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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UGANDA...
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we are facing alot of challeges here in Uganda now that the anti homosextuality was passed the people in the communities we leave are using it to harrass us more recently the day Museveni enacted the bill into law one of our own was killed through mob justice in a kampala surburb we appeal to the international community of the LGBT to give a helping and support the gay community in Uganda
many people would think leaving the country is a good option but i beleive in freedom in my our land
reach me by telephone +256754892440 or by email ssentongoherbert@gmail.com
together we will win
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Mr Herry Mark (user currently living in GEORGIA) posted for intersex readers in response to this story on 06/02/2014 tagged with at the work place
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Kayigoma Ronnie Lule (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers on 26/10/2012 tagged with tourism, at the work place +4
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BEING AN LGBTI/MSM/S/ACTIVIST IN UGANDA

When the Anti Homosexuality Bill (often referred to as the Bahati Bill) introduced in parliament. This Bill sought to criminalize LGBTI persons in Uganda, all of us were condemned and we live in fear each day.

In Uganda, the tabloid media has been at the forefront of whipping up public sentiment against LGBTI persons, in its coverage, the tabloid press has been irresponsible and libelous contributing significantly to the violence and hatred upon LGBTI persons by society like red paper and its sister Kamunye.

To add on that, due to the homophobic society, we have been expelled from all leisure joints and movements, the tabloid media also writes homophobic stories, no positive stories comes out and the readers believe that what is written is the truth.

You can not stop people from harassing you when they want; after I was exposed in the tabloid media Kamunye, of 28th may 2012, as gay activist, my neighbors, parents and friends turned/started harassing and being rude on me.

LGBTI persons face discrimination by both employers and employees. After I was exposed in the media Kamunye, my workmates and my boss started to victimize me at work and finally my boss handed me a termination letter, when I asked him why he was sacking me, he said that I was fired for being outed in the media Kamunye as gay activist and he wanted to protect his job/customers and the young workmates from my abhorrent act.

My straight friends formed a group which went around campaigning that they have a gay person who stays in their area without their knowledge, they also said that I wanted to recruit them into homosexuality, disgust; name calling, gossip, and black mailing

LGBTI persons face harassments from Landlords and neighbors when their orientation is discovered. When I was outed in Kamunye, My Landlord gave me 24 hours to vacate her house failure she was going to call a local Bukedde TV news media agataliko nfufu to reveal me, and people threatened to burn down her property for accommodating me.

In addition to that, our families are often the target of abuse, violence and parents are sometimes pressured into disowning their children, when my parents learnt that I am gay activist, they grabbed all my assets and started selling them, telling me that it’s a foreign plotters because it was imported by whites, Gay is seen as a western phenomenon and since westerns seen as having money, many opponents dismiss African gays as self seeking opportunities who claim to be gays, In their opinion gays have a lot of money, my step-mother went a round telling every body that I am gay to the point I was forced to move from the neighbor hood in which I grew up since people wanted to attack me, more to that they started paying spies to monitor my movements and place of residence, my parents failed to understand that being gay is normal and natural, they consider me as abnormal, cursed and all the bad things you can ever image.

Kayigoma Ronnie Lule
Kampus liberty Uganda-Klug (An LGBTI University and Ex-camper organization) Founder/Executive Director, Human Rights Defender and LGBTI Activist

‘Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersexes do not claim any ‘special’ or ‘additional’ rights’ but the observance of the same rights as those of heterosexual persons. LGBTI persons are denied-either by law or practices-basic civil, political, social and economic rights.
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Paul (user currently living in SWEDEN) posted for gay readers on 14/10/2012 tagged with at the work place +5
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Am one of the gays that the Uganda Police wanted to kill in 2010 when we were paying the last eye to our bro David, Am so down and stressed up, I need to share my experience with some one. Text me your contacts on +46769774591
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Roy (user currently living in SOUTH AFRICA) posted for transgender readers on 30/05/2012 tagged with at the work place, sexual orientation +10
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By David von Burgsdorff | February 23, 2012
I didn’t know I was gay when I was younger; I just knew that I wasn’t attracted to girls. In Kampala, nobody mentioned homosexuality; growing up, I never met anyone who was openly gay. You only heard about it on the radio, distantly, in passing.

