The Bible is pretty clear about certain things. It is written somewhere in the Old Testament that for a man to lie with another man as with a woman is an abomination. However, since the writing of the Old Testament, some things have changed. The existence of homosexuals remains as was but the views of the world about them has changed somewhat. Some countries have come to accept the fact that there indeed are people who don’t conform to the expectations of heterosexual behaviour. Kenyans, and indeed many Africans except South Africa still view homosexuality as an abomination. Most people now acknowledge the existence of these fellows but completely refuse to accept them. Without prejudice, we behave somewhat like a mono-eyed fellow who walks on a street and is convinced that all the shops on one side are closed. When he walks back on the same street surely he must wonder how it is that all the shops that were open are now closed and those he thought closed are all now open.
My friend who is involved in a HIV/AIDS control programme has verified for me some details that were carried in a well researched and written article in the Daily Nation of 24th December 2009 about homosexuality. These people exist in this country and there is not much we can do about that; plus I reckon they are not going anywhere. The challenge that is with us is that this is a very high risk group for HIV. That alone would not worry many Kenyans who are the so-called straight. However, when you realise that due to the stigma associated with homosexuality, most of these gay men will have sexual relations with women, you have a cause to worry. It is evident in the nature of our conversations, Maina Kageni’s breakfast show and others that we are indeed a very promiscuous people. Further, the use of protection as research has indicated is not effective. For instance, research has shown that most couples stop using condoms in their fourth sexual encounter, never mind that this could be with the spare wheel or mpango wa kando. One just needs to imagine that in the web of sparewheels, a gay man, just one, is introduced.This really ups the stakes doesn’t it? Now, suppose they are two in the same web? By the way, i guess this also means that the mere fact that one has sex with women is no longer a distinguishing characteristic between gay and ‘straight’.
Nature abhors mono-culture. It is impossible to find on however small a piece of land that there is only one species; there will be a variety of both flora and fauna. This is the nature of life. Some people are black other white, some people are tall others are short, some are females others are male, some blind others can see and so on and so forth. In the same breadth, some people are gay and some are the so-called straight. We seem to be good at exercising or is it pretending to be tolerant of our religious and ethnic diversity but this gay thing appears too hard to swallow. Such that when two gay British nationals of Kenyan origin marry in London, it makes front pages news and we hound and harass their parents as if they would tell us what went wrong. We cannot apportion our tolerance. We must be more embracing of diversity and accommodate our brothers. These fellows by the way are our own brothers, fathers, uncles and friends.
It amazes me when I see the religious leaders fight against homosexuality vigorously. They should be well educated to know that this is not a matter of choice and instead preach inclusion. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has been quoted as saying that Jesus did not say that if he be lifted he will draw some. No , he said if I be lifted I will draw all, all, all ,all. Black, white, short, tall, gay so-called straight because all belong. To him, all are children of God. All belong. To agree with President Obama, it is true we may not agree on this issue, but surely we can agree that these people have their rights too. They have been denied access to the most basic health care and left for dead just because they are gay. What cruel bigotry!
How could we be a country that will watch its people die just because of their sexual orientation? How could we be comfortable when we know that there are people amongst us who can’t experience their happiness the way they know it just because we wont let them and if they did, they know we will jail them.
Asked to choose between candy and chocolate, some people choose chocolate because that is what they like; they can and do make that choice. But some people are gay, that is the way it is. Cut them some slack and GET OVER IT!
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