LGBTQ community in Kenya living under fear

LGBTQ community in Kenya living under fear

The recent approval of anti-gay legislation in Uganda set off the alarm in neighbouring Kenya also in the grip of anti-gay sentiment.

Last month, Kenya’s Supreme Court ruled against a petition seeking to bar LGBTQ lobbying groups, sparking a torrent of condemnation including from the attorney general.

Jasmine Nelima is a lesbian woman in Kenya who admits she lives in fear.

“The court (Kenya Supreme Court, Ed.) has done a good thing to accept us the way we are and as we walk outside we know the courts acknowledge us but the main issue is that our President has declined to acknowledge the LGBTQ community in Kenya and that makes us live in hiding “, she confessed. 

In Kenya, gay sex remains a crime under colonial-era laws with penalties including prison terms of up to 14 years.

“Like now my landlord has given me the notice to vacate his rental house, why? It’s because my visitors are my lesbian and gay friends. Not because I am making noise in the plot (Apartment) but because my friends are seen coming in.
I pay my rent too on time. So, I fail to understand why I should be denied my rights and I now don’t know where to go and stay because whenever I get a new place/plot they reject me. My only plea is that we get accepted as we are and be accorded our rights, our human rights”, said Jasmine.

Kenya, like its neighbours, is in the grip of a brutal cost-of-living crisis and faces its worst drought in four decades.

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