Creating safe spaces We provide safe and structured environments for LBQ women experiencing challenges like homelessness, addiction, financial dependence, mental illness, and trauma through our programs. OUR PROGRAMS Talk to us At a meeting with Women Human Rights Defenders About Rella
Rella Women’s Foundation provides holistic solutions to LBQ persons creating a sense of community and support system that aids us to protect ourselves, discover, grow and tap into our potentials and contribute to the country as citizens.
Rella Women’s Foundation offers safe, and structured environments for LBQ women experiencing challenges like homelessness, addiction, financial dependence, mental illness, and trauma under our Rella House of Hope Program, a rehabilitation center.
We are creating communities with improved and progressive attitudes, practices, by strengthening capacity to advance LBQ person’s rights and gender equality under our Movement Building Program.
We fight for economic justice and promote financial independence among LBQ persons under the Hebwa Program.
We ensure access to sexual reproductive health commodities, information services, and rights for LBQ persons under the Hakuna Matata Program.
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Rella WF is committed to shaping practices and influencing policy reforms while engaging the
LBQ community, organisations, humanitarians, development stakeholders, policy makers and
law enforcement officers, in order to positively impact the lives of LBQ persons and communities.
Rella WF aims to influence better and more effective decision-making and programing by generating and promoting knowledge, and tools, that offer frameworks to support LBQ programing and decision making for LBQ communities, organisations, humanitarians, and development stakeholders, policy makers and law enforcement officers.
Rella House of Hope as a rehabilitation center helps to restore LBQ persons to health or
normal life through training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, disownment, eviction,
or illness. This allows us to take action in restoring lives to former privileges or reputation
after a period of disfavour.
Facilitates and monitors the behavioural change in Mental, Sexual, Reproductive Health, and Rights among LBQ persons in Uganda. We carry out community
engagements and capacity building regarding sexual and reproductive health…
We work towards creating a sustainable, resilient, resistant, strong LBQ community in
Uganda. The program also motivates more LBQ individuals to be a part of movements for
better alliance-building, protection, liberation, support systems, and cultural change inspires.
Latest updatesLetters of LGBT community members to the Ugandan Parliament 2023.March 21, 2023Statement to the Ugandan parliament in regards to the Anti-homosexuality bill 2023.
Ugandan lawmakers began a new session on Thursday, 9th March 2023. Lawmakers introduced the anti-homosexuality bill that would allow the jailing of LGBTQ individuals for up to 10 years for declaring their identity or touching with homosexual intention.
The text of the bill says it “seeks to protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda” and its traditional family values against “the acts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.”
Honorable Anita Among, Uganda’s parliament speaker, stated reasons why the country needs the law. “For us it’s about our morals and our culture. And I want to urge members of parliament, please don’t get intimidated. Never get intimidated, we are doing all of this for humanity,” Honorable Anita Among said.
Legislator Asuman Basalirwa read the goals of the bill: “Criminalization of homosexuality, with a liability of imprisonment of two to ten years, for committing homosexuality, aggravated homosexuality, attempted homosexuality, aiding and abetting homosexuality, conspiracy to commit homosexuality and related practices.”
As Rella Women’s Foundation, we are publishing this statement in regards to the anti homosexuality bill which is being tabled today the 21st March 2023 after the second tabling of the Anti-Homosexual Bill 2023 as below.
Second reading of the anti -homosexuality bill 2023
Today on 21st March 2023, the members of parliament have sat to have the second reading on Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 in parliament. The members of parliament are expected to vote on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 amidst mixed reactions from various stakeholders.
The Bill, among others, seeks to prohibit same-sex sexual relations, by strengthening Uganda’s capacity to deal with domestic and foreign threats to the heterosexual family, safeguard traditional and cultural values and protect youth / children against gay and lesbian practice through imposing penalties on the perpetrators.
According to todays second reading, the speaker of parliament Honorable Anita Among called for the report readings from the majority report that proposed the bill and the report from the minorities. She also proposed dialogue from the minority representatives to convince the parliament why the bill should not be passed which in our view should be truly revised and nullifying as it goes against human rights enjoyed world wide. After the dialogue, there was a proposed voting.There will be more updates here after.
Below are letters from some community members in regards to the bill.In solidarity we stand For God and my country
Please comment below your views of this article. […]Read more…About David Kato KisuleJanuary 26, 2023About David Kato Kisule.
Today is the day we remember the life of a very prominent Ugandan gay activist David Kato Kisule who was murdered in his home in Mukono Uganda on 26th January 2011. The media said that his neighbors found his body limp and a hammer that was believed to have been murder weapon. The neighbors later said an unknown man was seen leaving his home with his shoes and jacket and the police said the suspect was claimed his driver. Kato was a teacher and is considered the father of Uganda’s gay rights movement and still described as the first openly gay man in Uganda.David Kato was born on February 13, 1964, with his twin John Malumba Wasswa in a Ugandan town Mukono. Kato died on January 26, 2011, in his home in Mukono town. He had his studies at University of York, and Kyambogo University He was featured in the famous documentary “Call Me Kuchu.”
What David’s death means to us.
David Kato was among the founding fathers of the LGBT rights movement in Uganda and was the advocacy officer at his job with SMUG (Sexual Minorities Uganda). He used to document cases of violence on LGBT persons in Uganda and made partnerships with the government institutes like the Human Rights Commission in Uganda and was among the first persons to report Uganda through the Human Rights Commission on the gruesome acts of violence on the Ugandan LGBT community and allies. This was after the famous tabloid “the Rolling stone” and the government ruled that anyone seen aiding someone believed to be gay was to be imprisoned for three years.After the periodic review in Geneva the government was hostile to LGBT persons. This advocacy created room for the starting up of many organizations supporting LGBTIQ persons. Organizations like Rella Women’s Foundation a feminist queer civil society organization aiding a sense of belonging allowing LBQ persons to live in resilient progressive and sustainable safe spaces; are following the foot steps of the first movement fighters we are creating safe spaces for living, working, accessing sexual reproductive health information, services, and commodities, and seeking justice and change was started in 2017.
His death is remembered every year on 26th January to celebrate his life and legacy where many civil society organizations conduct events and a memorial thanksgiving ceremony to celebrate his life and work he has done in the Ugandan LGBT movement. David Kato and other persons like Pepe Onziema, Naome Ruzindana, Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Frank Mugisha, and Professor Sylvia Tamale were the first fighters of LGBT rights in Uganda. During that time, they won a court case against a newspaper tabloid called the Rolling stone with some articles as “Homo Generals Plotted Kampala Terror Attacks“ and others.The human rights defenders that held the flag for the fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights in Uganda were under attacks and threats from society in addition to being mentioned in different media papers and news allover Uganda. It is believed that they also sued the religious fundamentalists that spread hate and believed to have funded the anti- gay movements in Uganda and around the world.In David Kato’s wishes, he wished to start a gay village where he would be buried, a village where the queer persons helped the community in access to clean water and basic services like school, supermarkets, markets, hospitals and banks. He also hoped to support the neighbors to the village in any way possible so that we could be looked at as good people in the country. […]Read more…UGANDA LBQ WOMEN COLLECTIVE POSITION PAPERJune 13, 2023Statement on the Impact of the Anti Homosexuality Bill (AHB) 2023, towards Leesbians, Bisexual and Queer Women in Uganda.
BY AND FOR LBQ WOMEN IN UGANDA
The statement brings out concerns, needs and human rights violations towards the passing of the AHB 2023 that we fear when enacted into a law ,it will change our lives forever as LBQ women in Uganda. Some the Human Rights that are violated by this Bill in summary are: 1. Inhumane and degrading treatment 2. Freedom of Association (to participate in political and other organizations3. Right to shelter4. Right to family (for children of LBQ parents)5. Right to ownership of property6. Right to freedom of Expression 7. Right to healthy (every LBQ woman is entitled to have free medical, and all health treatment)All the above are provided for in the Constitution of Uganda. Meaning that if the AHB is passed, it will be contradicting the Ugandan Constitution.
LBQ needs and asks identified
On the 23rd of march 2023, the Loose network engaged the LBQ women in an online meeting following the aftermath of the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill and these are some of the needs and asks that arose from this engagement:
1. The need for relocation of LBQ women has been noted to be an urgent need as a lot of them can no longer seek refugee in shelters or even in their homes and a great number of them are being hunted down and no longer feel safe where they stay, hence the need for a safety and relocation program to be enacted.
It also stems from the fact that the bill gives power to the landlords to evict and not be associated with anyone assumed to be gay , leaving many of the community members not safe in their own environment .
2. Psychosocial support is a paramount need as a lot of the LBQ women are undergoing a lot of Mental health breakdowns. Some LBQ women shared that they are living in fear, are feeling paranoid, are being stalked, verbally being shouted at etc. and the centers that offer mental health need support to reach the community members.
There is a need to have virtual group counseling sessions , one on one sessions to offer mental health support for those who do walk in and offer them some transport refund to make sure they get safe transport services with the current environment.
There’s a need for certified therapists and psychiatrists for LBQ womxn living with psychosocial disabilities like PTSD,ANXIETY,OCD and many more , therefore having SOS contacts on speed dial is important during these times.
3. A rapid response fund that can cater for any kind of emergency faced by LBQ women regardless of their location anywhere in the country. This can be centralized in the different membership in the different regions we work in as a network. This will enable the network to be fully equipped to offer legal assistance and aid to the affected persons where need be and will also build the capacity of member entities in the different regions.
4.The need for a private mobile fully equipped clinic which has all the services and consumables an LBQ woman may need. This way, LBQ women will still be able to access SRHR services as some of them fear going to the health facilities in this current situation, hence putting their health and lives at risk.
We can get Motorcycles and bicycles distributed to different LBQ entities in the different regions and work with SRHR service centers who will be our dropping points for distribution of the commodities and information that will be able to reach LBQ women .The clinic will also be able to cater for emergency cases for instance cases of Rape , Gender based violence /IPV plus any kind of attacks.
5. Education and awareness, there is a need to increase awareness and understanding about LBQ identities and experiences, and LBQ women need education and awareness campaigns that promote respect, inclusion, and acceptance. We need to do a lot of sensitization about the AHA 2023 to the grassroots LBQ communities in Uganda through the member entities in the different regions .
6. Employment rights protection, LBQ women need protection against employment discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
7.There is a need to conduct awareness campaigns about decent work and social protection in the labor market especially during this time of crisis , LBQ women working in mainstream are living in fear of losing there jobs and being outed at their work place and this will greatly affect there livelihood since most of them are mothers and care takers too.Support LBQ refugees and migrants with technical assistance to process travel documents, linkage to refugee shelters, recommendations and other forms of assistance. Because trafficking of LBQ women is on the rise , for fear of persecution and because of the uncertainties that have come with the passing of the Bill including loss of jobs, LBQ women are running away to find a safe haven and many have unfortunately landed in hands of traffickers.
1. Engage all LBQ women ,friends ,allies and key stakeholders that work and serve LBQ women about the Anti Homosexuality Bill and how it will affect women especially minority and marginalized women as we work hand in hand to empower, transform and inclusively involve grassroots LBQ communities through representation in planning and advocacy platforms on the Convening for Equality.
2. Build archives, consider Her story , document and record her stories of victims, feelings, thoughts, resilience and sharing during these times of crisis of LBQ women ,and pushing for increased collective funding through Organized partnerships.
3. Advocate for legal and policy reforms, and design interventions targeting legislators, policy makers to influence policy development processes and lobby for repeal of all restrictive/criminalizing laws and policies in Uganda
4. Need for LBQ women empowerment and engagement through Community sensitization during these times of crisis through in person and virtual meetings and involving LBQ women leaders in the different regions in Uganda.
5. Funding and Resource Mobilization: As a community we need to come together ,organize and fundraise collectively build up resources to support all LBQ women in regards to ,protection research, documenting ,advocacy, and programming in Safety and Security.
