Kenya, Africa

The country is named after Mount Kenya, a very significant landmark and the second highest mountain peak of Africa. Violent riots followed the flawed national elections in December 2007. 1500 people were killed in ethnic and political fighting. On 28 February 2008, an agreement on the formation of a coalition government was signed in which the opposition leader would become Kenya's second Prime Minister. The Penal Code criminalizes homosexual behavior and attempted homosexual behavior between men, which is referred to as "carnal knowledge against the order of nature". The penalty is 5 to 14 years' imprisonment (rarely enforced). Lesbian relations are not prohibited in the law.


News & Reports:


Quorum: How To Do LGBTI Activism In Kenya

When meeting anonymously with anti-gay religious leaders, Kenyan LGBTI activist Essy asks, “Do you really think that I should be beaten, now that you know me?” Quorum is a live journalism forum focused on LGBT experiences around the world. Its mission is to lift up the voices of non-Western LGBT activists defining the struggle for… Read more »

Tabloid joins politician, bishops in targeting LGBTI Kenyans

In the wake of last month’s High Court decision in favor of a Kenyan organization seeking human rights for LGBTI people, some anti-gay Kenyans have opened the door to even more intense persecution of LGBTI Kenyans. The latest step in that direction was today’s publication by Kenya’s tabloid Weekly Citizen of a list of the… Read more »

Kenya’s LGBT Community Gains The Right To Organize, But Religious Opposition Looms

Nairobi, Kenya (RNS) In a move that has stirred the anger of Kenya’s anti-gay Christian groups and sparked celebration by pro-gay clergy, the nation’s High Court has ruled that gay rights activists have the right to formally register their own groups and welfare organizations. A three-judge panel issued the ruling Friday (April 24) in response… Read more »

Kenya trans woman wins right to change name on school certificate

The male gender marker will also be removed A Kenyan transgender activist yesterday won a landmark case to change the name on her high school exam certificate. The high court gave the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) 45 days to change the name from Andrew Mbugua to Audrey Mbugua on her Kenya Certificate of Secondary… Read more »

A Win In Kenya For The Transgender Community

While the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community struggles to achieve basic human rights throughout Africa, transgender Kenyans have seen a powerful victory. Transgender activist Audrey Mbugua won a seminal case against the Kenya National Examination Council on Tuesday, granting her legal recognition as a woman on her academic certificates. “We won. It’s a… Read more »

Watch: Kenya criticised for branding LGBT rights groups ‘unacceptable’

Human rights groups have urged Kenya to allow LGBT groups to carry out their work there uninterrupted. he Human Rights Watch (HRW) has released a new video in which it notes that the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) was denied its application to register, and that such NGOs were often deemed “unacceptable”.… Read more »

Reports: 60+ Arrested in Raid at Nairobi Gay Bar

Special Note: I’m traveling to Kenya later this summer to report on LGBT issues on an international media fellowship from the International Center for Journalists and the Ford Foundation. More in the weeks ahead. Disturbing news from East Africa. Dozens of people were arrested on Sunday morning during a police raid on a popular gay… Read more »

LGBTI refugees and Western saviors: Ugandans facing violence in Kenya, and how you can (and can’t) help

My friend Victor Mukasa, a distinguished Ugandan human rights activist, helped to found Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG) many years ago. Now he’s leading a Kuchu Diaspora Alliance for Ugandan LGBTI people abroad; yesterday the group posted its first videos on YouTube. They describe violence beleaguering Ugandan queers who fled the country and now subsist… Read more »

Queer Rights in Kenya: A Conversation With Njeri Gateru

When asked about the recent progress of Kenya’s LGBT movement, Njeri Gateru doesn’t hesitate to answer with the word “visibility.” She describes promoting conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE) in public spaces through events such as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, International Human Rights Day, and World AIDS Day.… Read more »

Activists: Hundreds of LGBT Refugees Have Fled Uganda

A Kenyan activist, Ugandan asylum-seeker, and the American Jewish World Service hope to raise awareness about east Africa’s beleaguered LGBT community, even as hundreds reportedly flee Uganda. Hundreds of LGBT refugees — whose existence has been criminalized under Uganda’s draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act — have fled Uganda for neighboring Kenya after facing threats and being blackmailed,… Read more »

Leading Kenyan MP says homosexuality ‘as serious as terrorism’

Homosexuality in Kenya is as bad a problem as terrorism, the ruling party’s parliamentary leader said on Wednesday, but argued against stepping up legal sanctions on the grounds that existing laws were tough enough. Aden Duale, the majority leader from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ruling Jubilee coalition, was responding to a group of MPs demanding tougher… Read more »

Gays flee Mombasa over public attacks

Hundreds of men who have sex with men at the Coast have moved away from major towns for fear of their lives. According to statistics by the Mtwapa Initiative for Positive Empowerment, an organisation working with MSMs in Mombasa and Kilifi counties, more than 200 of the men now avoid public health facilities. Mipe says… Read more »

