Pepe Julian Onziema

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Pepe Julian Onziema
Born1981 (age 36–37)

Pepe Julian Onziema is an LGBT rights activist from Uganda.[1] In 2012, he was named a Global Citizen by the Clinton Global Initiative for his work in human rights advocacy.[2] He began his human rights work in 2003,[3] which has twice led to his arrest.[4] He has since participated in organizing gay pride celebrations in Uganda.[5]

In 2013, he was shortlisted for the David Kato Vision and Voice Award, an award in honour of his slain friend and colleague, and fellow advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda, David Kato.[6]

In 2014, he was interviewed by John Oliver on the American television series Last Week Tonight about the human rights situation for LGBT people in Uganda.[7] Stonewall selected Onziema as Hero of the Year in 2014.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Onziema initially identified as lesbian,[9] and now lives as a trans man[10]. He lives in Kampala.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ When Elephants Fight, the Grass Suffers: Interview with Gay Rights Activist Pepe Julian Onziema, by Daniella Zalcman, at the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting; published April 14, 2014; retrieved July 3, 2014
  2. ^ 2012 Clinton Global Citizen Awards Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine., at the Clinton Global Initiative; published 2012; retrieved July 3, 2014
  3. ^ LGBTI - making love a crime, at Amnesty International USA; published June 25, 2013; retrieved July 3, 2014
  4. ^ Interview with civil society activist: Pepe Julian Onziemam, at; published May 1, 2011; retrieved July 3, 2014
  5. ^ Why Gay Pride Celebrations In Uganda Were Discreet, by Gregory Warner, at WBUR-FM/National Public Radio; published August 5, 2013; retrieved July 3, 2014
  6. ^ 2013 Short List Archived 2014-10-24 at the Wayback Machine., at Vision And Voice Award; retrieved March 16, 2016
  7. ^ "WATCH: John Oliver Brilliantly Exposes the U.S.-U.K. Influence on Uganda's Antigay Law". The Advocate, June 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Stonewall’s hero of the year award goes to Pepe Julian Onziema, by Alexandra Topping, at the Guardian, by Alexandra Topping; published November 7, 2014; retrieved November 11, 2014
  9. ^ a b Being Gay in Uganda: One Couple's Story, by Glenna Gordon, at Time; published March 8, 2010; retrieved July 3, 2014
  10. ^ Living proudly in face of Uganda's anti-gay bill, by Pepe Julien Onziema, at; published January 25, 2013; retrieved July 3, 2014