Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera is a Ugandan human rights defender and founder of the LGBTI rights organization Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG). She has publicly campaigned for an end to homophobia in Uganda, where homosexuality is illegal, and has faced harassment by the media and politicians, as well as threats of violence, because of her work.

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KASHA JACQUELINE NABAGESERA:


On the front page of one of the rags the headline screamed “Hang them – Hang Them!!”

After that article people used to wait for us outside our bar.
 
Threats escalated.  Many people got raped. People were attacked on their way home.
 
You know - there was one time I was even chased by guys on motorbikes – they wanted to teach me how to be a “proper” woman.
 
Articles kept coming - “Hang Them – they are after your children!”
 
We went to court – against all odds, we won the case against the tabloid but the violence hasn’t stopped.
 
Three months after the court case, my friend David was beaten to death with a hammer in his home.
 
The Government was the first to say that David Kato’s killing was not a hate crime  - they didn’t even wait for the investigation – they didn’t even wait for the trial to start.
 
David used to save people - he used to bail people out of prison – people he didn’t even know – people arrested just for being gay.
 
David is gone – and we may never get justice.
 
Now the government even wants to sanction our killing by making homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
 
Here in Uganda we are trying to make a safe place for us - but some of us may not live to see the liberation we are fighting for today – but there is hope – at least there is hope.