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Title:Virtual access: the Ugandan anti-gay movement, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender blogging and the public sphere
Author:Valois, Caroline
Year:2015
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Volume:9
Issue:1
Pages:145-162
Language:English
Geographic term:Uganda
Subjects:homosexuality
LGBT
social media
Internet
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.987508
Abstract:In recent years the proposal, passage and overturn of the Anti-Homosexuality Legislation in Uganda have brought an onslaught of international attention to the nation. Featured throughout the international press, Uganda is frequently depicted as a nation fixed in overt homophobia. Anti-gay discourse is omnipresent in the Ugandan public sphere, and reflects a broader moral revolution in the nation. Television and radio broadcasts, periodicals and evangelical Christian sermons frequently denounce the 'growing threat' that homosexuality poses to the nation. Yet, accessibility to the Internet has allowed some Ugandan lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) bloggers to express resistance, contesting anti-gay discourse dominating the Ugandan public sphere. In this way, LGBT blogs act as a site for claims of equal citizenship. By maintaining anonymity, the cybersphere provides a 'safe space' for the production of LGBT discourse by Ugandan bloggers. The purpose of this paper is to examine how two Ugandan bloggers have utilised the medium as a site of resistance to dominant anti-gay discourse, while expressing queer identity online. In the context of a bounded public sphere that limits the performance of 'alternative' sexualities, the Internet offers public space to claim Ugandan citizenship. Yet, limitations to online access both restrict the types and ways particular forms of sexuality are expressed, and reduce more 'local' or private manifestations detached from identity. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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