Africa is a third world continent, solely because it has alienated itself with taboos that are centuries old. As the rest of the world rides along, Africa is limping far behind. Welcome to Africa where people have failed to move with the rest of the world and rather decided to be comfortable with the status quo. LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, among others), is considered a sin, an abomination to the African moral standards.
Engaging in such acts will lead to public ridicule, stigmatization, and jail term or at worse death. The fight for gay rights in most African countries is a suicide mission. Governments have even treated gay groups as radicalized terror groups, advocating for their elimination. With anti-gay religious groups in an effort to gain converts pouring unprecedented resources, making the struggle even more difficult.
With the exception of Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles and South Africa which has decriminalized and/or legalized same-sex marriages, other countries have shown a hostile reception to homosexuality activities. Some countries have even outlawed and criminalized LGBTQ+ rights and activities, imposing sanctions, heavy penalties, life imprisonments or death sentences to the culprits.
Yet what these so called ‘criminals’ do is to profess love to each other, without harming anyone or affecting the economy. Until March 2018, Kenya was conducting anal examinations, before outlawed by the High Court, on gay people then slapping them with a 14 year jail term. This even though the constitution is silent on homosexuality. The government has invaded the privacy of its citizens and want to control who they love, what they watch and what they say.
I remember a while back I made a joke on Twitter.
The responses that followed were harsh and amounted to trolls. With people making assumptions and accusing me of either being gay or being a gay sympathizer. We live in a world where even the mention of the word itself can result to tainting of your name and reputation. When Rafiki, Africa’s first film with an LGBTQ+ theme was first mentioned, people shunned away, castigating it as a poison that will lure their children to immorality.
The film was banned in Kenya, the country of its origin, not to be aired or sold in any part of the country. This despite the film taming itself from intimacy scenes and only focusing on professing love. Regardless of its misfortunes, the film became the first Kenyan film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival. But Africa failed to celebrate the artistic impression it portrayed even after getting a standing ovation and positive reviews and reception in other countries.
The most ridiculous part being that, a film with no sexual advances can promote gayism. It’s not only shows how primitive Africans are but how a backward thinking syndrome has taken the continent hostage. Coming out in Africa is like digging your own grave. Gay clubs have been raided, homes torched and innocent people stoned to death just because they failed to recognize that, being straight is a default.
LGBTQ+ people are forced to linger behind the closed doors and only make love in the cover of darkness. These laws were introduced by the colonial masters, of which the then UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, publicly apologized about. But Africans will rather consider LGBTQ+ as a non-issue and work to advance corruption and tribalism as a consolation.