Val Kalende

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Contrite heart leads to peace
"Dear LGBT movement: I found Life, Truth and Grace. My prayer is that you find the good life as I have. Y'all have become my reason for intercession. I know, from some of the messages I've received so far, that the Holy Spirit has begun speaking to your hearts. He is the revealer of all truth…To pastors I disagreed with, I am sorry. To politicians I violently fought in a war of words, I am sorry. To the old and young generation of this nation, I am sorry. To my FATHER and maker, I am sorry. To myself, I am sorry. I am at peace with my soul because I am forgiven and forever set free. Psalm 51:17.[1]"
— Val Kalende[2]

Val Kalende was a prominent internationally renowned activist for pro-homosexual causes in Uganda, but then she has renounced her former lesbian lifestyle, which she now considers a "sin of same-sex".[3] Instead of identifying as "LGBT" and "genderqueer", now she identifies as TBGL – Transformed by God's Love.[2] Kalende, 36-year-old in 2018, is also a journalist whose works has been featured for the past few years in international publications such as The Huffington Post.

Entering lesbian lifestyle

Kalende grew up as a preacher's kid in a Pentecostal household in Uganda. According to her own words she "joined lesbianism right after Makerere University" and "became rebellious". Kalende, the only child of her father and mother, has been openly gay since 2002, several years before she became a rights activist. In 2007 she left behind her family, and focused on LGBT activism instead. She traveled the globe speaking on so called "gay rights" issues and spearheaded the Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), an umbrella body for LGBT organizations in the country. She also worked with other organizations such as Freedom and Roam Uganda, and the Dignity Initiative. In November 2008, she befriended another woman with whom she soon found the connection that inspired them to exchange rings in a private ceremony. The couple met through a mutual friend, with Kalende as the more enthusiastic and stronger partner, until their relationship grew strong enough for them to start sharing a house. One openly gay and the other closeted, they enjoyed each other’s company, even going for an HIV test together.

In October 2009, Kalende’s partner, a 25-year-old woman whom she affectionately called Mimi, left for the United States as student. The same year, Kalende, then 27, let leading Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor to publish her own picture alongside an article on lesbianism written from LGBT+ ideological perspective. There in, she gave more details on her then lesbian lifestyle: "she wasn’t my first partner, but I know that she is the last…I was her first serious partner... My partner is not like me, she’s not yet brave enough to be open, because she doesn’t want her family to know. I can’t approach my mother-in-law and tell her I am in love with her daughter. It would give her a heart attack."[4] When the Ugandan parliament criminalized homosexual behavior in 2014, Kalende gained asylum in Canada as a refugee next year and became a fellow at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.

Transformation

While writing for the Huffington Post in 2016, Kalende stated she remained "steadfast" in her fight for LGBT rights and that she "always believed in the transformative power of truth, because the truth, as they say, sets us free." Those words turned out to be an unexpected prophetic utterance as today, she says the truth of the gospel has indeed set her free from her sinful past.[2]

Reaction of LGBT interest group

Kalende's defection leaves a sizeable hole in Ugandan LGBT activism. Sexual Minorities Uganda executive director Frank Mugisha gave a statement to the UK’s PinkNews, a self-described "LGBT+ media", which quotes him as saying “The news is shocking to me and many of my colleagues. I am very much worried about her”.[5] LGBT activist Stella Nyanzi tried to question Kalende's honesty and suggested that “dangerous” religion’s “tenterhooks that can reach even the strongest among us” may be the true cause of her conversion while expecting Kalende could still “relapse” back into homosexuality, because − in line with dialectical unity of self-contradictions“sexuality is fluid”.[6]

See also

References

  1. cf. External link: Psalm 51:17
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Emily Jones (21 Aug 2018). 'I Am Forgiven and Forever Set Free': Global LGBT Activist Abandons Lifestyle, Surrenders to Jesus. CBN News. Retrieved on 3 Nov 2018.
  3. Calvin Freiburger (3 Aug 2018). Prominent Ugandan LGBT activist renounces ‘sin’ of homosexuality. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved on 3 Nov 2018.
  4. The story of a young Ugandan gay couple.
  5. Sofia Lotto Persio (30 Jul 2018). Popular LGBT activist declares she’s no longer a lesbian, shocking the community in Uganda. PinkNews. Retrieved on 3 Nov 2018.
  6. Val’s sexuality is her business, Stella Nyanzi says on Kalende’s exit from lesbianism. Nairobi News (31 Jul 2018). Retrieved on 3 Nov 2018.