"I know I can be beaten, I know I can be raped, I know I can be killed. But I am not going to leave. We are stronger as a community." — Kasha. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
"This battle is not just about the gays: We need to fight for the rights of others also. And let us fight not because we will win today, but for future generations." — John. Image by Daniella Zalcman.
"I grew up not knowing that gay people existed, being tortured and very confused. At least now people know it is real, and they are talking about it. It shows that something is changing." — Andrew.
"I don't think we've given Uganda a chance to change. I still have hope that humanity will save itself." — Cleo. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
"This bill will not change people. The government will not change people. But talking to people one-on-one, letting them see you are just like them...that will change people." — Frank.
"When I was growing up I didn't know many LGBT persons, so finding myself was a battle. There's been a lot of change, and now the rate of informed youths is so much higher. They know they aren't alone
"I used to worry about having to leave the country, but now I want to fight for my home. If it helps, I will stand in front of Parliament and tell them I'm gay." — Sandra. Image by Daniella Zalcman.
"This bill means going backwards, it means going back in the closet, it means going underground. And it affects everybody." — Moses. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
"I was born gay, and I was born a Muslim. I know there's a reason god created me like this. I have the guts to be both." — Akram. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
"I want to say to the lawmakers, 'If you had a child like me, what would you do? Would you throw me away because of who I am?'" — Beyonce. Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
"I know I can be beaten, I know I can be raped, I know I can be killed. But I am not going to leave. We are stronger as a community." — Kasha. (First Image) Image by Daniella Zalcman. Uganda, 2014.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed the anti-homosexuality bill into law, giving official backing to the daily harassment that affects the country’s LGBT community. And Uganda’s LGBT activists are now in more danger than ever. Their very existence is illegal. For many, the only way to survive, short of fleeing the country, will be to go back into the closet and reinvent their public identities. Any allies who might have provided support in the past—public health workers, lawyers, landlords, taxi drivers—have just been criminalized as well.
When the only way to stay safe is to stay secret, even the most defiant activists have to keep a part of themselves hidden to survive. Pulitzer Center grantee Daniella Zalcman snapped these double exposures with an iPhone as a reflection on the need to lead a double life. This is what it means to be gay and illegal.
View Daniella’s whole project: Kuchus in Uganda
To learn more about homophobia around the globe, read Pulitzer Center grantee Misha Friedman’s reporting from Russia and Pulitzer Center grantee Micah Fink’s reporting from Jamaica.