WHO IS FARUG
Who is FARUG? Just to remind you, my name is Freedom and Roam Uganda, but feel free to call me FARUG. I was born in 2003, as a sister to the women’s movement. I was conceived by three fierce, radical feminists (mothers). My entry into the world was not easy. It was determined and aggressive, a clear reminder that the power of patriarchy and homophobic beliefs are too huge to be dismantled by a meek, quiet, docile and conformist child who comes into the world without fighting.
Unlike many in the women’s movement, circumstances surrounding my birth were difficult. My collective mothers were alone, each in her own corner facing deep discrimination, hatred, and backlash from religious, social, and political conservatives. They were also facing coercion and arbitrary deprivation of liberty whether occurring in public or private life. Every time they ran full speed, they crashed into religious fundamentalism[i], homophobia, patriarchy and hetero normativity; fell back and met violence. In their struggle for freedom, they were abused, cut and bruised till they realised that the challenges were huge and if they did not organise, they would die quietly, alone and sad. They needed to build a critical mass of human defenders, able to use the power of their numbers to demand change. They also made it clear that I was to work with others who wanted the freedom to roam and build a collective because, feminism, which I am, is collective.
Born with a mission: When my mothers were pregnant, a song was composed in preparation for my birth. It was a soul song about a world where the rights, dignity and freedom of LBQ persons are guaranteed and respected. A world where sexual diversity is normalised. So I was born with a mission to organise LBQ women to demand recognition for sexual diversity, freedom to roam, dignity, justice and equality. I was born to create autonomous and brave spaces for LBQ women, to collectively fight for freedom from violence while acquiring the tools to understand the power and how power operates to either oppress or emancipate. In the women’s movement, I was a threat for some but fresh air for others. Many were afraid to work on issues of sexual identity and orientation. This left an empty colorful chair which I boldly and courageously sat on and joined the rest of my sisters. Some, in the movement, struggled to accept the color of my chair, but have now accepted that no matter the color of the chair, we are co-travelers fighting for every woman’s rights without judging.
Today the collective continues to be built; I have been replaced with the US/WE, the collective, the feminist and LBQ women’s movement.
Growth: We are no longer simply a small LBQ organisation. Our function as a crucible and as a political and ideological home for LBQ people’s rights is well known in civil society and appreciated. We are eager to learn, take risks, are fun-loving, disrupt the status quo, and embrace all LBQ women without judging. We are bursting with energy but also fear for the more visible we are the more homophobic the attacks. We have experienced serious challenges, especially those that pertain to operating in a disempowering context and raising money for an organisation whose activities are not necessarily visible to those who are not affected by homophobia. Along the way, we also experienced transition hurdles.
Over the years, we have built a community of activists, leaders, facilitators, thinkers, healers and feminist witches  to support us in searching, visioning, dreaming, daring, communicating and doing. We have built diverse and inclusive alliances with a broader group of stakeholders who have joined in our mission of increasing investments– financial, social and political – for LBQ women. The alliances joined us in fighting the Uganda homosexuality bill .
We have strengthened LBQ women’s leadership, promoted their sexual and reproductive health and rights especially challenging prejudice, taboos and stigma; increased their visibility, enabled them to access resources, rights and freedoms and expanded grass-roots organising. While inequality, homophobia and hatred are deepening, it is impressive to see just how much we have contributed to change in the ways our strategy defined it, in very tangible ways. For instance, many LBQ organisations have been born and most were inspired by us.
Our work is not always conventional. For example, when you come to our organisation you might find our members sitting and enjoying a cup of tea. They do not visit because they are redundant, they come to hear and feel the words; ‘you are not alone. You are seen. We are with you.
Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG) is a Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) diverse persons and womxn’s rights organisation based in Uganda and established in 2003.
We are a feminist organization that reinforces feminist culture and principles, equality of womxn as stipulated in human rights and international instruments.
We challenge male chauvinism, patriarchy and cultures that aim at oppressing womyn. We create womxn autonomous spaces, challenge heteronomativity and forge sisterhood and solidarity.
FARUG is the oldest sorely Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer womxn organization that has been actively leading and organizing sexual orientation and gender identity through lobbying, dialogue to create and facilitate greater visibility and voice.
Read more: https://linktr.ee/FARUG
STRATEGY & VISION
A world where being an LBQ womxn is normal
To strengthen and mobilize the voice, visibility, and collective organizing power of LBQ womxn in order to change the norms, institutions, policies, and practices that perpetuate inequality, homophobia, hetero normativity and violence in both the public and private arenas
A healthy and vibrant LBQ community that is respected, well-informed, competent, and committed to individual and community development.
- Strengthened activist Leadership
- Freedom from Violence
- Social and Economic Rights
- Right to Health
- Movement Building
- Research and Documentation
- Voice and Visibility
- To advocate for an environment in which the rights of LBQ Womxn are respected and protected.
- To promote and advocate for equal access to friendly, non-discriminative & inclusive services to LBQ womxn.
- To promote Socio-economic rights and empowerment of LBQ womxn in Uganda.
- To strengthen FARUG’s institutional capacity to be a more accountable and effective organization.