The passing of the Anti Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, violates the human rights of lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women, this will have serious consequences in regards to perpetuating discrimination, violence, and marginalization against LBQ women, which violates fundamental human rights. It is important to recognize and address the needs and asks of LBQ women, including legal protection, access to healthcare, community support, education, political representation and participation, employment rights protection, and funding and resources. Governments, civil society organizations, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders must work together to create inclusive and equitable societies that respect and value the human rights of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. By doing so, we can promote dignity, equity, equality, and justice for all.
We as the LBQ women have come up with the above recommendations so that our partners use them to advocate against the AHB 2023, for fundraising purposes, community support and engagement as a way of advocating for human rights for LBQ women and the entire gender and sexual minority community in Uganda.
We believe this will play an important role in articulating the advocacy issues and form a formidable strong advocacy voice and meaningful engagement of LBQ women and community.
THIS IS THE VOICE OF LBQ WOMEN IN UGANDA […]Read more…Celebrating LGBT Pride Month 2023: A Journey of Resilience, Struggle, and HopeJune 20, 2023Celebrating LGBT Pride Month 2023: A Journey of Resilience, Struggle, and Hope
IntroductionJune is a month of vibrant colors, joy, and celebration for the global LGBTQ+ community, Known as LGBT Pride Month, it serves as a time to honor the history, achievements, and struggles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals worldwide. However, even as we commemorate the progress made, it is crucial to acknowledge the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community, such as the recent struggles in Uganda due to the anti-homosexuality bill. In this blog, we will delve into the origins of Pride Month, the journey of the iconic rainbow flag, the plight of Ugandan LGBT elders, the ongoing battle for acceptance, and the historic significance of the Stonewall Riots.
The Birth of Pride MonthThe roots of LGBT Pride Month can be traced back to June 28, 1969, when the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, became the site of a defining moment in LGBTQ+ history. The patrons of the Stonewall Inn, tired of enduring relentless harassment and discrimination, stood up against a police raid, sparking a series of protests and demonstrations that lasted for several days. This event, known as the Stonewall Riots, is often considered the catalyst for the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.
The Journey of the Rainbow FlagIn 1978, Gilbert Baker, an artist and LGBTQ+ activist, designed the iconic rainbow flag as a symbol of pride and unity. The flag originally featured eight colors, each representing different aspects of the community. Over time, the flag has evolved, and the current version proudly showcases six vibrant colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The rainbow flag has become a powerful symbol of LGBTQ+ visibility and resilience, adorning streets, parades, and events worldwide during Pride Month.
Uganda’s Struggle for LGBT+ EqualityWhile Pride Month celebrations are embraced by many countries, others face severe challenges in openly supporting LGBTQ+ rights. Uganda, in particular, has been grappling with a hostile environment due to the proposed anti-homosexuality bill. This bill, introduced in 2009, sought to further criminalize homosexuality and was met with international condemnation. It is disheartening to witness the impact this bill has had on the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda, leaving many living in fear and facing significant risks.
The Plight of Ugandan LGBT EldersAmong the most vulnerable members of the Ugandan LGBTQ+ community are the elders who have witnessed decades of discrimination and persecution. These courageous individuals have weathered the storm, fighting for their rights and paving the way for future generations. However, they continue to face immense challenges, including the threat of violence, isolation, and limited access to support and healthcare. Despite these adversities, their stories of strength and resilience inspire hope for a brighter future.
The Ongoing Battle for AcceptanceIn Uganda and countless other countries, the fight for LGBTQ+ equality persists. Advocacy groups, both local and international, continue to raise awareness, provide support, and challenge discriminatory laws. These efforts aim to foster a more inclusive society where all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can live with dignity, respect, and equal rights. It is essential for allies and supporters worldwide to stand in solidarity with the Ugandan LGBTQ+ community and push for the repeal of repressive legislation.
ConclusionLGBT Pride Month serves as a powerful reminder of the progress we have made and the obstacles that lie ahead. It is a time to celebrate love, embrace diversity, and stand in solidarity with the global LGBT community. We must acknowledge the challenges faced by individuals in countries like Uganda, where the battle for equality is still ongoing. By amplifying their stories and lending our support, we can contribute to a world where everyone can live their truth without fear of discrimination or persecution. Together, we can make a difference and create a more inclusive and accepting society for all.. […]Read more…The Fight for Equality and Body Autonomy in UgandaMay 3, 2023The Fight for Equality and Body Autonomy in Uganda
Women in Uganda face a range of challenges when it comes to asserting their rights and achieving equality. From unequal pay and discrimination in the workplace to limited opportunities for education and leadership.One of the major challenges facing women in Uganda is unequal pay where they work more than the male gender but have to receive less. Our mothers at home will never be paid for the work they do in nurturing the home and children, with standing abuse from their husband and having to be blamed for the children’s bad behaviour. Despite the fact that women make up a significant portion of the country’s workforce, they are often paid less than men for doing the same work and are frequently excluded from leadership positions.Women have limited access to leadership roles where a woman will be seen as weak to be a leader and any success being termed as the male benefit.This not only limits women’s economic opportunities but also perpetuates a culture of gender inequality and reinforces harmful stereotypes about women’s capabilities and value in the workplace.Women in the entertainment industry have to sleep with a man to become famous and termed as hoes but their sweat is not seen through their powerful message in songs. Women have to be told how to perform on stage and handle being molested by male supporters who feel privileged and have power to traumatise a woman’s body.Furthermore, women in Uganda face significant barriers to education and career advancement, with many girls being forced to drop out of school early in order to marry or take on domestic responsibilities. Girls who do manage to complete their education may still face discrimination and limited opportunities for career advancement, as many employers continue to prioritise men for leadership positions.In addition to these challenges, women in Uganda also face a range of threats to their physical safety and well-being, including sexual harassment and violence. Women and girls are often subjected to sexual exploitation, with some male teachers and students using their positions of power to coerce vulnerable girls into sexual relationships in exchange for better grades or other favours. LBQ women in Uganda also face significant discrimination and violence, with same-sex relationships criminalised and stigmatised by society. They face being outed to the public and have difficulties in seeking employment that they end up in sex work and being unemployed. Some who make it out start organisations working with women. More so Young LBQ persons do not get a chance to complete their education journeys due to discrimination at school.Despite these challenges, women in Uganda are fighting back and working to assert their rights and achieve equality. Women’s rights activists are working tirelessly to raise awareness about these issues and to push for legal and social change, while healthcare providers and educators are working to provide better information and resources to women and girls. Women in sports are also making strides, challenging gender stereotypes and pushing for greater recognition and support for women’s sports. Sports has been a spot filled by the patriachy and dominated by men where a woman will strive to do their best but a man will take privilege of their work.Overall, the theme of “my body, my choice” is an important one for women in Uganda, as it speaks to the fundamental right of all individuals to control their own bodies and lives. By continuing to push for greater gender equality and social change, women in Uganda can work to create a more just and equitable society for all. By Maltego […]Read more…International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2023March 24, 2023International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims 2023
As the world marks the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims on March 24th, Rella Women’s Foundation understands that it is important to acknowledge the ongoing human rights violations against the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. On March 21st, 2023, the Ugandan parliament passed a new anti-homosexuality bill, further criminalizing homosexuality and subjecting members of the LGBTQ+ community to even harsher penalties. The new bill proposes that individuals who engage in homosexual activities or who support the LGBTQ+ community in any way could face life imprisonment or the death penalty. It also criminalizes the “promotion” of homosexuality, which could include advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, providing any forms of services to LGBTQ+ individuals like housing, health or education, or even showing support on social media and physical spaces. The passing of this new bill is a gross violation of the human rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda. It denies us our right to live free from discrimination, persecution, and violence based on our sexual orientation or gender identity. It also violates our right to freedom of expression and association, as well as our right to access healthcare services without fear of discrimination. Cases of Violations.Some of the documented violations that have happened during this time and what could happen include arbitrary arrests and detention of LGBTQ+ individuals, black mails, physical assaults, forced anal examinations, and public humiliation by police and vigilante groups. There have been reports of LGBTQ+ individuals losing our jobs, being evicted from our homes, and disowned by our families because of our sexual orientation or gender identity. Role of Social media Social media has also played a role in exacerbating discrimination and hostility towards the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. Online hate speech and cyberbullying targeting LGBTQ+ individuals have been documented, with some social media users calling for violence against us. These violations against the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda highlight the urgent need for action to promote and protect the human rights of all individuals, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity. International human rights organizations, activists, and allies must continue to shine a light on these injustices and work towards ending discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and around the world. We understand the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda cant stand alone on this. We call on allies both from Uganda and international communities to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda and condemn this new anti-homosexuality bill. Governments and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda hope that you use your influence to pressure the Ugandan government to repeal this bill and uphold the human rights of all individuals, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity. Conclusion As we mark the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, let us remember the importance of promoting and protecting fundamental human rights for all individuals, including those who have suffered gross human rights violations, based on their Sexual Orientation, Characteristics, Gender Identity and Expression such as the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. May we all stand together to demand justice, accountability, and respect for human rights for all. […]Read more…The impact of the Ugandan Anti-homosexuality bill 2023 on housing for LBQ persons.April 13, 2023The impact of the Ugandan Anti-homosexuality bill 2023 on housing for LBQ persons. The new Anti-Homosexual Bill 2023 that was passed by the Ugandan parliament on 21/March/2023 has devastating consequences for the LBQ community in terms of housing. This Bill makes it a crime to even identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, and gives authorities sweeping power to crackdown on any form of LGBTQIA+ advocacy. It also criminalizes same-sex relations between consenting adults. This is a harsher revision to Uganda’s 2014 Homosexuality Act, which outlawed the “promotion of homosexuality,” The bill criminalizes homosexuality and makes it punishable by imprisonment (possibly for life) or even castration of gay men and trans women as suggested by some MPs which puts the LBQ community at greater risk of homelessness. One of the key ways in which the bill will affect LBQ persons is by increasing discrimination and violence against them. According to a report by Human Rights Watch, the bill in 2014 ” led to increased social stigmatization, harassment, and violence against LGBT people.” This, in turn, has made it difficult for LBQ individuals to access housing and maintain relationships with their families and communities. The report also notes that the bill had a chilling effect on the provision of services to LBQ persons, including healthcare and legal assistance. This further limited their access to resources that could help them secure housing and protect their rights. One study conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality found that transgender individuals experienced high rates of housing discrimination, with 19% reporting being refused a home or apartment and 11% being evicted because of their gender identity. Additionally, 19% reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives. Similarly, research conducted by the National LGBTQ Task Force found that LGBTQ individuals in general faced housing discrimination and were more likely to experience homelessness. This study found that LGBTQ individuals were twice as likely as their non-LGBTQ counterparts to experience homelessness, and that up to 40% of homeless youth were LGBTQ. Another report by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) documented incidents of violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals in Uganda, including forced evictions, blackmail, and denial of access to housing, employment, and healthcare. A study published in 2015 by the Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) documented cases of violence, discrimination, and harassment against LGBT individuals, including LBQ women, in Uganda. The study found that 66% of the respondents had experienced some form of violence or discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Anti-Homosexual Bill 2023 has negatively affected the housing for the LBQ community. Discrimination and stigma in regards to access to housing has been manifest in different ways as explained below; Housing discrimination is a significant problem for the LBQ community which has been made worse by the bill that suggests harsh punishment to landlords or even organizations that offer shelter to the homeless LBQ persons. Even before the bill discrimination has had been eminent but at least LBQ persons knew that they would run to shelters for solace, but now shelters have been made illegal. The bill further threatens the right to privacy since it allows people to question or even invade any suspicious spaces therefore causing security threats to the community. Many landlords and property owners refuse to rent or sell homes to LBQ individuals, citing religious or personal beliefs. This discrimination is now exacerbated by the new bill, which creates an environment of fear and hostility towards the LBQ community. As a result, many LBQ individuals are forced to live in unsafe or overcrowded housing, or to become homeless. