Uganda is home
By Victor Mukasa
Victor J. Mukasa is a Human Rights Defender, Researcher and International Advisor on African Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) Issues.
In the past, I said I would never seek asylum in my life. I thought it would be cowardly to leave my home. I am a transgender-identifying individual and a founding director of Sexual Minorities Uganda.
When my friend David Kato was killed, I started to smell death. I felt that my death was close, and I decided I was not ready to die. I was not ready for my daughter to grow up as an orphan. It was time for me to leave, in order to save my life.
I planned my exit to the United States. When I got here, I wasn’t sure where I was going to sleep. I wasn’t sure what I was going to eat. How could I have found a lawyer, and how could I have paid them?
Immigration Equality became my family at that point. Through their LGBT asylum program, they found me a lawyer, for free, and helped me to win asylum.
When they asked me to be in a video about their asylum program, I said: of course. Imagine if there were no group like Immigration Equality. I don’t know where I would be.
It is tough work, the struggle to liberate ourselves as LGBTI people in Africa. But I can serve the struggle in Africa better now that I am safe.
- Voice from Uganda: ‘They don’t think gays are people.’ (rainbowethiopia1.net)
- For some gay immigrants, going home is not an option (rainbowethiopia1.net)
- A record number of LGBT asylum victories for Immigration Equality, most from Jamaica (miamiherald.typepad.com)