Forbidden to Love in Uganda
Organized by: Chelsea Vickers
Picture yourself in a place where you are joyful, happy to be surrounded by friends and loved ones, when suddenly and without warning men storm in, begin to arrest you and your friends, violently brutalizing, humiliating them and even sexually assaulting you.
This is the reality of an event which took place only recently, on August 4th, 2016 during a Pride celebration where Ugandan police violently and mercilessly broke up a Pride event in the capital. This resulted in the arrest and the horrendous assault of over 20 people. Hundreds were detained unconstitutionally for over 90 minutes. One person jumped from a 6th storey window out of terror and fear of the people who should be safeguarding him rather than abusing the group.
Amongst those caught up in the quagmire was Pepe Onziema, a LGBT rights activist, a key supporter of Flofferz and a Program Director and Advocacy Officer for Sexual Minority Uganda. The violence he experienced left him temporarily deaf in one ear. For Pepe this adds more physical injury to the psychological and emotional trauma occurring on a daily basis for someone involved in the LGBTI community in Uganda. This latest incident, of which we are aware, is highlighting the risks facing the LGBTI community in this country, due to a law prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex.
This action has exacerbated both the endemic homophobia in Uganda and the associated discussions. This makes being part of the LGBTI community more dangerous and even deadly, with police officers threatening to make the identities of those involved public - ensuring that somebody else does the dirty work.
To help make a difference, we need to raise money for the cause and bring awareness of this issue on a wider scale with hopes that more people will take notice of these gross abuses and the Ugandan government will retract this barbaric law.
Flofferz Magazine, an independent self funded magazine, is dedicating its entire issue to SMUG. The upcoming issue 002 is a dual-faceted enterprise: the print magazine is being accompanied by a 10 day long charitable art exhibit; Shut up and Smile. This exhibit is an abstract representation of the charity and its plight. Proceeds from all art sales purchased through the magazine and the event will be donated to Sexual Minorities Uganda [SMUG].
We need your help in order to make it a success. The proceeds from the this fundraiser will help us complete our mission. Please help spread the word we need you! Help spread the word!