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.
Bad Black, 23-year-old transgender woman
Friends nicknamed me Bad Black, but believe me, some have called me Good Black too. My given name is Sempeebwa Hakim. As a trans woman living in Uganda, I face many challenges. People assume that trans women are gay, and society’s hatred can be fierce.
I was kicked out of my home by family and chased from my village. When I arrived in Kampala in 2006, I was 18 years old. Having no other skills and an incomplete education, I became a sex worker. On the worst day of my life, I was arrested and tortured. They even shaved off my hair.
Now I’m 23 and live with a friend who is a director for Youth on Rock Foundation, an organization founded by and for youth. I am a member too but have recently begun to work with Perfect Initiatives, an organization for people with HIV who are undereducated and have no outside support. Although I studied information technology and would like to complete my degree, I enjoy this work. My goal is to help trans people be accepted by Ugandan society and to support individuals living with HIV.
I’m also passionate about laughter. Know any good jokes?
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