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Gay Couples in Uganda

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On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law a bill that toughens penalties against gay people and makes some homosexual acts crimes punishable by life in prison. Here, Akram Kalungi, a gay man from Kampala who works in a video store, is pictured with his partner. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.

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In 2011 and 2014, photographer Daniella Zalcman travelled to Uganda to photograph gay rights activists and their partners. This is Kasha Nabagesera, one of the leading LGBT activists in Uganda, with her partner, an Italian woman, also a gay rights activist. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2011.

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The Ugandans photographed here are open with their sexuality, but many of their partners still hide their homosexuality. Rachel, left, poses here with her partner. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2011.

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Robert Luzinda, left, with his partner. Since this photo was taken, Robert has fled his hometown of Kampala for Dubai. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2011.

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Denis Wamala, right, is a prominent activist. He is shown here with a colleague from his LGBT organization. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2011.

Since Parliament passed the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in December 2013, the kuchu population—as its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex citizens are known—has been fleeing the country in droves for even slightly more tolerant neighboring states such as Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda. Those brave enough to stay have been forced to take their personal lives even further underground. The few community gatherings and safe spaces that once existed for kuchus have vanished.

On February 24, 2014, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed into law the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Leaving Kuchus to continue facing the daily reality of harrowing discrimination, constant harassment, and death threats––and now, the threat of imprisonment.