Clare Byarugaba

“Clare is humble, down to earth, and focused simply on advocating for human rights. She is one of the kindest, most real and genuine people I have ever met, and I believe she deserves to be celebrated.” – Farzana Mussa, Nominator

Clare is an LGBTI activist and feminist based in Uganda – a country that actively and legally persecutes members of the LGBTI community. Driven by her passion to work for the realisation of the human rights and freedom for the LGBTI community, she became a visible and forefront leader of the movement, speaking out for the oppressed. Among her many accomplishments is her work with the Civil Society Coalition that successfully fought the notorious anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda.

Clare was nominated by Farzana Mussa, a canadian by birth, African by parental origin, and South Asian by ethnicity. Farzana was brought to Uganda in 2015 to pursue a dream of working in development and exploring new cultures and peoples along the way. What was a 1 year adventure has turned into a 3 year lifetime and counting. Farzana nominated Clare because….

” Clare and I met in at a bar in Kampala. Like many other bars, conversations tends be short, simple, surface-level. Clare and I met and spoke about faith, love, passion, family. She was the first person I met in Uganda that made a strange country feel like ‘home’. She is one of the kindest, most real and genuine people I have ever met, and I believe she deserves to be celebrated.”-Farazana Mussa 

“a lot remains to be done for the advancement of the rights of the LGBT community in Uganda and it’s an honour and I’m privileged to be part of that movement which against so many odds is trying to change the tide and the experience of the LGBT community in Uganda for the better.”-Clare 

Aquil on why he chose to CelebrateHer: Clare is an amazing listener. She asks good questions. She seems willing to see the good in people. Her demeanour might be related to the fact that she’s the only daughter in the family with 7 brothers! Living in Montreal, walking in the Village, I think it’s easy to forget the struggles of queer peoples around the world. Clare is a great example of someone who does activist work not necessarily because she’s interested in abstract human rights and “politics,” but because she’s interested in her own survival.