LGBT Perspectives Editor
QUEBEC — I’ve been a little reluctant to write this post. On the one hand, I want to applaud all the folks in Uganda behind the publication of Bombastic Magazine (link below), written by and about LGBTQ people and the issues they face.
On the other hand, I worry that drawing too much international attention to the publication might lead to severe repercussions for the magazine’s staff and distributors in a nation that has criminalized and demonized LGBTQ people, and persecutes them through the legal system and, consequently, unofficially in the streets.
So, I reached out to the editors of Bombastic Magazine and asked them if it would be OK to point you, the mostly Western readers of LGBT Perspectives and your networks, to what may be one of the most important LGBT publications in the world these days.
Their answer is yes, please do tell people about Bombastic Magazine. And please read it. So, share Bombastic’s link (below) with everyone and anyone who cares, please.
So, you might be wondering, are the editors of Bombastic Magazine at risk? Do they fear for their safety?
Well, they have been harassed by the government, I’m told. And they do have a good lawyer on standby.
Kasha N. Jacqueline, the magazine’s editor in chief, told me this in an email today: “We cannot always wait for a right time as that will never happen, at least, not in the near future, so we just got to do what we have to do to forge ways to create awareness in the hope that we can change mindsets positively.”
And there is a lot to change. A press release issued March 31 about the second edition of Bombastic Magazine points out the following:
“In continuing to criminalize the LGBTI community in Uganda, by introducing new and enforcing already existing harsh and unfair legislation, the government of Uganda formalizes and legitimizes homophobia. This homophobia cultivates and encourages violence against LGBTI Ugandans.
“In demonizing our sexual orientation and/or gender identity, religious leaders incite hatred and violence against LGBTI Ugandans. They have openly called for our murder, imprisonment; exile from our own country, and attacks by mobs, all in the name of God. By giving voice to homophobia, local media has also contributed largely to incite violence against LGBTI Ugandans. Media continues to expose people perceived to be LGBTI persons in an effort to shame and humiliate them. These forced outings have left many LGBTI Ugandans jobless and homeless, rejected by their families, unlawfully evicted, denied access to health care and education, forced to flee their country; all of which are forms of violence and persecution.”
It is worthwhile to read the whole press release. Please click or tap here to do so. You can also download the magazine here.
Bombastic Magazine is distributed free of charge throughout Uganda. It is also available online. According to the press release, “The first edition of Bombastic Magazine has been downloaded over 2 million times and over 1.7 m people have followed our online television and radio.”
Bombastic Magazine is not only a shining light for Uganda’s LGBTQ community. It is a light for all persecuted LGBTQ people in Africa and, indeed, around the world. It also serves notice by its very existence in such a repressive nation that we, as members of the world’s greater LGBTQ community, can and will overcome the bigotry and hatred of superstitious fundamentalists everywhere by standing together — and it is so much easier to do so in the global village of today’s wired world.
Please do your bit. Read Bombastic Magazine. Show your support any way you can.