“Why can’t they leave this country?” callers asked when the topic was raised. “Find an island for them!”

At 19, I went to university and met a man — the first person I wanted to be with. He told me that we could be partners, but only in secret because homosexuality is illegal in Uganda.

After I finished my advanced degree in accounting, I moved to the city with gay friends I’d met at school. We all loved fashion and talked about cute guys. But we were only fully honest with each other. Of course, we couldn’t completely hide who we were; people suspected us of being gay. The way they looked at us – we knew they’d beat us if they found us in a dark corner. In some areas, strangers threw stones or boiling water. They shouted, “We hate you, and next time we’ll hurt you!” Certain shopkeepers wouldn’t serve us.

Still, we were young and starting out our lives. Our community was small and secret, but close-knit. I got a good job as a waiter at a Muslim luxury hotel. Everyone knew I was an excellent server, but eventually, rumors about my sexuality began to circulate.

“Are you a gay?” a co-worker asked.

“Anyone could be gay for all we know,” I said. “Even you.”

Soon enough, they fired me. It hurt me terribly to be dismissed from work I’d done so well, but I didn’t know that worse days were ahead.

I got a new job at another restaurant. With my pay, I went shopping and met a sweet, handsome salesman. He told me that we could start dating – but first, he began to ask me for money. I always gave him something, and he always disappeared. We never slept together.

One Monday, my day off, he called me.

“Are you at home?” he asked. “Can I come by?”

I had a weird feeling on that call. My heart weakened. I didn’t want to see him. But I ignored it and told him to stop in.

He arrived and before I could offer him a drink, he stripped off his pants and shirt. My shirt was already off because it had been scorching hot. I heard banging at the door. I thought it was the houseboy who did some errands for me, so I opened it. And my breath left me.

Six men stood there: one with a gun, one with a video camera, and one with a machete. I turned to the guy I’d been seeing. He had set me up.

Before I knew what was happening, I began to fight them, but it was seven against one. They pushed in, and the man with the machete slashed me, cutting me from shoulder to armpit on each arm. I began to bleed, so much blood.


Roy shows one of his scars

“I’ll cut off your arms,” he said.

I knew of this gang: They had killed one gay man before and brutally beaten another. They had robbed them and blackmailed one with a video.

“I’ll give you all my money,” I said. “Let me live.”

They wrapped my wounds in rags, and took me to the ATM. I drained my account for them. They left me bleeding on the street in the sun.

My friends found me and took me to a hospital. My kind boss gave me a month off, since I couldn’t lift my arms to carry a tray.

The physical pain was terrible, but the fear was worse. I believed the men would come back, push into my house, and kill me. I began working the dinner shift again. Scared of the night, I hired a special taxi to take me home. I could not sleep. I was isolated. Uganda was no place for me.

I found a tourism conference in Port Elizabeth online. I registered and paid the conference fee with money I made from selling all my belongings. With the conference invitation, I applied for a tourist visa. I never planned to attend the conference; I just needed to get to South Africa.

With my visa in hand, I bought a one-way bus ticket and left Uganda. I knew it would be forever. We passed overland for a week. I was tired, lonely. I watched Zimbabwe and Zambia go by, my mind on the past.

I entered South Africa on New Year’s Eve 2009. On January 1, 2010, I traveled from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I saw this beautiful city from the distance and I thought, “This is where I’m supposed to be.”

I’ve been here for over two years now, living with gay refugee friends. It hasn’t been easy. I work three days a week at a small shop but I’ve had trouble getting a job because I only have temporary asylum, which I renew every six months. I need to get permanent papers to get proper work so I’ve come to PASSOP for help.

I dream of my perfect life here in South Africa. I want to get a job in accounting or marketing because I’m a trained professional and I have degrees. I feel so useless now; I want to have a purpose and contribute to something. I’d like to be a citizen. I’d like to have a partner one day. And if I could get enough money, I would buy a lovely house on the beach.

