The voice of change in Uganda
One of Uganda’s leading activists for LGBTQ equality, Dr Frank Mugisha continues to be a fearless voice for change.
We take a look at the man and his career.
“My strength comes from the pleas of gay people in Uganda that I have listened to, who need to live free and happy like anyone else. Me speaking out in public and living open as a gay man in Uganda is a sign of hope for Ugandans out there that they have a voice. And that is my strength.” — Dr Frank Mugisha, November 2011
In 2004, while at university, Mugisha founded Icebreakers Uganda — an organisation created as a support network for LGBTQ Ugandans who are out or in the process of coming out to family and friends.
There will not be a magic day when we wake up and it's now okay to express ourselves publicly. We make that day by doing things publicly until it’s simply the way things are. #Happymonday
— Dr. Frank Mugisha (@frankmugisha) September 3, 2018
- Mugisha is the Executive Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).
- Smug is a non-profit, non-governmental umbrella organisation formed in 2004.
- The objective of the organisation is to address the need to protect and support LGBTQ people in Uganda.
- SMUG advocates for policy reform, while also monitoring and aiding to coordinate the efforts of 18 LGBTQ organisations in Uganda which provide services such as medical attention, counselling, guidance, as well as support for the economic empowerment of LGBTQ individuals.
- SMUG works closely with local, regional and international human rights organisations and activists with one goal — to end discrimination and injustice towards LGBTQ people in Uganda and ensure that all Ugandans are equally respected and valued no matter their sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
- SMUG was founded by activist David Kato, who was murdered in 2011.
— Dr. Frank Mugisha (@frankmugisha) September 5, 2018
- Mugisha has been awarded both the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, and the Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize in recognition of his activism.
“Every gay and lesbian person who has been lucky enough to survive the turmoil of growing up is a survivor. Survivors always have an obligation to those who will face the same challenges.” — Dr Frank Mugisha, September 2018