Headshot of Frank Mugisha

Frank Mugisha

Prominent Ugandan LGBTI Rights Advocate

Headshot of Frank Mugisha


Frank Mugisha is a prominent advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) rights, a respected human rights champion, and an anti-violence advocate. 

He is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), the largest and leading organization of the LGBTI the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) movement in Uganda. He also founded Icebreakers Uganda, an organization created as a support network for LGBTI Ugandans who are out or in the process of coming out. Mugisha sits on the management committee of the Common Wealth Equality Network and is the African regional representative for TCEN, an LGBTI rights advocacy network within Common Wealth. In 2012, he started the first and only LGBTI Health Center in Uganda. 

Mugisha’s work has been recognized worldwide by distinguished figures including former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the former US Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. He has received numerous awards including the 2011 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the 2011 Rafto Prize for Human Rights, and the 2013 International Human Rights Film Award, along with citations and proclamations from the city councils of New York City and Philadelphia. In 2014, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

In 2012, Mugisha was named by the UK’s Independent magazine to its “Pink List” (now called “Rainbow List”) of most influential LGBTI individuals in the UK. In 2009 and 2014, Mugisha was named by The Advocate magazine as one of the leading activists under 40. In 2016, he was named among top 50 world leaders by Fortune magazine. In 2020, he received the African Feather Award as well as the Best Human Rights Activist in Uganda 2020 Award. In 2021, Vogue named him among the top seven activists fighting to improve LGBTQ+ rights in Africa.