“…I really didn’t know where I got the courage, and I talked about our security, health issues…”
“I never knew about activism when I was doing sex work. Until I joined a group of sex workers that were organized by men who had funding by then. One time, a sex-worker-led group came to our area to help us re-organize and lead ourselves. I was elected by other girls to lead the group. I was so excited. When we formed Crested Crane Lighters, I was so shy, I always feared to come up in public, because sex work is illegal in Uganda. But one time, a friend of mine invited me to their meeting with the members of parliament. When I reached there, I got so scared. But time came for me to speak, I really didn’t know where I got the courage, and I talked about our security, health issues, and finally I got their attention. By the time the workshop ended, they came to me, asked different questions about sex work, and why we’d decide to do it. And the media captured all that, and it was shown on TV, all over our country. That’s when my activism and feminism grew stronger and stronger. And ever since then, different sex work and LGBTI organizations started inviting me to their meetings because they saw I had the potential to change the world.”
Juliet is a member of Crested Crane Lighters, a FRIDA grantee partner in Uganda. Crested Crane Lighters is a group of young women and transgender sex workers aiming to protect and advance the rights of female sex workers and their children. They advocate for the adoption of international human rights policies in national legislation and document and report violence experienced by young sex workers.