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has a significant impact on access to housing for LBQ persons in Uganda. The law makes it illegal to promote or engage in homosexuality, and it also makes it illegal to provide housing to LBQ persons. This means that many LBQ persons are unable to find safe and secure housing. The law also allows for the eviction of LBQ persons from their homes if they are suspected of being homosexual. This leads to many LBQ persons being forced out of their homes and becoming homeless. The lack of access to safe and secure housing has had a significant impact on the mental and physical well-being of LBQ persons in Uganda. Self discrimination continues to happen as a result of fear; fear to be outed, fear to be discovered, fear of what will happen and many more fears. A person ends up discriminating against themselves because they feel like if they are alone nothing or no one can hurt them. You find that a person who might have found help somewhere can’t get it because they can’t trust the society The new bill also has a chilling effect on LBQ individuals seeking help from government agencies or non-profit organizations that provide housing assistance. Many fear that their sexual orientation or gender identity will be discovered, which may lead to discrimination and harassment. This fear further increases the likelihood of homelessness among the LBQ community. The Anti Homosexuality Bill also has a significant impact on families of LBQ persons in Uganda. The law makes it illegal to promote or engage in homosexuality, which includes same-sex relationships. This means that LBQ persons are unable to openly express their sexuality and form relationships with same-sex partners. LBQ persons are also ostracized by their families and communities due to their sexuality. This leads to many LBQ persons being disowned by their families and losing their support systems. The lack of family support has had a significant impact on the mental health and well-being of LBQ persons in Uganda. Lack of access to basic needs/resources as recently, many LBQ women have lost their jobs, fell out with family and friends while the ones in school face expulsions because of their sexual orientation. Now with the enactment of the AHB it becomes more difficult for the LBQ to even access resources, they can’t go to government or even private facilities because the law deems it illegal to offer services to the LBQ community. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill has had a significant impact on LBQ persons’ ability to feel safe and secure in their homes. The law allows for the persecution of LBQ persons, which leads to many LBQ persons living in fear of being arrested, attacked, or killed. LBQ persons are also targeted by vigilante groups who seek to rid their communities of homosexuality. This leads to many LBQ persons being forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries. The lack of safety and security in their homes has had a significant impact on the mental and physical well-being of LBQ persons in Uganda. Homelessness has serious consequences for LBQ individuals. They are at a higher risk of violence, abuse, and sexual assault. They also experience greater difficulty accessing healthcare and other basic necessities, which can have long-term negative impacts on their physical and mental health. The bill makes it illegal to promote or engage in homosexuality, which leads to LBQ persons being unable to express their sexuality and form relationships with same-sex partners. LBQ persons were also ostracized by their families and communities, which led to many LBQ persons being disowned by their families and losing their support systems. The law also allows for the persecution of LBQ persons, which led to many LBQ persons living in fear of being arrested, attacked, or killed. The lack of access to safe and secure housing and the lack of safety and security in their homes has had a significant impact on the mental and physical well-being of LBQ persons in Uganda. In conclusion, the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 has a significant impact on the LBQ community’s housing situation, access to housing, families, and homes for LBQ persons in Uganda which in turn increases the risk of homelessness and human rights violations among queer persons. Discrimination and fear prevent LBQ individuals from accessing safe and affordable housing and assistance programs. This bill not only violates human rights but also creates a public health crisis. It is crucial to advocate for the repeal of this bill and to ensure that all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have access to safe and secure housing. It is clear that LGBTQ individuals, including lesbians, bisexuals, and queer cis women, transgender, and gender non-conforming persons, can face significant challenges when it comes to accessing housing. It is important for policymakers and housing providers to recognize and address these barriers in order to ensure that all individuals have access to safe and affordable housing #killthebill […]Read more…New Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023: Implications and Effects on the LGBTQ+ CommunityMarch 22, 2023New Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023: Implications and Effects on the LGBTQ+ Community
Anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda have had significant implications and effects on the Ugandan LGBTQ+ community. These vary from social, and political to economic setbacks. The previous version of the bill, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2014, proposed harsh penalties for homosexual acts, including life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality.” This made consensual same-sex relationships a criminal offence, putting LGBTQ+ individuals at risk of arrest, imprisonment, and even violence. Such legislation increased discrimination, harassment, and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals, as it created a hostile and dangerous environment for them. It also created a chilling effect, causing LGBTQ+ individuals to hide their identities and even leave the country for fear of persecution. The bill had negative effects on public health, as it discouraged LGBTQ+ individuals from seeking healthcare, including HIV testing and treatment. This exacerbated Uganda’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, as HIV rates are higher among LGBTQ+ populations. Yesterday 21st March 2023 was the second reading of the Ugandan Anti- homosexuality bill. During this parliamentary sitting, the anti-homosexuality bill which was initially tabled by Honourable Assuman Basariza, was discussed and members voted for the bill to be tabled. The passing of the new anti-homosexuality bill 2023 has left the LGBTQ+ community in a state of fear and uncertainty. The bill, which criminalises homosexuality, has far-reaching implications for individuals who identify as part of the community. It is a violation of human rights and a step backwards in the fight for equality and inclusion. The passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 has caused severe consequences for the LGBTQ community in the country. The law criminalises homosexuality with penalties ranging from imprisonment for life or death penalties in prison. This has further led to an increase in discrimination, harassment, and violence against LGBTQ individuals. One of the major problems facing LGBTQ persons in Uganda is the fear of persecution and prosecution under the law. The law has created a climate of fear, leading many individuals to hide their sexual orientation or gender identity. This has made it difficult for LGBTQ individuals to access healthcare, education, and employment, as we face discrimination and stigmatisation. The law has also emboldened vigilante groups and individuals who take the law into their own hands, with physical and verbal violence and even going as far as killing LGBTQ individuals. Many LGBTQ people have been forced to flee their homes and country forcing them to seek asylum in other countries, often facing further discrimination and violence in the process. The media has also played a role in the persecution of LGBTQ individuals in Uganda. Many media outlets have published sensationalised stories about homosexuality, portraying LGBTQ people as deviant and immoral. Some have gone further to hold TV.shows that intentionally dis-inform and misinform the community about the LGBTQ+ community. This has contributed to a culture of intolerance and hostility towards the LGBTQ community. The bill includes harsh penalties for consensual same-sex conduct and any form of support for LGBTQ+ rights. Individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ or support LGBTQ+ rights are to face imprisonment or other forms of punishment simply for expressing their allyship, identity or beliefs. This has left many individuals in the community feeling isolated, scared, and uncertain about their future. How it affects the LGBT community.The effects of the bill are already being felt in the LGBTQ+ community. Many individuals have reported an increase in harassment and discrimination since the bill was introduced. Some have been forced to flee their homes and go into hiding to avoid persecution. Others are living in fear of being outed or targeted by authorities. For those who identify as LGBTQ+, the passing of this bill is a significant setback. It reinforces the notion that their identities are not accepted or valued by society. It has created barriers to accessing education, healthcare, employment, and housing, which have led to increased social and economic marginalisation. It has also discouraged individuals from being open about their sexual orientation, which will have negative mental health consequences, such as depression and anxiety. It is important for LGBTQ+, feminist and human rights organisations, LGBTQ+ activists, and allies to speak out against this discriminatory legislation and to advocate for the rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We must work towards a world where discrimination based on sexual orientation is no longer tolerated. The new Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 just like in 2014 is forseen to bring severe negative effects on the LGBTQ+ community, including increased discrimination, violence, and a negative impact on public health. Increased discrimination and stigma among the LGBTQ+ as the Anti-homosexuality Bill 2023 is going to lead to an increase in discrimination and stigma against LGBTQ+ individuals, as we are viewed as criminals or immoral. This has already resulted in to social exclusion, harassment, and violence against LGBTQ+ people.Limited access to healthcare as the criminalization of homosexuality is going to deter LGBTQ+ individuals from seeking medical care, as we fear discrimination from healthcare providers. This is going to lead to an increase in health risks, as LGBTQ+ individuals avoid seeking care for illnesses or health issues. This is also going to affect health workers who give medical health care to persons of the LGBT community in fear of being termed as aiders of homosexuality. This will lead to increased rates of HIV/AIDS among the LGBTQ community in Uganda, as we are often denied access to healthcare services and face discrimination and stigma when seeking care. The Anti-homosexuality bill is going to limit access to education and employment opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals. This will further exacerbate the discrimination and social exclusion that we already face. LGBTQ+ school going persons will be discriminated against by their classmates when it comes to meals, sharing bath spaces, sleeping rooms etc as well as expulsions from school that result from black mail from their fellow students. Expelling LGBTQ students from schools not only affects their education but also their relationships with their families. Many families in Uganda are not accepting of their LGBTQ children, and expulsion from school often leads to conflicts and tensions that result in these young people being forced to leave their homes The Anti-homosexuality bill has already caused significant psychological impacts on LGBTQ+ individuals. We are experiencing anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues due to the stress of living in an environment that criminalises their identity and relationships. This is going to lead to self-harm, substance abuse, addiction, homlessness, loss of jobs, and suicidal ideation. Anti-homosexuality Bill has already restricted the freedom of expression and association of LGBTQ+ individuals, as both individuals and organisations are afraid to express themselves, their identity or form communities with other LGBTQ+ individuals due to the risk of prosecution and arrests. The passing of the Anti-homosexuality laws has already resulted in family separation, as LGBTQ+ individuals are now being forced to flee their homes to avoid persecution. Families also prefer to protect the family name and would rather get rid of and chase away their children that express themselves from the LGBTQ+. This has a significant impact on their economic, mental health, and well-being. ConclusionOverall, anti-homosexuality laws have wide-ranging and detrimental effects on the LGBTQ+ community, including increased discrimination and stigma, limited access to healthcare, education, and employment opportunities, psychological impacts, and restriction of freedom of expression and association. To those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, know that you are not alone. You are valid, loved, and valued. We see you, and we stand with you in this fight for equality and human rights. We will continue to advocate for our rights and work towards a more inclusive and accepting society. For God and My Country Rella Women’s FoundationPlease subscribe not to miss on coming articles of effects of the bill further. […]Read more…Naome Ruzindana: The Fearless LGBT and Human Rights Activist from UgandaMarch 20, 2023Naome Ruzindana: The Fearless LGBT and Human Rights Activist from Uganda As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s crucial to recognize the efforts of LBQ women who have made a significant impact for our community. Naome Ruzindana is one such woman, who has been tirelessly fighting for the rights of the LGBT community and human rights in Uganda. Despite facing immense challenges, Naome continues to be a beacon of hope for the marginalised and oppressed. Who is Naome Ruzindana?Naome Ruzindana is a Ugandan LGBT and human rights activist who has dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of marginalised communities. She is a fierce advocate for gender equality, women’s rights, and social justice. As a member of the LGBT community herself, Naome has faced discrimination and violence in her personal life, which has only strengthened her resolve to fight for justice and equality for all.Naome’s activism journey:Naome’s activism journey began when she started working with the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law in Uganda. She quickly rose through the ranks and became the coordinator of the coalition’s Sexual Minorities program in 2011. Naome has been at the forefront of several campaigns, including advocating for the repeal of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which imposed harsh penalties on same-sex relations. Despite facing death threats, harassment, and physical violence, Naome has continued to fight for the rights of the LGBT community in Uganda. She has been instrumental in setting up safe spaces and providing support for LGBT individuals who have been discriminated against or persecuted because of their sexual orientation. Naome’s impact:Naome’s impact on the LGBT community in Uganda cannot be overstated. Her work has helped raise awareness about the discrimination and violence faced by LGBT individuals, and has brought attention to the need for legislative reforms to protect their rights. She has also been a vocal advocate for women’s rights and gender equality, working to empower women and girls through education and awareness-raising programs. Conclusion:Naome Ruzindana is a fearless LGBT and human rights activist whose work has had a significant impact on Uganda’s marginalised communities. Her advocacy has been instrumental in raising awareness about the need for legislative reforms to protect the rights of LGBT individuals and promote gender equality. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us recognize Naome’s bravery and dedication, and honour her contributions to the fight for justice and equality for all. Leave your comment below. […]Read more…Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Laws Journey from 2009 to 2023June 1, 2023Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Laws Journey from 2009 to 2023
