OVERLOOKED: An Inspiring Portrait Of LGBTs Struggling In Uganda

By: Daniel Villarreal
10.2.2012

Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall were delighted to film David Kato—"the father of Uganda's gay rights movement"—for their documentary on LGBT struggles in Uganda.

But then, a year into filming, someone hit Kato twice in the head with a hammer and ran away. Kato died on the way to the hospital. He was only 48.

Barely three weeks before his murder, Kato had won a landmark case against Uganda's Rolling Stone newspaper for publishing a story telling peole to kill him and other "shameful homo terrors" living in the city of Kampala.

Though a Ugandan court ended up convicting a local robber for Kato's murder, Kato may have been targeted specifically for his LGBT activism.

From his death onward, filmmakers Wright and Zouhali-Worrall continued to follow Kato's contentious public funeral as well as several LGBT Ugandans left to contend with the remaining threat of Uganda's "Kill the gays" bill, a law which would imprison suspected gays and anyone who helps them.

Surprisingly however, the four-minute trailer for their film Call Me Kuchu (below) radiates a color, beauty, liveliness and warmth as it documents Kato's political battles and the fellow "kuchus" (queers) still fighting.

It also goes beyond Kato's death into the present day, where Ugandan LGBTs and their international allies have begun to stand up against anti-LGBT Christian evangelical "shame peddlers" like Scott Liveley, American men who stoke the flames of hatred against gays on African shores.

Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, once said that one in every four gay African males faces blackmail at some point during his life.

May Kato's spirit one day make such crimes a disgrace in the eyes of Ugandans and all humanity.

 

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