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Navigating the Pink Line? LGBTQ+ Ugandans as neither ‘victims’ nor ‘deviants’

Dalton, Andrew and Weatherston, Jodie (2024) Navigating the Pink Line? LGBTQ+ Ugandans as neither ‘victims’ nor ‘deviants’. (De)constructing Criminology: International Perspectives. p. 211. (In Press)

Item Type: Article


With the introduction of the Anti-Homosexual Act (2023) in Uganda, LGBTQ+ Ugandans have faced significant socio-historical challenges in terms of shifting legal landscapes and the accompanying prejudice and discrimination which have emerged from this. Constructed as both ‘deviants’ of native Ugandan culture, or as ‘victims’ of a homophobic regime. Whilst a clear ‘pink line’ (Gevisser, 2020) has formed internally and externally to the Ugandan state, which has been impacted by a range of actors and social forces such as US evangelicals, the Ugandan state, the globalising of LGBTQ+ international rights and international actors, LGBTQ+ Ugandans have often been polarised and framed into the two narratives outlined above. However, whilst some post-colonial states such as Uganda are beginning to strategically renew their beliefs in ‘traditional’ sexual relations in opposition to the influence of LGBTQ+ identity politics as posited from the West, this has drawn a (pink) line in the sand. Using Gevisser’s (2020) concept of the ‘pink line,’ this article will examine the changing socio, political, and legal challenges faced by LGBTQ+ Ugandans, as well as the variety of forces which have enabled the Ugandan state to seek stringent legal responses toward LGBTQ+ Ugandans, including how this has affected LGBTQ+ Ugandans on the ground. We argue that due to this global polarisation of ‘traditional’ Ugandan values versus the modernity of LGBTQ+ identity politics, LGBTQ+ Ugandans have been framed as either helpless victims in a homophobic society by global responses to the introduction of the Act, or as deviants living within a traditional society which pose a threat to Ugandan social norms. Contrary to both perspectives, LGBTQ+ Ugandans have been present and active in their own agency to push for change for LGBTQ+ populations in Uganda, despite the introduction of the darkening climate set against the Anti-Homosexuality Act (2023).

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Depositing User: Drew Dalton


Item ID: 17603
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Andrew Dalton: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 07 May 2024 08:37
Last Modified: 07 May 2024 09:09


Author: Andrew Dalton ORCID iD
Author: Jodie Weatherston

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences > Sociology

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