From the article “Fight Stereotypes of Gay Kenyans,” based on an interview with Kenya activist Jane Wothaya:
“People don’t walk around with labels on their foreheads for you to see what their sexual orientation is. These people are your brothers, your sisters, your cousins, your employers and your employees. …
Kenya’s understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity is minimal, she says. There is a lot of prejudice based on the views of many of Kenya’s clergy and “there have been inciting statements made by politicians and a lot of misinformation and ignorance about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity,” Wothaya says.
But it was social media and the mainstream press, radio and television that frustrated her the most. “For example, we had radio stations that did call-in sessions where people would call and talk about the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya as though it is the devil or something.
“And this was the kind of information that they were passing to their teenagers who were struggling to just get to know who they were and getting to discover what they were.”
Custom and tradition have perpetuated the problems for the gay community of Kenya. Wothaya describes “the issue of living in a patriarchal society where gender role and gender norms are passed on for years and years and so the prejudices and ignorance continue.”
- Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina says he is gay (ambulivictor.wordpress.com)
- Prediction: Kenya too will enact anti-gay laws (76crimes.com)
- Kenya May Be Uniquely Ripe for Advances in Gay Rights (towleroad.com)