A Uganda gay teen has attempted to commit suicide after politicians enacted one of the most draconian anti-gay laws in the world.
Gay rights activists have told GSN they are very concerned about how some feel like their life is now over, especially if they live in rural areas of the east African country.
One young man, who we will call Mikhail in order to protect his identity, overdosed on pills and swallowed rat poison two weeks ago.
For the past 12 days, he has been coming in and out of consciousness and shows no sign as of yet of recovery.
Mikhail is just 17 years old.
Pepe Julian Onziema, a Uganda LGBTI activist told Gay Star News he is the son of Muslim parents who consider homosexuals to be ‘proof of sin itself’ and ‘not people’.
‘I don’t know if he will survive. He was really badly hurt, he can’t speak anymore,’ Onziema said.
‘This is the psychological effect of the anti-gay law. It is affecting young people the most.’
Gay rights activists have said they have heard of at least 17 LGBTI people have attempted to kill themselves over the law. It is unknown how many succeeded in their attempt.
Onziema said his biggest fear now are the mob attacks, as homophobes will be able to use gays as a scapegoat for their violence.
‘They call their bill “theirs”. It is not. They don’t understand it. The law doesn’t allow you to go attack people. It’s a badge of violent ignorance,’ he said.
‘They will attack anyone who they suspect is gay. This was happening before it was made law, and it will only increase. They’re probably on the hunt now.'
Onziema called on Ugandan LGBTIs to keep safe and to seek help wherever they can, such as on social media.
‘It makes me sad that my community is unsafe. It’s intentionally put at risk,’ he said.
‘It’s like standing by the roadside and being pushed in front of a speeding car. That is what the president has done to us.’