For the third year running, the Story Moja Hay Festival will include discussions on homosexuality, law and transgenders at the event.
This year’s event, scheduled for September 14-16th will be held at the National Museums of Kenya grounds.
This year’s festival will feature two events, sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) on same sex and the law and another on transgender, according to the official program released.
The first event, titled the ‘Gay Rights Handbook,’ to be held on Saturday at 1 to 2pm at Discovery Hall will focus on ‘Deciphering the intricacies of where the Kenyan law stands on homosexuality and same-sex couples.’ It is supported by GALCK and The Canadian Embassy.
Organizers have set up a panel of experts to lead the discussion during this event and will include open participation from the audience.
Activists say that the Penal code criminalizes same sex activities in men and this has been used to harass and further stigmatize the community.
They also point out that societal stigma against same sex persons is high.
Additionally, the Hay Festival will feature an event on Sunday aptly titled ‘Minorities Within A Minority.’
To be held at the Discovery Hall it has been dubbed ‘A conversation with the transgendered community in Kenya’ and is hoped to explore the intricacies of the little known transgender community.
The transgender community has in the past pointed out that they face different challenges than gays and lesbians as theirs is an issue of gender identity and not sexual orientation.
According to Audrey Mbugua of the Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) group, transsexual and intersex people around the world are trying hard to ‘unpackage this LGBTI soup’ with various hurdles to overcome.
‘Transsexual persons live in an environment characterized by stigma, gross human rights abuses and violations – propagated both by State and Non-State Actors. Additionally, there exist myriad misconceptions about transsexual people. Transsexual persons are commonly confused for homosexual people (gays and lesbians),’ she said.
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