My name is Jay Mukasa, I am a LGBTQI sports activist, transgender Christian feminist. I am a survivor of violent homophobic attacks on and off the fields of play. I am a former football player, sports lover, an advocate for visibility, inclusion, and representation of LGBTQI+ persons in mainstream sport and a team leader at Tomorrow Women in Sports Foundation (TWISF).
Tomorrow Women in Sports Foundation is an organisation that works to increase the representation, visibility, and inclusion of LBTQ persons in Uganda.
I was forced to retire from playing football at a tender age of 18 because I had to risk my talent to save myself from discrimination, which had become a new way of greeting by both my coaches and teammates. Tormenting me was always an icebreaker to start a practice session or a match.
I attempted to commit suicide two times because I had no body to retrieve me. Football was my everything since my family had disowned me because of my sexual orientation. But my love for football kept me alive and gave me another chance to think about how I can use my experience to contribute towards creating a diverse, equal, and safe sports spaces for LGBTQI persons in sports.
Me and my other colleagues founded the Tomorrow Women in Sports Foundation, an organisation that works around the clock to ensure diversity, equality, representation and visibility of LGBTQI persons in sports. We further aim at increasing number of LGBTQI persons in top decision making bodies of different sports bodies, equal participation rights, access to sports facilities plus other social services and creating awareness about issues of diversity and respecting human rights in sports irrespective of one’s gender identity and sexual orientation.
For centuries, our cultures have been characterized by stereotyping, malice, anger and prejudices, heteronormativity and hate towards the marginalized groups. But we are aiming at creating sports spaces that will make changes to inclusivity in policy reforms and pride in everyone while they sing the national anthem or wear a national team jersey
Football is a language that unites millions of people around the world, don’t be one of those people that do not understand the dialect of the language, stand out with pride to encounter any kind of discrimination that spoils beauty of the language of football, be the change that you want to see irrespective of your sexual orientation or gender identity for the good of football.