ABOUT BRAYO BRYANS
Brayo Bryans (born Nkoyooyo Brian is an LGBTQ+ singer-songwriter and human rights activist from Uganda, East Africa.
Brayo’s journey has been an inspired one. Using visual and performing arts as an advocacy, sensitization, empowerment and inspiration tool, Brayo led the organizing committee of Uganda’s first pride celebrations.
However, those years took a toll on Brayo. His life was in constant danger and he fell into a deep depression.
While in Uganda, in 2004, Brayo was a co-founder of a community-based LGBT organization called Icebreakers Uganda (IBU), and a former Director from 2010 to 2018. IBU is an organization that advocates for the rights of LGBTIQ people in the fields of health and human rights. Brayo also co-founded TUK (Talented Ugandan Kuchus) a group of Talented LGBT artists who used performing arts to sensitize LGBT issues in Uganda, while advocating for fundamental basic human rights and empower the community members.
His passion for using the arts as a tool of advocacy in the fight for recognition and acceptance and well-being of the LGBT community in Uganda led to the composition of the Kuchu Anthem which is now a Ugandan LGBT movement song that was sung and performed alongside the TUK group. This was also a song off his album and was dedicated to the LGBT movement called “My Pride”.
In 2012, Brayo experienced a traumatic moment while organizing an album launch party and a play performance with TUK at the National Theatre in Kampala, which was raided and shut down by the Ugandan police.
This was traumatic for the members of TUK and most of them ended up fleeing the country for safety after being “outed” through media which led to the demise of the group.
In 2019, with the help of Rainbow Railroad, Brayo had to flee my country and seek refuge in Canada away from persecution in my home country. Uprooting himself with nothing but a backpack of worn-out clothes, his music and his voice, was the hardest thing he has ever done.
“Music has always been my refuge, therapy, healer and escape. When I sing I find myself being transported away from a world full of hate to a peaceful universe where love leads, all my stress and depression go away and all I feel is serenity and peace.”