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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!

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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in UGANDA...
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A short documentary about gay Ugandan refugees in The Netherlands, who fled their home country due to anti gay laws in Uganda. I hereby send you the link of the video on Vimeo.

http://vimeo.com/98122540
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Hi all, a short docu i made. Hope you all enjoy it, feel free to spread the word in support of our Gay Ugandan brothers:-), cheers, Patrick Buis

http://vimeo.com/98122540

February 24, 2014, Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni signed into law a controversial antigay bill. On first conviction for so-called homosexual acts, offenders face a 14 year prison sentence. Subsequent convictions for "aggravated homosexuality" could bring a penalty of life in prison.
A young Ugandan homosexual man, Julius Matovu, tells in an intimate one-on-one how and why he fled to The Netherlands. Where does he come from? What is the situation now and what are his dreams for the future?
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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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JOSEPH (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers on 05/11/2012 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships
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Constant abuse of the rights and privileges of the LGBTI community has been historically high in Uganda. Many interventions have been made by various LGBTI activist groups in Uganda to reduce this but still a lot needs to be done to try and change the lives of members of the LGBTI community. As members, we noted a number of years back that many members of the LGBTI community were undergoing humiliation at workplaces and home villages by fellow workers and village mates due to their sexuality and to make matters worse, it’s been noted that there is rampant exploitation of members of the LGBTI community by friends who because of their good financial status often sexually use and abuse the poorer and not well to do members of the LGBTI community in order to “help” them acquire the basic needs of life, that’s, food, shelter and clothing. A case in point here is when one of our members had to be sexually used against his will by a so called “friends” in a quest to avail him shelter at their home after he was chased away from his parents home for being Gay and staying in a bush near their village water well for about 4 days before it dawned on him that he better seeks help from friends whom he knew for shelter, not knowing they were going to take advantage of his situation to conditionally, house him only if, he could give them sexual favours. This may sound painful but true! All because we had no safe space where members could safely meet to air out the pain they were going through in order to seek a solution! And to make matters worse cometh the looming anti gay bill that seeks to see all gays jailed for their orientation.
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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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K. Jimmie. K (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for bisexual readers on 17/04/2012 tagged with human rights, illegality of male to male relationships
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Once arrested because of that... thrown out of home and many more brutal experiences... the biggest problem is amidst that, the world seems not to care. Am still followed and threatened by an unknown person because he thinks i introduced him to bisexialism..
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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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kasiko s (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay lesbian bisexual readers in response to this story on 14/06/2011 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, illegality of male to male relationships
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Hope one day the world stops all the time focusing on us because of us beig homosexuals up to now some of us have failed to come to terms with the death of kato most especially we who were close to him his death has brought bad memories to some of us basing on what we have experienced because of being gays . he stood tall in the unwavering face of opposition as so many gays were disappearing under unclear circumstances
To some of us, we yarn for that day come when we will feel safe and live openly. being gay in Uganda has put me through a lot, with my family and some of my friends running away from the state. ,I also look for that day when the world focuses on other people not me because of being a gay
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Enter your full name here (user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for gay readers on 13/06/2011 tagged with hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, sexual orientation, illegality of female to female relationships, illegality of male to male relationships
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We demand Equal rights for everyone, whomever they love!

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that " All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights�.

We, the undersigned, call on the UN to eliminate the threats, harassment and attacks on any individual due to their actual, or perceived, sexual orientation.

Gay rights are Human rights and we urge you to you reaffirm an individual's right to enjoy safety and security regardless of their sexual orientation.


http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-lgbt-oppression-in-africa.html

Regards
African Gay Youth Foundation
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Kato Killing Must Serve as Catalyst for Change
US president has mourned murder of Ugandan Gay activist – Ugandan leaders should do the same.
By Veronica Oakeshott - International Justice - ICC
ACR Issue 287,
2 Feb 11

Veronica Oakeshott

Veronica Oakeshott
IWPR Consultant

I met David Kato on his last trip to the United Kingdom, just a few months before his brutal murder last week. He was in London to attend an international conference on HIV and AIDS.

It is hard to imagine someone so physically small taking on the Ugandan establishment, but that is exactly what this softly spoken gay rights activist did, every day of his life.

While Ugandan politicians debated new anti-gay legislation, religious leaders preached the evils of homosexuality and newspapers printed vitriol and incited violence, Kato talked passionately about his right to live safely and openly as a gay man.

He did not dwell on the time he spent in hiding or in jail for his activism, but simply pointed to the impossibility of doing HIV prevention work amongst the gay community in such circumstances.

A few days ago, battered to death in his home, this tiny man paid the ultimate price for his huge courage.