But even now, with all the struggles, this is the only place for me. When I got those injuries, I thought my life might be over. But I have a new life here now, and some rights, and I am fear-free. That’s why I must stay in South Africa; I simply have no other option.

If you want to help Roy, please contact us at office@passop.co.za or (0027) 021 762 0322 .

(R
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samuel semakula (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers on 30/01/2012 tagged with at the work place +5
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im now suffering alot because ma parents have negerated me because im aguy and i going to miss out my education im looking for aids im in for what i want (guy) and hope not to give it up because thats me i have house rent no up keep some one over there please help me out bsemwo@hotmail.com
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VULNERABILITY SPECTRUM

BACKGROUND: A systematic review of responses from 30,000 spaces was carried out in 10 regions of Uganda.
OBJECTIVE: A systematic review of responses from 30,000 spaces where inquiry into who MARPs are, what MARPs need, who provides services, what is demanded, what are the behavioural characteristics unique to MARPs and other contexts influencing issues of MARPs that was conducted between July 2010-August 2011.
DESIGN: Conduct Review of literature, Interviews, structured conversation and focus group discussions. Respondents were drawn from; 150 farmer groups, 220 hair salons, 27 landing sites, 27 police posts, 110 cattle/village markets/social spaces, 225 major RH/FP/MH/CS/Health Services organisations, with leaders and members of 100 FBOs/2200 CBOs/CSOs/Community Groups, 2,550 lower level governments and communities, with members of 3,000 men/Women groups/settings, in 19,174 trading and urban spaces (Artisanry marts, car dealerships, repair garages, washing bays, food vending kiosks, video kiosks, shopping malls, recreational spaces) along 6 major trunk roads and 25 other roads leading to rural districts, 250 educational institutes (higher institutions of learning, colleges, senior/primary schools), 100 minorities’ spaces, 72 fresh foods markets, 200 hotels/lodges, 25 housing estate areas ( e.g. Jinja industrial area, Kampala, Gulu, Mbarara, Kasese, Tororo, Mbale), 170 ludo/snooker points, 1,700 storage and parking bays/car-park/boda/lorry/bus-parks in urban settings.
SETTING: Uganda was divided into operational regions: Central, Northern, Eastern, North Eastern, Mid-Western and south-Western where 30,000 were identified and these included: Lower level governments, urban centers, municipalities, towns, market areas, boarder points, social-meeting places, recreational spaces, food vending areas, film kiosks, shopping malls, parks, washing bays, road stop spots, educational institutions and CSOs. 5 lakes were visited to generate understanding of fisher folk communities.
RESPONDENTS: We used groups and individual key informants that way 30,000 Key informants were mobilised to include; leaders, community members, PLHIV, MSM, Substance users, sex-workers, fisher folk, key persons at road stop spot, bar-owners, informal sector, car-parks, bus-parks, work-place-exit points, school leaders, out-door games’ organizers, and uniformed services.
INTERVENTIONS: The police and criminal justice system are points for violence redress. Other forms of Violence/stigma counselling centers exist in major towns/municipals; public and private health facilities provide treatment and management of HIV/STIs; CSOs and government social services’ departments have planned programmes targeting MARPs.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENT: MARPs character and vulnerability spectrum in Uganda.
RESULTS: At community of residence level right through the Criminal justice system, substance users, MSM, Sex-workers and PLHIV still face stigma and violence. Sex-work (female, male and child sex-work) is rampant along all major road trunks and in major destination towns towards Uganda’s boarders. Education and housing areas have high prevalence of male/female sex-work, same sex practices and substance use. Violence/stigma counselling centers exist in major towns/municipals; public and private health facilities provide treatment and management of HIV/STIs; CSOs and government social services’ departments have planned programmes targeting MARPs. Key affected populations such as MSM and substance users being criminalized still lack focused programmes targeting them. Communities still do discriminate and stigmatize Key affected populations such as PLHIV, MSM and substance users. There is a tendency to box MARPs issues into HIV Programmes and this has influenced the approach to most programming. Messaging to eradicate risks to HIV should factor in fact that substance use, unprotected anal sex, female sex-work, male sex-work, child sex-work are interconnections in sexual networks
VULNERABILITY:
CENTRAL REGION: These included; Buganda, Busoga sub-region, Bugwere and Bugisu. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, fisher folk, MSM, LGBTIQQ, male/female sex-work, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active, long distance drivers, and uniformed services. Vulnerability was around; quick mobility, fear of consequences of visibility, stigma, sexual practices, gendered sexual beliefs and the gap between haves and have nots.
NORTH-EASTERN REGION: These included; Karamoja sub-region. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active. Vulnerability was around; quick mobility, displacements arising from searching for pasture and child neglect
MID-WESTERN REGION: These included; Kasese, Hoima, Buliisa and Fort Portal. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, fisher folk, MSM, Indigenous Tribes, male/female sex-work around mining and cement industry, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active, long distance drivers, and uniformed services. Vulnerability was around; perceptions of men about mid-Western Uganda females, quick mobility, fear of consequences of visibility, stigma, gap between haves and have nots.
SOUTH-WESTERN REGION: These included; Kabale and Ankole Sub-region. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, fisher folk, MSM, LGBTIQQ, male/female sex-work, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active, long distance drivers, and uniformed services. Vulnerability was around; quick mobility, fear of consequences of visibility, stigma, cultural perceptions around sexuality and sexual intercourse acts.
