“It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Asata Shakur
This is a chant I was introduced to when I joined the SMUG Quchu leadership academy, a leadership/mentorship program run by sexual minorities Uganda, to groom upcoming leaders in the LGBT+ movement.
The chant to me is so deep. It communicates a lot. We are fighting to realize the freedom that we crave someday as a movement. An equal and just society that we want to see and feel someday. That chant means if we are activists fighting for our freedom then our end goal should be fighting and realizing this freedom someday. “We must love and support each other. That is why I am here.” This is what keeps bothering me day in day out on my activism journey. Do we as a movement have this at the back of our minds? Do we love and support each other?
We are a minority group; ideally, we are supposed to be united for us to achieve equality and the freedom we want. We cannot be a group that is always saying we are hated and ridiculed, yet even we hate each other. We are scared of each other’s growth and success. We feel bad when fellow LGBT+ organizations are thriving and doing better than us. We don’t want to hold each other’s hands to see the community grow. We are so evil that we even blackmail our community members, fellow activists. We feel threatened by upcoming leaders, yet we are supposed to be creating a pathway for them and mentoring them, helping them grow because they are the leaders of tomorrow.
I write this with a lot of pain glued to my heart because to me, this should not be happening in our community. We must love and support each other. It even gets worse that even the people we work for, who are our “role models and icons” in the movement and are supposed to inspire and motivate us, make us love doing the work we do for the community we belong to, are instead making us lose the fire to serve the community because they are selfish, toxic, manipulative and greedy.
My heart bleeds for my community.