Out in Uganda Project
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
It is exciting times at ReportOUT! Every year, we engage with a 'special project' in a different nation state in order to work with SOGI organisations on the ground. For 2020 we have chosen Uganda. ReportOUT have teamed up with our dedicated collaboration partners; Kuchu Shiners Uganda, Out and Proud Uganda, Let's Walk Uganda and COSF (Children of the Sun Foundation). The aim of this project is to develop a nation state report on the lived experiences of SOGI people in Uganda, whilst working in partnership with SOGI organisations to develop it.
SOGI people and their sexual behaviour were widely accepted and commonplace amongst various tribes in pre-colonial society in Uganda, which was noted by well-documented accounts at the time. However, British Empire colonial laws around ‘unnatural offences’ were maintained after independence through being enshrined in the Penal Code Act (1950), which has made the situation for many SOGI Ugandan’s particularly difficult (Epprecht, 2013).
Before the Penal Code Amendment (2000), only men who have sex with men were prosecuted under the original law, but this was amended to include ‘any persons.’ The once common acceptance of SOGI lives in Uganda is different in modern Uganda, and this SOGI history has been edited from historical textbooks and SOGI people are used for political gain to blame for wider social problems or for ideological gain. The SOGI history of Uganda is widely disputed by many Ugandan leaders, religious leaders and people, who push the narrative that to be SOGI is ‘un-African’ and ‘Western’, despite evidence to the contrary and despite Uganda having a rich SOGI history (Epprecht, 2013, Nichol, et al, 2018).