LGBTQ Magazine

Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Kasha Nabagesera Receives Major Human Rights Award

Posted on the 18 October 2011 by Cynisright @cynisright

10/18/2011 – by Cynthia Wright

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera was awarded the 2011 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders in Geneva on October 13th. The Martin Ennals Awards is one of the main awards for the global rights movement (the other is the Nobel Peace Prize). Nabagesera, an out Ugandan LGBT activist has been invested in LGBT rights since she was 21 years old. She also founded the

Ugandan LGBT Rights Activist Kasha Nabagesera Receives Major Human Rights Award

Award Presentation

organization Freedom and Roam Uganda, which is the only exclusive lesbian, bisexual and transgender organization of its kinds in Uganda.

While, Nabagesera is an accountant by profession, she has always made time for human rights advocacy, which led her to obtaining a certificate in human rights law. She has scheduled her time wisely during the past 4 years by speaking out about the state of lesbian women in her country, while courageously appearing on national television as a proud lesbian.

At the same time, her willingness to be honest has not  gone ignored by those against the homosexual lifestyle in Africa. Often, she has been been heckled and attacked by those intolerant to the LGBT lifestyle, one such occasion being the World Social Forum in Nairobi in 2007.

This type of hostility has cost Nabagesera her sense of safety, with her now going from house to house to seek shelter, while still spreading her message of tolerance and acceptance.

Speaking to about receiving the award, she commented:

Harassment occurs almost on a daily basis, verbal attacks in public or more sinister repression. The simple suspicion of being a homosexual has serious consequences: being evicted from your home or losing your job is quite common; many homosexuals commit suicide.

Lesbians, in particular, are victims of sexual abuse and are often raped by men who think they are “curing” them from so-called deviant behaviour or want to exert their masculine domination over a woman who they believe may be too virile.

On the other hand, when it came to receiving the award, Nabagesera had nothing but optimism:

It’s a great motivation. This prize means that the rights of homosexuals are an integral part of basic human rights. It’s a strong message to all Ugandans and other Africans who believe that gays are second-class citizens.[Source]

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