As a queer Ugandan these laws threaten my existence as a human being who is different. We have seen a lot of influential LGBT activists die to flee the country to countries that are free, yes these countries flaws but at least they don’t punish humanity. When this bill was out, I was so scared to even move, work and my mind was running 100 km per second. This is the time you start to think how you will survive without a job, think about possible homelessness and trauma, no access to medical services and so much more. This law is scary with its harsh punishments.Uganda claims to have and protect its culture that is based on family forgetting that queer persons belong to families too and are uncles and aunts, daughters and sons on this land. Introduction:Uganda’s history of anti-homosexuality legislation has been marked by controversy and human rights concerns. In this blog post, we will explore the events surrounding the 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, examine a significant court case that unfolded in 2021, and provide an update on the punishments outlined in the new anti-homosexuality law signed in 2023. These developments shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by Uganda’s LGBT+ community. The 2009 bill introductionThe draft “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” was introduced on October 14, 2009 in Uganda’s parliament that would violate human rights.In an attack on the freedom of expression, a new, wide-ranging provision would forbid the “promotion of homosexuality” including publishing information or providing funds, premises for activities, or other resources. Conviction resulted in up to seven years in prison.The bill was to criminalize the legitimate work of national and international activists and organizations working for the defense and promotion of human rights in Uganda. It would also put major barriers in the path of effective HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. The 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act:In 2013, the Ugandan Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which was signed into law by President Yoweri Museveni in 2014. This law imposed severe penalties for same-sex sexual activity and related offences, including the possibility of life imprisonment. The international community condemned the law for violating human rights, and in August 2014, the Ugandan Constitutional Court annulled the act on procedural grounds. The 2021 Court Case:In 2021, a significant court case brought attention to the challenges faced by Uganda’s LGBT+ community. On April 12, 2021, a group of 19 LGBTQ+ individuals were arrested in a raid on a shelter in Kampala. They faced charges of “unlawful assembly” and “negligent acts likely to spread infection of disease,” which were widely seen as a pretext to target their sexual orientation.The case gained international attention, with human rights organisations calling for the release of the detainees and highlighting the persecution faced by Uganda’s LGBT+ community. Several prominent organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, condemned the arrests and the abuse experienced by the individuals in custody. Punishments in the 2023 Law:On 29th May,2023, a new anti-homosexuality law was signed into law in Uganda, imposing severe punishments for same-sex sexual acts and related offenses. While specific details of the law may vary, the law is reported to include penalties that can potentially lead to life imprisonment for individuals found guilty of engaging in same-sex sexual activity.These punishments have sparked international concern and condemnation, with human rights organisations and advocacy groups raising objections to the violation of fundamental human rights and the targeting of Uganda’s LGBT+ community. Conclusion:Uganda’s history with anti-homosexuality laws has been marked by controversy and human rights challenges. The 2014 Anti-Homosexuality Act, the significant court case in 2021, and the punishments outlined in the new anti-homosexuality law signed in 2023 demonstrate the ongoing struggles faced by Uganda’s LGBT+ community. It is crucial to continue advocating for equality, raising awareness about human rights violations, and supporting the efforts of organisations fighting for the recognition and protection of the rights of all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.Queer persons are parents, leaders, family breadwinners, our friends, lawyers, doctors and so much more. Let us respect humanity and not focus on differences that are not similar to us and their sexuality.To my fellow queer family, we shall live and you are not alone in this. By Maltego Rella Story Teller […]Read more…My Body My choice campaign LaunchMarch 10, 2023My Body My choice campaign Launch
As Women’s History Month kicks off, we have launched a powerful campaign called “My Body, My Choice”, aimed at creating awareness and bringing to light the diverse experiences of women in Uganda. The campaign aims to focus on women’s relationship with work, and how it affects their body autonomy, sexual and gender equality, and their overall well-being. As part of this campaign, the foundation created a short film featuring women from different work fields showcasing their skills and breaking gender norms, and the struggles of women. The women featured in the film include project planners, chefs, writers, painters, and dancers, among others, each of them performing their craft with confidence and skill. The short film “My Body My Choice” showcases the diverse experiences of women in Uganda, with a particular focus on their relationship with work. The film explores the ways in which women navigate their bodies, their work, and their communities in the pursuit of gender equality. One of the highlights of the film is the quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “We should all be feminists”. This quote sets the tone for the rest of the film, reminding us that feminism is about equality for all genders. It’s a powerful message that resonates with the Rella Women’s Foundation’s mission to empower and uplift LBQ women, particularly those who are marginalised and underserved. We have also written a blog as a celebration of the diversity and strength of women, that aims to inspire and empower women to take control of their lives and their bodies. This is a reminder that women can be whoever they want to be and this in no way makes them any less of a human being. We hope that in the end, women learn how to embrace life and be limitless to push beyond all odds and limits because they can do it just as other humans, they are as powerful and incredible as other humans. We also wrote a poem as a powerful way to express support for a person’s right to make decisions about their own body, particularly when it comes to reproductive and sexual rights. Through the poems, we have been able to capture the emotional and personal aspects of this issue, as well as the political and societal implications. We have spoken to the challenges and struggles that people face in exercising this right, and the importance of respecting and protecting their autonomy. Our poems and blogs have also been a way to raise awareness and encourage others to join the movement, highlighting the need for collective action to protect reproductive rights and combat the various forms of oppression and discrimination that may restrict individuals’ choices. The film is a call to action for women to take control of their bodies and make decisions about their reproductive health without fear of stigma or discrimination. It’s a reminder that women’s rights are human rights, and that we must continue to fight for gender equality in all areas of our lives. The Rella Women’s Foundation is doing important work in supporting LBQ women’s sexual and reproductive rights and promoting gender equality. Their campaign “My Body, My Choice” is just one example of the foundation’s commitment to empowering LBQ women and creating a more just and equitable Uganda. We encourage LBW women to take back their power to make choices over their bodies, choice of work, life styles and futures, without violence, discrimination or coercion. We encourage LBQ women to take care of themselves so they can attain fulfilling lives, because the consequences to their well – being and potential depend on the choices we make as human beings regardless of Sexual Orientation, Characteristics, Gender Identity and Expression. As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, let’s remember that we still have a long way to go in achieving true gender equality. Let’s use this month as an opportunity to learn from the past and work towards a better future, one where all women have the freedom to make choices about their bodies and their lives. Overall, the short film, blog and poems on the “My Body, My Choice” campaign are a powerful way to express solidarity and support for those fighting for reproductive and sexual justice, while also engaging with the deeper political and societal issues at play. We all have equal human rights. #LoveNotHate#MyBodyMyChooice
The short film. […]Read more…TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF RELLA WOMEN’S FOUNDATIONMarch 15, 2023TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
RELLA WOMEN’S FOUNDATION
Background: In March 2017, young queer persons united to form Rella Uganda so as to address the vulnerable state of LBQ persons in Uganda. Some of the vulnerabilities we were experiencing included repetitive homelessness, unemployment, and shortcomings in LBQ Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services and information, leadership, and advocacy.‘Rella’ is a section of the word ‘Umbrella’. Like the umbrella, we commit to providing protection for our partners. We were successfully registered on the 23rd of November 2017 with the help of a local advocacy organization known as Chapter Four Uganda as Rella Women’s Foundation Limited.Rella Women’s Foundation is a feminist women’s umbrella organization that allows us to work together formally to coordinate activities and pool resources for LBQ individuals and communities. We provide resources and often identity for LBQ individuals not affiliated to any organizations as members. This kind of arrangement makes us to some degree responsible for the livelihood of LBQ persons under our care.The reasons for establishing an umbrella organization include; The ability to give a holistic solution to LBQ persons through our programs. The Rella Selection comprises a pool of experts with experience, shared apprenticeship, and exchange of know-how. Rella WF is creating a sense of community and support system that aids human beings to discover, grow and tap into their fullest potential. This has increased public awareness and legal recognition of pursued action and impact. VisionA society where all persons inclusively thrive politically, economically, socially, and mentally. MissionTo aid a sense of belonging allowing LBQ persons to live in resilient progressive and sustainable safe spaces; through creating safe spaces for living, working, accessing sexual reproductive health information, services, and commodities, and seeking justice and change. ValuesIn order to develop and deliver our capacity building programs that provide quality, inclusive education for LBQ youth, we believe in five core values that join us together and that mirror the work, actions and ideals of our organization and its culture. The values we believe are Community; Responsibility, Impact, Inspiration, Enterprising spirit, Sustainable and Innovation. PurposeThe purpose of the Board of Directors is to provide strategic guidance and leadership to Rella Women’s Foundation in achieving its vision, mission, and goals. The Board ensures the organization operates in an ethical, effective, and sustainable manner while maintaining its commitment to the values of the organization. CompositionThe Board of Directors is composed of individuals who share the organization’s vision, mission, and values. The Board is composed of a minimum of five members and a maximum of nine members, including the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. Roles and ResponsibilitiesThe Board of Directors is responsible for the following: Governance: The Board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring that it operates in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Financial Oversight: The Board is responsible for overseeing the financial management of the organization, including approving the annual budget, financial statements, and audit reports. Risk Management: The Board is responsible for identifying and mitigating risks that may affect the organization’s operations, including financial, legal, and reputational risks.Fundraising: The Board is responsible for supporting the organization’s fundraising efforts, including identifying potential donors and securing funding to support the organization’s programs and activities.Monitoring and Evaluation: The Board is responsible for monitoring the organization’s performance and evaluating the effectiveness of its programs and activities.Human Resources: The Board is responsible for overseeing the recruitment, retention, and development of the organization’s staff and volunteers. Advocacy and Partnerships: The Board is responsible for representing the organization and building strategic partnerships with stakeholders to advance its mission and goals. MeetingsThe Board of Directors meets at least once every quarter, and additional meetings may be called as needed. Meetings may be held in person or virtually, and all members are expected to attend. QuorumA quorum of the Board is a minimum of 50% of the Board members. Decisions are made by a majority vote, and in the case of a tie, the Chairperson has the deciding vote. Term of OfficeThe term of office for Board members is two years, with the option for re-election for up to two consecutive terms. Code of ConductAll Board members are expected to adhere to the organization’s code of conduct, which includes ethical behavior, confidentiality, conflict of interest, and accountability. Succession PlanningThe Board is responsible for ensuring a smooth transition of leadership, including the appointment of new Board members and the election of new officers. AmendmentsThese terms of reference may be amended by a majority vote of the Board, provided that notice of the proposed amendments is given to all members at least two weeks in advance of the meeting. For interested persons, send us your letter of interest and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org […]Read more…Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 and its Impact on SRHR Services for LBQ PersonsApril 11, 2023Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 and its Impact on SRHR Services for LBQ Persons
As an LBQ person in Uganda, we have faced a lot of challenges growing up from being in the closet, no basic needs, to discrimination at school and others and when we are older and think that we can at least access basic needs on our own, like Food, shelter, access to drinking water, clothing, as well as essential services, to education, to healthcare facilities, and to public transportation. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 crashes our souls as citizens of Uganda and as Humans of Uganda leaving us with a lot of side effects to carry on and to battle with. Our mental health has deteriorate, causing long term mental illness, suicide and increase in the spread of HIV /AIDS. In 2014, Uganda passed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which sought to further criminalise same-sex relationships and activities. The law was later struck down by the Constitutional Court in August of the same year. These laws have affected our community for generations. But this had all changed over the past years where our government had come up with initiatives of inclusion by supporting queer communities with government programming. However, in 2023, the government of Uganda continued to enforce laws that criminalise LGBT individuals and their activities like the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023. This has made it difficult for us to access basic needs like Food, shelter, access to drinking water, clothing, as well as essential services, to education, to healthcare facilities, to public transportation and human rights. Uganda’s recent introduction of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 has sparked concerns over its potential impact on the LBQ community’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services. LBQ individuals in Uganda already face significant stigma, discrimination, and violence, and this bill threatens to exacerbate these issues. In this post, we examine the statistics and effects of this bill and how it has impacted the LBQ community’s access to Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights services. UPDF (Uganda People’s Defence Forces) deputy commander of land forces major general Takirwa on Tuesday 07th February 2023 was published with the headlines “ Don’t treat homosexuals in our facilities.”Many LBQ individuals already face significant barriers to accessing healthcare, including stigma and discrimination from healthcare providers. Passing the AHB would make it even more difficult for LBQ individuals to access healthcare, as many healthcare providers will refuse to treat us for fear of violating the law. This would not only harm the LBQ community but would also have negative economic consequences, as untreated illnesses can lead to lost productivity and increased healthcare costs down the line.
