LGBT Ugandans Show their Pride Despite Risk

Published: August 8, 2012

LGBT Ugandans, defying the climate of fear and oppression the Ugandan administration has fostered, marched in a Pride parade over the weekend that, mercifully, went off peacefully.
Reports the New Yorker:
“Can you imagine that the worst place in the world to be gay is having Gay Pride?” Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera asked a crowd of cheering gay men, lesbians, transgendered men and women, and queers somewhere in between. It was Saturday afternoon, and we were on the shores of the giant, cloudy Lake Victoria in the Ugandan city of Entebbe, where L.G.B.T. activists had decided to stage the country’s first Pride Parade. Nabagesera, a lesbian activist covered, for the occasion, in glitter and neon spray paint, with homemade angel wings, was being half-sarcastic. A barrage of media coverage has painted the country as a hell for gays–a place where they are suffering and being attacked constantly–and, despite the need to combat such threats, L.G.B.T. Ugandans were tired of hearing a story that ignored their nuanced experiences of both joy and hardship. But Nabagesera was also sincerely pleased: a crowd of nearly a hundred people had come out, fears of arrest notwithstanding, to celebrate their existence. The air was thick with confetti, paint fumes, and anticipation.
[Click over for a full account of the Pride event.]  
The New Yorker continues to detail how the Pride event went off relatively free of trouble. Only hours after the parade ended did the police gather at the venue, supposedly acting on a tip that a gay wedding might be taking place. The report goes on to say that three participants were arrested, one photographer detained, and statements from all those that could be rounded up were taken. However the police later released those taken into custody.

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