“And That’s How I Survived Being Killed”

Today was the publication of, "And That's How I Survived Being Killed": Testimonies of Human Rights Abuses From Uganda's Sexual and Gender Minorities by Sexual Minorities Uganda. Finally seeing it in print was such an amazing experience. The report includes testimonies from interviews of selected cases from the 264  documented cases of human rights abuses toward … Continue reading “And That’s How I Survived Being Killed”

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“Acting straightly—acting straight is really important”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015). I went to Rihanna’s place and asked her about masculinity. I needed to get some more insight into specific things she does to “play it straight” as a transgender woman in Kampala. A few weeks earlier she told me about “transgender ways” — and that they are difficult for her … Continue reading “Acting straightly—acting straight is really important”

“Because many of us are sex workers”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015). "I identify myself as a trans woman. I feel myself to be a lady. It's me I can't change.  I'm proud to be what I am. And I'm special." "At the moment I'm not schooling. I was expelled from school - they found me kissing, romancing another student in the … Continue reading “Because many of us are sex workers”

“If you have that manly aspect”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015). She looks shocked at what I asked. “Well of course. Because it’s easier for women to be accepted as lesbian because people think its just a phase.” “See even when you club it’s easier for a trans man to be beaten than for a woman. If you have that manly … Continue reading “If you have that manly aspect”

“The heterosexuals are making us into a business”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015). We are sitting in our usual spot. Except today the group is larger. ███ comes about five minutes after I get there. Still wearing what he was wearing to work today. He sat down ordered a beer and started talking about corruption in Uganda — and how the LGBT community … Continue reading “The heterosexuals are making us into a business”

“I’m me. I’m a trans. I’m Rihanna now.”

From my fieldnotes (Kampala, 2015). “Being a trans its not something you manipulate. It’s just something that comes from you. It is just something that is inborn in you. But putting on a dress and moving all over the town — it makes me feel good — it makes me feel like I’m bringing all … Continue reading “I’m me. I’m a trans. I’m Rihanna now.”

“A lot of things happened in prison”

We were still sleeping — it was approaching 6:30am. The landlord said ‘you people get ready for what’s coming.’ we heard people screaming outside. We opened the door and the chairmen, journalists, police, and people from around were there. They said ‘get out!’ ‘remove all your things!’ ‘We wont tolerate gay people in our area.’