Statistics on LBQ Persons and SRHR in Uganda
The effects on SRHR Services for LBQ Persons
In Uganda, the prevalence of individuals who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) is estimated to be 2.4%. However, it is important to note that homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and is punishable by life imprisonment, which makes it difficult to obtain accurate statistics on the queer population. The government has been known to discriminate against LGBT individuals, and there have been reports of violence, harassment, and arrests targeting our community. According to a 2019 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), LBQ individuals in Uganda face significant stigma and discrimination, including discrimination in healthcare settings. These factors have contributed to a high prevalence of HIV / AIDs and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A 2019 study found that the prevalence of HIV among LBQ women in Uganda was 15.5%, which is significantly higher than the prevalence among women in the general population.In the fight for HIV/AIDS LBQ persons have been left behind especially in capturing our data. 76% of women and 81% of men aged 15-49 have heard of HIV/AIDS. Among adults aged 15-49, 6.2% of women and 3.7% of men are estimated to be living with HIV. 84% of women and 75% of men who tested positive for HIV reported having received antiretroviral therapy (ART). Access to contraception and family planning services is limited for women in Uganda, with only 30% of married women using a modern method of contraception and only 13% of unmarried sexually active women using contraception. LBQ persons face additional barriers to accessing SRHR services, commodities, and information on contraception and conception plans and methods, including discrimination and stigma related to their sexual orientation characteristic or gender identity.A study conducted by Human Rights Watch in 2019 found that some healthcare providers in Uganda deny SRHR services to LGBT individuals based on their personal beliefs and biases. According to the 2016/2017 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS), 22% of women aged 15-49 have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. The same study found that only 37% of women who had experienced sexual violence sought medical help, highlighting the need for improved access to healthcare services for survivors of sexual violence. Women in Uganda also face high rates of maternal mortality and morbidity, with a maternal mortality rate of 343 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017. This is due in part to a lack of access to skilled healthcare providers during childbirth, with only 54% of deliveries being attended by a skilled healthcare provider. LBQ persons also face discrimination and stigma related to their gender identity, charactrics or sexual orientation when seeking maternal healthcare services. Menstruation is still a taboo topic in Uganda, and many girls and women face stigma and shame related to their periods. Only 28% of girls in Uganda have access to menstrual hygiene products, and many resort to using rags, leaves, or other unsanitary materials during their periods. If the rate of girls is this high imagine transgender men, gender non-conforming persons and masculine representing women. According to a 2015 study of trans men in Uganda, nearly half of the participants reported experiencing menstruation after starting hormone therapy. However, only 15% reported feeling comfortable discussing menstruation with healthcare providers.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 threatens to worsen the already difficult situation for LBQ individuals in Uganda. The bill proposes to impose harsh penalties on individuals found guilty of engaging in homosexual acts, including life imprisonment for repeat offenders. The bill also criminalizes the “promotion of homosexuality,” which in terms means no human rights promotion or protection for queer persons. This has impacted organizations working to provide SRHR services to LBQ individuals in Uganda. The fear of violence, discrimination, and outing has discouraged LBQ individuals from seeking SRHR services, including HIV testing, treatment, and prevention services. This has led to an increase in the prevalence of HIV and other STIs among LBQ individuals in Uganda. Additionally, LBQ individuals who are already living with HIV have been reluctant to disclose their status and seek treatment due to the stigma and discrimination they face, which have exacerbated their health outcomes. The bill has also impacted the mental health and well-being of LBQ individuals in Uganda. The fear of violence and discrimination can lead to increased stress and anxiety, which can contribute to mental health issues. Additionally, LBQ individuals face discrimination and violence putting us at a higher risk of suicidal ideation and attempts.Stigma and Mental Health as a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 2015 found that LGBTQ+ youth in Uganda experienced high levels of stigma and discrimination, which had a negative impact on their mental health and well-being. Many reported symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation as a result of the AHB and the societal pressure to conform to heterosexual norms. Reduced access to healthcare as the AHB has also made it difficult for LGBTQ+ individuals to access healthcare services, particularly HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Many clinics and healthcare providers are reluctant to serve queer patients for fear of being accused of promoting homosexuality, which is criminalised under the proposed law.The taboo surrounding menstruation has also led to limited access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities, which negatively impact transgender, and gender non-conforming persons education and overall health. These persons in Uganda further miss school and work due to lack of access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities, which has had long-term consequences for their education and future opportunities.We also face additional challenges related to menstruation, such as limited access to menstrual hygiene products that align with our gender identity and characteristics. We are often excluded from discussions and policies related to menstruation in Uganda. However, it is important to recognize that we too experience menstruation and require access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities.Masculine lesbians also experience menstruation but face additional stigma and discrimination related to their gender identity characteristics and sexual orientation. Lack of access to menstrual hygiene products, information and facilities is particularly challenging for trans men, gender non-conforming persons and masculine lesbians, who face additional barriers to accessing these resources due to discrimination and stigma.In Uganda we face significant challenges when it comes to accessing conception methods that would allow LBQ persons to give birth to a child. Since same-sex marriage is illegal in Uganda, and there are no legal protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. As a result, adoption and surrogacy are not viable options for many LGBTQ+ individuals who want to have children.Additionally, there is limited awareness and education on assisted reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), and most healthcare providers are not trained to provide these services to LBQ individuals.Discrimination and stigma has also played a significant role in limiting access to conception methods. Some healthcare providers refuse to provide these services to LBQ individuals based on their personal beliefs and biases.Even though, there are some organisations and clinics that provide fertility treatments to LBQ individuals in Uganda. These organisations offer services such as sperm donation, egg donation, and surrogacy. However, these services are often expensive and not accessible to everyone.
The introduction of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 threatens to worsen the already difficult situation for LBQ individuals in Uganda. The fear of violence, discrimination, and outing have impacted their access to SRHR services, which have led to an increase in the prevalence of HIV and other STIs among LBQ individuals in Uganda. Additionally, LBQ individuals are at a higher risk of mental health issues and suicidal ideation and attempts. It is crucial that organisations like Rella Women’s Foundation continue to advocate for the protection of the SRHR of LBQ individuals in Uganda and create safe spaces for us to access healthcare services without fear of discrimination or violence. These statistics suggest that there is a need for increased access to and education about menstrual hygiene products and facilities in Uganda, particularly in rural areas where access to these resources is limited. Addressing the stigma and shame related to menstruation is also important to ensure that transgender, and gender non-conforming persons and masculine women can manage their periods with dignity and without negative social or educational consequences. There is a need for increased access to and education about SRHR services in Uganda, particularly for vulnerable populations such as lesbians, bisexuals, queer transgender, gender non-conforming, and cisgender women. Addressing stigma and discrimination related to gender identity and sexual orientation is also important to ensure that all individuals can access the resources they need to maintain their health and well-being.It is also important to include trans men and masculine lesbians in discussions and policies related to menstruation in Uganda. This can help ensure that these individuals have access to the resources they need to manage their periods with dignity and without negative social or health consequences. Additionally, efforts to address stigma and discrimination related to gender identity, characteristics and sexual orientation can also help to improve the overall health and well-being of these populations. Lastly, addressing discrimination and stigma related to gender identity, characteristics and sexual orientation is crucial in ensuring that all individuals have equal access to SRHR services, including conception and contraceptive methods. Education and awareness campaigns on available fertility treatments and their availability should also be implemented to ensure that all individuals are informed and empowered to make informed choices about their reproductive health. By Maltego […]Read more…Understanding the Aromatic sexuality in the Aromatic awareness weekFebruary 21, 2023Understanding what the aromatic sexuality during the aromatic awareness week.
Love must be the most beautiful thing that can happen to any human being especially in our most imperfect selves. With love the burden of having to be patient whenever the people we keep around us get on our nerves is lifted easily. We experience love in different ways as humans, the love we get from our parents and friends and the intimate love. The intimate love for the longest time has been separated from the other types of love by attaching the romantic side of it. But what about the people among us who have feelings of someone that is beyond friendship but they are not romantically attracted to them? Do we then say that they are not deserving of an intimate relationship simply because they find no interest in romance at all?Yes, there are individuals among us who don’t find themselves physically attracted to others in a sexual way, they rather desire an emotional intimacy relationship, and this doesn’t really matter what gender you may represent. They are termed as “Aces” or “Ace” As cliché as this sounds most of the people have little or no knowledge about Aromatic sexuality, people who identify as Asexual are misunderstood and stigmatized so this week provides an opportunity to raise awareness and promote acceptance. Being aromatic comes with a lot of discrimination in their daily lives, from their potential partners who get to learn about the partner’s sexuality and also from the queer community that doesn’t understand them. There is a wide variety of experiences which makes it hard for aromatic individuals to love or even form a union as they are separated from those they love simply because they can not satisfy them romantically. Being aromatic is hard, because the union is limited when you get attracted to someone else who is physically and sexually romantic. Most of the time it becomes hard to maintain a healthy relationship as two people meeting together end up parting ways and finding which works for either one of them.The hardest thing comes from being misunderstood by most people who end up thinking that it’s a joke causing a lot of trust issues because coming out as an asexual to a potential partner who may think that the person in question is being physically intimate elsewhere. Much as the experience varies based on shared interests, mutual respects and the desire to form a family. Aces find little or no interest in being romantically involved in a relationship as they can not relate to it in any way.Moving forward, if you have a friend, sibling, partner who is this way, please show them love because they have a hard time on a daily and in their lives. Also be respectful, non judgmental and non dismissive of their feelings. N.B kindly note that the views shared on this blog have been put together by different Rella selection team and most of them are their views which are not factual.Please a comment below and I applaud you for the time and your journey on love and any other answers you were looking for. […]Read more…Emergency at The Rella House of Hope : A report on the crisis at the Rella House of HopeAugust 21, 2021Rella House of Hope Status Update 2021:
A report on the crisis at the Rella House of Hope
On the morning of Saturday 21st August 2021, occupants at the Rella House of Hope woke up to a shock of a threatening letter pinned on the lower gate leading to the garden and another copy pushed under the upper gate.
About the Rella House of Hope
Rella House of Hope is the first ever Lesbian Bisexual, Queer women and transgender persons shelter in Uganda where we have been able to provide a safe space and environment as transformational temporary housing for challenged LBQT persons in Uganda.
Rella Women’s Foundation helps over 50 homeless LBQT persons a year to obtain healing, wellness and keep permanent housing, breaking the repetitive cycle of homelessness and gender-based violence.
The Rella House of Hope exists and has provided residents with safety and protection from exposure to the hate crimes, and hate speeches while simultaneously reducing the environmental and community impact on the community.
The Situation Before
However, for the past one year and a half we have been receiving threats from the villagers at the place we are located in Wakiso on Gayaza Kalagi road. We have faced a lot of challenges from the community, threats to beat the occupants, sexual harassment from both the police and the community members, outing them, threatening to undress and rape them.
The Rella Selection and the shelter occupants were sent threatening audios speaking about how we are misplaced and how we are a curse to the village and how we are spoiling their children.
