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Using My Talent To Serve My Nation

OT works at one of the leading LGBTI organizations in the country and is a passionate rugby player- who proudly sits on the national team. However, she attests that her journey to the top tier has not been a piece of cake mainly because people looked at her sexuality first rather than her talent.

OT hates labels and says she has on many occasions been mistaken or even addressed as  male; while she understands the misinformation and quick to judgment character worn by many people, she states that she is a proud woman and has now learnt to react with aggression towards such people.

She does not even pay such mistakes much attention nor does she take offensive- something she says has made her recognize the maturity and growth she has achieved on an individual level.

OT explains that Ugandans and most people are misinformed about gender and she has taken it upon herself to educate and sensitize – she has often times had to explain what the term gender non conforming means since most people who area misinformed quickly put her in this category rather than the female category that she belongs to. OT says this, she considers a part of her activism work..

OT began her sports career at a very young age; she used to play football as a youth up until Senior two before giving this up. While growing up, she preferred to dress like a boy and thankfully, OT was raised by a liberal father who gave her the choice to pick her own clothes and she remembers him bringing home boys’ shoes on more than three occasions.

Up to this day, she prefers hanging around men; she is more comfortable around them and even trains with the men’s team on the rugby fields. In her opinion, many of the women do not take the trainings seriously and she would rather be a part of a pack that is more motivated. She also relishes in the fact that the men have no time for cheap and irrelevant conversations which is not the case for their female counterparts.

OT known the Ugandan LGBTI movement for eight years but has actively been involved in the movement for three years- she opened up to her brother about her sexuality and to her surprise, he did not reactive negatively but instead urged her to pursue her happiness.

OT says she has no regrets about actively joining the LGBTI movement because ger life has since taken a turn for the better; she has become more confident and has travelled to places that at some point in her life, she had never even dreamed she would go to. She also believes it is good for the movement to groom young and passionate activists to continue advocating for the rights of Ugandan LGBTI persons.

OT is also passionate about feminist issues. Even though the mainstream feminist fraternity has tried to distance itself from LGBTI feminists or even address issues that concern the latter, she is still a firmer believer that combining forces and ideas would catapult both groups to greater heights.

 OT says she believes the mainstream feminists continue to discriminate against LGBTI person because they too have been misinformed and have not taken a keen interest to self educate or demystify all the societal perceptions they have been fed. She hopes the gap between the two groups can be bridged so that all feminists have one agenda and work together harmoniously. She has a hope that one day people like her will be openly accepted sports fraternity without both the policies and laws as well as the sports fraternity.

She strongly believes that sports can be a tool used to fight homophobia. On how she copes with the rumor mill within the game, she says she long decided to address the issue. “I do not have to reply to their queries- I just let them think whatever suits him. I am there to play a game not share my life story; my concentration right now is towards perfecting my skill and that is all that matters,” OT reiterates.

 


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