lgbtq in africa
Limit(less) - LGBTQ African Immigrants
Documenting LGBTQ African Immigrant Stories in North America and Europe

The #LimitlessAfricans Kickstarter is now live! Please donate and share with your network to bring my work on LGBTQ African Immigrants to Europe


LGBT History: Uganda King Mwanga II

King Mwanga II, who reigned from 1884 to 1888, was widely reported to have engaged in sexual relations with his male subjects. 

Researcher Ambrose Mukasa said: ‘It is documented that King Mwanga II had many young men in his palace and was sodomizing them at his will.

‘When missionaries introduced Christianity and some of the young men were baptized and taught about the dangers of homosexuality, they started denying Mwanga the usual “pleasure” he used to get from them.’

Mwanga reportedly became annoyed and went wild wondering how mere pages had started disobeying him. He clashed with the missionaries. He instructed the killing of all the young men who disobeyed him – with the executions taking place between 1885 and 1887. And the murdered young men were considered martyrs because they resolved to die for their new religion rather than surrendering their bodies to the king.

The word Bbaffe in Buganda kingdom means ‘our husband’. All subjects in Buganda under Mwanga, including men, were instructed to refer to king Mwaga as Bbaffe because to him, men were also his wives.

‘Even men referred to king Mwanga II as Bbaffe which means that he was free to sodomize any man he wanted after all he was the husband for all men and women,’ said an elder in Buganda, Siomon Mugere.

On April 1899, Mwanga was forced out of his kingdom and exiled by the British into the Seychelles Islands, where he was detained until his death.

Appreciation post for wlwoc

wlwoc who almost never get recognized. Middle eastern wlw, North African wlw, Arab wlw, Jewish wlw, Saudi Arabian, Jordanian, lebanese, palestinian, Egyptian, kuwaiti, Sudani, Iraqi, Iranian, Syrian, turkish, kurdistani, and every other middle eastern-north African country that I haven’t mentioned (and all the countries that aren’t middle eastern or North African but are full of wlwoc who never get recognition). ya’ll are amazing and don’t deserve the homophobia/transphobia you’re given. sincerely Yours, An Arab wlw who wishes there was more representation of us


A Documentary about love, hate and being transgender

The Pearl of Africa is a story about Cleopatra Kambugu, a 28 year old Ugandan transgender girl. Biologically born male, but against all odds, transitioning into the woman she knows she was born to be. Through an intimate fight for love in Uganda, one of the worlds most transphobic places. Once named The Pearl Of Africa by Winston Churchill, for it’s vast diversity in gender, flora and fauna. We get an insight into what it means to love as trans.
My Mother's Courage Inspired Me to Become the Man I Am Today

My mother went to check up on Peter that night and we soon learnt that he was dying from AIDS. The entire neighborhood instantly withdrew from him in revulsion. My mother, however, went to see him every day. She kept him company, cooked for him and shared stories to lift his mood. When Peter was eventually hospitalized, my mother would wait impatiently for my father to come home after work so that they could drive down to see him. Peter’s family in Germany didn’t want to have anything to do with him. He had abandoned them all those years ago and they were still clinging to their anger, not caring that the man was dying from a cruel and dehumanizing disease. In the end, the only person at his bedside when he died was my mother.

It was only when I grew up that I fully understood the extent of my mother’s kindness and courage. As Somalis, our mainstream culture is modeled on extremely orthodox and conservative values. There are only straight lines. Coloring outside the box is taboo, and when I was younger and Peter was dying, people were quick to remind my mother that she was stepping out of line to help him. I once asked her why she did it, why she helped Peter in the face of tremendous hostility from our family members and community. Her answer was straightforward. “This man is a human being. It is my Islamic duty to help him.”

Years later, after I came out as gay to my family, most of them were quick to disown me. My mother, however, refused to give up on me. I had always imagined that my father — a liberal former professor — with his multiple degrees, cosmopolitan savvy and fluency in five languages would be supportive. But in an eerie parallel to the way our neighbors in Nairobi had reacted when they first heard that Peter was dying from AIDS, my father recoiled from me in disgust when I came out. Echoing the same generosity of spirit and loyalty that she had once shown Peter, my mother, who did not possess multiple degrees or fluency in five languages, stood by me again and again whilst facing pressure from everyone around her.

My mother reminds me everyday that human kindness and empathy have no borderlines. This is not an abstract conceit mired in convoluted politics. It’s an elementary part of being cognizant and alive. I’m proud of the life I have built for myself from the detritus of trauma and rejection. I’ve grown up to become exactly the man I dreamt I would be when I was a child. I thank my mother for lighting the way.

Diriye Osman’s is a gay Somali man and his critically-acclaimed collection of short stories about the LGBTQ+ Somali experience, “Fairytales For Lost Children”, is out now and available on Amazon.
This man was attacked and forced out of his country for being gay
Michael Ighodaro was attacked by homophobes in his home city of Abuja when he was waiting for a taxi outside his friend's home. His attackers stormed up behind the LGBT activist, hurled abuse at him, and broke his hands and ribs. His taxi driver discovered his battered body outside the housing complex.

Dozens of brave Ugandans gathered this weekend to celebrate Pride, even in the face of rampant homophobia and the risk of violence from the community or even the government. 

At a secluded beach in Entebbe, on Lake Victoria just outside the capital Kampala, a group of about 70 people holding banners including “I have a relationship with Jesus and I’m gay”, marched a short distance as music blared out. […]

“We are here to send a message to the wider population that we do exist and we want rights like any other Ugandan,” said Moses Kimbugwe, one of the marchers. “We think this is a step moving forward.”

Every time someone in Uganda celebrates their LGBT identity in public, it’s an act of resilience, of defiance, of revolution. I am forever impressed and humbled by these individuals. (via the Huffington Post)


But I love seeing Nigerian (immigrant or second generation) creatives engage with or be involved in LGBTQ projects and narratives. It makes me so happy to see things like “Check, Please!” or “The Pass” where Nigerian (and other Africans) are demonstrating support of or common identity with LGBTQ populations and art. I love the bold defiance of our parents.

Nigerians, Africans in general, please openly support us. If you are LGBTQ and African, don’t feel like you’re alone. Every one of these images and products are valuable.