As anti-Key Population crackdowns persist across Africa, these activists continue to fight.
From Ghana to Uganda, Key Population people are banding together to counter homophobic and transphobic violence with resilience.
The scars are deeply engraved deep in our melanin but this is the result of us loving differently. It is sad that we are consequently targeted even when we do not ask for any special treatment, neither do we request for privileges in various walks of life. All we struggle for is survival and we just request to be left to live just like any other citizens of the nation.
We are day by day pleading for respect and basic normal borderlines of humanhood, we request to be spared from the barbaric actions that are done unto us. It is presumably difficult to measure the attention drawn to this but it is quite intensive and unnecessary sometimes. We acknowledge our limits which are set by the state, and even in trying to keep safe from harm, we never intrude where we are not invited. However, this never stops others to intrude on our rights
Our business is always everyone’s business and it is without consent meddled with as if we are supposed to be babysat. Questions invade our heads but answers are limited to answer these, BUT WHY???? Can’t Key Population persons just live normal lives like other persons without discrimination or violence? What exactly is wrong with us loving differently and cohabiting with a fellow consenting adult?
Our rights as the Key Population community have always been subject to discussion as if we are a foreign species that would require inspection and examination. Reflecting back on the 29th March 2020 when we were direct victims of the human rights violations such as exposure, torture, rejection from the fair trial, unauthorized anal examinations, beatings, and unlawful detention when our shelter was raided by the police and the local council committee which later resulted into imprisonment for 52 days amidst toils and snares. We join the entire fraternity of human rights defenders to amplify the voice against these inhuman acts.
We therefore would like to notify the entire community and state in Uganda and the entire globe that Key Population persons are not mentally unstable. They however are forced to suffer from trauma and post-traumatic disorders from several causes such as rejection, torture, anxiety, and depression among others.
If you do not have to get consent from us to love whoever you want to, why should we get yours? Are you any different? Why are you so burdened by our own burdens, don’t worry we can handle them!!!!
Key Population persons are not less and yet we are not more, this is why we ask not to be treated any differently,
Our loved ones, please do not leave us when you find out about us, these are the times we need you the most. A huge number of Key Population community live in denial due to rejection from family, relatives, and friends due to their sexual orientation, many of these are young boys and girls who can stand independently and still need a hand to mold them into responsible citizens of nations that they dwell in but they are deprived of this and left to scratch for themselves at definitely vulnerable ages, BUT WHY?
The state institutions which would have protected us from unfair treatment often mistreat us instead. They thwart our constant efforts to live normally. We are subjected to torture, beatings, and unlawful detentions. Our wounds are simply bandaged without treating them, which causes the wounds to rot and become incurable, sometimes even claim lives. Those that heal leave marks on us that can not go unnoticed and the aftermath of these continue to impact our lives from the incident till death do us apart.
My final question would be, aren’t the people that are possessively driven by urges to commit these terrible things satisfied, hasn’t the satisfaction reached its epitome yet???
As we approach the day which is one of the most horrendous events that has ever happened to the Key Population community in Uganda happened, we are re-echoing thin voices of the Key Population persons that have been violated and to those that have been affected by these kinds of actions. We are re-calling the tears that ran down our cheeks but with our hands tied and very helpless, ‘’the scars that we shall forever carry’
These events can now only be narrated in excruciating pain but they feel so fresh as if they happened yesterday. But then we celebrate us being bold and surviving all these and still being able to stand even after being broken down a galaxy of times.
On behalf of all other victims, and the entire Key Population community at large, here is our submission:
It is high time that our rights are respected and protected just like any other human for it is still a red fluid called blood running down our veins, we do not deserve the pain, torture, execution, or even death, WE DESERVE LOVE AND EQUAL TREATMENT. These violations should end with us!! Cosf Uganda commemorates the horrible raid that happened in the dark on 29/3/2020.