From Ugandan Oppression To Detroit Freedom: One Gay Immigrant’s Story

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05/05/2022

Things were never great between Alistair Kiyingi and his father, but by 2017, they were getting worse, fast. In Kampala, Uganda, where his family lived, “there are not so many known homosexuals,” and it was becoming increasingly obvious Alistair was one of them. He’d been named and outed in a scurrilous online publication, and arrested a couple of times. But it wasn’t until his mother suffered a fatal fall that year, which Kiyingi claims was caused by his father, that things reached a crisis point. Kiyingi left the house, stayed with a friend for a couple days, piled up all the cash he could get his hands on, then drove to the airport and bought a one-way ticket to Washington D.C. He had a visa connected to a student program, but beyond that, no plans. He was 21 years old.

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