Target: Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, directors of the film, ‘Call Me Kuchu’
Goal: Congratulate filmmakers on the U.S. theatrical release of their award winning documentary on LGBT issues in Uganda
Documentary filmmakers Katherine Fairfax Write and Malika Zouhali-Worrall spent two years following David Kato – a late activist for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender human rights – and his fellow LGBT friends who also partake in activism. The film ‘Call Me Kuchu’ (‘kuchu’ being a non-derogatory term claimed by LGBT Ugandans) showed the protective, empowering, and healing capabilities of social bonds. With strong social support from his fellow ‘kuchus’ and colleagues in his community, Kato was able to persevere in his fight against Uganda’s anti-homosexual legislation, defamation by press, and harassment from evangelical religious groups.
Persecution of the LGBT community in Uganda is fueled by religious bigotry influenced by Western evangelists and upheld by the nation’s ongoing political instability and poverty. Historically, societies have been preoccupied with sin and morality based on religious dogma in order to distract from other issues such as political and economic insecurity.
The film captures Kato in a legal battle with Ugandan tabloid newspaper ‘Rolling Stone’ (unaffiliated with American ‘Rolling Stone Magazine’) which had falsely accused the LGBT community of terrorism and recruiting children. ‘Rolling Stone’ had violated Kato’s and others’ rights to privacy and safety by printing names, addresses, and photographs of suspected homosexuals, outed through unethical media hacking practices, in order to have them arrested by the Ugandan government.
Kato was concerned with further decline in Ugandan public health if anti-gay legislation were to pass because gay men would be discouraged from getting HIV tests and less likely to receive sexual health education that promotes safe sex practices. Forcing gays to be closeted increases the risk of HIV to transmission to women as well. The film also discusses the deplorable practice of ‘curative rape’ for lesbian women.
‘Call Me Kuchu’ won a much deserved Teddy Award for Best documentary when it first premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival. It was recently given a theatrical release by Cinedigm Entertainment Group which has acquired the rights to distribute the film in the United States. Please sign this petition to congratulate the filmmakers on the theatrical release of their documentary in the United States and be sure to view it.
Dear Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall,
This month your award winning documentary, ‘Call Me Kuchu,’ was released in theaters in the United States. I want to congratulate you on the success of this incredibly compelling and socially important film. Instead of merely speaking on behalf of those affected by atrocities against LGBT human rights in Uganda, your documentary presented the authentic voices of heroic activists who are their own sources of empowerment and support. These members of the Ugandan LGBT community work tirelessly to protect their freedoms from discrimination. Your film shows that amidst persecution from the government and anti-gay religious groups, social bonds provide protection and strength from human rights violations.
Your film also served as an engaging tribute to the late David Kato. He will never be forgotten as an astute and passionate leader in the LGBT community’s struggle for equal protection of the law. Thank you for bringing LGBT human rights violations in Uganda to the attention of the international community through your powerful film. By having a theatrical release in the United States, more audiences can be educated on this topic and moved by the struggle of David and his friends.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: randomsalmon via Flickr