COVID-19 and How It Impacts My Life: Uganda Queer Short Stories - Desert Island Series

COVID-19 and How It Impacts My Life: Uganda Queer Short Stories - Desert Island Series


The Desert Island Series are about COVID-19 and daily activities of life among the LGBTIQQ of Uganda. These are radical compositions countering deficit narratives used to justify othering, marginalization, externalisation and peripheralisation. This is an art of crafting, claiming and consolidating space for Queer persons to talk about, demand and recognise how they can promote self-determination and quality life. In the stories we celebrate innovations, executions and translations that culminate into lived realities and destinies.

Moderator and Interviewer: Tom Muyunga-Mukasa

Featuring: Any person willing to tell a story


Meet Henry, an adult male-to-female Transgender Ugandan Person, a Clinical Psychologist and Life-span Counsellor. The father is a prince from Buganda Kingdom, an Anglican Church member and the mother is also Anglican heading the Mothers’ Union in Kisugu a suburb of Kampala Capital City Authority. Henrietta as she is known is a graduate in Clinical Psychology from Makerere University and her hands are so busy now that we are experiencing COVID-19 pandemic. Henrietta is sharing her struggles, tribulations, triumphs and lessons during COVID-19 restrictions.

Tom: Are you happy we are doing the Desert Island Series and please tell us about yourself? 

Henrietta: Thank you. Yes, I am happy to be here. I am Henry Kiweewa Ssemakookiro. I am a prince (princess too). My father is one of the uncles to the present Buganda king. We are 12 children and I am one of three boys. It means there are 9 girls at home. I am a Clinical Psychologist and contribute my expertise by providing counselling and guidance online, by phone and in person at five major hospitals in Uganda. I also lecture to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year Medical students in three Universities.  I hope to continue further studies in Clinical Psychology and may be become a Professor.

Tom: Are you gay?

Henrietta: Hahaha! Yes!

Tom: Why are some people gay?

Henrietta:  I like the question “why are some people gay?” or “why do people possess sexual orientation?” and not “why are you gay?” which to me is an insult to all those who are gay. It is as if one asked a heterosexual married man or couple who are childless, “why they do not have children!”

I am gay because I exhibit sexual desire or behaviour directed toward a person or persons of my own sex. I mean a male person. I am instinctively drawn to males. But that is the external story. The internal story is about genetics and a non-genetic component. The hormones that bathed me while I was in the womb of my mother and the environment are important factors. By the way, there is no single “gay gene” out there at all. It is just that we possess variations in DNA on chromosomes 7, 11, 12 and 15. These variants cannot be responsible for an entire normativity. They cannot predict my orientation. It is far more complex.

Tom: So why is the conversation measured by ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ scale?

Henrietta: This is an important point. Normal is defined in many ways using notions based on majorities and minorities which in turn rely on: statistics; psychology; sociology; phylogenetic; legal; and purpose in life.

Statistically: if behaviour conforms to the majority of people it is considered ‘normal.’

Psychologically: if the behaviour brings happiness and not anxiety then it is normal.

Sociologically: if the behaviour increases potential for more relationships it is considered normal.

Phylogenetically: if the behaviour is found in other animal kingdom subjects other than humans, then it is normal.

Legally: If there is no law against the behaviour then it is normal.

Life’s Purpose: If the behaviour conforms to life’s purpose then it is normal.

Tom: Let us talk about COVID-19. What tip are you giving to families in their homes?

Henrietta: I echo what I read in the previous series. It is our practices or behaviours that either expose or protect one against COVID-19 indeed.

Tom: Thank you Henrietta! How is COVID-19 affecting you or your work in anyway?

Henrietta: COVID-19 has made my work busier. We are dealing with more domestic abuse cases, teenage pregnancies, children traumatised because of confinement and I am concentrating on teaching long sessions via online platforms. It can be intense and exhausting but I am enjoying it. I have found more purpose now than ever.

Tom: We are about to wind up. This being Desert Island we give you a chance to choose an activity to do were you to find yourself in isolation but with all the comforts one needs in life. Also give a last tip to our readers on COVID-19 prevention.

Henrietta: You are crazy Tom! 

Tom: Hahahahahahahaha!

Henrietta: If I were to be at the Desert Island, I want to come along with my boyfriend. Oh! The last point! Wash the hands with soap for about 30 seconds; social distancing is a must; wear that mask and stay home if you must.

Tom: Thank you so much, I hope you will like us to make more series of this with you?

Henrietta: Yes, anytime buddy, anytime..... Cheers. Send my regards to all.


  1. Am Laura Mildred by name, i was diagnosed with Herpes 4 years ago i lived in pain with the knowledge that i wasn't going to ever be well again i contacted so many herbal doctors on this issue and wasted a large sum of money but my condition never got better i was determined to get my life back so one day i saw Mr. Morrison Hansen post on how Dr. Emu saved him from Herpes with herbal medicine i contacted Dr. Emu on his Email: we spoke on the issue i told him all that i went through and he told me not to worry that everything will be fine again so he prepared the medicine and send it to me and told me how to use it, after 14 days of usage I went to see the doctor for test,then the result was negative, am the happiest woman on earth now thanks to Dr. Emu God bless you. Email him at: Call or Whats-app him: +2347012841542 


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