Raymond / Uganda
“I come from a family of six children, 4 boys and 2 girls. My mummy is a Moslem and my dad is a protestant and am a born again. I stopped in form six. In my childhood I used to play with dolls and all games for girls, some boys nicknamed me a lot of such as girl boy among others. There was a certain time when some boys undressed me to see if am a boy or a girl and I felt so small, after and went to tell my auntie about what the boys did and said that I deserved it, it pained me so much whereby she just supported them, that happened when I was taken to my auntie’s place for holidays, by then I had just completed my primary school level.
Due to behaving like a girl, she didn’t allow me to stay with their kids. I didn’t know at first why she discriminated me from her kids not until she got misunderstandings with one of her friends by then she had made me stay in a chicken hut for three years from senior one to senior three and her friend asked me, ‘is that your auntie?’ and replied yes she is, ‘do you know she makes you sleep in the chicken hut?’ I said no. and her friend told me that its because of the way I behave like a girl that I might rape her kids. It hurt me so much and I stopped asking many questions to myself whether am really like other kids.
At school I used to fear giving out answers in class because whenever I would answer my fellow students used to make fun of me that I talk like a girl yet am a boy whereby I used to associate with girls yet some of them were not ok with me so that made me stop schooling for a year and I told my mummy that I won’t go back to school when some people call me a hermaphrodite.
I discovered myself that am gay when I used to hear people saying that when a boy plays sex with his fellow boy he is called a gay. Yet in my life was having feelings to my fellow boys I couldn’t sleep with the whole night whenever I could sleep with my fellow boy not until I romance and feel his body. By then I used to think that am abnormal because people used to say that who practices this is a homosexual and such people are cursed. I started going to born again church so that pastors could pray for me and I change, through that I faced a lot of many challenges, much discrimination where by whoever got to know that am gay and he was my friend he/she just unfriended me that am evil.
I prayed a lot to myself and had to fast but nothing could change and I left church slowly by slowly because everyone in church was against homosexuality.
I used to go to bars for comedy nights where I used a guy who used to dance like a girl and performed girl songs I befriended him. When we shared some stories I was surprised him telling me that I was happy meeting a friend who was of same feelings, he introduced me to other gay friends, for real I saw it was my family, suddenly he died, may his soul rest in peace.
There was a person who told my father that I do sex work and I do it to both men and women and he chased me from the family whereby I no longer got anything from him.
I decided to start with my gay friends and we chose to do sex work for survival to buy food and pay rent. There are a lot of many challenges whereby we get a lot of harassment from police and community members.
Police men beat us when they find us from bars and on our way home. One day I was tied with a rope with a client and they made us move the whole night not until we gave them money and the second time I was robbed at my place when I went to report that case to police they couldn’t listen to my issue because of my sexuality.
When my auntie saw me on social media, television when we used to go for a burial for a gay activist. she burnt my blanket, mattress and all my clothes that I got the money from homosexuality, I felt so sad and what came in my mind was that I can’t own anything when am gay. That pushed me a lot to feel so lonely.
Things worsened when my face appeared in newspaper on the front page. I started receiving phone calls threatening me from different corners that they are going to kill me and my land lord threw me out that he doesn’t entertain gay people. I became a security threat to my friends and to my organization where I work from. The organization is called come out posttest club for trans women who are HIV positive.”