Recently I was online visiting the corridors of Twitter
when I came across a hash tag #EvenIfTheySpit. Said hash tag was coined from a
statement that a certified medical doctor made which articulated, “Even if
they spit don’t be surprised!"
This was in regards to health care providers’ attitude
towards the LGBTI+ community. I was livid after I read this report
prepared by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG). It reminded me how members
of my community are treated like second class citizens, denying us access to
medical care because of gender and sexual orientation.
So an invitation from Tranz Network Uganda to attend
this launch was much needed because my heart was bleeding for our community. Of
course, each individual that attended the launch was given a copy of the Gender
and Sexual Diversity training (GSD) report. It was rather impressive, graphs
and charts, a clear success but what really hit home was the stories that were
shared during the launch. A Health Care provider whose mindset completely
changed after the training, getting an opportunity to unlearn hate and learn to
first and foremost be a health care provider with integrity as well as a human
being. Or the trans person who went to hospital with fear of being stigmatized
but was instead met with kindness and no rumors about her were being shared
along the hospital corridors. This was a result of having appointed a focal
person after the GSD trainings in Mbarara to receive LGBTI persons at TASO
Mbarara. These realities gave me a renewed hope, now more than ever, it takes
one person’s work to create ripple effects. Despite the dire need to bridge the
gap between medical access and the LGBTI community, people like the Tranz
Network Uganda team are taking the bull by the horns and the results are tremendous.
On a much lighter note, I enjoyed the snacks and drinks
that the Network shared with us, a rather thrilling and intense love song
by our very own Princess Rihanna but most importantly after the launch, I went
home rested, knowing that constant dialogues like this will change the hetero
normative narrative. Access to medical health is a human right despite gender
and sexual orientation!!!
Lugendo Tracy Sanyu.