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Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders & Inter sexs In Kenya: An Apologia
More by user: nziokanzioka
Created: 10th Oct 2009
Modified: 10th Oct 2009
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It must be admitted, rather painfully, that the Kenyan LGBTI community faces, not only 'enemies' that stalk and hound their lifestyle and sexual orientation, some man-made, others cultural, political and some may even say, are divine in nature, but they daily face the struggle of accepting, of coming out, of living and expressing who they are as LGBTI first and then as Kenyans.

We all have heard of or are strikingly familiar with attacks meted on some of our brothers and sisters out there, in social and home scenes, at work places and some would think in the most safest of places of all, church. No matter which environment, social strata or age group one is in, there is bound to be some form or level of discrimination, hate or indifference going on.

This situation is compounded more by the lack of any well established design or structures that can deal (and they must) with cases that arise daily or in alarming frequency. Those that do occur and not
known are many than those we do know of methinks. Fear and reprisals, physical or otherwise, has forced the victims to hide and keep quiet.

Religious leaders have a firm 'NO' to homosexuality, well most of them, or any other form of union(s) not clearly or explicitly mentioned in the Bible. Speak of being 'narrowed.' Systems of government and administration also add to the confusion and hate geared towards LGBTI people by their lack of cooperation, fear and personal hatred towards us. Our very own families, with the expectation of a few, do not support or agree that we should be who we are: Homosexuals. We are ignored, we are beaten, we are insulted, we are hated, we are looked at differently, we are killed, we are spat on, we are ignored, we are laid off from work and sources of income, we are cut off from filial and fraternal bonds, we are made to feel unloved, unappreciated, unimportant, useless and pretty much, 'flaws' from the start that are not wanted.

We suffer in silence. The scourge of HIV/AIDS, illiteracy, poverty, and absence of fall-ons has made the plight of LGBTI people even more deplorable. Society has trouble with the thought that a man can enjoy anal sexual intercourse with another man. They have trouble with a woman being intimate and sexually active with another woman. They slightly wonder why a man, who is by all looks straight, would be interested in another man like him. They wonder and can't fathom that a (natural born) male or female can change and be a woman or a man.

They look with stupefaction at men who wear female clothes and women who wear men clothes. They can handle seeing it done by actors/actresses as amusement or fun but in reality, they have reservations. They can't process the cry of a 12 year old boy saying he is a girl trapped in a man's body or a girl saying she is a boy trapped. They can hardly believe a 70 year old woman can wear a mustache and walk 'manly.'

I have dealt with countless cases of LGBTI persons seeking help in one form or another. Cases of being chased from home by family or siblings due to their orientation, assault and beatings due to being homosexualor acting feminine or masculine in cases of women and girls, lack of economic muscles to
even buy food, pay rent or otherwise, plus the daily wars waged by a conscience that has been hammered to believe that being gay is wrong and a free will to accept who we are, equally given by the same GOD, who it is claimed loves everyone no matter what, have been part of my life and challenge as a gay man.

It tears my heart to hear stories of how LGBTI persons are suffering in silence, suffering in their homes, in work places, in churches and in homes. It is sad that we have gay people living in the streets and in car parks, ditches and dingy lodgings, in benches and other inhabitable places. It pains that we have people being left alone, being dumped by family and friends. It pains when I hear homosexuals being laid off, are suffering all forms of molestation and violence.

It saddens me knowing that there are homosexuals out there whose only means of sustenance is selling their bodies. Some are being recruited to perform lewd acts on camera by unscrupulous film directors and porn lords whose only intent is to make a few extra coins. It pained when I was told told of a gay guy who was beaten and suffered multiple fractures after asking, and rightly so, for payment after a sexual service rendered. And how many blackmail case have I seen and heard of? Rape cases are on the increase against LGBTI persons. There are people who think that a lesbian can be made to 'change' and love men by raping and sodomizing her. What a pity!

And what about our trans and inter sex individuals who daily face the task of expressing themselves to a hostile and unforgiving society. Many times they are frowned upon and treated with hate, made to suffer for something they did not chose. Caster Semenya is now on suicide watch because she has been mocked and humiliated. Closer home, many inter sex children, in slums and other low-income estates, are not cared for and are shunned.

Its time to change the way we deal, the way we talk, the way we speak and the way we carry ourselves with LGBTI's. Remember, they too are skin and bones.

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