On April 17 this year, Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba, a 25-year-old non-binary lesbian, was found murdered in Karatina, Kenya. They had been was raped, strangled, stabbed several times in the neck and eyes and their legs had been broken. The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya reported than more than half of Kenyans who identify as gay have been assaulted in their lifetime. Meanwhile, it is almost unacceptable to speak out in favor of LGTBQ rights as a mainstream politician in much of Africa. In Kenya, The winner of this year’s presidential election, William Ruto, said in 2015, “The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others.” The runner-up in the election, Raila Odinga, has said it is “madness” for a man to fall in love with another man while there were “plenty of women”. In neighboring Uganda, where homosexuality is outlawed, President Yoweri Museveni has called gay people “disgusting” and “abnormal.” Homosexuality is criminalized in 33 of Africa’s 54 countries. In most cases, these laws are remnants of colonial rule, as one can tell from the vague and archaic wording of these prohibitions, such as “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” Most of these countries are former British colonies or Mulsim-majority countries of northern Africa. In contrast, homosexuality has been decriminalized in all former Portuguese colonies, whereas in other places–such as the DRC–it is a legal gray area: rights are not recognized, but it is not illegal, either. There has also been progress: Courts in Zambia and Botswana have upheld some rights for members of the LGBTQ community, while leaders from South Africa–the only country in Africa where same-sex marriage is legal–have continued to speak up in defense of the community. In culture, too, advances have been made—two poignant movies about gay men and women have been produced in Kenya (although both have been banned)--”I am Samuel” and “Rafiki,” joining movies from Guinea, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe documenting abuse and celebrate gay identities. Gay pride events have been held not only in South Africa, but also Botswana, Swaziland, and even in Uganda. Today, we are excited to be welcoming Noah Mirembe Gabigogo and Marc Epprecht to our show to talk about all of this. Noah is a Ugandan trans man and activist, ecofeminist, and scholar of sexual and gender diversity in Africa. Noah has written on and contributed to legal advocacy and research to advance human rights for lesbians and gays in Africa; he is the co-founder of the Taala Foundation, an organization that promotes wellness for youth on the margins through mental health.Noah completed his studies at Harvard Law School and Makerere University, and is a member of the Uganda Law Society and East Africa Law Society- making him the first openly trans* member of a professional association in Uganda.Marc Epprecht is associate professor in the departments of history and global development studies at Queen's University. He is well-known for his books that excavate the histories of LGBTQ identities in Africa, including his book Hungochani–The history of a dissident sexuality in southern Africa; and Sexuality and Social Justice in Africa: rethinking homophobia and forging resistance.