James / Uganda
“I’m James. Actually not my real name. For my safety and security, I prefer not to use real name, because people who are trying to kill me are still looking for me. I’m an LGBTI Ugandan refugee living in Nairobi. I’m here ’cause I was outed by my cousin, whom we happened to have a secret affair. When my parents passed on, when I was 10 years, my uncle took me in. While I was there, I shared a bed with my cousin. We used to sleep on top of each other, and rub our dicks against each other. This happened for a couple of years, until one day, my cousin, confidently, one night, in the middle of the night, he went to his dad, my uncle, and told him I have tried to sodomize him, and I also threatened to kill him if he told anyone.
My uncle came to our room, dragged me from the bed. On top of his voice, saying I’m a disgrace, I’m a curse, I’m a criminal that needed to be killed. He went to the kitchen, and got a big wood, and started beating me with it. I bled. He campaigned other people to beat me up, and here, some neighbors came to rescue me, ’cause they wouldn’t let me be killed in the neighborhood. I was taken to the mosque all bleeding, ’cause my uncle was imam in the area. They performed rituals, prayed for me. Then, the following day, I was paraded in front of my relative to decide my destiny, ’cause my uncle couldn’t house me anymore.
While they were discussing my fate, I was took back home to shower, because I was covered in blood. I sneak out of the bathroom to a friend’s place, in some other area in Uganda, who helped me to escape Uganda. Being in Nairobi for one year, and a couple of months, and I faced a lot of police brutality. I’ve been chased from houses, because the citizens think every Ugandan refugee here is a homosexual, and they don’t want us to teach our evil habits to their community.
I stay mostly indoors, ’cause I’m afraid what the community could do to me, if they happen to know I’m from Uganda, and I’m a refugee. I still receive numerous threats from home. My uncle still threatening to get rid of me, and I pray one day I could feel normal just like the rest of the people. Be treated nicely, accepted who I am, get married to my boyfriend, and hold hands in the street, just like the rest. That’s it.”