WEST-NILE REGION: These included; Arua and Madi Sub-region. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, fisher folk, male/female sex-work, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active, long distance drivers, and uniformed services. Vulnerability was around; quick mobility, fear of consequences of visibility, stigma, cultural perceptions around sexuality and sexual intercourse acts, and inter-cultural social experiences.
NORTHERN SUB REGION: These included; Acholi and Lango Sub-region. The MARPs characteristics range from substance use, child sex-work, fisher folk, MSM, male/female sex-work, PLHIV, young people who are sexually active, long distance drivers, and uniformed services. Vulnerability was around; quick mobility, fear of consequences of visibility, stigma, cultural perceptions around sexuality and sexual intercourse acts.
IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS:
“As a town dweller, I do know of substance use, anal sex, female sex-work, male sex-work and child sex-work in this town and many others. The clients include professional persons, odd-jobs workers, artisans, students and non-school young people”. Ashraf (Wandegeya), Florence (Nansana), Grace (Kawempe), Jerome (Migyeera), Cosma (Nimule) and Rashid (Mbale).
“Am a male sex-worker since 2007, my kind of clients have my phone contacts and book in different hotels in different towns of Uganda. They send me a text message and we meet for sex. Most times they also ask me to bring other friends when they are many. Some of our clients do use substances, especially they smoke marijuana”. Crystal (Kampala).
“We want to be trained in skills to start up alternative businesses besides depending on Fishing”. Bukenya (Kyamuswa, Mazinga, Kalangala Islands of Lake Victoria), Arthur (Lake Albert), Ogwer (Lake Kioga).
“Yes, there are programmes on HIV and Human Rights as part of the prison services, hopefully this will be a big step in improving prevention practices”. (Key informant).
“Am interested in two things now that we have met. How your organisation can help us “handle” MARPs since we are increasingly working in that area” . (Key informant from a leading health organisation).
“ What is that nonsense? Every one is a MARP!” ( Key informant and district official).
“ The issues such as stigma, dialogue around discrimination and their relation to HIV are points to start with in starting and driving conversation around MARPs issues”. (Key informant and Community Development Officer).
“Am a trans-woman and I feel so insecure. I have to keep in-doors and only get out at night or make sure I put on long coats and a cap if am to conduct outreach services for other trans-women in Uganda”. (Leader of Trans-Women Bureau Uganda).
“ I am a transgendered male to female person and my parents are aware of my sexuality and gender identity. I wonder why we do not have seminars targeting parents and families. Our families are the first points of insecurity for many of the gay people.” (Leader of Young MSM Club in Uganda).
“ We are ready to conduct community campaigns against “mob-justice” as this is one very unjust way communities deal with what they disagree with. Communities should learn to use the justice system and believe in it. Other reported complaints are evictions, black-mail, extortion and deliberate hostility actions”. (Key informant from law and order section).
LIMITATION: This exercise was conducted to generate vulnerability before testing and it explored issues around visibility of various MARPs.
CONCLUSION: Contexts ranging from Policy, programmes, public and private settings form and influence actions targeting MARPs issues. HIV risk is one major issue most organisations target. However, before testing or accessing an HCT service MARPs need to be looked at as vulnerable and that vulnerability is disproportionate. Criminalization, Stigma and violence form a barrier that silences MSM, Sex-workers and substance users and it may cause them to go underground. This may not be the case for fisher folk, Long distance truckers or uniformed services. MARPs issues include demand for skills training to access anti-poverty programmes such as social grants. Public and private settings have all the basics in place to provide redress to all issues of MARPs. However, they are also points of violence to some MARPs.
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T M (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for straight readers on 26/09/2011 tagged with at the work place, hate crime and violence prevention, health, hiv/aids , gender identity, human rights, sexual orientation, armed forces
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When we invite communities to access and attend our outreach health fares we do not exclude other categories of people. We also use peer mobilisers to reach out to LGBTIQQ people. We follow up LGBTIQQ people by e-mail, phone or coupons. It is possible to meet all categories of minorities in Uganda. The trick is to understand the difference between a Public-Health-Human Rights activist/advocate and a reactionary advocate/activist. One has to create networks in the homes, villages, be ready to be seen with leaders, avoid being a show-off, come down to grass-roots and have skills in negotiating diplomatically. The other,tends to use emotions/sympathy.
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steven kasiko (user currently living in NEW ZEALAND) posted for gay lesbian intersex readers on 10/09/2011 tagged with at the work place, hate crime and violence prevention
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We ve experienced alot of suffering from government,community and also from our family members that ve expressed strong resentments towards us yet we would have expected protection refugee from them can you imagine your own family member threating you all the time because of you being ahomosexual
I have afriend who told me that because of his family members knowing that he 's agay some of them are now taking advantage of him by demanding money from him threating to report him to police community leaders (Local council chairman) and to his boss. He told me his father has now chased him away and told him if he see him back again on his land or house he will pull out his machete and cut him he 's ready to go to prison. I call upon all members to come out and help our brother
Please we ' re seeking for your advice
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http://www.change.org/petitions/to-the-ugandan-government---homophobia-anywhere-is-a-threat-to-freedom-everywhere

