Over the weekend, Ugandans took part in a secret pride celebration. The event followed the country’s official Pride being cancelled.
After an increase in police activity and monitoring, organizers cancelled Pride Uganda 2017.
The Kuchu Times ended the cancellation statement by saying: ‘It should be clear to all our key partners and the rest of the world that the struggle for equality in Uganda is far from over.’
This weekend they proved it with a secret party in Kampala, the Ugandan capital.
‘[The party] was full of joy and defiance,’ All Out Executive Director Matt Beard told The Washington Blade. All Out is one of Pride Uganda’s international partners.
‘If we hadn’t managed to somehow get a triumphant ending to an otherwise very sad week, it would have left me feeling a bit traumatized,’ added Petter Wallenberg, founder of Rainbow Riots. ‘We couldn’t let this week finish without reaching some kind of crescendo, some kind of triumphant conclusion.’
Security was tight at the event but it was pulled off successfully, providing hope to Uganda’s LGBTI community.
Love and creativity wins for LGBTI Ugandans
‘We gathered all our fantastic Ugandan Rainbow Riots team members, the Pride Uganda committee and international guests at a secret venue and danced the whole night through,’ Wallenberg wrote in a Facebook post.
‘Our Ugandan team finally got the chance to sing and perform the songs we have made together for the Rainbow Riots album and we all got a chance to celebrate this amazing journey – in Uganda.
‘In spite of all the sadness and danger, our Pride party was full of joy and defiance and ended this challenging week on a triumphant note. Love and creativity will always win. Rainbow Riots power!’
Pictures from the event clearly show the excitement and joy on everyone’s faces. While the cancellation of official pride events remains a blow, this proves the strength and resilience of the worldwide LGBTI community.
You can see all the photos here.