His murder was the culmination of 16 months of terror for the Ugandan gay community.

In October 2009, David Bahati, a Ugandan member of parliament, introduced an anti-homosexuality bill into parliament. The bill proposed the death penalty for homosexuals who pass on the AIDS virus; life imprisonment for “intent to commit homosexuality”; and a public requirement to report gays to the authorities.

There was condemnation from around the world - but in Uganda the bill was widely welcomed. It is currently making its way through parliament.

Kato and his colleague Frank Mugisha, chair of the human rights organisation Sexual Minorities Uganda, were two men who dared speak out. Finding little sympathy at home, they travelled abroad to highlight their struggle and call for help.

In early 2010, as policy adviser to the UK’s all-party group on HIV and AIDS, I organised Mugisha’s visit to the Westminster parliament to meet the then foreign office minister and openly gay legislator, Chris Bryant. It was, for Mugisha, a vision of what politics could be like.

“At this moment [in Uganda] it would be political suicide for a [member of parliament] to come out and support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” he marvelled.

Six months later, back in Uganda, the national newspaper, Rolling Stone (unrelated to the US magazine of the same name), splashed a story across its front page, outing Uganda’s “top one hundred homos”. The piece gave names and addresses of gay men - amongst them Mugisha and Kato, whose faces were pictured in the paper. On the front page a banner read, “Hang them!”

The lives of both men were in danger but instead of hiding, they fought back. Kato successfully took the newspaper to court winning the paltry sum of 1.5 million Ugandan shillings (650 US dollars) for invasion of privacy and a permanent injunction preventing Rolling Stone from running a similar story again.

The court case was still running when I saw Kato last November at the London AIDS conference. Even then, after months of hell, he was in fighting form, reminding delegates that gay rights were not just about privacy but the right to be open about who you are, without fear.

He was politely heard out, even praised for his bravery by some delegates, but a few others - also supposedly AIDS experts - tried to cut discussion of gay rights short with remarks like, “It is nothing to do with us”, or “These are private matters”.

But Kato’s murder shows how wrong they were. Someone wielding a hammer killed Kato, but it was public opinion, stoked up by the press, and certain preachers and politicians, that turned him into a figure of hate.

In the end, it must be Ugandans themselves who decide they have gone too far. But despite the murder, there are no signs of a change of heart. Even the pastor at Kato’s funeral last Friday, according to Reuters, saw fit to denounce homosexuality, saying, “People are turning away from the scriptures. They should turn back; they should abandon what they are doing.”

Meanwhile, the managing editor of Rolling Stone said in a statement that he condemned the murder of Kato and felt sorry for his family, but told the London-based Guardian that he had “no regrets” about publishing Rolling Stone’s front page story.

The president of the United States has found time to make a statement mourning Kato’s death. It is time for Ugandan leaders to do the same.

If Kato’s death can be a catalyst for change, he will not have died in vain.

Veronica Oakeshott is an IWPR consultant, currently coordinating an election-reporting project in Nigeria.

The views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of IWPR.
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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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masumbuku (user currently living in KENYA) posted for gay lesbian straight readers on 19/05/2010 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships
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I have always wondered why people out rightly condemned the gays and lesbians.My story is like this: We had planed to hold one of the most secret meeting on how we could silently practice our rights in a given village.But to our dismay,we couldn't tell how the security agencies came to realize about it. We were rounded but being late in the night we managed to escape from the trap. This has just happened just recently.As active members, we encourage others to join us in the fight of our fundamental rights
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KAM (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers on 13/04/2010 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships, illegality of male to male relationships, homophobia, law
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I NEED HELP,I LIVE IN UGANDA AND AM A GAY GUY, THE LAW IN UGANDA SAYS THAT IF SOMEONE FINDS OUT OF A GUY PERSON THAT THE GAY PERSON SHOULD BE KILLED.WHAT SHOULD IDO.I NEED HELP
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bweya1712 (user currently living in UGANDA) posted for gay readers on 11/04/2010 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships +9
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i do love the part where you state that "There is no need to be registered on the website, and your story will be completely anonymous" To some of us, we ask ourselves when will that day come that i will feel safe and live openly. being gay in Uganda has put me through a lot, lost jobs, family and friends now running away from the state. i some times pray and ask God to make me like others, so that the world focuses on other people not me. Straight people think we much love to be who we are. i pray for a world where being straight is being gay. I pray that i get to stay in a free land. Being gay for me is being normal and happy.
Nothing much i can say about being gay in Uganda but only to say that its not normal to stay in Uganda if you are gay because you are reminded of your sexuality and its made an issue of life and death.
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