary School and a Catholic Senior School and might I add that as a Christian believer, I struggled with tolerance to accept myself for who I was. All the time I would get on my knees and ask God to make what I then called “strange feelings” to go away.”

As he grew older, he became “more miserable” with his gayness-hard-to-believe part of his like. “I would cry myself to sleep every night”, he says, “but still had hoped that one day I will be a changed person. I ended up being depressed and distant from everyone”.

“I changed my fellowship from a Catholic church to a Pentecostal church as they preached a lot of “Born Again” practice than the Catholic Church. Once again my attempt to change myself failed.”

This account of Kaene – I suspect and have witnessed – is of what many gay-discovered people go through. Not only this, but as said before, other [if they can afford it], turn to what Kaene says is a “professional assistance”, shrinks or counselors or psychologists, they are.

Kaene says he “turned to professional assistance (counseling), but like the other attempts it failed”. And as a last resort to his hard life, Kaene [I am not sure of anyone who has thought of this one though], then though suicide was the only option he had as others that were explored had failed. “My other option was suicide”.

Like any other suicidal person, Kaene “would plan on how to kill myself and everyday something stopped [him] as [he] would pass out before (he) went ahead with it.” That must have been God talking to him, I think. That what he was trying to do was so not on and just had to stop. Remember, God [for those who believe in him] resembles himself in different ways to many of us.

That Kaene “converted from being a Christian a couple of years ago at 27” because he believed Christianity only brought him “sadness and heartache” did not help matters.

He tried the conversion because – and I would imagine that in a situation like this people tend to think stupid things just as he did himself – every time he went to church, he thought of just how “wrong” he was and that he was “destined for hell”. At that time, “I didn’t know that ‘God had already come down to earth to pass judgment’”, said Kaene, “or so it seemed as one after the other ministers/pastors/reverends passed judgment and condemned me”.

“I guess its(sic) what other people call ‘gods on earth’. I must have missed the memo that God appointed people on earth to fight his battles rather than to spread the love he asked us to spread. (A certain Christian book says: ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself’ and yet another says – ‘how can you say you love me your God who you can’t see yet you cannot love your brother who you can see’. I am mentioning all the above for a reason”, wrote Kaene in Botswana, Mmegi newspaper.

Recently I have seen very demeaning, ignorant, hateful, idiotic and repulsive articles in the newspapers about gay people and sex workers, says Kaene.

As a gay Motswana man, I have never been so humiliated and ridiculed as Mr Moatlhodi and Pastor Butale did.Last year His Excellency did an interview with The Voice newspaper and he said gay people were not being harassed in Botswana but little did he know. Moatlhodi and Butale are very disrespectful, hateful and ignorant.Butale as a so called Christian, you should go back to school and study your Bible very carefully and go back to church for prayers because you seem like you need them more than I do.

Hate is such an unchristian like attribute wouldn’t you say? Did God make you his guardian or did he leave you with a simple straight forward message: “love one another as I have loved you” and “judge not and you shall not be judged”. Do those words ring any bell? How do you sleep at night with so much rage within yourself? Well the “good book” does say love your brother as you love yourself so that tells me you hate yourself that much. In your article you wrote “Fatshe leno la rona, ke mpho ya modimo”.

The word “rona” means “us” “our”. You and I Butale. You and I.  Not just you so enough with the selfish attitude it does not suit a so called Christian of your calibre. I am a Motswana by all means. I wasn’t shipped on a radio-active marked container from hell.

Why am I being called a “Western Dog”, “a pervert”, “wrong” and “evil”? I never resided in the West or Europe nor have I ever attended any school to be taught to be gay. I was never molested nor do I tolerate molesting. Mr.Moatlhodi, you are there (Parliament) because I voted for you to be there and represent me. Remember in 2014 to be specific in your parliamentary campaign that you do not want any gay person or anybody who has a gay friend, child or colleague NOT to vote for you.

You have a salary because I pay you through my taxes to which I work very hard for. You are a leader so act like one: that means think about what you want to say before you say it and evaluate the potential impact it might have on the lives of other people. What makes you (Butale & Moathodi) more Motswana than me? What defines a Motswana? I went through a lot to let anybody treat me or insinuate that I am a second class citizen or a reject.My last question is how does my being gay affect you two? How does my being gay affect your lives?


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