As a youth-led organisation, Africa Matters is committed to upskilling and empowering African youth to create the future they want for themselves, their communities, and the continent. We write this letter to express our deep concern for and unwavering support of the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda, which is currently facing significant challenges and discrimination due to the recent bill. As African youth who strongly uphold the values of equality, justice, and human rights for all, we are profoundly troubled by the detrimental impact this bill has had on individuals within the LGBTQI+ community.
We acknowledge that the LGBTQI+ community in Uganda continues to confront substantial barriers and prejudice, including legal and social discrimination, stigmatisation, and threats to personal safety and well-being. The proposed legislation targeting the LGBTQI+ community seeks to criminalise same-sex relationships, non-heteronormative expressions of gender, and any advocacy or support for LGBTQI+ rights. This bill not only violates the fundamental rights of individuals to freely express their sexual orientation and gender identity but also perpetuates discrimination, stigma, and violence against an already marginalised community.
We would like to affirm that every person deserves respect, dignity, and the freedom to live authentically as their true selves. Sexual orientation and gender identity should never be the basis for discrimination or marginalisation. Embracing diversity and inclusivity is essential for a just and harmonious society. #LoveIsLove.
In this time of adversity, we want you to know that you are not alone. There are individuals and communities around the world who stand in solidarity with you and the entire LGBTQI+ community at large, advocating for your rights and amplifying your voices. We recognise your resilience, strength, and unwavering spirit in the face of adversity.
We sincerely hope that one day, all individuals in Uganda, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, will be able to live in a society that celebrates diversity and embraces the principles of equality and justice. Together, we can strive to create a future where everyone is accepted, valued, and protected, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Please remember that you have allies and supporters worldwide who will continue to stand beside you in the fight for equality and human rights. We will work tirelessly to promote understanding, challenge discriminatory laws and practices, and foster a culture of acceptance and love. Together, we can make a difference and create a more inclusive and compassionate world.
With unwavering solidarity and warmest regards,
Africa Matters Initiative
Founded in 2015 by two young passionate black African and diasporan women, Africa Matters Initiative (AMI) seeks to provide youth leaders with the tools to contribute tangible change to their communities. Africa Matters Initiative has impacted the lives of over 27,000 African youth and diaspora through its four signature programs Africa Matters Ambassadors Program (AMAP), Schools Leadership Development Program (SLDP), ShE is Empowered Program (ShE), Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP) as well as bespoke programs to catalyse opportunities for African youth with local, national and global private, public and nonprofit partners.