Piece Comment

Review of Homosexuality in Uganda

Gay, bisexual, and transgender rights are becoming the modern day equivalent of the civil rights struggles for blacks during the 1960s. Like the civil rights struggles decades ago, the division and conflict surround gay rights are not a uniquely American concerns. This short program (an odd length at 17:41) overviews the struggles faced by homosexuals (almost exclusively male homosexuals) in Uganda (where homosexuality is both illegal and a strong taboo).

The program feels incomplete and leaves the listener with a lot of questions. Listeners are left to wonder, specifically, why the producers decided to highlight homophobia in Uganda (as compared to--well--any other nation in the word)? Sure, terrible things have happened there, but (unfortunately) persecution of homosexuals is hardly unique to Uganda--or even Africa.

Secondly, the listening experience is somewhat flat--the listener isn't left with much of an idea what they are supposed to do with this information. Not that the program should contain a call advocacy, but the program bludgeons you with details about these terrible stories, leaving the listener a bit numbed but strangely unmoved.

An answer to this might have been to spend more time with the victims of discrimination and persecution. They appear in the program just long enough to share the basic details of their oppression and then are gone. Such treatment diminishes their humanity and relatability to listeners. Their stories would be significantly more powerful if we understood they entire dynamic of their lives.