Returning to Uganda Could Be a Death Sentence for This Gay Man. So Will America Let Him Stay?
When Daniel’s life became a horrifying spiral of harassment and brutality, he fled to the sanctity of the U.S. Now he waits—and waits—to learn his fate.
Photos by Vincent Tullo
Daniel is a criminal.
At least, he is considered one in his homeland of Uganda, a naturally resplendent country in East Africa – a place he still refers to as “heaven on earth.” Daniel’s only crime, however, is being gay. Uganda is one of 34 countries in Africa with anti-LGBTQ laws.
In Uganda, Daniel – who asked that his name be changed for his protection and privacy –led an introverted, clandestine existence, one manipulated by systematic injustice, and ultimately marred by the betrayal of those closest to him.
Now living in Brooklyn with an expired B-2 visa he acquired two years ago, Daniel, 31, is awaiting the review of his asylum application. Initially, he only intended to visit the United States, and then return to Uganda. Upon his arrival stateside, though, Daniel confided in his employer about how terrified he was in Uganda, and strongly considered defecting.
“I just want to be somewhere where I am free,” Daniel says, “where people accept me as who I am – not…