We need to place priority where priority is due. My relationship with another man has no effect on you whatsoever. I do not threaten any family. I do not cause you not to eat your Ugali for dinner. I do not cause you any harm. Corruption, insecurity, unemployment; these are the things that affect you. No matter what any politician says about homosexuality. Consider the fact that they are only using homosexuality to divert attention to what they are doing or not doing in their capacity as leader. They are using this highly emotive issue to get attention away from that land they grabbed. Away from that contract they irregularly offered. Away from all the issues that actually affect you and yours.
I do have the audacity to say that gay and lesbian people pay taxes on national TV because, guess what, we do.
I don’t normally respond to hate messages online. The reason I do so now is because I feel the urge to state the obvious. That I am the same person who spent 4 years with you in high school. I haven’t changed one bit. Granted there is a bit of facial hair and a bald spot on my head where they didn’t exist back then but I am still essentially the same person. You didn’t seem to have any problem with me back then. Why is it that you do, now that you know that I am gay and support the rights of gay and lesbian people?
I have known that my sexual orientation did not conform to the “norm” since as far back as I can remember. I knew I was gay when I was in high school. I didn’t say it then because I didn’t know anyone else who was like me. I lived an incredibly lonely life. A lonely life that I didn’t choose. A life that was filled with questions to myself and my maker. Why did I have to be the one person that society shuns. The one person who will bring shame to my family. The one person who will be violated, beaten, spat on, stigmatized and ostracized by society. Why? I went on a journey of self loathing to understanding and finally accepting myself for who I am. This is a journey all gay and lesbian people have to take. Unfortunately for some, acceptance doesn’t happen and they end up taking their own lives. I almost did.
So, yes. I do pay my taxes. I contribute to society. I provide employment to fellow Kenyans. I am a brother, a son, a friend, a confidant and an incredibly patriotic citizen of this beautiful country. I live through the same security concerns that all Kenyans live through. I experience the same rise in cost of living that all Kenyans experience. I am Kenyan. If my being gay, something I have absolutely no control over, or supporting “gayism” is cause for you to feel ashamed, for you to feel like I am shaming my former school, if my sexual orientation causes you to call on Jesus who, as the Bible so clearly says, preached love, if you have a problem with who I am, what I do, where I do it, then bye Felicia.
In February 2014, I was a victim of an attack. An attack that was one of many that are faced by people for something that they have no control over. Their sexuality.
Today in Kenya, there are many reported cases of violence, discrimination and stigma towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people. The perpetrators forget that we are their brothers, their sisters, their mothers and fathers, their neighbors and friends. They forget that we pay taxes and contribute to society. They forget that we suffer the same insecurity, unemployment and rise in cost of living. They forget that we, like them, are Kenyan.
We did not, just like they did not choose our sexual orientation or gender identity. We are all simply who we are.
We should all understand and accept that Kenya is a diverse nation. Africa is a diverse continent. The world is a diverse place and THAT is what makes it beautiful.
If all Kenyans understand and accept that Kenya has many tribes and each tribe is different and beautiful. That there are many races, each different and beautiful. That there are several sexual orientations and gender identities, each different and beautiful. The moment we all accept each other for who we are. The moment we embrace diversity, then, in the words of our national anthem, peace, love and unity will prevail.
I do not believe in organized religion. There. I said it. However, that does not mean that I hate anyone that does. It does not mean that those who believe are inferior. As a matter of fact, the belief that others have in God makes me respect them more. The Bible in Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.I may not relate to that but I respect those who do. This world is a mix of differences. There are gay and straight people. There are believers and non-believers. There are black, white and many other races. This world is diverse in so many ways. The moment we all learn to accept the diversity, to respect the differences we have and live with and to spread love and not hate for our fellow human being, that is the moment when harmony in this society will prevail.
Kenyans also need to realize that as much as we put the people we did in power, as much as they are the ones who will create the laws and policies that guide us in our day-to-day living, they will not put food on our tables. We are the ones who suffer by fighting amongst ourselves because of leaders whose only concern is their own security and how much tax-payers money they will take to the bank. It’s time we united as one. As Kenyans regardless of our ethnicity. As citizens of this beautiful country. It is time to stop politicizing the deaths of our fellow Kenyans and work on making our country one that we can all be proud of.
This report is a world survey of laws that critically looks at criminalisation, protection and recognition of same-sex love.
In the article, “We Are All African” (Page 78) I note;
But perhaps what could be seen as the most controversial of the responses sought would be aid conditionality. In October 2011, during the Commonwealth Meeting of Heads of State, David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, threatened to reduce development aid to countries that criminalise homosexuality. Shortly after the statement was made, the United States also announced that they would use all available mechanisms, including measures related to development cooperation, to promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. In February this year, the World Bank postponed a US$90 million loan due to the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act. Norway said it would be withholding $8m in development aid to Uganda, and Denmark will divert $9m away from the Ugandan government saying that they couldn’t distance themselves too strongly from the law and the signal that the Ugandan government now sends to not only persecuted minority groups, but to the whole world. Austria said it was reviewing its assistance to Uganda.
What are your thoughts on aid conditionality, particularly when the aid is tied to sexual orientation and gender identity?