Kenya is currently awaiting what could be a historic and country changing decision.
Kenya’s High Court is about to announce its ruling on whether or not homosexuality should be decriminalized across the country. Currently, people convicted of gay sex face up to 14 years of prison. And despite general tolerance for LGBTQ people, some Kenyan citizens take the law into their own hands by attacking gay people. Friday’s court ruling in Nairobi, however, could start a change for that.
“It has the potential of creating a tidal wave across Africa, especially in the (countries in) Africa where the British colonial legacy of criminalization still persists,” said activist Eric Gitari.
The court was supposed to already make this ruling last February but decided to delay the decision until May. Now, the whole of Africa, and the world, is anxiously awaiting the final verdict.
According to Public Radio International, almost one hundred LGBTQ people from Nairobi gathered for a live taping of AfroQueer, a Nairobi-based podcast that tells the stories of LGBTQ Africans, on May 17. On top of celebrating the event and the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, attendees spoke of the upcoming ruling.
Unfortunately, one important voice who openly dreamed of a day like this has passed just before seeing it.
Intentionally-renown writer Binyavanga Wainaina died yesterday at the age of 48. Wainaina was a celebrated writer who won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2002.
In 2014, Wainaina sparked controversy for writing a short story titled, I am a Homosexual, Mum.” The story was written as a lost chapter of his already published memories One Day I Will Write About This Place. Afterward, he continued to speak out for gay rights.
Amnesty International honored the announcement of Wainaina’s passing by writing on Twitter that he was, “A gallant human rights defender who stood up and fought for the dignity and rights of LGBTQ community and others.”
Hopefully, his death will be honored with the announcement of his home country legalizing gay sex and homosexuality. We’ll find out soon.