We popped down to the LGBT History fest last Sunday 15th Feb to support LISG volunteer Prossy Kakooza as she gave a talk about her life in Uganda and her experiences seeking sanctuary as an LGBT refugee.
Prossy highlighted that she and girlfriend Leah were perceived to be just friends, but when it was discovered they were actually in a loving relationship, they were both imprisoned. Prossy’s mum helped her to flee to safety in the UK. However despite overwhelming evidence, she was initially refused sanctuary, and she was subjected to some crazy questioning by the UKBA – ‘'Why did you decide to be gay in a country where it's illegal to be gay?' Her asylum refusal letter stated that 'she didn't look like a lesbian, she's too feminine'. After a lengthy appeal process she was eventually granted refugee status, and has rebuilt her life here.
We also loved watching LISG member Jacqueline singing with the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus. They sang ‘Bread and Roses’ from the film Pride about the lesbian & gay activists who supported Welsh coal miners in the 1980s when their livelihoods were threatened. The Choir also performed Pokarekare Ana, a traditional Maori song which was sung spontaneously in April 2013, by members and spectators in the New Zealand parliament after the bill legalising same-sex marriage was passed. The choir sounded amazing, and a fantastic end to a great day.