What a cruel world we live in when someone has to feel forced to live a lie just to be safe. What country can say that have truly progressed when fear tells a society they cannot be true to themselves and love who they wish in adult life.
Progression is hardly a word to use for these countries. I would freely use the word Shameful!
And to the outsiders homosexuality will remain a circus of a freak show.
Monjeze’s and Chimbaalanga’s comments are as almost as damaging as their proposed jail sentenced. Cheers guys!
Monjeza is in deep denial.
We all know that he is a Friend of Dorothy (his new girlfriend is called Dorothy – I hope she does not get too frustrated when Steven is always having a migraine or washing his hair when she is feeling frisky)
Chimbalanga is truly brave. His comments “”here are lots of good men around. I will remain a gay,” is truly remarkable given how he has been persecuted.
I would advise them both to seek asylum in a civilised country.
Then again, Stephen may be in a state of post-traumatic stress. He was ill during this entire ordeal.
Tiwonge surprises me by saying that he will remain gay because many of us have been arguing that Tiwonge is a Trans, not gay.
Bottom line: I’m as confused as ever about these two, except that I do wish they would leave the country and receive the support and the happiness they deserve.
I’m not good at continuing to support people who change their minds about things they claim are unchangeable. For me, they put themselves beyond defence.
This stuff about “no longer wanted anything to do with homosexuality”, while the other one “will remain a gay”… I just find it vomiticious…
I’m gay, and that wouldn’t change if you spiced me, sliced me into wafers and sold me as salami. I think both these guys, as quoted, make themselves look a lot like gay-is-a-lifestyle-choice frauds. And it isn’t. Not for me anyway.
forgive them their fear, forgive them their language. In the West we’ve said that sexuality is unchageable because we’ve been properly civilised (almost) long enough to see how openly gay people live and love, in other places, people easily adopt the terminology of their opressors
If only they could escape to South Africa, still a liberal country
How dare you to judge them after all that they have been through? I am quite sure that under such circumstances you would be even faster in finding a wife.
Mihangel (6) Of course I can easily forgive (if forgiveness were for me to give), but I cannot fight a corner for people who change the argument I’ve on which the fight was based.
Ind (7) I can dare to frame my own support very reasonably by my own feelings and the standards I apply to myself; and I think I was clear enough that that’s what I was doing. I myself would never accede sexual contact with a female because I could not. I would far easier end my life, so what you say is wrong in all respects. Whether that says more about me than about them is your judgement to make, but I said in every phrase that this was my perspective: I didn’t dress it as fact.
It’s too easy in the Western world to condemn these two for being frightened and one saying he doesn’t want to be gay any more. We know thats not possible but given the choice in his situation we must try, at least, to understand why. It doesn’t mean they deserve our support less, they clearly need it more.
Take the disgusting story about the Gay couple threatened and hit on a London bus…. Here in the UK most are equally disgusted and now the police are searching for the bigotted ‘scum’. If this story had been indeed in Malawi. We wouldn’t have the same. I expect more people who have joined in, possibly the men murdered and their society applauding it. Very different. We have No right in telling people they can’t protect themselves however they wish to do it.
They need our support not condemned because of their fear.
Squidgy (9): Sure, great sympathy for their situation and fear.
But one of them said he would remain a gay because there are lots of good men around. That’s not a statement of fear by any account; but it is a statement which implies he’s making a choice.
This is the problem I have. From the article:
“Whatever their feelings for each other now, Steven and Tiwonge have done more for gay and transgender rights in Malawi than anyone else,”
You see I disagree: I think that they had the potential to do lots of good for gay and transgender rights in Malawi. But if *even I* think they’ve just said homosexuality is a choice, then it’s surely a fair bet that every bigoted heterosexual in Malawi will say “Look, what did we tell you – it’s just a deviant life-style choice, deserving of punishment”.
tsuchan: textual analysis of what was said can leave ambiguities of meaning – after all we speak “our” English, they speak “theirs”: these aren’t necessarily the same thing.
For instance what Chimbaalanga might actually have meant is “he says he’s changed, not me!”, but that is conjecture.
I suppose we have to stand by OUR principles, even if they appear to be rejected by those we want to help. And help them when they need it again.
PS your point about not being able to change: snap! sexual contact with a woman would be physically impossible for me; perhaps the woman involved is equally looking for safe harbour
I cannot believe anyone could possibly blame a gay person in a violently homophobic country – who was threatened with 14 years in jail, is constantly threatened with violence, was ostracised from their family, friends and community, and whose face is known around the country – for pretending to be straight, when thousands of gay people in far safer countries don’t have the courage to be openly gay.
No matter what either of them are claiming now, the courage they’ve already shown is far greater than most people could dream of mustering. Tiwonge may be exceptional for remaining openly gay, but that doesn’t mean Steven has anything to feel ashamed about for caving in. It took the whole bloody cavalry to bring him down. He should be proud he made it this far. They both deserve our utmost sympathy and respect.
The only people here who deserve blame of any sort are the government and the homophobes who support them and who would turn their backs on their own family. These people are scum. This is entirely their fault.
Hi Mihangel (11)… I think your point is fair.
Where is Tiwonge Chimbalanga now? Did she ever receive help leaving the country? Is she in jeaopardy? No one anywhere seems to care to find out what has happened to her.