Uganda’s beleaguered LGBT community continues to raise its voice — and visibility — with the new edition of the country’s first magazine created by and for queer Ugandans.

The raw courage of some people awes me, and fills me with hope. That’s certainly the case with LGBT activists in Uganda, who are literally putting their lives on the line in the hope of understanding and acceptance.

Living in a nation that proudly criminalizes LGBT identity would be enough to make most people stay in the closet — but LGBT activists in Uganda refuse to be silenced or ignored. In fact, they’re downright Bombastic.

Led by prominent human rights defender and out lesbian Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, LGBT activists in Uganda released the second edition of Bombastic magazine today, on the International Day of Transgender Visibility.

Launched in December 2014, Bombastic is Uganda’s first and only publication created by and for the beleaguered LGBTI community in the East African nation. Its slogan — “our voices, our stories, our lives” — speaks to the importance its editorial team places on elevating the first-hand experiences and struggles of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex Ugandans living at home and abroad, rather than seeing those stories told through a lens of Western, predominantly white journalists. The first edition of the magazine has been downloaded more than 2 million times, according to Kuchu Times Media Group.

“This publication is a humble call to all Ugandans to understand our plight and not judge us based on the misconceptions told to them,” Nabagesera said in a statement accompanying the latest edition. “We are not calling on Ugandans to become LGBTI nor are we asking for special treatment, we are simply calling on our fellow society to recognize that we are part and parcel of the Ugandan society and any unfair treatment towards us simply because of who we love is an injustice to the whole society.”

The full story is here. Please note that the full cover photo, which is at the link, is NSFW.


  1. says

    Nick, I agree. As I said, it truly leaves me in awe. I think about what I’d do in their situation, and I’m pretty sure I would hide. I don’t know that I have that kind of courage.

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