Uganda already has a law that
could be used against homosexuality but the new backbench bill
goes much further. The penalty for gay sex
could be death. I got death threats.
My children got death threats. The story of LGBT activism
was lonely sometimes. But I felt that we are not just
going to be buried like this. In a country where biblical
values are deeply ingrained homosexuality is generally deplored. My family was a very conservative family
a staunch catholic family. Me being the first born ‘girl’ then.
I had issues with gender identity. I transgressed gender unintentionally
from the time I started being aware of my existence. They bought me a very nice yellow dress
and I went and changed. I put on football shorts,
I felt more comfortable that way. Then when I came out
my father was in the hallway and he gave me a slap. He said ‘go back and dress appropriately’.
And then I put on that yellow dress and I curled up inside
I felt different now, I wasn’t proud anymore I wasn’t happy anymore.
I fought against my sexual orientation for so many years. I was on my own because my family
didn’t want anything to do with me at that point.
And eventually I was homeless. So I felt that I needed to heal from this
thing that was causing me suffering. So I took myself to churches. Reject sodomy! Reject perversion! They were praying for me
and then as they were praying they start stripping me
it was my clothes ‘making me a man’ so they stripped me naked.
They started to lay their hands on me and these are boys and their pastor. They laid hands in particular on my genital area because they said that was the centre of it all. That is when I felt that it is torture.
But I said this is who I am. Inside me I felt it was ok to be the way that I was and that God was not mad at me. Seeing as homosexuality here is illegal,
the gay scene is pretty much underground. I went to that bar and I just started smiling. Life had come. I didn’t want to go back home when I went there because I met lesbians, proud ones! People dressed like me.
People expressing themselves like me. People in love with other women
they had their partners there and it was like I had reached heaven. Last year under the headline ‘hang them’
a tabloid magazine published the names and addresses of 100 gay men and lesbians. The effects of that publication were major.
They were horrible. A lot of people during that period lost jobs, were evicted from homes, killed. Lawyers and activists had challenged the
anti-homosexuality act on the grounds that it violated human rights. My children know me as Daddy and the they call me Daddy they don’t say ‘hey trans Daddy, hey former lesbian trans Daddy’ they call me Daddy. It shouldn’t matter but it matters now
that I identify as a transgender man because that is the beginning of a conversation
about what transgender is. Not for me because I have survived but there are people who are
still struggling to come out or to even ask for what they need.
So then it matters.