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CAMEROON: Living in Africa as an LGBT person.

CameroonBy Michael.S

Africa was considered to be a dark continent by the early explorers and the missionaries; this was because of the skin colors of its occupants and the cultural practices which were considered inhuman and rigid (some). In Africa culture and beliefs come first and this has been the cause of misery to millions of people living in gay community in this continent, in Africa they believe a man is born a man and a woman the same, these two have to get married and procreate, it’s a belief. Unfortunately as generations continue to evolve many young men an women have been born in Africa with “complicated sexual orientations” as homophobes refer to them, this kind of sexuality is considered to be devilish, un acceptable and in most African countries it’s a crime and its punishable.

Growing up in Africa with such sexuality hasn’t been easy for so many young and old people in … community. Many decide to stay locked up in their closets for the rest of their lives, other are forced to marry men and women something against their will and desires, there are those who are publically attacked, insulted and others have been victims to mob justice and there are those who have lost their dear lives for just being gay Something they never choose to be, something which was naturally created within their bodies!

The world has moved so fast, technology has taken its due course, a number of activists have come up to do sensitization campaigns and dialogues aimed at letting the homophobic world know that we exist and this has been successful in most western countries however, in Africa, culture has greatly hindered the success of these movements and campaigns. In Africa marriage has to be between man and woman not people of same sex, they believe that people who belong to the gay community don’t know God and they are satanic, the media and the government who are expected to be the frontiers of justice and freedom are preaching the gospel of hate and discrimination in the gay community.

As our brothers and sisters in developed countries are celebrating prides and holding freedom campaigns demanding for their recognition in public respect here in Africa we are in hiding in fear for our dear lives, we are publically assaulted and disgraced on national televisions and radios, our governments are passing bills which are aimed at killing us and they theme them as “Christmas gift” to the nation. What they forget is that as much as we are the minority, we exist in every economic, cultural, political and social sectors of the country, once they create such hate bills, they also in one way or another cripple the growth of these sectors because we contribute a certain percentage however small it could be.

In Africa, in order to survive as a member in the lgbt community, you have to fake your life, act straight, date a girl or a boy, get married and have children, when you do that you are certainly a true African, being contrary to that then your days are numbered because soon or later they will dig you out and I bet if you would see tomorrow’s sun set. Many fake marriages have been made by members in our community who are lost and desperate, confused and hopeless and the truth is they don’t last because opposite sex Marriages isn’t our thing.

Many have been disowned, chased from homes, denied education and basic needs just because they act contrary to the African norms and beliefs, but one may wonder, is female genital mutilation, human and child sacrifice for the gods and other rigid cultural beliefs too fair to being a homosexual? Many Africans have sought refuge in western countries which have realized that we are humans too, other seek for asylum leaving their families, friends and loved ones for good never to see them again! Being a homosexual in Africa is like selling your soul to Lucifer, it’s like a seedling being denied light. Why do we have to always be in admirations of our friends in western worlds who enjoy their freedom to the fullest? In Africa if anyone stands in our support he/she automatically becomes an enemy to the nation and this has barred many from standing with us even when they would wish to.

The LGBT community in Africa still has a long way to go; we still have to fight for our freedom and social justice not until this is achieved will we blissfully dance in rain again because a dark cloud has covered our happiness and joy. Many are yet to discover who they are, hell awaits them.

Cameroon