Furthermore the locals have time and again thrown human wastes and urine in bottles and polythene bags over the fence. These brought spiritual possessions to those that picked it up. In the end we understood that this is a sign that we are not wanted and needed.
The villagers aggressively knock at the gate during day and night times while screaming that we can’t hide forever. This has been backed up by throwing stones through the gates and hate speeches that bypass them.
Men kept using ladders to climb and peep through the fence and throw vulgar words while informing us with the hate speech. They kept looking at the fence and how they will manage to break through and rape or cause any harm to us.
We have been outed by the religious spaces in the village. The religious impact on hate crimes is high as Uganda is a conservative and religious state. Thus, they have the capacity to mobilize and raid a space because they have the numbers. We have reported the cases above to the police but they have not been receptive in adding our issues as a case for investigation. This brought frustration to us and what was happening as we felt our hands were tied.
There were rumors and conversations going on among the villagers on why they were only women staying in the Premises. This led to the first police raid and to many LBQT persons from the shelter being quoted by the locals to prove their point.
The Situation After
On the 21st, two of Rella House of Hope occupants went to the garden only to find a letter glued on the gate. Thereafter another letter was found at the front gate communicating the same issue.
The letters of threat were pinned at Rella house of hope gates, Rella WF went to file the case but as usual the police personnel refused to file and requested to wait for the Officer in Charge.
The following day the case manager detective Judith requested to carry out a body search on the occupants. This was in a bid to undress the transgender occupants and masculine women to confirm their gender. These were a mix of both occupants and the selection. However their main focus was the trans man and woman.
This did not only violate the occupants and selections privacy but also traumatized partners and the human rights defenders involved, into fear and shock. Many were unable to eat, sleep and have a peace of mind due to fear and the thoughts of stigma and discrimination from the community and how worse they would get.
Why the need to respond urgently
In such communities women are looked at as inferior. Being an LBQT persons worsens the situation as we face triple marginalization. Women in this village are looked at as property, making the occupants unsafe and continuous victims. This has made us fall victims of verbal, physical and non verbal harassments, as they were threatened to be raped, warned to be kidnapped and forced into marriage.
The continuous threats from the community members, police men, religious, and political leaders have caused stigma and discrimination among the Rella House of Hope Occupants. Prior there has been community mobilization to create harm to occupants through audios and the warning letter that was pinned on 21st August 2021 was the last warning.
Since most of the occupants had received individual threats, most of them had packed their belongings to evacuate the premises. The incident had led to panic and misery among occupants and selection as the occupants needed a place to relocate immediately, hence the selection had to act with urgency regardless of the work and deadlines at hand.
As seen with shelter raids from Let’s Walk Uganda, Happy Family, and COSF, we ought to prevent history from repeating itself. These raids were spearheaded by the villagers and sometimes supported by the LC and police.
The police’s continuous refusal to enter and file our cases when we report as they work together with community members to incite violence, the police also conniving with community leaders to extort money from us in ways of us buying our freedom and for the cases not reaching court as its is there way of “helping the situation.”
In a case like ours, we are in between the police and the LC being on our side, we remain outnumbered. For this reason and that of the wellness of the occupants, staying will only endanger the lives of the occupants and set us aback in our programing and achievement of our vision and mission.
Left to right. Vice Local Council, the Local Council, Winfred Mugambwa Former Codirector Rella WF, and Detective Judith.
Relocation: This solution will help us find a safe place to protect the physical and mental state of occupants from threats that they have received from the community at large. We ought to acquire improved security as this will reduce the panic and the trauma that the occupants went through. This is also to give assurance to the Rella House of Hope occupants that the new place has better security, it’s in a new community that is more friendly and with no bias and information about them in regards to sexuality and gender.
Healing justice: The occupants and selection are in panic and trauma, due to threats of raping and verbal, physical abuse, threats of undressing them and finding human wastes in the compound, this has affected their mental wellbeing thus a need for healing sessions, councelling services, relaxing activities like yoga,nproctection trainings, and self defence as this will help them relax and regain their mental welness.
The Healing Justice framework allows us to identify how we can holistically respond to and intervene on trauma, pandemic setbacks, and violence as we bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts, and minds. Through this framework, we continue to build political and philosophical convergences of healing inside of the LBQT person’s liberation movement and organizations.
As Rella WF carries out healing work, we hope to recreate safe spaces and individualized support that enables us to tackle the complex grief and trauma, as we also focus on improving the justice system to prevent future harm and on restoring the voices of those harmed by helping them become intentional change-makers for reform.
Healing Justice will allow LBQT persons to heal based on individual terms as we confront oppressive systems that get in our way and honor the trauma and resilience of the occupants that came before and the ones here now.
Holistic security will allow us to recognize the occupant’s gendered and sexual nature of violence, which manifests itself on the physical, emotional, and psychological levels. This takes into account the way public and private spheres interact with each other and offer a complete self-care solution in a continuum that serves to counter that which contextualizes our needs, privileges, and risks.
Acquiring unarmed security personnel that works in the night to restore Security and ensure that building is secure, and that selection and shelter members are safe. They can also watch incase of vandalism as violators may fear to attack if the premises are guarded. Security guards can monitor the premise, property and communication of any developments.
You can share your comments here. […]Read more…WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH : International Women’s Day Theme 2023.March 8, 2023WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH : International Women’s Day 2023.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th to commemorate women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements.This year’s theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” highlights the role of innovative technology in promoting gender equality and meeting the health and developmental needs of LBQ women. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the digital divide that exists globally, with LBQ women facing additional barriers to accessing and using technology. LBQ Women in low and middle-income countries, rural areas, and marginalised communities are less likely to have access to digital technologies, digital literacy, and the internet. This divide further exacerbates gender inequality and limits opportunities for LBQ women to realise their full potential. Innovative technologies and digital solutions can be used to bridge this gap and create opportunities for LBQ women to access education, healthcare, and employment. For example, digital platforms can be used to provide e-learning opportunities, mentorship programs, and skill-building courses for LBQ women, regardless of their location. Furthermore, digital health solutions can improve access to healthcare and reduce the maternal mortality rate. Maternal mortality is one of the biggest challenges facing women worldwide, with over 830 women dying every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Digital health solutions, such as telemedicine and mobile health clinics, can provide women with access to quality healthcare, even in remote areas.In addition to this, technology can empower LBQ women by providing them with economic opportunities. Digital entrepreneurship, microfinance, and e-commerce platforms can provide women with new opportunities for employment and financial independence. These solutions can help women break the cycle of poverty, improve their economic status, and become agents of change in their communities. However, it is essential to acknowledge that technology alone cannot achieve gender equality. We need to address the underlying social norms, gender stereotypes, and discrimination that prevent LBQ women from accessing and benefiting from technology. We must also ensure that technology solutions are designed with a gender lens and are inclusive of the needs and priorities of Lesbians, Bisexuals and Queer women in all parts of Uganda. In Addition, It is important to remember that technology is not a silver bullet, and we must work together to address the underlying inequalities that prevent LBQ women from benefiting from digital solutions. Let us celebrate LBQ women’s achievements, advocate for gender equality, and strive towards a world where LBQ women can realize their full potential. In a bid to address the underlying inequalities that prevent LBQ women from benefiting from digital solutions, Rella Women’s Foundation started a technology academy under the name “RELLA TECH ACADEMY” to teach and empower young LBQ women with technology skills that will enable them to get employed, create innovative solutions to society problems through technology. Overall, initiatives like the Rella Tech Academy can play an important role in addressing the different underlying inequalities by providing training, resources, and support. These initiatives help LBQ women develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in the technology industry and beyond.Happy Women’s day to you. Please subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated and comment your views and share with friends and family.. […]Read more…LESBIAN VISIBILITY WEEK :A Step Towards Progress for the LGBT Community After President Museveni’s Decision on Uganda’s Controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill.April 24, 2023INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN VISIBILITY WEEK
A Step Towards Progress for the LGBT Community After President Museveni’s Decision on Uganda’s Controversial Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
As we start this lesbian visibility week, we acknowledge Uganda’s recent controversy over the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 that prescribes the death penalty in some cases has garnered global attention. However, in a surprising turn of events, President Yoweri Museveni has refused to sign the bill into law and has sent it back to parliament for further review. This decision has sparked both hope and concern among various stakeholders, especially the LGBT community in Uganda, and has potential implications for the country’s economic and social sectors. President Museveni’s refusal to sign the bill comes after a meeting of parliamentarians in his ruling party, almost all of whom supported the bill approved by lawmakers last month. However, Museveni has requested that the bill be amended to address the issue of rehabilitation for individuals who have engaged in homosexuality in the past and would like to live normal lives again. While Museveni has not opposed the proposed punishments in the bill, his emphasis on rehabilitation reflects a departure from the harsh stance against homosexuality that the bill represents. This decision by President Museveni has been welcomed by human rights organisations and the international community, who have been advocating against the enactment of the bill. The United States has warned of economic consequences if the legislation is enacted, and a group of United Nations experts has described the bill as a violation of human rights. Amnesty International has also urged Museveni to veto the bill, citing its draconian and overly broad provisions that criminalise sexual orientation and gender identity. For the LGBT community in Uganda, President Museveni’s decision brings a glimmer of hope. The bill, if enacted, would further stigmatise and marginalise an already vulnerable community, leading to discrimination, harassment, and violence. LGBTQ individuals would face constant fear of arrest, imprisonment, and even death, simply for being who they are. The refusal to sign the bill and the emphasis on rehabilitation signals a shift towards recognizing the rights and dignity of LGBTQ individuals in Uganda, which could have positive social impacts in terms of reducing discrimination and promoting inclusivity. In addition to social impacts, the decision also has potential economic implications. The enactment of the anti-homosexuality bill could have adverse effects on Uganda’s economy, particularly in terms of international relations and foreign investments. The international community has expressed strong opposition to the bill, with the United States and other countries warning of economic consequences, including potential aid cuts and sanctions. Uganda relies on foreign aid and investment for its economic development, and the enactment of the bill could strain these relationships and hinder economic growth. Moreover, the bill could also have negative impacts on Uganda’s tourism industry. Uganda is known for its diverse wildlife, including gorilla trekking, which is a significant source of revenue from tourism. However, the enactment of the anti-homosexuality bill could tarnish Uganda’s image as a tourist destination and discourage LGBTQ tourists from visiting the country, resulting in potential economic losses for the tourism sector. Beyond the economic impacts, the anti-homosexuality bill also raises concerns about human rights and social justice. Criminalising sexual orientation and gender identity goes against the principles of equality and non-discrimination, and violates the fundamental human rights of LGBTQ individuals. It perpetuates harmful stereotypes, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ individuals, and undermines efforts towards achieving a more inclusive and just society. In conclusion, while President Museveni’s refusal to sign the anti-homosexuality bill is a positive step towards protecting LGBTQ rights in Uganda, the situation remains uncertain. There is still a risk that the bill could be enacted forcefully by the parliament or face continued rejection, leading to potential damage to the LGBT community. However, this moment also serves as a reminder of the importance of continued advocacy, activism, and international pressure to promote human rights and equality for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is crucial to remain vigilant in the fight against discrimination and persecution of the LGBT community in Uganda and around the world. […]Read more…A young woman being a slave to society and family normsMarch 29, 2023A young woman being a slave to society and family norms poem
This is my bodyWith flaws and a colour Tarnished by the black and white eraAnd seen a crime by what i decide to look like They say a woman has to have hairBut what happens if i don’t want to follow the rulesWhy should i follow ancestors and beliefs on how to dressAnd be forced into child labour Woman, WomanI may not be to the standards of my ageAs they say i should nature lifeBut who will be there to see the tortureAs i force myself into actionsTo please daddy and mommy Dear mother natureAllow me to be the woman i want to beI should decide my futureAnd my skill to make me the world a better placeTechnology can be my work tooDon’t have to be a man to createThis is my body.Written: Maltego.E […]Read more…Uganda Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 Amidst ControversyMay 2, 2023Uganda Passes Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023 Amidst Controversy
