Gay rights in Africa: now for the good news

Published: October 10, 2010

If all you ever read about gay people in Africa is in the western media (including gay media), you would be forgiven for thinking it’s one endless horror story. This year, we’ve had the anti-gay riot in the Kenyan town of Mtwapa, the arrest and subsequent pardoning of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi and, of course, the "gay executions" bill in Uganda.

Largely unnoticed amid all that has been the quickening development of gay communities and movements in many parts of Africa.

In Kenya, for instance, David Kuria – a gay man – is standing for the senate. If elected, he’ll be the second openly gay politician in Africa (the first is South Africa’s Ian Ollis). Kuria, who is director of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK), is already well known to Kenyans from frequent TV appearances. His prominence has also resulted in him being targeted by American evangelicals.

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