TRANSCRIPT: Ugandan Trans Woman Pens Courageous Open Letter to Parliament
BY Sunnivie Brydum
November 28 2012 6:04 PM ET
Cleo K., a transgender woman living in Uganda, penned an open letter asking her members of Parliament to reject the country's "Anti-Homosexuality Bill," which would criminalize LGBT Ugandans and subject some to the death penalty.
Activists around the world are rallying in opposition to Uganda's so-called "kill the gays" bill, which would proscribe long imprisonment and even death for some LGBT Ugandans, including those who are HIV-positive, and friends and family who refuse to turn in "known homosexuals" to the authorities. Speaker Rebecca Kadaga told reporters last month that Parliament would pass the Anti-Homosexuality Bill as a "Christmas gift" to Ugandans who she says are "demanding it." On Friday, a parliamentary committee moved the bill forward, and as of Tuesday, the bill appears at the top of the parliamentary Orders Papers' "Notice of Business to Follow," after second and third readings of other bills.
While western activists rally against the draconian legislation, Americans have heard precious little from LGBT people living in Uganda. This morning, a transgender Ugandan woman, going by the name Cleo K., posted an open letter to members of parliament on her Facebook account, asking the legislators for tolerance and tepid acceptance of variant sexual orientations and gender identities.
Read her entire poignant message, in which she delineates sexual orientation from gender identity and chronicles her own family's long journey to accepting her, on the next page.