African Anglican bishops warn Church of England to back off on gay issue

The leaders of the Anglican Church in Uganda and Kenya have warned the Church of England to back off on LGBTI issues after the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded them of their responsibility to support and care for gay people African bishops have reacted to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s letter reminding them of their duty… Read more »

Writer Tells Africa What He Couldn’t Tell ‘Mum’

Nairobi, Kenya — When the Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina published his acclaimed memoir three years ago, he concealed an important part of his life from the public eye. Last Saturday, he unveiled “a lost chapter” of the book on the Internet titled, “I am a homosexual, mum.” The chapter, about missing the opportunity to tell… Read more »

Famous Kenyan author comes out as gay in birthday article

A prominent author in Kenya has come out as gay, in a country where homosexuality remains illegal. Binyavanga Wainaina made the announcement in an article for his 43rd birthday entitled: “I am a homosexual, mum.” “Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has heard this,” Mr Wainaina wrote in the article published first on the Africa… Read more »

Kenya judges get ready for major gay legal battle

Kenya’s refusal to register an LGBTI organization is set to become a legal showdown between gay activists and anti-gay forces, raising ‘deep’ constitutional issues Kenya is forming a three-judge panel to review whether officials breached the Constitution by refusing to register an LGBTI organization. It could be a landmark case as it raises the question… Read more »

10 clerics trained to handle gay people

Ten religious leaders yesterday graduated in a course on homosexuals. The leaders from the Muslim and Christian realm were among 35 graduates who completed a two-and-a-half-month training dubbed ‘Men who have Sex with Men sensitivity training’. The course was organised by the Kenya Medical Research Institute at Mtwapa Kemri centre in Mombasa. “The course is… Read more »

Gay men hacked with machetes and murdered in wave of hate crimes in Kenya

One man dies from attacks. Group points to fallout from discredited study on gays and blames religious extremists for whipping up hatred Gay men have been slashed with machetes and beaten with hammers in a series of hate attacks in Kenya which have already claimed at least one life. The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of… Read more »

Kenya’s gay movement seeks stamp of approval

The gay community is working day and night to transform itself from a fringe group to one that enjoys official legitimacy from the government and Kenyans in general. Today this community has found representation in legitimate government-run organisations formed to fight HIV, ostensibly to highlight the plight of homo sexual people afflicted by Aids. Experts… Read more »

Gay Somali refugees face death threats

Gay, lesbian and HIV-infected refugees fear violent persecution should they return home. Nairobi, Kenya – Gay, lesbian and HIV-infected refugees from Somalia are facing persecution – and even the threat of death – should they return home. Refugees have been under pressure to leave accommodations in Kenya, where many also face racist discrimination, after claims… Read more »

Men who walk on the wild side

They are not gay, they are not bisexual. They are just men who like to experiment with other men. What does this mean for you? David says he is looking forward to married life. In fact, the 32-year-old banker has been in a serious relationship for two years with a woman he fondly describes as… Read more »

Police shut down IDAHO gay march in Kenya

Police stop LGBT community from holding procession aimed at stopping homosexuality being a criminal offence Police in Kenya have stopped people marching through the capital Nairobi today (17 May) to mark International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). A permit had been issued to allow Kenyan LGBTs and supporters to procession. But this morning police… Read more »

Feature: Emerging LGBTI Activists And Leaders In Kenya

Every Year, Identity Kenya will be putting out a list of Emerging LGBTI Activists and Leaders to honor the work and contribution these individuals have given for the movement and who continue to support, mobilize, petition and advocate for equality and non-discrimination in Kenya. According to Queer Watchtower who is in the selection panel, the… Read more »

Kenya – Blackmailers Flee As Police Hunt Intensifies

Blackmailers Targeting gay men have moved out of Nairobi and are located in Mombasa and Kisumu after police launched investigations in a bid to arrest them. According to the latest reports, the blackmailers who operate as a gang abandoned a house in Embakasi estate where they used as their center of operations to swindle and… Read more »

A Gay Kenyan’s Gang Rape (Part 1): The Blessing

On the morning of Dec. 11, 2007, Anthony Adero decided to leave his hometown forever and head to the capital, because he wanted to kiss a man for the first time in his life. He packed the few essentials needed for his five-hour trip, little things that carry weight, like family photographs and a prerecorded… Read more »

Kenya: To Fight HIV & AIDS, Recognise Sex Workers

This Year’s World Aids Day was observed under the theme: “Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero Aids-related deaths”. The theme is a rallying call for greater access to treatment for all and for governments to act more decisively in putting in place policies that enhance prevention and behaviour change. Kenya has… Read more »

