We Are Here: LGBTI in Uganda
BY Sunnivie Brydum
January 02 2013 5:00 AM ET
Photos by D. David Robinson © 2013, for use by The Advocate with this article only. All rights reserved. Subjects have approved use of images contained herein.
Junique Wambya, 31-year-old third-gender person, health desk coordinator for FARUG
Right from childhood, there was a lot of confusion. I never wanted to do girly things — I loved soccer and grazing cattle with the boys. For not behaving like a proper girl, I was beaten. It was tough to be punished for what I didn’t know.
Then there was the issue of understanding and accepting who I am, a horrible process bringing with it two suicide attempts. I felt empty and less than human because of what people around me said.
I learned of FARUG from a friend and met several people in the community. In 2006, I joined the LGBTI movement, but did not become active with FARUG until 2007, during the awareness campaign. I am now their Health Desk Coordinator.
I recently went to Toronto. It felt so good living in a free society, dressing the way I want to dress, being free of worry, and not having to watch my back all the time. I learned a lot about the struggles of the LGBTI community in Canada — their freedom didn’t come easily. Instead, like us, they had to stand up against oppression. This has given me courage — knowing that others have been where we are now and that they succeeded.
No one will do this for us. We must stand up and raise our voices.
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