Devin Randall's picture

Homophobes Went Crazy When Gay Kenyan Novelist Binyavanga Wainaina Announced He's Getting Married

The African nations of Kenya and South Africa are still abuzz after acclaimed novelist Binyavanga Wainaina announced that he’s proposed to his long-time partner.

In a tweet from earlier this month, Wainaina shared that he’ll be marrying his Nigerian partner of five years, whose identity hasn’t been shared, in South Africa.

This announcement caused a stir in both countries both online (just look at the replies to the tweet) and offline.

If you don’t know Wainaina, he is an internationally recognized and award winning novelist who came out as gay in 2014.

Binyavanga’s way of coming out was, of course, through writing. “Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has heard this. I am a homosexual, mum,” Binyavanga wrote in a chapter called,  “A Lost Chapter”, in his book One Day I Will Write About This Place.

Since that confession, Wainaina, who originally is from Kenya but now lives in South Africa, has seen his life and career become a political statement used often to attack homosexuality. Maybe because of that, he’s felt the need to openly talk about his life.

“I am not afraid to talk. In fact, I am doing a documentary on it because this thing must be discussed.

"Kenyans should discuss it in all platforms but not before they hear the full story.

"I know you called me over this matter of coming out. I will talk but I don’t want the media to manage my story,” he said during an interview.

The writer also shared that he’s known he was gay since he was five years old.

“I was five when I closed myself into a vague happiness that asks for nothing much from anybody. Absent-minded. Sweet. I am grateful for all love. I give it more than I receive it, often,” he wrote on africasacountry.com blog.

“I can be selfish. I masturbate a lot, and I never allow myself to crack and grow my heart. I touch no men. I read books.

"I love my dad so much, my heart is learning to stretch. I am a homosexual.”

But that’s not all. On December 1, 2016, aka World Aids Day, Wainaina had another coming out of sorts. This time, he shared that he was coming out as HIV positive.

“What I said (in a tweet) is true. I’m HIV positive and happy! That is all I can say,” he said.

“Look out for an essay I’m writing in January.”

Despite the many people openly speaking out against him and his sexuality, Wainaina is a strong man who is fighting for his right to love, to live, and to write. We couldn’t be prouder of him.

h/t: The Daily Nation