Ugandan LGBTQ activist prepares for life-threatening battle


Twenty years ago, when Frank Mugisha came out as homosexual in Uganda, being queer could have been a lonely and dreadful experience, but rarely a matter of life and death.

Since then, Mugisha’s status as the nation’s most prominent advocate for homosexual rights has led to an increase in hazards. David Kato, his colleague, and close companion was murdered in 2011. Mugisha faces constant peril.

Legislators and religious organizations inflamed anti-gay sentiment and advocated for punitive legislation last month, which resulted in the passage of a proposal that would penalize merely identifying as LGBTQ.

Mugisha, who is 38 years old, said in an interview conducted outside of Kampala that “the Ugandan population has been politicized to fear and despise homosexuality.”

He remarked, “I don’t believe I would tell anyone right now that I am homosexual if I were seven, nine, twelve, or fourteen years old,” and he was quite certain of this.

Mugisha stated that he would not budge, despite the fact that President Yoweri Museveni has not yet approved the new legislation. Nonetheless, this has not stopped Mugisha from making this proclamation.

The measure was approved by an overwhelming majority vote in the legislature. If President Museveni signs the bill, as is widely anticipated, Mugisha could spend the next twenty years in prison due to a provision of the bill that criminalizes the “promotion” of homosexuality with a maximum sentence of twenty years.

Since the passage of the law, a significant number of homosexual Ugandans have fled the country or their residences in quest of asylum, but Mugisha insists he has a responsibility to fight on their behalf.

Mugisha had a premonition that he would frequently run into trouble due to his inability to be deterred.

Under the proposed law, acts of aggravated homosexuality would also be punishable by death. This includes engaging in homosexual behavior while HIV-positive.


Related Posts

Illuminating the Promise of Africa.

Receive captivating stories direct to your inbox that reveal the cultures, innovations, and changemakers shaping the continent.