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Uganda’s Gay Pride

Timothy Kincaid

August 6th, 2012

I have such admiration for Uganda’s gay activists. They knew that if they held a gay pride event that the police would hear about it. They held it anyway. They knew that if they showed up for the event, so would the police. They showed up anyway. They knew that if they dared be themselves, some would be arrested. They dared anyway.

The New Yorker has an article on Kampala’s first gay pride weekend.

“Can you imagine that the worst place in the world to be gay is having Gay Pride?” Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera asked a crowd of cheering gay men, lesbians, transgendered men and women, and queers somewhere in between. It was Saturday afternoon, and we were on the shores of the giant, cloudy Lake Victoria in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, where L.G.B.T. activists had decided to stage the country’s first Pride Parade. Nabagesera, a lesbian activist covered, for the occasion, in glitter and neon spray paint, with homemade angel wings, was being half-sarcastic. A barrage of media coverage has painted the country as a hell for gays—a place where they are suffering and being attacked constantly—and, despite the need to combat such threats, L.G.B.T. Ugandans were tired of hearing a story that ignored their nuanced experiences of both joy and hardship. But Nabagesera was also sincerely pleased: a crowd of nearly a hundred people had come out, fears of arrest notwithstanding, to celebrate their existence. The air was thick with confetti, paint fumes, and anticipation.

Comments

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Timothy (TRiG)
August 7th, 2012 | LINK

I am in awe.

I wonder what it actually is like for gay people and other sexual minorities “on the ground” in Uganda.

TRiG.

Darina
August 9th, 2012 | LINK

I’m still amazed that the event went so peacefully: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/first-uganda-gay-pride-success-despite-police-raid060812

It was much more peaceful than the first Pride march here in Bulgaria when it became clear that such an event can be held safely only under massive police protection even in the capital city – and things are even worse in some other Eastern European countries.

And yet I’m in awe myself. They had the courage to go that in Uganda of all places!

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