Pride flag placed on Ugandan peak to protest anti-gay law

‘Climb up and take it down’ if you don’t like it, US climber tells president

American Neal Gottlieb climbed Uganda’s highest peak and placed a rainbow flag at the summit to protest the enactment of an anti-gay law that further criminalizes homosexuality in the country.

In a Facebook post about his action, Gottlieb says he wrote to Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, telling him, “Your country’s highest point is no longer its soil, its snow or a summit marker, but rather a gay pride flag waving brilliantly, shining down from above as a sign of protest and hope on behalf of the many thousands of Ugandans that you seek to repress and the many more that understand the hideous nature of your repressive legislation.”

He continues, “As the president of a nation you have the opportunity to be a great man and lead your country forward. Instead, you choose to hold your people back like the imperialists, the dictators and the warlords that have held Africa back generation after generation. The people that you wish to imprison are the same people who can help Uganda grow into a great nation.

“If you don’t like said flag on your highest peak,” he adds, “I urge you to climb up and take it down.”

Gottlieb’s protest has attracted both positive and negative responses. He told BuzzFeed that some people have said his action “echoes of imperialism” and could be harmful to LGBT Ugandans. Others, including Frank Mugisha, of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), called Gottlieb’s move a “good thing” and a show of “support and solidarity.”

Natasha Barsotti is originally from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. She had high aspirations of representing her country in Olympic Games sprint events, but after a while the firing of the starting gun proved too much for her nerves. So she went off to university instead. Her first professional love has always been journalism. After pursuing a Master of Journalism at UBC , she began freelancing at Xtra West — now Xtra Vancouver — in 2006, becoming a full-time reporter there in 2008.

Read More About:
Activism, Power, News, Human Rights, Africa

Keep Reading

Job discrimination against trans and non-binary people is alive and well

OPINION: A study reveals that we have a long way to go to reach workplace equality for trans and non-binary people

The new generation of gay Conservative sellouts

OPINION: Melissa Lantsman’s and Eric Duncan’s refusals to call out their party’s transphobia is a betrayal of the LGBTQ2S+ community

Over 300 anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills have been introduced this year. This doesn’t mean we should panic

OPINION: While it’s important to watch out for threats, not all threats are created equally. Some of these bills will die a natural death

Xtra’s top LGBTQ2S+ stories of the year

The best and brightest—even most bewildering—stories from a back catalogue brimming with insight