2nd Annual Gay Pride Parade Held in Uganda

KAMPALA, UGANDA — On Saturday, August 3, Uganda’s homosexual community stepped out of the shadows in red wigs and glittering stilettos.

The country’s second gay pride parade, held on a sandy beach in Entebbe, drew over a hundred people eager to tell the world that they are out, they are proud and they are not afraid to show it.

Growing confidence

Last year’s parade, the first ever in Uganda, was broken up by police, and several people were arrested. But the fact that they were able to pull it off at all has given the community newfound confidence, says activist Kelly Mukwano.

“That success gave us confidence that we can do it,” Mukwano said. “We are getting more confident as time goes by.”

Saturday’s march was sheltered in the leafy recesses of a botanical garden about 20 miles from Kampala. But this year, police were informed in advance and the authorities did not intervene. Some revelers felt it was only a matter of time before they are able to march through the streets of the capital.

“Guys, it’s baby steps,” said one marcher. “Today, we are here, miles away from Kampala. Baby steps. Soon we shall be on Kampala Road.”

Grim history

Uganda has a grim track record when it comes to gay rights.

The country grabbed headlines in 2009 with the introduction of a draconian anti-homosexuality bill which proposed the death penalty for acts of so-called “aggravated homosexuality.” The bill has yet to be debated by parliament.

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