WATCH: Ugandan Trans Man Calls Antigay Rev. Ssempa a 'Hooligan'

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com December 18 2012 3:49 PM ET

The Reverend Martin Ssempa, a vehemently antigay pastor in Uganda who travels the country preaching against "sodomy" by showing pornography in churches, couldn't show basic common courtesy to a transgender man whom he appeared with on Ugandan talk show Morning Breeze.

In the video clip from Ugandan news channel NBS, Ssempa repeatedly interrupts and shouts over Pepe Onziema, a transgender man and LGBT activist in Uganda.

As Ssempa launches into a graphic description of how he perceives that gay men and lesbians have sex — complete with the classic "exit only" defense of the anus — the preacher repeatedly interrupts and refers to Onziema as "she" and "this woman," despite the moderator's repeated attempts to correct and rein in the preacher, who continues his outbursts in English and Luganda.

Regaining momentary control over the situation, the moderator asks Onziema how he wants society to view him. "As a human being," says Onziema. "As a person who is part of this society."

When the host challenges that Ugandan society has abandoned Onziema, the activist politely but fervently disagrees. 

"Society has not rejected me," Onziema tells the host. "It is the propaganda of the likes of Ssempa. My family loves me as I am."

That triggers another outburst by Ssempa, over which Onziema can barely be heard telling the moderator "I cannot believe you would put me on this show with a hooligan."

Although Uganda's Parliament took a holiday break this month without voting on the controversial "Kill the Gays" bill, homosexuality is still garnering headlines in the East African nation. President Yoweri Museveni told parishoners at a cathedral earlier today that the government is "not going to kill" or persecute LGBT people,but also claimed "there should be no promotion [of homosexuality], and sex here is confidential," according to BoxTurtleBulletin.

Clearly, that's a memo Ssempa missed. Watch Onziema do his best to keep calm in the face of Ssempa's hateful outbursts in the video below. 

A recent report from progressive watchdog organization Media Matters found that despite the hot-button nature of Uganda's proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, cable news networks in America have seriously lagged in covering the legislation. In November, for example, the viral music video for "Gangnam Style" by South Korean rapper Psy received more coverage on CNN and Fox News than Uganda's attempt to kill LGBT people. In fact, Fox didn't cover the legislation at all. Notably, MSNBC devoted twice as much airtime to covering the "Kill the Gays" bill as it did to discussing "Gangnam Style." 


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