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Ugandan lesbian activist needs help

Longtime Ugandan LGBTI activist Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera is recovering from surgery and in need of support.

Her veteran activist colleague Long Jones writes, “A friend and lesbian activist in Uganda needs our help today. I am seeking your support to this cause and counting on you to help share with friends to enable us realize this goal. We need to help Kasha keep safe , meet her medical bills and also continue to do her work.”

A GoFundMe campaign on her behalf has collected $847 of its $3,500 goal:

Join Kasha to Fight for LGBTI Rights in Uganda

Jacqueline Nabagesera has spent her life fighting for LGBTI rights in Uganda and around the world. She co-founded Uganda’s first lesbian-rights organization, owned Kampala’s first gay bar, and organized her country’s first pride parade. While many of Kasha’s closest friends have sought asylum abroad, she has chosen to remain in Kampala to fight for change. Kasha now needs your help continuing her work and protecting her personal safety.

Kasha’s Life and Work

Kasha’s activism has come at a steep personal cost. She has been evicted five times; beaten up until bloodied; chased, arrested, and harassed by the police; and received countless death threats. Kasha never “came out” as lesbian because she was never closeted in the first place. From a young age, she was unashamed of her attraction to fellow women, yet Kasha’s openness led her to be expelled from multiple high schools.

In 2009, Uganda captured international headlines when a Member of Parliament proposed the death penalty for same-sex sex. In 2010, Kasha and other LGBTI Ugandans were pictured in a tabloid with the caption, “Hang Them.” Three months later, Kasha’s friend and fellow activist, David Kato, was murdered in his home. In 2014, the Anti-Homosexuality Act was passed by Parliament with the death penalty reduced to life in prison. Although Kasha and other activists successfully sued the government to overturn this law, a wave of violence was unleashed against the LGBTI community.

Today, Kasha is the executive director of the Kuchu Times Media Group, which produces a magazine, television, and radio program to amplify the voices of LGBTI Africans across the continent. Kuchu Times’ groundbreaking magazine, Bombastic, has dramatically shifted the narrative surrounding LGBTI rights by distributing more than 30,000 copies across Uganda.

Your Support

Kasha needs your help continuing to advocate for human rights while ensuring her personal safety. She is trying to write a memoir to share her life stories and advocate for LGBTI rights to a global audience, but she has been unable to finish the project due to time and resource constraints.

Kasha’s home was recently broken into and she needs to increase security around her compound. She is also recovering from major surgery and needs help paying her medical bills.

Although international human rights organizations used to provide financial support for such situations, this funding has slowed immensely. International crises and President Trump have shifted the focus of the international media so that LGBTI rights is no longer in the limelight. Moreover, the lack of concern for human rights from the United States has emboldened dictators like Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who has now been in power for 32 years. Kasha’s work is more important than ever but she does not have the means to continue without your support. Any assistance you can provide will go directly to Kasha to pay for security, medical bills, and continuing her work fighting for human rights in Uganda and around the world.

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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 Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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