This week's episode covers discrimination against LGBTI people in Uganda. Cleo is invited to a secret meeting with the Ugandan government to prove that she's real. In the episode I search for an answer to the question of why it's so hard for people to accept anything that doesn't fit into society's norms.
In the fourth episode of The Pearl of Africa, a documentary series about love, hate and being transgender, we get a glimpse into what Cleo and Nelson's relationship really means. They've loved each other since high school and plan to get married in the future, and Cleo grapples with the desire to start a family.
What tests my patience, what troubles me beyond all else, is our propensity for pointing the finger at others while ignoring our own flaws. The truth is that the U.S. is not yet at a point where it can self-righteously condemn others for their intolerance toward LGBT people, at least not with a straight face. Someday we will get there, and we will lead by example. But not today.
Surely everyone reading this is well aware of the issues surrounding the LGBT bill in Uganda. And as the world leapt to its feet, passionately denouncing this one bill in this one country, I waited for that same outrage to be directed at all the other places where this is happening in equal measure. I'm still waiting.
I've been following Cleo's life up close for 18 months, and we're still shooting. I even moved in with Cleo and her straight boyfriend, Nelson, during one of my trips to Kampala, getting to know them both as human beings and as friends. Having been forced to live apart only to find each other once again in a foreign country, their love story is a true inspiration.