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I was a resident of Makindye Kampala Uganda. I left my country and fled to the Netherlands in December of However, since my arrival in the Netherlands, i feel so comfortable living here.

Meet the LGBT activists fighting Uganda's anti-gay law

One lives a closeted life simply to live to the next day of your life without being what you are meant to be, or to live a life of isolation, segregation and hatred. The moment you are found out to be LGBT, your family, friends, workmates, and relatives all isolate you from further interaction simply because they think you are a contamination to them. You are considered an omen, a curse to the society, hence creating a stigma in LGBT, since the people say one needs to be punished to reform. Their belief is that no one is born gay. Much is done in order to change a gay person, like being taken to a witch doctor to spell the curse away, or to the religious leaders who pray for you claiming that the demon has possessed you to think in that line.

In most cases, mob justice comes in if one is found out to be LGBT, since the public has been made to believe that homosexuals are targeting youngsters. This has been fueled by religious and political leaders. In churches or places of worship, homosexuality is preached against. Homosexuals are branded with names such as pumperman, Musasiro, buttman, muguzi was buutu, pupu eater, etc.

These are all degrading and belittling because in most cases, LGBT society is not comfortable with being called disrespectful names. We are considered cockroaches who should be wiped out before we contaminate the new young Ugandan generations. LGBT are considered more dangerous than rapists. Socially, the public is not tolerant of the LGBT life, due to fears and hate instigated by politicians and religious leaders.

Secondly, the religious leaders consider LGBT ungodly, unnatural, and evil, and their homosexual habits are here to promote satanic cultures, and thus they preach against them. Yes, there is a variety of them, but they are not well known to the grassroots LGBT community. That is to say: Together, we started this initiative. Others followed us who believed in our cause. From that day on, I embraced a new role to be the vanguard to see that our rights are respected. Ever since then many people and organizations have joined the cause and supported us, be it LGBT or straight, through meetings or social media platforms Facebook page: Uganda Gay on Move and twitter: One of our main focus points is to stop the Kill the Gays Bill anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda through our campaigns.

Based on statistics, we have 25 active and committed members who are always present at almost every event we organize.

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But our lists of attendance show that we have over 50 members who have at least attended one of our meetings or events. Regarding social media statistics, we have over 3, members following us on our Facebook page and we have over members following us on Twitter.

These followers are living worldwide and have supported us spiritually, financially, and with advice. Organizations like Amnesty International, AIDS Coalition and Human Rights Watch all have given support through condemnation of the proposed anti-gay bill and continue to put pressure on the Ugandan government to reverse this bill. However, the government has not withdrawn it.

We still have a long way to go. We invite whoever wants to volunteer to join us. That is to say voluntary legal aid, health practice volunteers and those interested in interacting with us on researching LGBT life in Uganda. We are a living example. However, we have no means by which to pay him or her financially but we hope our cooperation with that person would be the best of its kind. You are living a closeted life. People are afraid to come out because of its repercussions such as hatred, mob justice, homophobic remarks from other people such as muguziwa buutu, lumpanka man, bum driller and feces eater.

They say it is a Western culture aimed at destroying what God put in place. Socially, the Ugandan masses view homosexuality as indecent, taboo, evil and abnormal. They are determined to fight it at any cost. It is no wonder the death of the famous activist David Kato, cannot be discussed.

Many LGBT persons are tortured because of who they are.

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Economically, homosexuals cannot work when they are not closeted being denied a right to their way of living ; the moment your sexual orientation is known gay or lesbian or any LGBT , you lose your job and your image will be warned against by others within the place of work. Hence staying in the closet for the rest of your life.

But they work underground or in secrecy because the government warned them against promoting LGBT rights. Therefore, they are working but in suffocation; if an LGBT person needs support, it would take him ages to trace these organisations in Uganda. It is why our group is open.

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We recommend them to go to these organizations for support, advice, counseling and health advice. Uganda Gay on Move is a human rights initiative to unite all Ugandan LGBT persons as one and to bring awareness regarding their rights, equality, morals, culture and health support.

We are encouraging others to come out of the closet. It started at the end of December by Moses Walusimbi, who later introduced the idea to his colleague, Julius Matovu. They worked hand-in hand to invite other members to this initiative. On September 12, , we launched with over fifty members in a ceremony that was held in AZC Dronten. We took part in the peaceful demonstration of the Russian Consulate in Amsterdam.

Regarding physical numbers of people involved through online meetings and luncheons, we manage to gather about 25 people during luncheons, simply because it is hard for our colleagues to travel to other places every time we organize a meeting. Therefore, the turnover is not as much as it is online. We have over 50 members in our registration books. And on our Facebook page, we have over 3, likes.

There was much support, in terms of courage, moral, solidarity. Support in all aspects — financial, moral, courage, counseling, advice. By support of voluntary legal practitioners, we hope to inform, teach, and explain the rights of LGBT, be it in Uganda or the diaspora. We hope to further extend our campaigns to educational institutions such as schools and universities to inform them of the situations that LGBT people go through in Uganda and what it means to be gay in that country. And we want to fight homophobia through campaigns such as sensitization or peaceful demonstrations.

Discovering more about my homosexual feelings has been a gradual process. It took a lot of time since my childhood to eventually accept my homosexuality; it is not like you wake up one day and say that you are gay — it takes a lot of time. I passed through a lot of hardships and trials to finally accept that I am gay. Due to a lot of homophobia in Uganda, I could not share it with anyone. I felt like I was kind of abnormal and there was no way and no one I could tell so he or she could understand what I was going through.

During primary school, I always hung around girls and most of my friends were girls, but I started developing feelings towards boys. Surprisingly, I thought I was the only one who was going through these feelings, because I never knew how to get in contact with other gay people — I never even knew that they existed.

Meet the LGBT activists fighting Uganda's anti-gay law | World news | The Guardian

One evening, when I was hanging out with a friend of mine, a guy passed by, and my friend told me that the guy was expelled from school because he used to seduce other guys for gay sex. I looked at the guy, thought he was handsome, and I wanted to follow him to see where he was going.

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  • I used to read about gay issues and at times I tried to date girls, but in my mind I knew that I was just wasting my time. Until I met someone during secondary school who had similar experiences. Luckily enough, we liked each other and we fell in love and life went on well. We treated each other like brothers and everyone at school and our parents thought that we were so friendly towards each other — they never had a clue that we were also lovers.

    Once people find out you are gay, your life changes there and then. I went through a lot of difficulties that almost claimed my life.