George Barasa and Ambrose Barigye
Pride Uganda which is in its fourth year running is part of the annual international celebration of achievements for the movement of lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, questionable, and gender non-conforming persons.
Kuchu Times’ George Barasa and Ambrose Barigye caught up with Richard Lusimbo, a researcher at Sexual Minorities Uganda and one of the organizers of the 2015 Pride Week and he revealed why this year was dedicated to showing the solidarity within the community.
As is tradition, a series of activities such as a talent show, exhibition, parade and the much anticipated Mr and Miss Pride have been organized for the week-long event that will run from 5th-9th August.
Also included on the list of activities are sensitization campaigns that will cover health, legal and social issues that affect not only the community but also its allies and families.
However, due to the current global economic situation, the organizing committee is experiencing financial hardships and is calling upon community members, well-wishers and allies to combine efforts to make this year’s event successful.
“We can only make Pride 2015 a success if we pull resources and put up a magnificent week-long event. This is a celebration that gives us an opportunity to not only interact but also own who we are. I believe it is only right that we give it our all,” Lusimbo asserted.
The theme this year is “We are Family” and when asked how this was derived, Lusimbo said, “We need family for support; friends and relatives mean a lot to us and we should not give up on them. When we have family to watch our backs, no one can intimidate us well knowing we have someone to protect us.”
Family bonds are strong and like they say, blood is thicker than water. But what if one has to choose between being who they are and losing their family? Most would choose family.
Most are forced to remain silent about their sexuality for fear of being disowned or denounced and many have even given in to the pressures and settled for a life they do not in the very least like. Those that have come out have stuck together and bonded over their struggles. Such incidences are the reason the Pride 2015 committee chose “We Are Family”, as the theme for this year’s parade.
Lusimbo was outed twice by a local tabloid in Uganda and went through a hard time as he struggled to explain to his family and friends about the newspaper article that had been titled “How I Became Homo’.
His is not the only story of this kind as many LGBTI persons have been forced to come out of the closet after being outed in one way or another. Some have even been denounced by their families and the only family they know now is the community.
”Our lives revolve around many things; we work, study and live in Uganda and no matter how far we go, at the end of the day we go back to where we were born. This community is now our family and even more for those who have been rejected by their biological families,” he said.
Besides celebrating one another and the bonds shared within the LGBTI community, Lusimbo exerts that Pride 2015 is a reminder that in time, gay rights will be respected and families by same sex or transgender parents will be honored.
“A day will come when I will have a boyfriend and there will come a time when I will get a husband and have children. It is something I always think about,” Lusimbo emotionally said.
He is not the only one with this dream as most people in the community hold this issue close to their hearts. Pride will therefore be a reminder of all the values and rights that the community must continue to fight for until change is achieved.
Pride Uganda has taken a stride this year with a change of leadership as founding coordinator Kasha Jacqueline stepped down to pave way for a new team.
“I am excited to see Pride Uganda grow and new leaders come on board. I am even more honored to have brought Pride closer to home and to see that the community has fully embraced it,” Ms Kasha said when asked about her thoughts on this year’s event.
Pride 2015 is an invite only event that will take place in an undisclosed location for security purposes. However, invited guests are free to invite their trusted friends.
You can also be part of year’s Pride by sending contributions through Mobile Money number under the name Nabagereka Fiona +256 (0) 780334192. Our partners outside Uganda can use this service through www.worldremit.com
For more information Email: [email protected]
Below is the excerpt of Lusimbo’s talk with Kuchu Times