“The truth of being queer is actual. It’s not a overseas factor. It’s as Kenyan, as African as it might be, and it’s ours. I bear in mind I did an interview anonymously for the BBC again in 2006. And I informed them, perhaps inside 50 years, I’ll see motion, it has occurred a lot sooner. And never simply in Kenya, however I’ve seen very many nations throughout Africa. And I’m so, so glad that that’s occurring.”

I used to be a church boy for a superb a part of my life. So, I used to be generally whore by night time, Christian by day, if I can put it like that.

I had simply come again from the UK the place I did my masters and I knew I used to be not going to return into the closet. I went to remedy and after going for over a 12 months, I simply received to just accept myself for who I’m. And I spotted that I am okay and I did not need to come again and return into the closet. I determine that closet stays within the U.Ok.

I used to be looking for my house and a pal invited me to a bunch assembly. It was individuals speaking about formalizing a motion or a approach of coming collectively and it was fascinating. It simply blew my thoughts. There have been these individuals within the room and I am like, “Fuck, these are all Kenyans.” These are all Kenyans and I knew that I might be high-quality.

And, alongside the way in which, being a journalist, I made certain that I’d use the platform that I’ve to ensure that LGBTQI+ individuals are nicely represented. So I used to cowl these tales shamelessly. Folks within the workplace puzzled, ‘Why is Kevin at all times doing the queer tales that nobody wished to the touch?” I actually did not care. I figured I’ll signify my individuals in one of the simplest ways that I can.

However, Kenya is much more open now. It is superb. I imply, it is improbable to truly suppose which you could dwell an affordable degree of queerness right here. Youthful individuals are popping out, as a result of it’s attainable. There are much more sources. There’s much more assist from what we had. There’s much more, in some instances, visibility. There’s group, there is a motion. There’s, to some extent, well being providers. The web has helped. There’s visibility on TV and on-line.

However, we’re not even out of the woods – removed from it. However, there’s gentle we’re seeing. We have seen trans girls being attacked, we have seen individuals being attacked in golf equipment. Folks being kicked out of their properties by landlords, there’s nonetheless that. We have seen pushback within the arts. There was a film known as Rafiki which featured a lesbian couple – that received banned. After which we had Tales of Our Lives and that additionally received banned. I am like, ‘You motherfuckers!’ They’re silencing voices of not simply queer individuals, however of proficient Kenyans who need to see themselves represented in content material created by Kenyans for Kenyans.

In 2011, there was a clinic in a city an hour away from me in a city known as Mtwapa. Like a ‘sexual productive’ clinic that was concentrating on males who’ve intercourse with males, intercourse staff, and so forth. And so they have been very open about that. After which the group turned on them. Final 12 months, I met one of many individuals who was on the forefront of this assault they usually’ve made a complete turnaround saying, “We acted on ignorance, these individuals are additionally part of the group.” These have been Christian and Muslim religion leaders. And these identical people at the moment are partaking with different spiritual leaders to attempt to to ask them to be extra accepting of the group so there’s that. So for me, it is necessary that we acknowledge the nice work that is been completed, but additionally recognizing that we’re removed from out of the woods.

A key driver for me with my activism is to ensure that nobody ever has to undergo that feeling of loneliness as a queer particular person. Nobody has the best to undergo that. Nobody. And I really feel actually unhappy once I hear of each the younger and outdated killing themselves due to their sexuality. That shit shouldn’t be occurring. That shit shouldn’t be occurring anyplace on the earth and shouldn’t be occurring in Africa. I hope to work much more with younger queer individuals, queer Africans, as a result of I actually need to present them and that it’s attainable to be black, African, and queer or simply African.


Kevin has just lately been accepted into Amnesty Worldwide Kenya as their first brazenly homosexual board member. He has gone on to publish Invisible: Tales from Kenya’s Queer Neighborhood, a group of tales from Kenya’s queer group, spoken at TEDx Packages and launced his personal podcast Nipe Story (Inform me a Story).

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