Uganda LGBTIQ human rights defender Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera yesterday received the Bonham Centre Award in Toronto Canada. Ms Nabageserahas been the forefront of the Ugandan LGBT movement and was honoured for her work towards bettering the lives of sexual and gender minorities in Uganda, where homosexuality is still penalized under the penal code.

Kasha Jacqueline is one of the founders of Freedom and Roam Uganda where she previously served as Executive Director. She is currently Kuchu Times Media Group’s Executive Director where she is continuing to spearhead the use of media as an advocacy tool. Ms Nabagesera started Kuchu Times’ with the hope of availing Uganda’s LGBTIQ community with a safe space to tell their own stories to counter the negative rhetoric that is often carried by the main stream media- a dream that is changing LGBTQ reporting in Uganda.

“I am very excited and humbled by this award. Such honours continue to remind not just me, but the entire human rights movement that our work is not in vain- people are noticing what we are doing and while we might encounter several obstacles, we must also stop to celebrate our wins,” Ms Nabagesera said.

The Bonham Centre Awards were established in 2008 and are awarded annually to individuals or groups that have made a significant contribution to the advancement and education of human rights issues surrounding sexual identity.  Past recipients include media pundit Dan Savage, business leader Jennifer Pritzker, athlete Greg Louganis, writer Shyam Selvadurai, screenwriter and director Dustin Lance Black, comedian Candy Palmater, United Nations Representative Vitit Muntabhorn, and many more.

Alongside Ms Nbagesera, there were three other recipients of the Bonham Centre award. Their profiles, as shared on are carried below

Tatiana Ferguson 

Since arriving in Toronto from the Bahamas in 2014, Tatiana Ferguson has worked as a sexual health educator, group facilitator, and advocate for trans and queer BIPOC.  Her work fosters safer, accessible, and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ2S+ POC and she supports queer and trans newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers in Canada.  Furthermore, she supported the development of the City of Toronto’s Toronto for All campaign that centered Trans Youth of Color during Pride 2017 and helped to start a dialogue about Gender Identity and Race. As an experience facilitator, project coordinator, and guest speaker, Ferguson has worked with numerous organizations in Ontario and thoroughout Canada including Black CAP, The 519, Planned Parenthood, Sherbourne Health Centre, Canadian Council for Refugees, Queen West Community Health Centre and Fierte Montreal. Ferguson was also a participant and facilitator with Supporting Our Youth’s Human Rights Equity and Access Team (HEAT) which provided an opportunity to connect with other young activist and harness her public speaking and leadership skills. She also co-created the Perception support group for newcomers, refugees and asylum seekers at EGALE Youth Outreach, and managed the Black Queer Youth stage at Pride Toronto 2016. Most notably, she has worked with various administrative bodies including The City of Toronto, the provincal and federal government and the Ontario Human Rights Code on the inclusion of Gender Identity and Expression in public policy.  In 2016 she was awarded LGBT Youthline Award for outstanding achievements in queer activism.  Ferguson currently works as the project coordinator of TransFormed Project at METRAC, which seeks to address partner violence from Two-spirit, Non-binary and Trans perspectives and with the Black Queer Youth Collective on the Domino Project at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, providing black LGBTQ2S+ youth with a safe, supportive, experiential learning environment to develop life skills to thrive.

Richard Fung

Richard Fung is an artist, writer, and cultural critic born in Trinidad and based in Toronto, where he is a Professor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Fung’s video work has been screened internationally and examines the intersections of colonialism, immigration, racism, homophobia, AIDS, and representations of gay Asian men’s sexuality. In the early 1980s, Richard Fung co-founded Gay Asians of Toronto after attending the 1979 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. His single-channel and projection works include Orientations (1984), My Mother’s Place(1990), Sea in the Blood (2000), Jehad in Motion (2007), Re:Orientations (2016) and Nang by Nang (2018). His essays have been published in many journals and anthologies, and he is the co-author with Monika Kin Gagnon of 13: Conversations on Art and Cultural Race Politics (2002. He has received numerous awards for his art, writing, and activism, including the 2015 Kessler Award from the Centre for LGBTQ2S+ Studies at City University of New York, the Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art, and the Toronto Arts Award for Media Arts.

Supporting Our Youth (SOY), a program of Sherbourne Health

Supporting Our Youth (SOY) is an innovative community development program of Sherbourne Health that offers dynamic programming and services to support the health and wellbeing goals of LGBT2SQ youth and young adults, many of whom are homeless, racialized and newcomers to Canada.

Established in 1998, SOY continually builds on its legacy of responding to the needs of local queer and trans-spectrum youth. Today, SOY supports participants ages 29 and under with goal-planning, skills-building and connections to resources to help youth develop skills and work towards tangible outcomes such as jobs, housing, education and improved mental health. Through its Goal Planning Service, Internal Housing Program, and Evening Health and Wellbeing Groups, SOY reduces social isolation and helps youth develop confidence by offering inclusive community space and the support of Youth Resource Workers, Coordinators, Mentors and Peer Leaders. Groups also offer nourishing meals, health and wellness programming, one-to-one supports, and opportunities to connect with youth peers with shared identities. The program is anchored in an anti-oppression approach that encourages youth to explore the intersections of their identities, cultures and rights, such as through groups like Trans Fusion Crew (for trans, non-binary and gender-questioning youth), Express (for newcomer and refugee youth), Black Queer Youth (for Black, African, Caribbean or Black identified multiracial youth), and Intersections (a weekly health and wellbeing hub for LGBT2SQ youth/young adults). SOY also provides connections to critical services at Sherbourne Health, including mental health and primary care.