by Nathan Kipkosgey, Nairobi

by Nathan Kipkosgey, Nairobi

LGBTQ: Love over hate

30 Nov, 2018

by Nathan Kipkosgey, Nairobi

The LGBT movement in Africa is slow but sure.

LBTQ movements in Africa are growing in leaps and bounds. Slowly but surely more African are getting out of their closets and cocoon to come out openly and declare their sexual orientation. These come with huge risks, not just risks but an enormous risk of losing loved ones such friend family and even losing your life on the extreme end. Staring at life imprisonment is also real. Their only crime is to love. This is very ridiculous.

People should be enlightened that humans are born with certain unalienable rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and yes gay people to deserve happiness, life, and liberty to choose whoever they love. These rights should not be viewed as a favor not even one government on the face the of the should ever think it has a right to withdraw any of these rights.

Homosexuality is practiced in all African countries but it seriously frowned upon even in the only two countries that have legalized it, Cape Verde and South Africa. Lesbians in South Africa face brutal “corrective” rape, bearing in mind they are protected by that country’s laws and constitution.

Finding a job as an LGBTQ person can only be compared to squeezing the juice out of a rock. Even if they start their own businesses most members of the community will shun their products and services. These have resulted in unprecedented high levels of poverty among LBTQ members. You can imagine what it is like to be poor amongst poor people. This means you cannot afford the very basic needs.

It is not all gloomy and sad we must admit that there is progress being made. The LGBTQ movement in Africa has recorded a lot of successes. Today LGBTQ stories are told on the mainstream media through movies and drama which has gone a long way in eradicating stereotyping of gay people, Safari Movie. People speak openly about homosexuality unlike before where people used to whisper in the cafes. More and more people are coming out of their closets and owning themselves for whom they are. The fact that gay parade could be held in the tiny African Kingdom of eSwatini can only be said to be a miracle. This has gone a long way in encouraging the visibility of gay people and giving more people the courage to come out. In Uganda, there is even a magazine by the name Bombastic Magazine which goes a long way to share their stories and sharing their plight. This magazine not only covers the LGBTQ family but also sex workers plights and stories including many other vulnerable groups of people.

LGBTQ family may be facing a lot of challenges but the day of reckoning is surely coming. Slow but sure we shall overcome these tides and we shall come out victorious. The day where all humans are treated equally as they were created in spite of whoever they love, the day love won’t be a crime then we shall know we have overcome hate and love has won. Until then let us celebrate the little gains we are making to our final destination lest we are distracted by the hate mongers, populist politicians and conservative religious leaders preaching hate instead of love. Surely a journey of a thousand mile begins with a single step.

Nathan is a Kenyan columnist who loves to express himself through writing. You can read his weekly column on GLXY.EU.