Proud, not so loud: Uganda’s secret LGBT beauty contest

Source: Globaltimes.cn Published: 2015/9/9 10:34:36

Highlights: Uganda’s parliament took up debate on a bill September 1 that would determine the fate of NGOs operating in the country. The bill is of special concern to LGBT groups, according to activists, who claim the loosely-worded bill not only threatens to limit their work, but would also take back ground gained by a court decision in 2014 that overturned a law making homosexuality a criminal offense. For years, fears of violence, imprisonment and discrimination have kept many of the LGBT community in Uganda from coming out and living openly. Although progress has been made, such as the annual Pride festival in Kampala, discrimination and anti-gay laws persist, forcing LGBT groups to hold secret, invitation-only events. Photographer Edward Echwalu traveled to Kampala, Uganda in August to chronicle once such event - the recent Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest.

  • Organizers of Gay Pride beauty contest meet at an undisclosed restaurant in Kampala, Uganda, July 30, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • The judges of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest take to the catwalk during rehearsals at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 1, 2015. Winners of the contest will be tasked with being the face of the LGBT community in Uganda. Photo: CFP

  • Participants of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest pose for a picture at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 1, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • Rihana, a participant of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest, answers questions during rehearsals at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda August 1, 2015. Rihana, who identifies as a trans-woman, says she chose to participate to inspire those hiding to come out of their shells to celebrate their identities. Photo: CFP

  • A participant of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest, who identifies as a trans-woman, speaks to the judges during a rehearsal at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 2, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • A note containing security briefs is taped on a door during a gay community gathering in Kampala, Uganda, August 6, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • "Bad Black" (pseudonym), who identifies as a trans-woman, puts on make-up as she prepares to attend a Trans-day health talk at an undisclosed location in the suburbs of Kampala, Uganda August 6, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • "Bad Black," who identifies as a trans-woman, changes her hairstyle as she prepares for the Gay Pride in Kampala, Uganda, August 6, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • A participant of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest gets make-up done backstage at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 7, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • A contestant for Miss Pride Uganda looks at a phone backstage at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 7, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • Participants of the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest do final checks of their appearances before taking to the runway at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 7, 2015. Photo: CFP

  • Rihana is seen backstage preparing to showcase jewelry at the Mr and Miss Pride beauty contest at an undisclosed venue in Kampala, Uganda, August 7, 2015. Photo: CFP






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