Kenya promises arrest of gay blackmailing gang

Nairobi police are urging gay people to come forward to aid investigations of a group known for extorting, and sometimes raping, gay men and women Police have promised to arrest the ringleaders of a notorious gang which targets closeted gay men for extortion, blackmail and rape. Speaking to gay activists, Nairobi police officer Akello Odhiambo… Read more »

Kenya’s first gay political candidate reveals why he quit race

Rights activists hail anti-poverty and Aids activist David Kuria as a pioneer despite aborted election campaign David Kuria was the first openly gay black person in Africa to run for political office outside South Africa. It was a brave campaign against the odds that will not have a Hollywood ending. But David Kuria, forced to… Read more »

Kenya: Rights Groups Hold Kenya’s First Gay and Lesbian Awards

Nairobi — The Kenya Human Rights Commission and the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission on Saturday launched the first gay and lesbian awards to honour lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexual and intersex people for their contributions to Kenyan society. The event, which was held at Charter Hall in Nairobi, saw politicians, employers and journalists… Read more »

Kenya celebrates positive contributions of LGBT people

Human rights groups in Kenya have joined together to celebrate the positive contributions of LGBT people and their allies to Kenyan society Kenya’s Human Rights Commission (KHRC) and National Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission (NGLHRC) have launched an annual awards ceremony to celebrate the contributions of LGBT people to Kenyan society and to celebrate allies… Read more »

I am Very Out and Confident…

“It’s been a long journey, a challenging journey, coming to terms with my sexuality. I was just starting to get comfortable with it when I was sexually abused, so it has been a difficult time in my life. “Around the time he was abused, four years ago, he also found out he was positive. “To… Read more »

Reasons for Withdrawing from the Kiambu Senate Race

Last evening I received a message from the most ardent of the supporters saying; “hi Senator Dave. I have done ma part which’s starting to turn sour coz of ua unavailability. Plz advice…” I just wondered how I could reply to that message. You see over the last couple of months, I have been promising… Read more »

Kenya political campaign puts gay taboo in spotlight

Kiambu, Kenya (Reuters) – An anti-poverty campaigner has become Kenya’s first openly gay man to run for political office, but David Kuria Mbote faces a challenging path as he tries to dispel taboos in the largely conservative Christian nation in a race for a senate seat. If elected to the Kenyan senate, Mbote, 40, would… Read more »

Hope For Trafficked Gay, Bisexual Men Lured Into Sex Slavery In Arab Gulf As Law Signed By Kibaki

A New law signed into law by President Kibaki promises to offer support and compensation to victims of trafficking including university gay men and bisexuals who were lured into sex slavery to Arab countries with promises of jobs. The Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act, which was signed into law by the President more than 18 months… Read more »

Uganda LGBT Activist, Kasha Jacqueline Bags Another Award

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, the Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, has been awarded the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award (NIHRA) of 2013. Kasha is a Ugandan LGBT rights activist. She is the founder and executive director of an LGBT rights organization called Freedom & Roam Uganda (FARUG) and the 2011 recipient of the Martin… Read more »

Kenya’s Gay Community: From ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell to ‘Do Ask, Do Tell’

Change is here. If you want to see how progressive Kenya is on gay rights, visit Lodwar town in the north. In Lodwar, there is a group of gay men who have come together and formed a group. That pastoralists -already a minority group and gay nonetheless – could form a group and acquire office… Read more »

Interview: Kenyan Psychologist And LGBTI Clients – Part Two

This Is the final part of the interview with psychologist Susan Gitau on LGBTI and mental health. The first part of the interview is available here and was done to commemorate this years’ World Mental Health Day Q: About the stages of sexual development of LGBT persons and identities that you have explained above, can… Read more »

“Homosexuality, I can go for it even if it’s kissing” – Nairobi Half Life’s Olwenya Maina

There’s a gay scene on Nairobi Half Life. It’s already “out” there. So, when we were interviewing to members of the film’s cast, it was impossible to let them go without asking them about it. Check out a transcript of the conversation below. Ghafla!: “The film explores themes of homosexuality. You had interesting comments about… Read more »

The Invisible Bridge: Gay Men, Their Female Wives And HIV

Local TV station, K24, aired a feature on Sunday night of men in the lakeside town of Kisumu who were married to women but are homosexual in the continued coverage of HIV dynamics in Kenya. The feature The Invisible Bridge, which is a 3 part series will air at 9pm through to Tuesday and follows… Read more »

Meet David Kuria, Kenya’s Gay Senator Candidate

GSN interviews openly gay candidate, David Kuria, who will be running for the position of Senator in 2013, at Kenya’s Kiambu County David Kuria, an openly gay man, will be facing an election on March, 2013 for the position of Senator of Kenya’s Kiambu County. Kuria was the co-founder and general manager of the Gay… Read more »