Africa Anti-Gay, Homophobia versus African Culture
Does homophobia be an African behavior or a western import one?
Africans are anti-gay it’is true or not? Why many Africans country people are against gay rights? Those two common questions pop often in different conversation I engaged with people in the blogging community of New-York.
I wish I could answer them in a certain way to explain the reason. Why in some Africans country people are really hostile with gay people. But I can’t find the answer for myself. So I had to do some research to try to understand the situation and then writing a blog post about it. And this is exactly what I did!
When I started my inquiry about the subject I rapidly find online. The governor of Tanzania’s largest city Dar-es-Salaam, Paul Makonda, announced on October 29th, 2018. He formed an élite special force unit to chase down anybody “suspected” of homosexuality practice.
Paul Makonda is a vehement conservative Christian. Who is openly anti-gay in his country. But Makonda also is an alongside ally of Mister John Magufuli. Who is the actual President of Tanzania? President John Magufuli is a pure traditionalist. Who believes homosexuality is the worst thing that can happen in a society.
However, Paul Makonda latest anti-gay initiative hits the news headlines and became a backlash for the government. After many human rights organization protested against this practice. To avoid the government made it in the future become a public policy in Tanzania.
Notwithstanding, the government denounces Makonda’s on the media. But in action, the Magufuli administration is strongly launching an officious and ferocious battle-ground activity against homosexuality.
They are targeting any person who is suspecting being part of the LGBTI community: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex. Surprised by what I learned so far. I wondered if Tanzania is only one country in Africa where this practice exist?
The answer was not taking to long to pop on my google request. It appears Tanzania is not the only African country hunting people from the LGBTI communities. Some other countries are quietly famous for their brutal offensive against gay people. I found that being gay is prohibited in more than 34 countries on the African continent.
In some of those countries, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death sentence. I am talking about Mauritania, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, and South Somalia. Some other countries such as Malawi, Kenya, and Egypt are according to Amnesty International the new hardliners. Those destinations are hostile against people from the LGBTI community. Avoid them when you travel for leisure or business as a gay person.
The Mix-up message from the African leaders!
Should a republic be laic or not? If you ask any African leaders this question they will tell straight no. Because African leaders often associate culture, religion, Christianity, and Islam in the same basket. Just to juxtapose their thesis and lay down their anti-gay theory and for outlawing homosexuality period.
I will start by Kenya’s Deputy President Dr.William Samoei Arap Ruto a very bright and modern leader what does he think about the LGBTI Community: “We will not allow homosexuality in our society as it violates our religious and cultural beliefs.”
Robert Mugabe President of Zimbabwe is one of the most verbal anti-gay leaders I share two of his inflammatory quotes about homosexuality: “We ask, was he born out of homosexuality? We need continuity in our race, and that comes from the woman, and no to homosexuality. John and John, no; Maria and Maria, no. They are worse than dogs and pigs. I keep pigs and the male pig knows the female one.” Declaration on ZDC radio interview, 2015
“We equally reject attempts to prescribe ‘new rights’ that are contrary to our values, norms, traditions, and beliefs. We are not gays!” Declaration UNGA, 2015
Yoweri Museveni Uganda President who made anti-homosexuality laws in Uganda much tougher said: “disgusting” and labeled homosexuality “a western import”.
But, where this African anti-gay behavior came from?
Some important research on African culture from the past shown that same-sex relationship and sexual practices are not new on this continent. It’s is evidence that homosexual relationships have practiced in Africa during the pre-colonial era.
According to these studies the Africans, equally like other folks around the globe. Have always exploring sexuality from a different angle, and practicing homosexuality as a part of their sexual identities.
However, these researchers also show homosexuality was not practiced openly among men and women. The culture existed but was organized in inner circle and link with power, ancestral animist religions, and initiatic groups, and secret societies.
In some region such as Lusaka in Zambia to Cape-town in South Africa. When only people practiced homosexuality, but also they accepted as normal by different communities in Southern Africa. As we constating today the most hostile and anti-gay laws recorded in Africa were actually promulgated by colonial governments.
The anti-homosexuality laws in Africa were supported by the influence of Catholic and Protestant Christian dogma and rigid interpretation of Islam fanatics. This behavior not representing Africans culture all.
Africa as a continent is bigger than that and Africans culture actually is more open than what many people may think. Despite the hostilities and some anti-gay barrier in many African country Africans LGBTI community is more strong than ever. Gay people in Africa are fighting for their basic human rights. They Just Want To Be Free, To Be Who They Are.