Most African countries are a testament of how much LGBT visibility is needed in them. And Uganda is one of them.
Now, despite risks to the livelihoods of publishers, interviewed subjects, experts, writers and more, the country is getting just what it needs in the form of a courageous gay magazine, Bombastic.
According to The Independent:
‘Campaigners in Kampala have launched Bombastic to “share the realities of being gay” in Uganda, where homosexuality activity is illegal, the mainstream media is openly hostile towards gay people and the government has repeatedly tried to introduce new laws to ban the “promotion of homosexuality.”
‘“Bombastic came about because we wanted to put right many of the falsehoods spread by the Ugandan media, which regularly publicly humiliates and degrades homosexuals,” said Jacqueline Kasha, a lesbian activist and the magazine’s organiser. “Instead, we are sharing our stories in the hope that we can change social attitudes. The people we are trying to reach out to are the people who are threatening to burn our houses and beat us.”
The first issue of the free magazine contains 20 personal stories, as well as articles on the clergy and homosexuality and health advice; 15,000 copies were printed before Christmas last year and a further 15,000 are expected to be delivered this week.
“We are not journalists and I don’t respect the media here in Uganda,” Ms Kasha said. “The media is furious with us because we are reclaiming our stories. We expect them to retaliate. We are always frightened, but nobody else is going to stand up for us; our community needs a face.”
Kasha has gone on to report that volunteers for the magazine have already been detained in parts of the country, while she has received threats of court action from Uganda’s Christian clergy.
PS: This is a follow-up on the idea of support proposed by Sensei. The official email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. And the support system is comprised of three categories: members of the gaybourhood who are struggling with their HIV positive status, those recovering from Kito attacks, and those suffering from bouts of depression.
If you intend to volunteer as a counselor, simply send a mail to the address above, indicating your interest and which category you want to play a part in.
And if you are a brother (or sister) suffering through any of these three phases, kindly send a mail to the address above, and we’ll do our best to get you the help you deserve.