LGBT+ History Month; Stand With LGBT+ Allies

The hot topic across conversations in Uganda currently is homosexuality fueled by the deliberate efforts by homophobes to force a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. This of course has not been missed by the country’s top convening space, that is, the parliament, with threats to bring back the anti/gay bill. The new identified tactic of this abuse, because yes it is abuse, is isolation.

Over the years of the LGBT+ movement, there have been friends made along the way who have dedicated their resources to fight against the prevalent discrimination of sexual and gender diverse persons in Uganda. The fruits from these allies and friendships that have been formed along the way are evident as for example, as of COP 2020, Uganda’s HIV/AIDS response recognizes and provides support to men who have sex with men and transgender persons. This among many milestones the community would not have reached on her own.

It seems the anti-gay movement finally caught on to the importance of allies in the fight for equality and the strategy has switched to direct hits to LGBT+ allies. The first blow was the closure of Chapter Four Uganda, an organization that openly fights for constitutionally guaranteed rights across a spectrum of issues without limitation based on ethnic, religious or other identity, political affiliation or sexual orientation. It should be remembered that Chapter Four also supported the LGBT+ community during the Anti Homosexuality Act of 2014 that resulted in the nullification of the Act. Fortunately, on 8th June, 2022, Chapter Four received a new permit of operations. The next attack on allies was a hit at Human Rights Promotion and Awareness Forum(HRAPF) an organization that exists to promote respect and observance of human rights of marginalized groups through legal and legislative advocacy, research and documentation. HRAPF has supported the sexual and gender diverse community for the past 14 years and is currently under scrutiny and is being targeted by the NGO bureau, reviewing their paperwork and work systems. The Uganda Key Populations Consortium (UKPC) , a network that brings together organizations working to ensure all key populations have secured full realization of their health and human rights, was recently targeted by a member of parliament openly on the floor of the house.

All these are just but examples of the extent the anti-gay propaganda will go to isolate the LGBT+ community of Uganda and bring the community to a point of helplessness. This is a call this LGBT+ history month for the community to come together and identify how we can be present for our allies. It is no secret that the current flow of events points to unfortunate events in history repeating themselves and we have the need to be better prepared as a community.