Hundreds gather for peaceful IDAHOT pride in Uganda

The second annual Pride celebration for sex workers and LGBTI Ugandans on May 16 was sponsored by the grassroots anti-HIV, pro-LGBT Youth on Rock Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)
The second annual Pride celebration for sex workers and LGBTI Ugandans on May 16 was sponsored by the grassroots anti-HIV, pro-LGBTI Youth on Rock Foundation. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)

Ugandan LGBT and sex worker communities gathered on Saturday (May 16) for their second annual peaceful Pride celebration, sponsored by the grassroots anti-HIV, pro-LGBT Youth on Rock Foundation.

The event was  scheduled to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). It brought together 240 Ugandan LGBT and sex workers from a variety of organizations for food, fun, games and entertainment on the shores of Lake Victoria.

More than 200 sex workers and LGBTI Ugandans took part in the May 16 event. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)
More than 200 sex workers and LGBTI Ugandans took part in the May 16 event. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)

“It was a huge sign of solidarity and togetherness. Let’s continue getting together as one community. With time, we will gain more visibility. And the more the visibility of the movement, the faster it will gain recognition, respect and dignity,” said event coordinator Frank Kamya (Kamya Francis Mwanje / Kanobana Mwanje Franco).

“Let’s not give up till our sexual and health rights are recognized, just like other rights.”

The name for the May 16 gathering was Solidarity and Togetherness: Our Identify. Last year’s was called Kuchus’ Day Out. These celebrations are in addition to the Ugandan pride celebrations that the country’s LGBTI community has held for the past three summers.

Kamya expressed thanks to the Youth on Rock Foundation organizing committee and to event co-sponsors UHAI: the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative, the Rainbow International LGBT Activist Solidarity Fund, and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).

The Pride celebration on May 16 was held on the shores of Lake Victoria. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)
The Pride celebration on May 16 was held on the shores of Lake Victoria. (Photo courtesy of Frank Kamya)

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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