Colorado Springs contributes to Uganda's first Pride
By Tom Jacobs, Board of Directors
We LGBT folk in the US are far from achieving legal and social equality, but we don't have to look very hard to see how much more we have compared to our LGBT brothers and sisters in other countries.
Back in 2005, I began one of the greatest adventures of my life when I became a Peace Corps Volunteer, and that decision continues to fill my life with joy and opportunities! I was visiting friends in Grenada this summer (where I served as a volunteer) when I received an e-mail from another former volunteer that read as follows:
"The LGBT community of Uganda is organizing their first-ever Pride celebration this August. "Homosexual acts" are illegal in Uganda, and members of parliament are still trying to pass the "kill-the-gays" bill. It's a pretty big deal that these folks are organizing a Pride in spite of this, and they need all the support they can get.
"Something really simple and easy that would go a long way toward helping is donating any rainbow goodies you happen to have floating around, maybe from past Pride events or whatever. Other items: wristbands for entrance into events..... Or ask your local organization if they're able to donate anything.
"Whatever you have, it'll help! I need it soon so I can give it to my friend in person - she'll be in NYC July 15th, and can then bring any donations back with her. So if you have anything, send it quick!"
I sent an e-mail from Grenada to Charlie, the Executive Director of Colorado Springs Pride, asking, "Can we make a donation?"
"You bet!" he replied.
It wasn't much, but we put together a small package of rainbow flags and bracelets and sent it off to NY where it would be retrieved and then hand-delivered to Uganda. Just in the past week, I noticed a photo article, "Ugandans Both Proud and Brave," on the Advocate website describing Uganda's first Pride! (check it out here)
As a board member of cosPride, I've had the privilege to participate in the conversations where we articulated what we do as "connect, support, and empower the LGBT community." Our focus is the local LGBT community, but on occasion, we have the opportunity to connect with our sisters and brothers in a far more difficult situation than ourselves, to support them in holding Uganda's first Pride event, and empower them toward breaking free of life-threatening oppression. I'm incredibly proud to be affiliated with cosPride, and wish to extend my appreciation to this organization for reaching across the globe to connect, support, and empower!
Thank you, cosPride!