Story after story rushed in — some conveying hope, depression, isolation; some telling disturbing tales of exorcisms or conversion therapy or “corrective” rape.
The fight for and against gay rights in the East African country has become an informational one — evidenced most recently by last month’s news that Uganda spent more than $200,000 on a public relations campaign following the bad press that surrounded last year’s anti-gay law, which promised a life sentence for anyone discovered to be engaging in same-sex relations. The law was later struck down on technical grounds, but the country’s politicians have threatened to reintroduce a new version imminently.
Uganda has become an increasingly dangerous place for LGBT people to live in. In 2011, their precarious situation was highlighted with the death of the country’s most prominent gay rights activist David Kato.
Kato was murdered months after his photo was published in a local tabloid accompanied by a message calling for his execution. The police claimed it was a robbery, though activists labeled it a hate crime.
Vincent, one of the founders of Bombastic, told VICE News that — apart from the occasional salacious and malicious exposé — he feels that the Ugandan media “don’t want to talk about the fact that there are gay people.”
“The reason why we started Bombastic magazine is because the media shared all the bad stories and we had to find a solution about how to communicate to the public,” Vincent — who requested that we only use his first name — said in an interview with VICE News. “The solution we found was to start our own initiative so people can tell their own stories from their heart.”…story continues below…