Kasha Jacqueline (Nabagesera)

Kasha Jacqueline (Nabagesera)

Kasha Jacqueline (Nabagesera) is a Ugandan LGBT activist and founder and director of Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), one of the only lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersexual organizations in a country where homosexuality is criminalized. FARUG strives for the attainment of full equal rights and the eradication of all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation. In retaliation for her advocacy, she has been harassed, attacked, and threatened with arrest and death.

FARUG, based in Kampala, Uganda, lobbies nationally, regionally, and internationally, partnering with human rights, women’s rights, feminist, donor and health organizations to spread awareness about the plight of LGBT persons in Uganda. Jacqueline publically campaigns for an end to homophobia in Uganda, in spite of calls for her death and the media-led witch hunts which target homosexuals in her country.

FARUG led an effort to stop the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 from passing in the Ugandan Parliament. Unfortunately, President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law in early 2014. The bill criminalizes homosexuality (threatening those found “guilty" with severe punishment, including life in prison) and compels anyone witnessing “homosexual conduct” to notify the authorities or face three years in prison. In response to widespread anti-gay media, in 2014, she launched the Kuchu Times, a platform for LGBT communities throughout Africa. She also publishes the magazine Bombastic, which focuses on the LGBT community in Uganda. In 2015 she was a featured speaker at the College Freedom Forum at Stanford University hosted by the Human Rights Foundation. Jacqueline is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, the 2013 Nuremberg International Human Rights Award and a recipient of the 2015 Right Livelihood Award. She continues her activism through her publications, social media, public speaking and interviews.