Transparency • Responsibility • Integrity
WELCOME TO PRIDE MONTH BRAVE LISTENERS!!
What better way to kick off PRIDE month than talk to LGBTQ+ Activist and native of Uganda, Michael Kajubi.
Michael faces daily risks in order to help others, give back to his community and support LGBTQ+ travelers, through his LGBTQ+ tourism company, McBern Tours and Travel. Uganda has a firm anti-LGBTQ+ stance that makes this work difficult and dangerous. Still, Michael continues to support and protect those who want to visit his beloved country.
A Challenging Background
Sadly, Michael’s journey began with loss and hardship. Michael's mother was extremely ill for the majority of his life and he spent a great deal of time caring for her. After her unfortunate passing, he took on the responsibility of caring for his grandmother.
He soon discovered that his community was filled with countless stories of children and young adults serving as the primary caregivers for the elderly. There are many challenges this presents and Michael knew he wanted to find ways to make things easier for everyone.
Although Michael has known he was gay for a very long time, he also knew it was unsafe to be publically “out.” Unfortunately, as a young man, he was dealt a frightening and dangerous blow. He lost his job based merely on suspicions that he was involved in the LGBTQ+ community. Michaels sexuality put him in extreme danger!
Because his fear of rejection is strong, Michael has still not come out to a majority of his family. While this is no easy road to travel, he faces it bravely and persues activism in as many ways as possible. Even sharing his story with us puts him at risk but Micahel says it's a risk he feels he must take because “Someone has to start [in order to make a difference.]”
A Business is Born
Losing his job lead Michael to self-reflection. He always desired to help the elderly and the ill who couldn’t afford to take care of themselves. The time had come to start a business that would make a difference in the lives of others!
He set his mind towards figuring out a way to build a social enterprise. Eventually, his love of tourism led to McBern Tours and Travel, and the McBern Foundation shortly followed.
Deep in the remote villages of Uganda, many people cannot even afford a simple meal for the day. Oftentimes, they don’t have adult children to care for them, so they are left being cared for by their grandchildren. The McBern Foundation works to help the elderly and the ill in the community. Michael passionately and directly helps the sick and elderly who have been rejected by their families and workplaces.
References Mentioned in Michael’s Interview
- Activism is hard, no matter where you live.
- There is so much value in having a place where you can truly be yourself.
- Giving to those in need makes a direct impact on the world around us.
Valuing the importance of awareness, Michael supports the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) Foundation. The IGLTA Foundation promotes equality and safety for LGBTQ+ travel around the world through research, education, and leadership opportunities. These resources benefit members across all areas of the LGBTQ+ tourism industry worldwide.
Michael clearly loves his country and that show through his work. He desires to show Uganda’s beauty to every person who visits and to increase tourism in general. It takes a lot of courage to guide LGBTQ+ travelers through the region.
Ugandan culture does not allow for public affection, and Michael helps LGBTQ+ visitors understand societal norms, keep a low profile and stay safe. He also places guests in familiar, LGBTQ+ friendly hotels. Bravely, he strives to create an atmosphere of safety and education.
Michael plans to expand McBern Tours and Travel to other areas of Africa in the coming years.
Connect with Michael
Considering a trip to Uganda? Be sure to check out Michael’s website for more information about exploring the beauty of East Africa. You can also connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Michael enjoying some time for relaxation.
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