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Uganda recognises its first trans citizen

Cleopatra Kambugu, a Ugandan activist who advocates for sexual and gender minorities, has made history as the first transgender person in Uganda to have their new gender recognised by the government, the Star Observer reported. 🌈

“Kambugu has received her new passport and government-issued photo ID card, which identifies her as female. The process of getting official ID  recognising her as female was a ‘difficult’ and ‘intrusive’ process, and is a milestone for the African nation, where the [queer] community is heavily maligned and marginalised.”

The news is startling considering Ugandan authorities’ ongoing attacks on queer people. Several anti-gay bills have been proposed in the country’s Parliament, and only quashed thanks to the efforts of activists and court action. 

As Kambugu noted, she has had surgery and can “pass” as a woman, making her life a little easier now. But what of those who can’t, or do not wish to? We hope more space opens up for every member of Uganda’s queer community. 🤞🏽

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 14 October 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.