Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kenyan Author Comes Out in Defiance of Anti-Gay Law

Via NPR

Celebrated Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina comes out as gay in a new essay that he refers to as a "lost chapter" of his 2011 memoir One Day I Will Write About This Place. In Kenya, sex between men is punishable by up to 14 years in prison, though some gay-rights advocates say the law is rarely enforced. In the autobiographical story, Wainaina imagines telling his mother that he is gay. He writes, "I, Binyavanga Wainaina, quite honestly swear I have known I am a homosexual since I was five." In a video released Tuesday, he says he came out as gay because of the death of a gay friend whose family was kicked out of their church while trying to hold a memorial service for him. Wainaina told Global Post that he was also inspired by recent anti-gay legislation in Nigeria and Uganda: "There was the anti-gay bill in Uganda first, but the Nigeria one! Nigeria is a country I go to — I was there three times last year — it is a place I love, it's like a second home to me." Wainaina is the founder of the literary journal Kwani? and the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing.

The image comes from The Guardian where you can read a review of One Day I Will Write About This Place.

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