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.
Bobi Bwana, 34-year-old gay man, office administrator for Icebreakers Uganda
After a long inner struggle and with the world around me, I came out to myself when I turned 22. I’d always felt that I was different and alone. At that time I had no idea that what I felt was not wrong! While growing up, I was so afraid to let anyone in my life know of my feelings, because the society in which I grew up takes being gay as a “western” phenomenon or influence. This is strongly believed. And antigay groups say that being gay is taught.
I grew up in a very stable family, with both parents giving me the kind of love expected, so I am concerned when I hear some people say that being gay is due to incidents of molestation. I have always been this way. And I have always been so afraid of my family finding out — I do not want to lose them. Even though I am now an adult, this still bothers me.
In 2008, after thinking it over very carefully, I joined the Ugandan LGBTI movement. I’d been approached several times by friends who were already activists, but I was not sure how I would cope with being out to the public, my friends, and my family. But after serious consideration, I decided to be actively involved in the struggle as the administrator for Icebreakers Uganda. I may not be out there on the frontlines all the time, but my responsibility in the organization is of great importance because, in most cases, I am the first person the beneficiaries meet when they contact Icebreakers Uganda.
I strongly believe that every human deserves to love someone of his or her choice. I do not regret making the decision to be active in this movement, because I have become a member of a large family, full of love, inclusion, support, and courage. Together we face the misperceptions in this hostile environment.
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