Back in 2010 at an LGBTQ conference organized by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, activists and scholars gathered from around the world to talk about the issues they face in their countries. It was there that I heard an eyewitness report from a Uganda who spoke of American Evangelical Christians who spread a deadly message to Ugandan lawmakers. I wrote:
Victor Mukasa, an LGBTI human rights activist from Uganda now living in
exile in South Africa outlined the devastating effects of three American Evangelicals speaking against LGBTI rights in Uganda last spring and in spreading lies about people who are not heterosexual or gender-normative, they worsened the plight of an already oppressed group of people. As a direct result of an anti-gay conference where the three Evangelical presented, some lawmakers introduced a bill calling for the death penalty for gays in that country. Some of the best coverage of the Uganda crisis has come from Jim Burroway over Box Turtle Bulletin. More than once activists stressed the importance of alternative media like blogs and podcasts for getting an unfiltered message out to the mainstream.
Victor outlined how things were bad for LGBTI people before the interference of the three American Evangelicals, and how afterward the situation worsened and became horrendous. The Evangelicals stirred up lies, fears and hatred as they used pseudo-science and the Bible to reinforce their authority as experts. They came to colonize–to impose US-sourced ex-gay theories and treatments in Uganda.
Seven years later and the Ugandan LGBTQ community will hold its Second Annual Queer Kampala International LBTQ Festival next month. There is still a lot of work to do and courteous and creative LGBTQ folks are working on the ground to advance their rights, freedoms, and protection.
So you can only imagine how thrilled I am to announce my my film, Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible has been selected. They will screen it on December 9 at 2:30 PM. This movie explores the stories and lives of gender non-conforming Bible characters, many of them from Africa. It tells a different story, one of sexual and gender minorities dab smack in the middle of the most important Bible stories and taking on the roles of some of the most important characters.
Here is a short video I produced talking about the festival, the film, and how incredibly excited I am that it is going to be on the screen in Uganda.
Here is the Trailer for the film
If you want to get your own copy on DVD to watch and maybe even screen in your community, or to view it streaming on Amazon, check it out over at Barclay’s Books.