The youth in Entebbe have joined in the struggle to have the rights of all Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual and Transgender individuals recognised. Under their new umbrella organisation, Out and Proud which was founded in March this year, the eighty registered members have come together to make a difference in whatever way they can.
Out and Proud is the first LGBT organisation in Entebbe and they are determined to expand the movement to Entebbe and its surrounding areas.
What is Out and Proud?
Out and Proud, founded in March 2015 is a community based Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) organization based in Entebbe. It was formed to address issues affecting LGBT people living in Entebbe municipality and the surrounding areas. The organization pays special attention to Ugandans who are coming out and those who are still in the closet.
Out and Proud has set the areas of health, economic empowerment and advocacy at the grass root level as well as documenting the lived realities of sexual minorities in the areas of Entebbe as their priority. Also, one of their main targets is addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and homophobia as a major contribution to high vulnerability as well as mapping out a proper referral system to solve health needs and legal support for LGBTI Ugandans.
Currently, Out and Proud members have combined efforts to provide shelter for youths that have been disowned by their families as well as try to meet their day to day needs as they forge a way forward for them.
They are also providing social, emotional and psychological support to a few of their members that are embroiled in legal battles based on either their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Some of Out and Proud’s main objectives include raising and promoting public awareness for tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people within the society, educating LGBT people in Uganda on human rights, through seminars, workshops, advocacy drives and retreats, advocacy for equal access for health care of all people and empowering sexual minorities with moral support and courage, safe spaces and holding thematic events.
Already, they have started working on achieving their goals through awareness programs through providing health and legal services, carrying out voluntary counseling and testing of HIV/AIDS and other STIs and distribution of health consumables such as condoms and lubricants.
It should however be noted that the Entebbe based Out and Proud is independent of Out and Proud Diamond Group which has its headquarters in United Kingdom.