Activists seeks UN transgender support

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A Ugandan gay activist has called on the United Nations to protect transgender people in Africa.

Juliet Victor Mukasa, chairperson of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), revealed her experiences as a transgender in Africa when addressing the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva this week.

She described incidents of rape, being stripped in church and humiliated by police, “In church, “I was once stripped naked as in naked!, in church, before a multitude of people. The pastor ‘saw’ a spirit of a young man inside me and they burnt my clothes and shoes in order to kill the male spirit.”

She said: “We are an invisible population when it comes to protection. There is almost no research to understand transgender people’s lives in Africa.

“We have an undocumented history and are still invisible.

“The secrecy and covert nature of our work in Africa also makes us invisible to the larger gender and human rights sector, and to each other .

“Yet we are highly visible and highly vulnerable to discrimination.”

Ms Mukasa said the UN support could help gain protection.

Homosexuality in Uganda is punishable with life imprisonment.