Why I Can’t Be Proud In Homophobic Africa

NB: Watch and share the Video at the end of this post. Thanks!

#Pride2017 is coming to an end and most African countries didn’t have national Pride parades. Most African LGBTQ community members yearn for big, extravagant Pride celebrations, just like in the United States of America. Trust me, I speak for many gay men and women in Africa.

You might be wondering: ‘Why don’t you organise Pride Parades?’

Well here is the thing: HATE. Yes, I know many homosexuals are not being embraced everywhere but Africa is brutal in its hateful ways. An entire continent. See this is the thing, gay people in Africa are tolerated. To a certain extend only. We are only allowed to come to the party, only if we promise not to dance. If you dance, you are frowned upon or kicked out of the party.

You see, most of us are only protected by three words in our constitutions: “…right to life.” Like the majority of African countries, my country, Namibia doesn’t protect me from discrimination based on my sexuality. African governments publicly spew their dislike of gay people and no one can do anything about it, because they are legally not doing something wrong.

Homosexuality is not deemed as a gender type as “there are only men and women.” You can not go to the police in the hope to file a case against homosexual harassment.

Governments view homosexuality as something “ungodly” and “unAfrican.”

People still literally get arrested, beaten up and killed for just being gay. There is nothing legal to protect them.

Every LGBTQ person is scared. Pride rallies are said to “disrupt the peace.”

How do you decide to be Proud, knowing someone can harass you and get away with it? Or that the police who are supposed to protect and serve you can arrest you themself for “disturbing the peace”?

As far as I am concerned, I haven’t seen or heard any Namibian politician/parlamentarian canvas for LGBTQ rights publicly. None. Not even when they preach Gender Equality. Niks. All I hear is “women and men deserve equal rights.” Thank you, but homosexuality is also a gender, can we be brave enough and talk about it too?

On a daily basis I take in a lot of homophobia from friends (childhood friends, neighbours, siblings, ect.) I have to defend my right to exist on a daily. Sometimes the questions or comments I get are so stupid and I blame it on the media.

African media keeps potraying homosexuality as ‘wrong.’ Day by day Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ect keeps fueling homophobia. Main stream media does too little, in my opinion. TV, Radio or Print media barely talks about the issue. African gay lifestyle will not change if we keep treating homosexuality like a curse. Saying “those kind of people” when talking about the LGBTQ community is wrong.

Africa keeps isolating us by not talking about us. So many people have gay family members but refuse to become an ally because “my friends will think I am gay.” Seriously, you are brutal.

Stop making unfunny comments about gay people. Stop telling kids “gay is not normal.” Stop overreacting. Stop killing. Stop murdering.

Stop treating being gay as something shocking. Talking about shock; today my mom calls me to the TV, just to show me a transgender woman. In all honesty, I am glad I am at such a comfortable stage with my parents, but I would want them not to get excited when they see a gay or transgender person on TV. Once again, lack of films/shows with LGBTQ people in Africa. Also, some African countries have decided to cut cartoons/other TV channels because their carry the “gay agenda.” I am still recovering from this one, seriously, the gay agenda?!

Africa has this mindset that “being gay is foreign” and will never change if we make homosexuality part of our livelihood. We are homosexuals from Africa after all, seriously, growing up I didn’t even see two men kissing but I knew I was gay. The sooner African communities realise we are here and we are queer, the better life will be for the future queer generation.

So Africa, stop being brutal and let’s learn to love. Why are we being prosecuted for who we are?

PS: My social media is going to get more and more gayer. Kill me if you must. I can’t be shaken anymore.

Watch: Homphobic Africa:

@MyQueerSky on Twitter


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