The feelings that one has for another cannot be questioned, can it?

The question of homosexuality is one that has been on the minds of all for generations and the last couple of years has seen the western world embrace it to a certain degree. Even though in most countries their union may not be recognized as a marriage but a civil partnership, it has become a common phenomenon that is not scrutinized as much. This can also be attributed to the degree to which the world had become so secular.

With Africa always behind in comparison to the Western World and being such a religious continent the theme of homosexuality is not only seen as a sin, however this sinful act has now been manifest from a spiritual level of being condemned to hell to being criminalized. In Uganda the law explicitly states that engaging in homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, intersex and transgender (LGBT ) will result in an individual facing a lifetime of imprisonment. Such individuals also face ‘correctional rape’ and may be killed by members of society as a form of punishment. Individuals who kill as a form of punishment are also not prosecuted because they are doing the will of God or serving justice.

Numerous people in Africa forge bearded relationships to conceal their real sexual orientation, hence numerous women get married to men that they do not love, with both parties knowingly aware that one or both of them are attracted to the opposite sex. They do this a sign of respect to their families; fear of disownment, death and also for religious reasons (which they are going against).

In the case of African women, most of them are usually introduced into the whole system of lesbianism, they are not necessary attracted to women; they just enjoy having intercourse with women. In the case of such women who are introduced to the system they feel neglected by their husbands or partners who are usually busy with other commitments and as a result of this their friend(s) may introduce them to lesbianism. There is no question that some women do fall in love with other women. However some also become lesbians to avoid becoming pregnant, or for the sheer fact that women understand them better.

The men usually are aware of the fact that they are attracted to other men during their teenage years, but live in denial. Most men go to the grave with the secret due to their confusion or engage in the act if they are certain about it. However those who have the opportunity to travel to the Western World come to understand their feelings with the help of others, whereas due to the advancement a lot of media coverage focuses both on homo and heterosexual themes explored with the numerous characters that are used.

The theme of religion and the socialization factor are very important components in regards to how Homosexuality is viewed in Africa, and because it goes against the norm, such individuals are discriminated against and treated as second class citizens. This has been addressed by the UN General Secretary, Ki- Moon who stresses on the importance of confronting this form of discrimination in Africa. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the importance of gay rights to be viewed as human rights all over the world. There have been threats to also remove aid  by the West from such regions if gay rights are not observed and individuals are discriminated against.

Although the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner called for an end to the prosecution of LGBT individuals, how far will this message be absorbed and be incorporated into the cultural values of African people to ensure that such individuals feel free to love, live without fear of being judged. The freedom of choice applies to all; hence it is one’s choice what their sexual orientation should be and not necessarily society’s.


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