Today May 2nd, 2023, Uganda’s parliament has passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 with amendments to five clauses, following proposals by President Yoweri Museveni. The bill criminalizes sexual acts committed by persons of the same sex rather than punishing a person based on their perceived sexuality or physical appearance. The passing of the bill has sparked controversy both domestically and internationally. Human rights groups have criticised the bill, calling it a violation of basic human rights and a step backward for the country. The Western world has also raised concerns, with some countries threatening to withdraw aid to Uganda. Despite the criticism, Uganda’s Speaker of Parliament, Honarable Anita Among, urged the MPs to remain steadfast and stand firm on their decision. She commended the commitment of legislators in ensuring the protection of Uganda’s values and culture. However, some MPs raised concerns about the potential consequences of passing the bill. Hon. Jonathan Odur proposed an increase in the imprisonment penalty from six months to five years, while Hon. Fox Odoi proposed to reject the entire bill. Both proposals were rejected by the MPs. The passing of the bill also raises concerns about the discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda. In recent years, there have been reports of violence, harassment, and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in the country. The passing of this bill will only exacerbate this situation, and the government must take steps to protect the rights of all its citizens. The passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 is a controversial decision that will have significant implications for Uganda’s future. While some MPs argue that it is necessary to protect Uganda’s culture and values, others believe it violates basic human rights and will harm the LGBTQ+ community. It is important to remember that there is still hope for change. Human rights organizations, foreign governments, and local activists can continue to pressure the Ugandan government to repeal this bill and promote equality for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is also important to recognize the impact that this bill could have on the lives of LGBT individuals in Uganda. They may face increased discrimination and violence, and it is crucial that we support them and work to ensure their safety and well-being. In conclusion, the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda is a worrying development for human rights and equality in the country. It is important that we continue to speak out against discrimination and support the LGBT community in Uganda and around the world. For God And My Country #LoveNotHate#KillTheBill#MyBodyMyChoice#AntiHomosexualBillUganda2023 By Eunice Maltego, Rella story Teller […]Read more…ANTI HOMOSEXUAITY BILL 2023 TO BE RETABLED AGAIN IN UGANDAN PARLIAMENT TODAY 2ND MAY 2023May 2, 2023ANTI HOMOSEXUAITY BILL 2023 TO BE RETABLED AGAIN IN UGANDAN PARLIAMENT TODAY 2ND MAY 2023
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 has once again become a topic of concern in Uganda as it is set to be retabled on Tuesday. The bill, which criminalises acts of homosexuality, aggravated homosexuality, promotion of homosexuality, child grooming, and other offences, has faced backlash from human rights groups and the international community. LGBT persons in Uganda have been particularly concerned about the implications of the bill. Under the proposed law, individuals who engage in same-sex activity could face life imprisonment, and repeat offenders could be sentenced to death. This harsh punishment has been criticised as a violation of human rights and an infringement on the basic freedoms of LGBT individuals. On Thursday last week, the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee scrutinised the bill after it was returned by President Museveni for reconsideration. The committee chairperson, Ms Robinah Rwakooja, announced that they would have their report ready for tabling on Tuesday after considering the President’s proposals in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday the same week. Ms Rwakooja revealed that they had come up with proposals on what to do after considering the President’s letter. The committee was to finalise and sign the report on Friday last week, and to be presented on Tuesday at 10 am. President Museveni returned the bill on Wednesday the same week after holding back-to-back meetings with legislators to reach a harmonised position. The President wanted Parliament to penalise the act of homosexuality and not individuals who identify as homosexuals. He also proposed that the law incorporates rehabilitation aspects for those unwillingly recruited or those who want to reform. He also wanted to drop the mandate for any individual to report acts of homosexuality. Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa asked the committee to process the bill expeditiously, which he said is highly anticipated by Ugandans. Ms Rwakooja did not reveal whether there was a consensus among the committee members on the President’s proposals. She said they had come up with agreements on some things and that they would know if there was a consensus when they vote in the House. The bill has been a contentious issue in Uganda, with human rights groups and the international community calling for its rejection. The United Nations (UN) and other human rights bodies have condemned the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023, with calls to President Museveni not to sign the Bill into law. The re-introduction of the bill has sparked fears among LGBT persons in Uganda, who fear for their safety and freedom since March 2023. The bill’s harsh punishment for same-sex activity is seen as a direct threat to the basic human rights of LGBT individuals in Uganda. As the bill is set to be retabled on today Tuesday 2nd May 2023, many Ugandans and the international community will be watching closely to see the outcome of the committee’s report and the fate of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023. In conclusion, the president of Uganda said that persons who are homosexuals should not be punished but the act is also controversial in a way. It seems that in both ways, LGBT persons in Uganda will still have their rights trampled on until being LGBT persons in Uganda are no longer criminalised. For God And My Country#LoveNotHate#KillTheBill#MyBodyMyChoice#AntiHomosexualBillUganda2023 […]Read more…LOVE NOT HATE POEMMarch 13, 2023Love Not Hate Campaign: Poem A speaker’s voice echoes through the hallsBut its tone carries a weight that fallsFor behind the facade of power and mightLies a past that haunts, a constant fight The stares of evil, the beatings of hateA life once hidden, now laid bare at the gateThe scars still fresh, a reminder each day Of a world that once forced love to stay But the speaker rises, a beacon of hopeTheir past a strength, not just a ropeFor they know the struggle, the pain so deep And their words, a promise they’ll always keep Their voice speaks for those who can’t be heardFor the hearts that love, for the ones who’ve been blurredTheir message clear, a call to love and light For a world that’s full of endless might So let us listen to the speaker’s voiceAnd in its echoes, let us all rejoiceFor love can conquer hate, and light can shine Even in a world that seems to draw a line. ByOkiror Jerome KendricksRella Story Teller Associate […]Read more…WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2023March 1, 2023WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 2023 Women’s History Month is a time that is celebrated annually in March, and it is a time to honour and celebrate the countless contributions of women throughout history. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” highlights the power of storytelling and the important role it plays in shaping our understanding of the world, as it highlights the power of women’s voices in shaping our history and culture. As a queer feminist organisation, Rella Women’s Foundation recognizes the importance of empowering women, particularly those from marginalised communities, to share their stories. We believe that by creating safe spaces for living, working, accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services, and seeking justice and change, we can help LBQ women to live in resilient, progressive, and sustainable safe spaces. Storytelling has been an essential part of human culture for thousands of years. It has played a critical role in preserving our history, culture, and traditions, and it has helped us to understand the world around us. Women have always been storytellers, even when their voices were silenced or ignored. They have passed down knowledge, shared their experiences, and inspired others through their words. In Uganda, there are many LBQ women who have shared their stories and worked tirelessly to advance the rights and visibility of LBQ women in their communities. In this blog, we will explore the significance of storytelling in women’s history and celebrate some of the incredible LBQ women who have used their voices to shape our world. In recent years, storytelling has become a powerful tool for activism and social change. LBQ Women are using their voices to speak out against injustice, share their struggles and triumphs, and inspire others to take action. Through storytelling, LBQ women are challenging stereotypes, breaking down barriers, and creating a more inclusive and equitable Uganda. Celebrating LBQ Women Who Tell Our Stories has brought joy to us as there are countless women throughout history who have used their voices to shape our world. It is because of this that Rella Women’s Foundation came up with a wall of fame to recognise LBQ women who have used stories to create a backbone and history for the LBQ movement in Uganda. The work of these activists and others like them has been instrumental in advancing the rights and visibility of LBQ individuals in Uganda. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all Ugandans are able to live free from discrimination and persecution. Rella Women’s Foundation is working to support LBQ women in Uganda and provide a platform for LBQ women to share their stories. The Foundation’s “Tales of Confidence” encourages LBQ women to share their experiences, perspectives, and provide a space for their voices to be heard. Through this project and others like this, the Rella Women’s Foundation is helping to build a more inclusive and equitable society for all Ugandans. As we celebrate Women’s History Month we remember the important work of Ugandan LBQ women and organisations who work to uplift LBQ women and their rights. Their stories and their voices are vital to shaping a more just and equal world. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the incredible contributions made by LBQ women throughout history. This year’s theme, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories,” highlights the power of storytelling in shaping our understanding of the world. By sharing their experiences and insights, LBQ women are creating a more inclusive and equitable society. As a queer feminist organisation, Rella Women’s Foundation is committed to empowering LBQ women to tell their stories and to creating safe spaces for women to live, work, and thrive. Let us celebrate the women who have paved the way for us, and let us continue to amplify the voices of women everywhere. In conclusion to you my our reader, please feel free to share your story because they help shape the future and support another woman out there. Stories help change the world. Tell and share your story today on email@example.com .Please share, comment to spread this beautiful message. […]Read more…RELLA WOMEN’S FOUNDATION STATEMENT ON THE RAID AT THE RELLA OFFICESMay 8, 2022RELLA WOMEN’S FOUNDATION STATEMENT ON THE RAID AT THE RELLA OFFICES 2022
Rella Women’s Foundation is a Lesbian Bisexual and Queer women group that was founded in 2016. Our vision is to create a world where all LBQ women live equally regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, expression and background to thrive politically, economically, socially and mentally. We mission to aid a sense of belonging allowing LBQ women to thrive and live in resilient progressive and sustainable safe spaces.Rella WF believes and understands that we all have a right to home as a human right. Alongside the Rella House of Hope Program we have well thought out effective and efficient projects that are carried out, they are meant to guide and support the strategic transitioning of Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Queer women to attain permanent, safe, and affordable housing in Uganda. On 6th / 05 / 2022 Braxton, a Rella House Hope resident, informed the Rella Selection that the fast food lady by the road side on Sebaggala Road had told them to be careful in their movements since they were being investigated by the community. This came after Brax had come in contact with the local community defense who was asking them about the identity of the transgender woman that was a resident at the Rella House of Hope.Transgender and gender non conforming persons are the face of queerness in Uganda and being a space that supports and aids the trasistioning of LBQ persons this caused a lot of curiosity in the community as we utilized the Rellatopia. Previously that week, the Rella Selection had been warned by an ally that there was a man that worked at a nearby salon and was spying and monitoring the movements of the Rella Selection, especially the Kahuna and the Rella House of Hope Residents, especially the trangender woman.On that note Brax added that each time they went to the LC for the processing of their IDs the defense would ask them questions that are not in line with what they had gone to do which also got them thinking that the chairman, the defense and his other staff were up to something. But on a sad note Rella Women’s Foundation was raided by the Local council leaders and the Uganda Police on 7th May 2022. At 3pm the LC came knocking on to the gate at the Rellatopia in Kisaasi Bukoto. On being questioned who was at the gate, they said they were the LC and had come for daily check in and a mandatory search among the people that were hosted at the Rella House of Hope shelter.After the first check, the LC took the residents to the LC’s office, where they were further interrogated hence escalating the matters to police. The LC later took the residents to Kisaasi Police Post to report a complaint of unnatural offenses that were being suspected to be carried out at the premises.During the mandatory check, the Rella House of Hope Residents and a Rella Selection were stripped naked and assaulted at the premises in the name of checking our private parts to determine whether we were male or female. A community paralegal from the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum arrived at the premises to intervene but ended up also being detained. Everyone that arrived at the Rellatopia was detained in the sense that they weren’t allowed to leave, no rights to a phone call and all phones and communication electronics taken. Only one resident had been taken to the police station yet.The Rella Women’s Foundation Kahuna / Director arrived at the premises when they were doing a mandatory investigation on the premises to collect evidence of the suspected program activities that happened at the Rellatopia. On arrival she was taken and her private parts were checked and touched to be sure if she was male or female too. There was one physical assault on the Rella Women’s Foundation Wellness and Administration Associate. She was slapped after being asked about what the Bombastic Magazines were about and she responded that she had no clue and idea. But otherwise everyone else is physically okay.There was a raging curiosity about a transwoman and a transman resident but no physical assault was made on them apart from checking and touching their private