My first day in France: Joël

"In our country, being gay is not allowed… Because I wanted to save my life… I had to leave it." Joel arrived in Paris after fleeing Uganda — this is how he lived his first day in France.

‘I left Uganda because of my sexuality’

I reached Paris; I did not get the happiness I thought. The only thing that got to me was that I’m alive, I’m not dead. I remember when I came, I was stranded here with the bags. I stayed here for a long time, for hours and hours. I didn’t know what to do. What I remember, I saw the police guys taking some people, and I thought I was also going to be taken. So, I went in the corner, I sat there, I cried. I cried until I had to say, “Now, Joel, it’s over! You have to fight, or you have to think.” So, I had to think and say, now, what can I do next?

I got a phone, I called my friend back in Uganda, and I said asked him for help, if he knew anyone here. So, he gave me the contact and I called. And then I had to call a friend here and had to come and rescue me, but unfortunately, he also didn’t know. He did not have a place because he had also just come here. We got a connection and then we went to Bonne Nouvelle. That’s where I slept.

And after getting problems, issues, after my life being in danger, being recognized as a gay person, as a gay activist, and as a human rights defender. Because in our country, being gay is not allowed. I do not have a dream to leave my country because I thought that everything, I had in my country was fine for me. We are here at OFPRA, where I got my special constitutional status in France, after France recognized me as a special person. I left Uganda because of my sexuality. It was okay. But because I wanted to save my life, I wanted to have a good security and to secure my life, I had to leave it.


11/27/2019 11:19 AM
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  • 268


  • Bjorn S.
    19 hours

    Amazing. Courageous guy !!! I love him and respect him!!!

  • Sibyl S.
    a day

    Live your life honey

  • Phil R.
    a day

    May God Himself visit you . You're a handsome man and you should recreate ..

  • Jimeah J.
    2 days

    this is dope. Don’t know why you came to mind, but check it out!!

  • Ivonne J.
    2 days


  • Elizabeth P.
    2 days

    I am glad you were saved, the world is better with you in it!!

  • Kristie M.
    3 days

    This makes me mad seriously...countries killing people because of who they are regardless of religion or sexuality both is horrible

  • Shelly R.
    3 days

    You are a human who are we to judge

  • Veronica H.
    3 days

    God bless you young man. I hope you find the happiness you deserve. If you ever need a friend, look me up. I'm 100% for you.

  • Tawain E.
    4 days

    That ain't nothin wait and see what God do to gay people when he come back

  • Towanda G.
    5 days

    Live your Best life👏👏

  • Carla R.
    5 days


  • James P.
    5 days

    Dude only God can judge and I will give a f*** where you go in the world you going to have gay people

  • Ronn M.
    6 days


  • Charmaine J.
    6 days


  • Kamar D.
    01/19/2020 19:19

    I don’t care 🤷🏿‍♂️🤷🏿‍♂️🤷🏿‍♂️

  • Marlo F.
    01/19/2020 08:40

    Handsome gay man

  • Sasha B.
    01/19/2020 07:41

    u was telling the truth u are not allowed nto be gay in africa

  • Lopz S.
    01/19/2020 03:39

    Gays are not allowed

  • Walls B.
    01/19/2020 02:23