I’m an intersex Ugandan – life has never felt more dangerous

On Sept 16, 2016 The Guardian reported: My name is Julius Kaggwa and I am 46. I was born in Uganda and raised as a girl called Juliette.

But by 17, my period hadn’t arrived, my voice had broken and I had started to grow facial hair. What I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t suffering from a mysterious disease – I was a normal human with a simple medical condition.

I was born intersex, with both male and female genitalia. I later went through surgery to close my vagina, and I now live in a happy heterosexual marriage.

You’re taught growing up as intersex that your body is no longer your own – it is to be abused, examined and tested

Intersex is the “i” in LGBTI, and though we stand with the gay community in Uganda, the association has become a double-edged sword for us.

Politically we are considered the same, and we are subject to the same dangers and the same level of harassment. But while the community offers us a place of relative safety, it is also oblivious to our specific needs.

Times have never been harder for LGBTI activists in Uganda. In February last year, President Yoweri Museveni signed a law that not only outlawed homosexual acts, but also compelled citizens to report suspected homosexual activity to the police, triggering increased levels of prejudice, violence and discrimination against the gay community.

This year, a police raid on a gay pride march in August was one of the worst things we’ve experienced for months, and people from our community around the country have been telling us it’s increasingly hard to find a safe space to seek medical or psychological support.

I became an activist after helping a young intersex boy, who was due to appear on the radio to try to raise money to have his breasts surgically removed. He was the first person ever to look at me with eyes that said “you can help me”.

Read more at: I’m an intersex Ugandan – life has never felt more dangerous | World news | The Guardian

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