As the advocacy officer for a rights group called Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato was one of Uganda's most high profile gay rights activists. Just weeks after winning a court victory over a tabloid that called for homosexuals to be killed he has been bludgeoned to death in his home.

David was one of a team of activists who took action against Uganda's Rolling Stone tabloid newspaper which had been running a campaign both naming and showing people it claimed were homosexual. The pictures featured on the front page, with an accompanying headline - "hang them". David was one of those pictured.

In response to the murder of David Kato, the managing editor of the weekly Rolling Stone, said in a statement that he had "no regrets about the story. We were just exposing people who were doing wrong."

Homophobia has increased in Uganda recently because of church action but also because of political action. An anti-homosexual bill currently before parliament calls for gays and lesbians to be jailed for life. This bill was sponsored by Ndorwa West, MP David Bahati, a legislator from President Museveni's ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM).

It is time for the Ugandan government to act. It is time for the government to publicly condemn the murder of David Kato, condemn homophobic publications such as the Rolling Stone, and to publicly condemn homophobia in Uganda. It is time for the Ugandan government to start educating Ugandans to stop homophobia. Please sign this petition to the Ugandan Government and to President Yoweri Museveni to end homophobia in Uganda.

""Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood" - Coretta Scott King

Homophobia anywhere, is a threat to freedom everywhere.
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