parts. The confusion of their national IDs identifying one as a male and other documents like the work ID and COVID 19 vaccination card that represented her as female caused a lot of suspicion and curiosity. As we waited for the Investigating Officer to finish there was a lot of condemning and cursing from the community members, police and local leaders as they captured videos and took pictures of those being detained. Some of the things that were to be used as evidence included Bombastic Magazines, HRAPF and SMUG publications, phones and laptops, the Residents Handbook, testing kits, condoms, lubricant, a laser machine and a program Agenda for the previous Tuliwamu conversation to mention but a few.Prior to the mentioned incident we were summoned by the Local chairperson and we took the initiative to report on Thursday 5th/05/2022, we inquired about the chairman but the person we found who informed us that he was the general secretary told us that the chairman had other engagements and we promised that we would go back next time to talk to the chairman himself. “As an LBQ women’s shelter, the most worrisome thing they found were the copies of the Bombastic magazine, the publications that the officer seized as evidence for ‘promoting lesbianism’.” States Justine.After reviewing the case, the officer in charge dismissed the case over no reasonable need for arrest and commented that the way forward be determined by the community, the Land Lady and the Local leaders.At 8:30pm it was determined that the Residents and Kahuna would stay overnight at Kira Road police station where they were being taken for protective custody. In the police patrol car we were taken to Kira Road police station. On arrival they were taken to an office where they were questioned and interrogated on who they are, who their parents were, the work they do, why they are at the shelter and why Rella Women’s Foundation runs a shelter. We rather found it impressive that the OC CID and divisional CID and OC station (all women) asked the two trans people where they would be most comfortable being detained, and cleared the juveniles cell for them for the night. Lucky enough those detained were released at 9:50pm and thereafter taken to a safe place with the support from HRAPF.The Rellatopia still remains out of bounds as it’s still an active security hazard. With the mobilization of the community members at Ssebagala road we believe none of us is safe there anymore. This is because some of the community members were determined to burn and do away with LBQ persons in the name of protecting their children and culture. Rella Women’s Foundation has relocated the Rella House of Hope Residents to a safer location as we seek to relocate the Rella selection and the Rellatopia and the Rella House of Hope to a safer space as we speak. Your support in any way will do us good. Special thanks to the Rella Selection for the resilience, Justine Baalya and the entire HRAPF team for giving us legal support during these dark moments, WHRDN, WERO for hosting the Rella House of Hope Residents and to everyone else for the heartwarming messages and good vibes. […]Read more…ECONOMICAL IMPACT OF THE ANTI-HOMOSEXAUL BILL ( AHB) TO THE LBQ COMMUNITY.April 17, 2023ECONOMICAL IMPACT OF THE ANTI-HOMOSEXAUL BILL ( AHB) TO THE LBQ COMMUNITY. Anti – Homosexaul Bill was passed on the 21st March 2023. What a sad day it was! This meant that being Queer is officially a crime punishable by the law, paying fines and anyone associated with a Queer person is punishable by the law and this caused a lot of undermining and restrictive laws created by the government. . As if it’s not already hard for LGBTQ community just being themselves living in a Homophobic country Uganda already. The bill was first introduced in 2009 and has since then generated a lot of controversies and debate both locally and internationally. Although the bill was eventually nullified by the Ugandan Constitutional Court in 2014, it had already caused a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, particularly among queer youth. Our leaders / representatives in the parliament sat down and voted for the Anti-homosexaul Bill (AHB) on 21st march 2023 sharing their opinions about the LGBTQ Community comparing us to pedophiles without putting any consideration about the innocent souls that will be affected, disowned, lose their jobs and criminalized and violated by society. The potential impact of the AHB on the LBQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer) community in Uganda and beyond is significant, particularly from an economic standpoint. The LBQ community is already marginalized in many parts of the world, including Uganda, where same-sex relations are illegal. The AHB has further exacerbated this marginalization, making it more difficult for LBQ individuals to earn a living and support themselves and their families. That has resulted in homelessness, unemployment ,discrimination, long term trauma, Mental health setbacks and human rights violations. These countless problems that our leaders didn’t put into inconsideration because of lack of research to understand queer persons from a humane point of view on this Bill but only using the religious aspect. This bill has cost us our lives, homes, families, businesses and jobs due to the inconsiderate Bill that we await to be passed as a Law. Some of the economical setbacks from the bill include; One of the ways in which the AHB has impacted the LBQ community economically is by limiting their access to employment. Many employers in Uganda and other parts of the world discriminate against LBQ individuals, refusing to hire them or even firing them if they are discovered to be LBQ. The AHB would further entrench this discrimination, making it even more difficult for LBQ individuals to find work and earn a living. Economically the community has been affected greatly because masculine LBQ persons can not go anywhere without being noticed which leads to harassment from the homophobic people wherever they go running their errands or minding their business. This has been the extent that followed “them” to their residents and workplaces. This has caused insecurity among the community members as they have been threatened and promised to be harmed so thus making where they work unsafe and lives unsafe.. Discrimination and Violence: According to a 2011 report by Human Rights Watch, the previously proposed AHB had already led to an increase in violence and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda. Much queer youth had been kicked out of their homes, lost their jobs, or denied access to healthcare and education because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Entrepreneurs like myself cannot make any sales and advertise our rainbow and other advocacy products in open spaces like markets, workshops or reaching out to our clients physically. This is because of the nature of our products,our physical appearances and being trapped into a mob injustice as delivering products. Economic Exclusion: The AHB also has a significant impact on the economic inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals in Uganda. Many queer youths have had to leave school or drop out of university because they could not afford to pay the extra fees demanded by their schools or because they were denied scholarships or other financial support. Additionally, many lost their jobs or were denied employment opportunities because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Our clients, customers and beneficiaries have pulled out from purchasing our products and the other fundraising plans like the Road trip of queer queens to Kalangala because they can not be caught associating with other LBQ persons because it’s a crime and punishable by the new Anti Homosexual Bill. Our work that is based on the creation of safe spaces for work for LBQ persons has been put on hold which is causing lots of financial dependency on community members. The lack of jobs and a source of income has caused financial strain on them and forced queer persons to stay in violent relationships, families and neighborhoods because they are living at the mercy of their abusers. Now LBQ persons are left with no source of income and the number of jobless queer youth continues to grow in big numbers everyday. If something is not done about it immediately the queer community is bound to hit a critical point of financial instability and insecurity, which could have devastating consequences for individuals and the community as a whole. We fear that the numbers of deaths, physical abuse, financial abuse, unemployment of youths, mental health problems, crime rates, sexual abuse and so many disacters will continue to grow immensely among the queer community in Uganda. We have been forced to go into hiding in shelters and friends places for the time being as we wait for help to come. This has ripped out the sense of responsibility as we have families that depend on us financially and have been sustained by our small businesses, careers and jobs where we don’t feel welcome anymore because of our sexuality or personalities. The AHB has had a devastating impact on the economic and social well-being of the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda, particularly among queer youth. It not only led to widespread discrimination and violence but also resulted in economic exclusion, reduced access to healthcare, and limited educational and employment opportunities. The bill would further entrench the marginalization of LBQ individuals, making it more difficult for them to earn a living and support themselves and their families. It is crucial that policymakers and advocates work to prevent the passage of this harmful legislation and to promote policies that support the economic and social inclusion of LBQ individuals. Let’s take a stand against this bill and fight for our siblings, parents, guardians and friends that are being criminalized unfairly and find a new normal in this harsh environment. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, also known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, had a significant impact on the economic status of queer people in Uganda. Among those affected were single queer mothers as well as young creative LBQ persons who run small businesses that cater to the LGBTQ+ community. These individuals faced numerous challenges, including discrimination, fear of violence, and lack of market demand for their products. The bill created a climate of fear and uncertainty that forced many LBQ people to go into hiding in shelters, in friend’s homes or flee the country altogether. This disruption of social and professional networks made it difficult for these individuals to participate in the economy and earn a living. One of the LBQ people residing at the homeless shelter, chased away from school and family because of their sexuality. Who is an intelligent cook and amazing artist through their dances, was stopped from work because the organization that they were working for as wellness associate was operating remotely because of the ongoing insecurities. Now the organizational members are working from home because of security reasons not knowing what will happen after the passing of the AHB. This transition has affected this individual so much that they can’t work and earn a living like before. Forced to become financially dependent on the shelter resources and all they can do is sit back and wait for an uncertain future. This situation is affecting them economically , Mentally, and physically because it’s like they are in a certain lockdown. In fear of being spotted on the streets running their errands or looking for another job. Another such person is a single queer mother who creates LGBTQ+ pride items such as rainbow jewelry and handmade crafts. This individual faces numerous challenges due to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, including the lack of a market for her products and the fear of homelessness. Discrimination and stigma against LBQ people can make it difficult to find affordable housing or keep a roof over one’s head, creating instability and stress that can affect mental health and business performance. Despite these challenges, small businesses run by single queer mothers can make a positive impact on the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. By creating and selling pride items, these entrepreneurs pay taxes and provide representation and visibility for the community, challenging negative stereotypes and promoting acceptance. One way to overcome the lack of market demand for products is to find and engage with target audiences through online channels. Social media platforms can be a powerful tool for promoting businesses and reaching potential customers. Additionally, partnering with other LGBTQ+ businesses or organizations can build a supportive community and create more opportunities for growth and success In conclusion, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill had a devastating impact on the economic status of queer people in Uganda, including single queer mothers who run small businesses. Despite the challenges they face, these entrepreneurs are valuable members of the LGBTQ+ community and have the potential to make a positive impact. By promoting their businesses, engaging with target audiences, and building supportive networks, we can create a more accepting and equitable society for all. […]Read more…THE STRUGGLE OF A YOUNG TRANSGENDER BOY WHO HAS TO BIND EVERY DAYApril 17, 2023THE STRUGGLE OF A YOUNG TRANSGENDER BOY WHO HAS TO BIND EVERY DAY
Imagine having to wear a tight, constricting garment around your chest every day just to feel comfortable in your own skin. This is the reality for many transgender boys and men who choose to bind their chests to alleviate gender dysphoria. Binding can be a lifesaving measure for those who experience extreme distress and discomfort due to their body’s perceived gender incongruity. However, the practice can also be physically and emotionally taxing, highlighting the critical importance of acknowledging and respecting the right of every individual to make choices about their body. As a young transgender boy, I know firsthand the struggle of binding. When I first started binding, I felt a sense of relief that I had never experienced before. Finally, I could look in the mirror and see myself reflected back. However, the more I bound, the more I realized how uncomfortable and restrictive it could be. Sometimes it feels like I can’t take a deep breath, or I get headaches from the constant pressure. Despite the discomfort, I continue to bind every day because the alternative is simply unbearable.This is where the principle of “my body, my choice” comes in. It’s crucial to understand that transgender individuals are the only ones who know what they need to feel comfortable in their own bodies. Binding may not be the ideal solution, but it’s a coping mechanism that many of us rely on. It’s important for society to respect our choices and not impose their own beliefs or prejudices onto our bodies. Unfortunately, there are still many people who misunderstand or disapprove of binding. Some see it as a form of self-harm or a dangerous practice. However, when done correctly, binding is a safe and effective way to alleviate gender dysphoria. It’s essential to acknowledge that binding is a valid choice that should be available to those who need it.It’s not just about the physical act of binding, either. It’s also about the emotional impact of feeling like our bodies don’t match our identities. When society doesn’t recognize or respect our gender identity, it can be incredibly damaging to our mental health. Binding may not be a permanent solution, but it can help us feel more comfortable and confident in our bodies while we work towards other options like hormone therapy or surgery. In conclusion, “my body, my choice” is a fundamental principle that applies to all individuals, regardless of their gender identity. Transgender people should be able to make choices about their bodies without fear of judgment or discrimination. Binding is just one of many ways that we cope with the challenges of being transgender, and it’s essential that we respect each other’s choices and support each other in our journeys towards self-acceptance and self-love. By PANDA […]Read more…
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