The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay Review: No Queers Round ‘Ere

THE WORLD’S WORST PLACE TO BE GAY: Monday 14th February, BBC3, 9pm ALERT ME

So it’s the evening of Valentine’s Day and you are sat alone on the sofa skimming through the channels, rejecting one gag-inducing romantic comedy after another as you begin to ask; what is there to watch that won’t patronise me with fat cupids and visions of unattainable romantic happiness?

Well if you’re looking for something more challenging than two interlocked Hollywood humanoid faces then I suggest you turn to BBC Three, where you’ll find a documentary that make you rather grateful for the fact that you are not a homosexual in what Scott Mills calls (and it’s difficult to disagree with him..) the The World’s Worst Place To Be Gay. Hello Uganda..

In 2009, the country hit the headlines when David Bahati put forward a Private Member’s Bill that attempted to bring in punishments such as imprisonment and execution for the heinous crime of being gay, as such, the Uganda MP and his government have been demonized by the rest of the world. With further stories this year such as the near deportation of lesbian Brenda Namigadde from Britain and the brutal murder of African gay rights activist, David Kato, Uganda it is not the number one spot on any gay man or women’s holiday destination list, Scott Mills aside that is.

While not as hard hitting as other documentaries (last year’s Panorama was excellent..) Mills does instead bring a accessible edge to the proceedings. If anything this makes the programme more engaging and watching his shocked reaction when a witch doctor tries to ‘cure him’ of his sexuality by spitting on him and beating him with a chicken is priceless. This gay purging ceremony is one of the more light-hearted sequences of the programme, but this mood doesn’t last for long. Interviews with various officials, Ugandan radio presenters, and gay people living in the African capital make downright depressing viewing in places. But while they are often worrying and rather turgid, in many cases they are very moving, listening to a woman recount how she was subjected to “correctional rapeâ€? as a child for displaying possible lesbian tendencies is harrowing.

Well before the end we realise that Scott Mill’s best efforts to open up a rational debate with any Ugandan (be they civilians or politicians) will get him nowhere. With various newspapers ‘outing’ gay people to encourage neighbours to attack them and slogans such as ‘Hang Them’ decorating front pages, the anti-homosexual propaganda campaign seems unstoppable. Get the hell out of there Scott..

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