I recently had to proof a briefing on the status of several African countries as part of a work contract. The briefing was wide ranging, touching on dozens of social measures and policies. But one of the sections particularly stood out. The signing into law of Uganda’s anti-LGBTQ bill last spring. It’s one of the most repressive anti-gay laws in the world, punishing “aggravated homosexuality” with death, and just the act of promoting homosexuality with up to 20 years imprisonment. I can’t imagine how devastating this must be for the queer Ugandan community. How terrifying it must be to live with the threat of this state sponsored violence simply by existing. It’s horrifying.
Earlier this week I also came across the above cartoon by the political cartoonist Gado, and I can’t stop thinking about it. Because what’s happening in Uganda is not an isolated event. It is a terrifying time to be queer in most countries, and it often feels like we’re taking one step forward and fourteen steps back. And how can we not when there are powerful groups who have decided that queer people are the root of all evil. Never mind the million and a half ways that our world is broken. Point to a rainbow and that’s it. Problem solved.
There are a lot of things that I will never understand, but top of that list is why people think love between two consenting adults is evil. As if the world right now really needs less love. For me, I love this cartoon by Gado because it’s brilliant. But I also hate it because it’s needed. Hopefully people will one day see through the farce that it’s depicting.
Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!