Harare, Zimbabwe (News of the South)-The gay issue has remained the one defining topic around which the whole of Africa has an almost unilateral agreement and cohesion.
Except for South Africa, which some politicians actually don’t believe to be truly Africanised, the rest of the continent has been on a homophobic rant without having actual conversations about the issue.
According to GayZim, a now defunct website for the LGBT community, “President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe has frequently vilified homosexuals as “worse than dogs and pigs,” while Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has described homosexuality as “unnatural” and ordered police crackdowns”.
After Uganda passed the now defunct Anti-Homosexuality Act, several hundred LGBT people crossed over into Kenya, to seek refuge from persecution and discrimination.
Kenya also has anti-gay laws and so they registered as refugees.
According media publications some were mandated for resettlement by UNHCR and many still await eligibility interviews.
GayZim stated that only “South Africa stands out on the continent for its constitutional protection of gay rights, but the government has opposed same-sex marriage. Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Canada allow gay marriages”, it said.
The anti-gay stance of many African countries arises from the cultural understanding that gays and lesbians were non-existant in the years before colonisation.
Since they were not there before the white man, then it follows that the white man brought the ‘culture’ of homosexuality in the baggage that carried sugar and salad.
Science, believed to be fair and open minded, has generally failed to solve the puzzle of how one become gay.
According to a Guardian article “evidence from independent research groups who studied twins shows that genetic factors explain about 25-30% of the differences between people in sexual orientation (heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and bisexual).
“Twin studies are a first look into the genetics of a trait and tell us that there are such things as “genes for sexual orientation. Three gene finding studies showed that gay brothers share genetic markers on the X chromosome; the most recent study also found shared markers on chromosome 8. This latest research overcomes the problems of three prior studies which did not find the same results”.
That’s one side of science.
The other side of science says something acutely different.
“New scientific research points to homosexuality as being significantly influenced by pre-and post-birth environmental factors.
“The study by Dr Tuck C Ngun and his team at the University of California created an algorithm which, by measuring small genetic modifications which occur after birth, could guess the sexual orientation of males with up to 70 percent accuracy.
“This indicates that environmental factors have a significant influence on human sexuality, both heterosexual and homosexual”, said another article published in the Telegraph.
Thus for now science may not be the salvation of gays, it is dithering, weighted by the vagueness and abundance of the knowledge coming out of its machines and algorithms.
So what’s the next step for the African gay? Face the culture and find your niche there.
Homosexuals in their endeavour to be accepted simply have to identify themselves in the history of Africa before the white man’s arrival.
Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) Policy Coordinator Sylvester Nyamatendedza tried that at a workshop on sexual minority rights held in Harare.
“There have been instances down there in rural areas where LGBT behaviour has been seen but societal convention requires that people be silent about it. Once there was a case of two man who were caught in the middle of the act in a rural forest and when quizzed they said we are alleviating our hangovers”, he said.
Another gay person, Amin, who spoke at the function gave a personal narrative that sought to debunk the thought that being homosexual is a western idea.
” I just felt different and when with girls I don’t feel anything.
“I have been to every church with my parents, going around all these new prophets, so that they could maybe take out the gayness in me. Nothing worked and we went to traditional healers but again nothing changed, in fact the experience became a journey into self-discovery”.
” I began to realise that I was made in the image of God so there isn’t anything wrong with me”, he said.
It’s a start. As long as LGBT people fail to locate themselves somewhere in our past before the hedonistic white man arrived with experimentation and a do-as-you-feel approach to life then their agenda is bound to fail.
The African person is being pressured by the progress of time, made to accept thousands of new things globalisation and evolution have brought, but he won’t give in without a fight for what he feels is right.
It doesn’t help the LGBT matter that all the major religions have found them no place.
In Islam homosexuality is punishable by death. In Christianity you are the devils favourite son if you are gay or lesbian.
According to Wikipedia ‘in recent times, extreme prejudice persists, both socially and legally, in much of the Islamic world against people who engage in homosexual acts.
“In Afghanistan, Brunei, Gaza Strip (State of Palestine), Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen, homosexual activity carries the death penalty.’
In May 2016, a group of 51 Muslim states blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending 2016 High Level Meeting on Ending AIDS.
However, Albania, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone have signed a UN Declaration supporting LGBT rights though the number is a drop in ocean.
Though not so extreme Christianity is still adamant that homosexuality has no place in a church or a human. It’s the product of wicked thoughts and they have verses to buttress that, and that makes for a compelling Christian argument.
The opening remaining for the LGBT community then is to go back to African history and say here we are, living and loving among black African brothers, in 260 AD before the white man came trudging.
That way no accusation of being Westernised can defeat them since they would have revealed their nativity to the African continent of the lustful big black man of seven wives and three mistresses, all to assuage his engorged hunger behind the loin cloth from the rabbit’s skin.
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