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.
Kelly Mukwano, 23, program assistant at the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law
Many times people have asked me this question: “How do you survive in that ultra-homophobic country?” I always reply, “It’s my country; I have to make it work.” I’m proud to be a Ugandan.
But if you’re gay and live in Uganda, it means you have to be strong — or you may need to leave. It’s survival of the fittest here. Over the years I have become more and more immune to the threats. If I stayed in the closet as I used to, it would not help much — that was a type of death anyway. That is why I decided to let fate and destiny decide. If I am to die for the sake of many others, I can accept that. My destiny is to fight for others; that’s why I am strong now and enjoy pushing on —not just for me alone, but for everyone like me.
It’s not a very nice experience, though, knowing that you could be killed at any moment. But what else am I supposed to do? I will fight and make sure that this ends with my generation. I always pray to God, asking for an end to the tragedy faced by sexual minorities in our country. He has been indeed faithful, considering the fact that most of us have continued to survive on little more than thin air.
During SMUG's Hate No More Campaign I came close to meeting my creator — I was the team leader for this project, so I went to talk to the police. I was arrested with two of my friends. The police had begun torturing us when their chief walked in. He recognized one of us and that’s how we escaped that day. We were lucky.
All these trials and challenges, and there are many more to come, but I vow to remain strong and brave for others.
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