Meet 7 activists fighting to improve LGBTQ+ rights across Africa

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Donkor, 29, is the founder of nonprofit LGBT+ Rights Ghana, which champions freedom for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans, intersex, queers and allies in his home country of Ghana.

On founding LGBT+ Rights Ghana

“I initially started LGBT+ Rights Ghana as an activism blog to create awareness and share information. After a few months of social media activism, my colleagues and I put down a set of core values to bind us together as a movement. Our objective is to create initiatives and events that will foster the community’s growth. We believe in intersectionality, so we align ourselves with other struggles such as feminism and humanism.”

On the upheaval in the Ghana queer community

“The current situation is very difficult, fearful and sad. We ran a series for Pride Month where we engaged with LGBTQ+ individuals to create awareness, and even though we face homophobia on this platform, what matters is that we have created a space that brings people together.”

Dr Frank MugishaCourtesy Dr Frank Mugisha

As early as 2007, Mugisha had become a public name representing the LGBTQ+ community in Uganda. The activist, 42, is on the frontline of the war against homophobia ensuring that the discredited 2013 anti-homosexuality bill, which handed out the death penalty to anyone convicted of engaging in homosexuality, isn’t reintroduced.

On being an activist

“Being an activist in Uganda definitely comes with challenges: harassment, verbal attacks and the fear of what may happen to me if I get arrested again—I was arrested in 2016 when we tried to put on a Pride event. It was one of the scariest moments of my life, but it’s important that I help and support people.”

On the queer scene in Uganda

“The social scene in Uganda is gone because of police raids. There are no gay-friendly bars but we do have safe spaces. The queer community is striving, the visibility has increased, many people are more accepting than before. There is a positive shift.”

Also read:

7 lesser-known organisations actively working as safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community in India 

7 personalities who are helping us evolve our conversations around gender identities


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