Image by inkanyiso
Author of the Story: Vivian
Edited by Michael Okun Oliech
My name is Vivian. I am 20 years old. I am a lesbian woman and I am proud of who I am. During my early adolescence, I knew I was different. I never had feelings for men and I always had feelings for women. I wasn’t sure about myself until in my final year in high school when I realized that I was a lesbian woman. No one in school knew because I was afraid of being judged harshly and expelled out of school. I was in a National catholic school which had strict rules.
After high school I opened up to my family who supported me in all ways and eventually I came out of the closet despite so much homophobia being out there. My family has been protective always because they know homophobia still exists and I am not safe out there. I am in a healthy relationship and I’m happy to love the right person that I want to and not love someone who the society expects me to love just to please them..
Many people often think that lesbian women live in America and Europe. They usually think that in Africa, Lesbian women don’t exist but this is not true. There are so many lesbian women in Africa and it’s a matter of time that many will come out of the closet.
This idea that loving someone of the same sex is un-African, evil, satanic, wrong, and goes against our traditional beliefs is what fuels homophobia in Africa preventing lesbian women from coming out of the closet and express themselves freely without being judged or discriminated in public.
Our constitution under article 27 states that we should not discriminate anyone on any grounds. However due to our culture, traditional intolerance and negative attitude that we have towards lesbian women, this has not been realized.
Being a lesbian woman is not un-African and doesn’t go against our traditional beliefs. The African culture is all about, humanity, love, freedom, unity, togetherness, peace, tolerance, just to mention a few. The African culture is beautiful. Contrary, homophobia is un-African because it spreads hate, violence, and it denies people the opportunity to be African and express their humanity.