Monday, February 7, 2011

Kenya: "Gays here are just outcasts"

via Voice of America, by Darren Taylor

Denis Nzioka lives in Nairobi and is one of East Africa’s most prominent gay rights activists.  He works for a variety of NGOs, including the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya and the Gay Activists Alliance of Africa.

Nzioka says opinions like those of Ichuliza, Wathira and Githui have always been popular in Kenya.  But – fueled by some politicians, religious leaders and “cultural bigots” – he says homophobia’s becoming “much more” common in the country.

“We have had (recent) cases of police beating up gay people.  We have had gay parties being raided by police, or any effeminate guy – maybe in a club – being thrown out by bouncers or the police being called to arrest this person,” Nzioka says.  “We also have cases of gay people being blackmailed.  I know of one well-known Kenyan who has paid blackmailers 200,000 Shillings (about US$ 2,500) to prevent him being exposed as a homosexual.”

According to Nzioka, some Kenyan health institutions are also homophobic.  “We’ve had cases of homosexuals being infected with anal and oral gonorrhea and going to the hospital where doctors refused to treat them,” he says.

He says homophobia is very prevalent in Kenya’s schools.  “We often hear of cases of gay students being discriminated against by fellow pupils and even teachers,” he says.

And in Kenya’s streets, the insults persist.  “Homophobes shout at you, ‘You fag! Homo!   You prostitute!  You are evil; you are immoral.  You are worse than pigs; you are just dogs,” says Nzioka.
Read the rest.

[If an item is not written by an IRMA member, it should not be construed that IRMA has taken a position on the article's content, whether in support or in opposition.]

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...