It may not be known to many about the hardships trans and intersex individuals face outside of the United States and Europe. One Ugandan group is seeking help and visibility to address these difficulties among their youths.
Operating in Northern Uganda, Kampala and Wakiso, Africa, the Pride for Youth Initiative (PFYI) aims to “create a generation that will enable trans youth women, trans youth sex workers, gender nonconforming youth and intersex youth live a productive and self-sustaining life.”
In Uganda churches, mosques, villages and families, people are taught that LGBT people are evil, devils — a curse from the gods.
LGBT people in Uganda are isolated, dismissed from schools, abused and severely beaten at home and in socializing spaces, banished from home, denied treatment in medical centers and chased from jobs.
Founded in 2018, the trans-led group came forward with the goal to fight for their legal rights within Uganda through training and sensitization in the community on legal rights and sexual and reproductive health.
PFYI has also been key in helping youths in this community come out and get apprehendship skills that have helped many dropouts from schools to acquire skills to become responsible citizens. It has also been key in mobilizing and sensitizing the youths on issues pertaining to HIV/AIDS.
Vision: To create a generation that will enable Trans youth women, Trans youth sex workers, gender nonconforming youth and intersex youth live a productive and self-sustaining life.
Mission: To become a Centre of excellence in Trans youth women, Trans youth sex workers, gender non-conforming youth and intersex youth advocacy through empowerment and community sensitization.
Goals: To empower marginalized groups with assertive and developmental skills through economic empowerment and provide Health services for minority groups in rural areas of Uganda.
Additional challenges PFYI and trans youth face:
- Needing more peer leaders to provide services to the community
- Lack of funding, which ultimately delays the organization
- Unfavorable work environment, which limits services to members
- Limited resources
- Stigma and discrimination against key members and in employment
- Inadequate qualification because of failure to complete their education
- Unlawful arrests of LGBT individuals
- Unfriendly legislation that doesn’t favour the existence of LGBT members in the country
- Rampant killing of LGBT members
Before PFYI was founded, there were no LGBT organizations in Uganda committed to supporting LGBT people and solving discrimination within families, but incidents of family violence were frequent. PFYI was formed to fill that gap.