This brought to mind the sad reality of many men especially in Uganda who are afraid to even come out as gay, let alone HIV positive. This revelation highlighted the need for more celebrities to speak up about living with HIV if we are ever to beat stigma at the workplace. Philly Bongole Lutaaya gave HIV a familiar human face as the first Ugandan artist to openly declare that he was living with HIV.
Commemorating the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) is a constant reminder of the hurdles that we have to work hard to overcome as LGBTIQ identifying persons. This particular year finds Uganda’s LGBTIQ community in an even more uncertain place with the recent passing of the Sexual Offences bill.
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) as the network organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer organizations in Uganda is particularly concerned about Clause 11(i) which further criminalizes same-sex sexual acts even as the Uganda Penal Code Act already does, hence criminalizing the private lives of adult and consenting same-sex loving persons. The clause criminalizes and bans the penetration of another person’s anus with that other person’s sexual organ or with any object; and (ii) sexual acts between persons of the same gender.