DBS - Human Rights Activist / Uganda
“As a Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) person, I have faced persecution from family, friends, at work, school, and in the community. Actually, growing up in a country with a majority population opposed to LGBT persons has presented a lot of challenges; life has not been so easy. There are times when I reflect on my life as an activist and as Diane and it is all very complex; there are times when I feel the battering and harassment of LGBT persons in Uganda is not coming to an end, but then I pick the courage to move on.
Apart from LGBT spaces in Uganda, which are also limited, I have not had a good open chance in life to freely express my feelings or thoughts.
Even in my own family; especially my mother who did not accept my being a lesbian. When she realised I was a lesbian, we always argued. I tried to prove to her that I still remain the same daughter; but she tries to prove to me that I am wrong and not fit to be her daughter anymore. She argues that this is not how she envisioned my life. She wants me to get married or get pregnant. No one would wish for their own mother to subject them to corrective rape. I would not wish my child (lesbian or not) to go through the trauma I have experienced in my life. Waiting in vain for love from my family, my own mother subjecting me to ‘corrective rape.’
Today my mother at least talks to me after realising I remain a lesbian and I will not give in to any of her pressure. We have come a long way. From her consulting pastors to pray for me so the demon could set me free. At one point my mom handed me over to police so they could imprison me as punishment for my being lesbian. The insults, the pain, drive my activism. I believe no LGBT person deserves such treatment especially from because of their sexual orientation. To my siblings I still remain in the closet, although they suspect and question, even attempting to have my partner and me arrested alleging that we are taking drugs.
Even my school experience was a rough one. When I joined the first secondary school in Jinja Kamuli District in Uganda, some students were spying on me because of my enthusiasm in the sports, which were branded boy’s sports. Most of the times I was isolated and had no friends. Consequently, rumors passed around school that I was a lesbian and in senior five I was expelled from school without explanation, just a verbal recommendation that I could not be allowed in the school with my lesbian tendencies.
Life became so hard for me, especially when my parents and family members tried to get me into another school. Finally my mom secured a day school for me, deciding that I needed to be closer to home so I could be monitored and encouraged to reform from my lesbianism.
When I finished my A levels, I managed to secure a job with a courier company. Life at work was hard, my male supervisor was making sexual advances at me, and when I refused, colleagues began rumors that I was a lesbian. As if that was not enough, during that period an article in the Red Pepper tabloid which labeled me as a lesbian, and gave details of the courier company I was working for. A week later I was given a termination letter from the company. The bosses said this was part of a company restructuring process. After five years of working for this company I was laid off just like that. At this point I got so disturbed after figuring out that life was only going to get tougher living in a homophobic environment after having been outed in the media, I had no option but to face reality and fight against discrimination of LGBT persons.
To those who are suffering silently in different parts of the world. I say; ALUTA CONTINUA To activism.”
DBS’s story was original published on Kuchu Times – Bombastic Magazine
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