My name is Anthony Oluoch. I am my mother’s son. I am a brother to my siblings. I am a friend to some. I am an enemy to others. I work. I pay my taxes. I provide employment to other Kenyans. I make mistakes like everyone else does. I love. I laugh. I cry. I cook. I eat. I was born in Narok, Kenya. I have had my heart broken. I have broken some hearts. I make mistakes sometimes. I am human. And I am Kenyan. And I also just happen to be gay.
Why do I have to say that? Because people like me are mistreated, discriminated against, lose their jobs, beaten in the streets, threatened with violence, suffer silently until some cannot take it anymore and they end up taking their own lives. All this because of their sexual orientation. Something none of us has control over. Gay or Straight. None of us wakes up one day and decides, “from this moment on, I will be emotionally and sexually attracted to men (or women).” It all occurs naturally. For me and I’m sure if you ask many other gay identifying people, it is not a choice we made.
I tried to be different. I tried to fit in to what society wants me to be. It did not work. I prayed on it. I contemplated hurting myself. I finally got to the point of accepting that this is who I am. There is nothing to justify the level of hate spewed on social media towards people who love others of the same sex. Love is kind. Love is selfless. Love is full of hope. Love is full of trust. Love is not proud. Love is God and God is Love. People, diverse as they are, love differently.
So when a mother allows her daughter to commit suicide because she does not like the fact that she loves other girls, when a father beats his son to inches of his death because he is uncomfortable with the fact that his son loves other men. When a landlord evicts his tenant because he never sees women visiting him, just men. When an employer fires his employee because a picture of her kissing another woman was leaked on the internet. When a preacher preaches hate towards people who have made no mistake other than not being able to love others of the opposite sex. I question the kind of morality that we as a nation are pushing.
Gay and lesbian people are a part of the Kenyan society. They have been a part of the Kenyan society since our grandparents and great-grandparents’ time. We will still be a part of this society. We contribute to the growth of it. We suffer the repercussions of our corrupt leaders. WE ARE KENYAN. We are patriotic Kenyans and we will remain Kenyan until we breath our last.