In a taped recording he left to be played in the event of his assassination, Harvey Milk, America's first openly gay elected official, left a message for our times. "All young people," he said, "regardless of their sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment to achieve their full potential." Nowhere is the world further from that goal than in Africa.
Another month, another comedian goes out to Africa... Thus far I respond to human suffering with my head not heart. I'm a professional and cynical observer of life after all, aren't I? Well I've brought my wife and daughter as human shields - they can shed tears for me. We're escorted by the director of a small charity, and a photographer.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has been in London this week as the honoured guest of the Commonwealth Business Council. Yet just 10 weeks ago President Museveni made it punishable by life imprisonment to be a lesbian or gay man in his country. Anybody daring even to speak up for the rights of LGBT citizens can now go to jail for seven years.
The English Defence League march in Peterborough on Saturday was not the first I've witnessed. In fact, it was tediously familiar. Drunken louts ranting incoherently about how they would like 'their country' to be, while multicultural England looks on - or avoids them - have become a regular spectacle in England.
The world over, we are seeing ever more cases of extreme weather, from the recent floods in the UK to wild fires in Australia. With each incident comes the familiar assurances that - this time - the necessary action will be taken to make sure there is no repeat. The reality is we have no choice, as every country faces the fact that climate change - and its impact on the weather - is no longer a distant prediction, but a daily reality. And for the poorest people on the planet, the need to change is not just a matter of saving money, but saving lives.
Back in the UK one could blame the farmers but the real culprit is our government and their ideology of scrapping environmental regulations in the absurd belief that a free market will hold back the waters. Whether through corruption, ideological dogma or an obsession with self-serving headlines rather than finding lasting solutions, both governments fail their people.