By African HRC Staff, December 23, 2014.
Uganda’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) community has launched “Bombastic Magazine,” a symbol of ‘Reclaiming the Media’ Campaign. Bombastic Magazine is a compilation of stories, testimonies and opinions by LGBTI Ugandans. The objective of this campaign is to end violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people countrywide.
In continuing to criminalize the LGBTI community in Uganda, by introducing new and enforcing already existing harsh and unfair legislation, the government of Uganda formalizes and legitimizes homophobia. This homophobia cultivates and encourages violence against LGBTI Ugandans.
In a launch press release by the magazine it is noted: “In demonizing our sexuality and or gender identity, religious leaders incite hatred and violence against LGBTI Ugandans. They have openly called for our murder, imprisonment; expulsion from our own country, and attacks by mobs, all in the name of God. By giving voice to homophobia, local media has also contributed largely to violence against LGBTI Ugandans. The media has exposed people perceived to be LGBTI persons over the years in an effort to shame and humiliate them. These forced outings have left many LGBTI Ugandans jobless and homeless, rejected by their families, denied health care and education, forced to flee the country; all of which are forms of violence.
Through Bombastic Magazine, we share our stories, realities of being lesbian , gay , bisexual, transgender and intersex , our health, religious , cultural and family issues, with the public as a peaceful call to respect and accept us as Ugandans; our sexuality does not make us any less Ugandan. “Many have told our stories wrongly and we can’t accept the trend to continue. Here are our stories, narrated and shared by ourselves”, said Ambrose, member of the LGBTI community in Uganda.
This magazine will also shade a light to readers on the extent of the marginalization and discrimination the LGBTI community in Uganda continues to face on a daily basis. We have been forced to live undignified lives; the authors of the stories are Ugandans who, through their voices, should be heard by policy makers and the general public, and hopefully, help to create a path for attitude change in a community that is continuously growing in homophobia and violence against this harmless group of Ugandan citizens.
We therefore call upon;
The media in Uganda to promote humanity, peace, unity and liberation as they report on LGBTI issues.
The government of Uganda to suspend all moves to introduce any further legislation that criminalizes our sexuality and gender identity and decriminalize already existing criminalization laws.
The general public to establish and sustain dialogue with the LGBTI community in the country and in multi-lateral spaces
Religious leaders to refrain from preaching and instigating hate within their congregations.
To you all our fellow Ugandans, we wish you a safe, peaceful and gay read happy festive season. We give you Bombastic Magazine as a gift to you all this Christmas. “We share our lived realities in the hope that they will inspire many people who have been filled with hate from politicians and religious leaders seeking political power and cheap popularity”, says Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, initiator and coordinator of Reclaiming the Media Campaign.
Lastly we call upon all Ugandans to get a copy of Bombastic Magazine. The magazine is free, get a copy at your local supermarkets or look out for our volunteers in your area. We also have an online copy which can be found at www.kuchutimes.com