In a society where the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda faces numerous challenges, the importance of teaching queer individuals to write and share their own stories cannot be overstated. These stories have the potential to challenge stereotypes, foster empathy, and empower individuals to take control of their narratives. Through storytelling, the marginalized can find their voices, and the misunderstood can find understanding. As we recognize the power of personal narratives, we take a step towards a more inclusive, accepting, and compassionate Uganda.
It’s basically the same grift and it bears a striking resemblance to the one being attempted by Langa, who seeks to amplify his influence by overstating his reach. For instance, the group “One Million Moms” purports to represent a million individuals, despite estimates suggesting that their actual membership is nowhere near that figure. Similarly, Langa’s “concerned parents’ ‘ claim to speak on behalf of all parents in Uganda, despite the fact that even the most “concerned” parents are unfamiliar with Langa or what he does. These groups are also financially supported by the typical right-wing and religious backers, such as Family Watch International for Langa and the fundamentalist Christian American Family Association for “One Million Moms.” Furthermore, they are often not so eager to disclose the identities of these funders.
One of the primary reasons they offered for their decision is that the law goes against their values. Just as you would not bring pork to a Muslim picnic, you should not anger the people who are lending you money by going against their fundamental values and beliefs. This does not negate your personal convictions; you do not become a Muslim because you honored their ideals and did not bring meat to their picnic. While laws and regulations are a little more complicated than that, violating an institution’s principles and values by criminalizing, imprisoning, and murdering the most marginalized members of the community it seeks to serve is an obvious justification for action.
‘Rather than attempt any convoluted and superficial mitigation measures, the law should be repealed. As in all countries, government press statements cannot nullify legislation. The only way forward is for Uganda’s courts to stand up for the principle of non-discrimination – already enshrined in our constitution – and rule that the law is unconstitutional as soon as possible,” said Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and Co-Convener of CFE.
It is a stark reminder that laws targeting LGBTQ+ individuals not only perpetuate discrimination but also hinder economic growth, social inclusivity, and the overall well-being of a nation’s population. By taking a firm stance against such laws, the international community sends a powerful message that equality and human rights are non-negotiable values.
While similar increases in attacks against LGBTQIA+ communities are being reported by human rights organisations in other parts of the African continent, the escalation in Ethiopia is especially concerning due to the country’s religious history, current worsening socio-political climate, and growing nationalism.
The “Among You” podcast project stands as a powerful initiative aimed at humanizing the LGBT+ community in Uganda and the rest of the region. Through these brave individual stories, the project aims to break the silence, dismantle prejudice and drive societal change, ultimately fostering an inclusive and accepting society. We aim to listen, learn and stand in solidarity ensuring that no voice remains unheard and no story remains untold.