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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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http://klug.cfsites.org/custom.php?pageid=38064

Speaker Kadaga promises to revive shelved gay Bill

The Speaker’s promise follows her experience in Canada, where foreign officials asked her to block the bill.


Entebbe

Days after her defence against a Canadian minister’s attacks on Uganda over homosexuality, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has promised to expedite the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.

Ms Kadaga made the assurance while addressing religious leaders and journalists at Entebbe International Airport on Monday. “They said I should stop the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but I assured them there is no way I can block a private members Bill,” she said.

At the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Quebec, Canada, Ms Kadaga was involved in an altercation with that country’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mr John Baird, after the latter accused Uganda of trampling on human rights.

The accusation saw Ms Kadaga tell the minister to stick to the day’s theme and respect Uganda’s sovereignty. “I will not accept to be intimidated or directed by any government in the world on matters of homosexuality,” she said, adding that she was not aware she was speaking for many people in the world, some of whom were in the conference.

“I was surprised when colleagues came and thanked me saying that’s what they have always wanted to say but they had never gotten the courage to. That when it came to me that I had spoken for the whole of Africa, for the Arab world and Asians,” she said.

The welcome ceremony and press briefing was organised by religious leaders, former Ethics and Integrity Minister Nsaba Buturo and the mover of the Bill, Mr David Bahati, all of whom are pushing for the enactment of the anti-homosexuality Bill.

A large procession comprising members of different Pentecostal churches, Makerere University students and boda boda cyclists camped at the airport from 10am to after midnight when Ms Kadaga emerged to greet them as they ululated and waved placards appreciating her boldness in Canada.

“You are our saviour, we want the bill now,” one of the placards read.
Pastor Michael Were, who spoke on behalf of the religious leaders, called on other national leaders to follow Ms Kadaga’s footsteps for the sake of the country’s culture and traditions.

Asked whether she was not mindful of Uganda being denied aid and her being denied entry visas to pro-gay countries, Ms Kadaga said such countries were welcome to keep their aid and visas.
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Cleo Xulaye (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for transgender intersex readers on 29/07/2012 tagged with health, gender identity, sexual orientation
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This Sunday, a burning concern from urs trully: It’s so depressing having to live behind the smoke screen of another person, seein’ him take over your physical features bit by bit till you are completely lost and cannot see yourself any more. Growing up, I had many a suicidal thoughts, as every moment that passed I came to see, more and more these hard masculine features of this pubescent boy…while the tender supple skin, curvaceous body and beautiful face of the gurl in me, receded behind the curtains only to arise and shine over tones of make-up..I curse the day I told ma mom about ma boobs, stupidly thinking it was cancer, and I was gonna die..i wish I knew then, like I know now that the hormones they were giving me were actually testosterone and they would destroy Cleo….the gurl in me…Am sorry Cleo..sorry for the ignorance in me, sorry that I did not know a better way, sorry that I did not try had enough to save you…It’s a miracle that you have survived this all, scars and wounds notwithstanding, it’s a miracle that you still smile and giggle when you come…But even then, I cannot say that for all my trans brothers and sisters still locked up in bodies of other people….they walk around taunted by the thought of what could have been if only they could let that gurl or boy out…Working with the Trans Supporrt Initiative Uganda I’ve seen many trans people, lost, depressed, praying that, that beard won’t come, that those boobs would just disappear…..it’s a painful reality. That some of us will actually make it, we are surely uncertain of….But having lived through this nightmare and survived it with the few feminine features lurking, am worried, that even those will disappear. Ma heart goes out to all ma trans bro’s and sisters who
are struggling to unmask that gurl or boy in them, ma heart bleeds even more for ma teenage trans brother and sisters who right now are probably having suicidal thoughts, and hating themselves, and ignorant of the other way...a better way…a solution that even if they knew of they may be wouldn’t afford. Heed the words of my cry if you may…Our brother and sisters in Uganda need hormonal replacement therapy, so that they can live better lives... lives with confidence, self esteem, and vitality to face the ever growing transphobia around them…Heed this cry if you may….understand us…save us..we need you..for now we are here, we do not know for how long? But as long if you hear my cry from this deep abyss...answer this our prayer...
follow me on ma facebook cleo xulaye if you are interested in helping out
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Concerned friend (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers in response to this story on 08/02/2012 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, gender identity, human rights, laws and leadership , sexual orientation, religion
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Mr. Ssemakula please contact: sogiah.uganda@gmail.com.
There are however, certain issues you may know about being "gay" in Uganda. Many have thought it is a ticket to getting hand outs and this assumption has led to much disappointments. Please get your act together: engage in genuine work to earn money, engage in genuine obedience to your leaders/benefactors/parents. Live your life as a responsible person. No one out here has a pot of money to help you as long as you see yourself as a destitute. You are a dignified person. Make friends by showing the positive side of you.Do not beg using the internet!!!
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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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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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