A new play challenges homophobia in Uganda

Written by

We’ve seen a lot of advances for gay rights in the United States, from the president announcing his support for same-sex marriage, to an appeals court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Self-portrait. Photo: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

But while those battles continue domestically, gay rights advocates are increasingly concerned about rampant homophobia abroad.

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine is a noted Hollywood actor and photographer, and has played roles in Blood Diamond, Treme, Heroes, and CSI. His recent one-man show Biro was about an HIV-positive Ugandan who entered the United States illegally to receive medical care.

Mwine is a first generation Ugandan-American, and recently spent six months in Uganda speaking with leaders in the LGBT movement. He turned those interviews into characters in his multimedia solo show, A Missionary Position. Mwine plays several roles, including a Ugandan government official, a transgender sex worker, a gay priest and a lesbian activist.

The show opens June 28 at REDCAT downtown, and Mwine recently spoke about it with KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis.