Uganda’s LGBTI community has taken a bold step in the face of ongoing threats by launching the country’s first gay magazine.
Bombastic Magazine is described as “a compilation of stories, testimonies and opinions by LGBTI Ugandans” with the objective of ending “violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people countrywide.”
The publication is edited by internationally recognised LGBTI rights activist Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera.
“Bombastic will speak for the many voiceless LGBTI Ugandans, and the many who are brave enough to share their personal stories,” Nabagesera wrote in the first issue’s editorial.
She cited the homophobic coverage of LGBTI issues by the Ugandan media as one of the primary reasons behind the magazine’s launch.
“With this magazine we hope that people will get a chance to live the life we live by getting a feeling of what it means to be discriminated against by your own people,” Nabagesera explained.
In its début issue, along with a number of personal stories from LGBTI Ugandans, the magazine also addresses the widely held belief in Africa that gay and lesbian people are out to “recruit” or convert other people into homosexuality.
“It is our desire that this publication will enlighten many Ugandans and people around the world who have been indoctrinated into believing that there is only one kind of sexual orientation and gender identity by religious persons and politicians who have conservative values,” said Nabagesera.
In a media release, the publishers called the magazine a “Christmas present” for the LGBTI community, no doubt a response to homophobic politicians who promised to pass the now-scrapped Anti-Homosexuality Act as a “Christmas present” for their supporters.
While the act was annulled by the courts in August, homosexuality remains illegal in Uganda with penalties including life imprisonment. LGBT people also face ongoing harassment, rejection and discrimination.
Opponents of LGBT equality have reportedly drafted a harsh new bill to replace the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which will focus on the “inducement” to homosexuality and the “promotion” of homosexuality.
Bombastic Magazine is free and is available at supermarkets or from volunteers. A PDF version is also available online at www.kuchutimes.com.