K.C. / Uganda
“‘But are you even a girl?’ My father asked me, one night, drunk, with disgust in his eyes. He had finally mustered the courage to tell me how he truly felt about me.. It was a sad spectacle.
The night i was outted, i had to leave the place i called my home because my mother had called the police to arrest me. I had been beaten up and was badly bruised. The only number i had was my exs number at that time. With only one thousand shillings on me, i felt stranded because i didnt know how far it would take me. So i walked to a nearby shop and begged the shopkeeper for his phone so i would call my ex. He took pity on me and didnt charge me for using his phone. Luckily, i got a hold of my ex who, after hearing what had happened, told me to go to her place immediatly. Despite the pain and aches all over my body i managed to make it to her place safely.
It wasnt easy then and it still isnt easy now. I have to pretend to be a heterosexual in order to go through college because my parents will not educate a lesbian. I had to prove my willingness to ‘cure my lesbianism’ by enduring counselling sessions from a man who openly told me that if he wasnt married, and my counsellor, he would have showed me how it felt like to be romanced by a man. My every move is watched and my every decision questioned. Those of my relatives who try to hide there distaste often make comments like;
‘Do you still think you are a boy?’
‘Even the worst of sins can be forgiven..give yourself to the lord’
I have learned to wear the perfect mask and fake the brightest of smiles; do what i have to do to survive… But the cost is overwhelming. Trying not to break is a daily struggle and giving up isnt an option. I think the worst kind of prisons are those with invisible iron bars and thats the life i live everyday.”