The Worlds Worst Place To Be Gay 1/4

Aired on BBC 3 14th February 2011

Scott Mills travels to Uganda where the death penalty could soon be introduced for being gay. The gay Radio 1 DJ finds out what it’s like to live in a society which persecutes people like him and meets those who are leading the hate campaign.

Link to the BBC site for the programme:

Review from The Independent (includes spoilers)

BBC3 offered The World’s Worst Place to Be Gay. How do you get more people to watch your documentary? Give it a teasing title, clearly intended to grab floating viewers by piquing their interest. Gosh, where could it be, the world’s worst place to be gay? Afghanistan? China? North Korea? Tunbridge Wells?

It turns out to be Uganda, at least according to the Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, who is himself gay. He went to Kampala and indeed found plenty of depressing evidence of institutionalised homophobia, and this was before the murder last month of the Ugandan gay-rights activist David Kato. Africa generally is becoming a dangerous place to be openly gay — no fewer than 37 African countries have declared homosexuality illegal — but Uganda is evidently the most dangerous, with a prominent politician called David Bahati championing legislation — bluntly called the Anti-Homosexuality Act — which would introduce life imprisonment for people found “guilty” of same-gender sex, and the death penalty for “serial offenders”.

If only this represented the ranting of a right-wing zealot, out of step with public opinion. In fact, Mills found perfectly bright schoolchildren who are likewise of the view that homosexuality is an “abomination”, and met a newspaper editor who insisted that it reduces the human lifespan by 24 years. A young lesbian told him that she had been raped in an attempt to cure her of her orientation, yet far from curing her, the rape left her pregnant and HIV-infected.

All this is a relatively recent phenomenon, apparently visited upon Africa by the growing influence there of American evangelists. And where angry shouting doesn’t work, glib humour is deployed. “In the beginning it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” offered a panellist on a phone-in radio show.

Trying to tackle this bigotry was obviously going to be well beyond Mills and his producer Chris Alcock (whose end-credit, though I probably shouldn’t admit it, at least generated a smile at the conclusion of what was otherwise a thoroughly disheartening hour of television). But I’d like to have seen them try a little harder to state the case for tolerance and rationality. Instead, our engaging presenter’s tactic was mainly to throw up his hands in horror, and turn to the camera for solidarity.

He was also, I think, rather disingenuous in presenting modern Britain as the antithesis of Uganda. In many ways it is, but it’s not as though homophobia is unknown here, nor is it so many years since David Copeland let off his murderous nail-bomb in Old Compton Street. Still, this was a brave and enlightening documentary, almost too brave for its own good, in fact, because it concluded with an interview with the witchfinder-general himself, the appalling Bahati, during which our man admitted to being gay. The interview was abruptly terminated, and Mills was lucky to escape the country, if not so much with his life, then certainly with the tapes. We should all be glad that he, and they, made it safely home.

This documentary is owned by the BBC.

38 COMMENTS

  1. Most of these homophobic laws in these countries were passed by their British, French, Spanish and even Dutch colonizers, so don't blame these nations for being against homosexuality, go and put the blame on these European countries that engendered it in them that homosexuality is wrong.

  2. The only reason for this level of homophobia in Uganda, Ethiopia, Jamaica and many other poor countries is that their only strength lies in the family unit and reproduction. The government and local religious leaders keep the population under control by keeping them breeding and poor. Bigotry is the easiest way to do this. Heteronormative, breeding society is the only thing these countries have to fall back on.

  3. Obviously it's not the worst thing that's been said before about gay people and homosexuality etc, but one of the things that infuriates me the most is when people refer to them as 'the gays' in a negative sense. It makes it sound like they're some kind of other species, not human beings

  4. Excuse you we are educated jamaican has one of the best education system and we are educated and street smart plus we live off biblical principles and Homo is an abomination and no other country cant come impose slackiness on we jamaicans we little but wi talawa

  5. These homophobic Africans need to be taken to the Deep South in the US. Then they will know what oppression and hate really is. This sickens me. If I was in charge I would gladly welcome these poor people to the US where they can be safe and not fear for their life just being themselves.

  6. all western propaganda..why is it butty boys have more rights than black people? if the Ugandans don't play that shit.. leave them alone. they don't owe the world a damn thing. their country their rules

  7. T free world needs to take a step forward and export the values and the freedom that identify us.

    People in Africa blame the gay community for the spread of AIDS, but gay people are not responsible for that, they are per capita the biggest victims.

    And in Africa, more than 80% of all child rape, is perpetrated by male pedophiles on young girls.

    The Bible tell us that Noah got drunk and that when he awoke, his black son was making fun of him, so Noah cursed him and told him that he and all of his decedents had to serve his other two white brothers, and because of that, millions were forced In to slavery.

    This is the same Bible who tells the black people, that being a homosexual is an abomination before the eyes of God.

    So they should reconsider, because the love that a human being feels for another human being can never be an abomination before the eyes of God.

    We all start in the wand of our mothers as females and homosexuality occurs naturally in nature, and science is very close at proving that and when it does I don’t know what will happen, perhaps it will be the begging of the end for the church of Jesus Christ, because you cannot select such vile lies, discrimination and hatred as the foundation of your life.

  8. So they all live in little shitholes and barely any food, no plumbing or anything but their biggest problem is gays? These people have weird priorities.

  9. Omg.. please tell me what's soooo bad about being gay..
    You've been brainwashed by religious people.. I'm Christian, and I think being gay is just as normal as being straight..
    God is always around us, and if it's so bad being gay.. why would God make you one?
    You can't answer that from experience..
    It's a sexuality.. get over it.. you can't blame someone for what they feel..
    Being gay is the same as having different taste on food or drink.. but should you be prisoner for having a different taste?

  10. Each to their own, so leave them alone, they are human as well as us, they lead their lives on how they want too, if my son came to me and said i,m gay….I would stand by him…..Gay people are some of the nicest people you could wish to meet….They keep them selves to them selves …let them be, if they do not bother you why should you bother them! when i listen to people say (kill them) my god what is wrong with you people, really!!! gay,s are probably nicer than half the assholes out there…..there is such a thing as Gay RIGHTS!!!

  11. Uganda has a long record of being lead by violent tyrants of dictators and their fellowships, genocide, torture and today the most drunken nation in the world with a major alcohol problem known to destil their booze in the backyard – Of course this place wont be comfortable & cuddly for any minorities such as gays! lol

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