“So that day she decided to make me leave”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015).

I interviewed ███  at Ice Breakers Uganda — a safe space for kuchus to organize, work, and socialize. Often when I visit the compound there are10-12 young people sitting around the living room in the house.

███ identifies as a lesbian. She told me, “Ice Breakers Uganda is one of the spaces where everyone comes freely. And its one of the health organizations that has put health services closer to everyone. I can also bring my child here.

At World AIDS day I spoke about giving us pads. When I was younger it was difficult to buy them. I used to find it so embarrassing.

And as a lesbian, as a woman, there are so many times when I have been worried. Before it was difficult at times it would come —

and you wouldnt have money on you.

So I decided to speak about it. And they listened.

Since then things have been easier. I can bring my child here.

I asked her about discrimination she has faced as a lesbian in Kampala.

I was evicted from a place I used to stay. I had a couple of friends from that community. I decided to host them. One of them was gay and so feme. The bar we went to was close and I invited friends to meet.

It started out fine.

But we were insulted. Just out of no where the crowd started saying that they were dancing like girls. And that they have pants on that were so tight. Then they started throwing bottles at us.

The landlord lived in the same area. They heard that I was gay. And they knew I was lesbian.

So that day she decided to make me leave.

Like any other normal person I have friends. I will not dictate what they can walk like. I know we live in a hostile environment but we cant leave our own people. We have to accept.

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