#Repeal162: It’s About Fellow Kenyans (UPDATED)

UPDATE: Justice has been delayed. We have to wait 91 more days to know our fate. That’s alright. We have waited 3 years. We can wait. We will wait. As we wait, I know some of us feel defeated. The weight of the anticipation is too much. We have to go through 3 more months of state-sponsored homophobia. Take heart. We are a resilient people. But if it becomes a bit too much and you need to talk to someone, reach out. Drop me a message. Call me. Let’s talk. I will listen.

My name is Anthony Oluoch. I am my mother’s son. I am a brother to my siblings. I am a friend to some. I am an enemy to others. I work. I pay my taxes. I provide employment to other Kenyans. I make mistakes like everyone else does. I love. I laugh. I cry. I cook. I eat. I was born in Narok, Kenya. I have had my heart broken. I have broken some hearts. I make mistakes sometimes. I am human. And I am Kenyan. And I also just happen to be gay.

Why do I have to say that? Because people like me are mistreated, discriminated against, lose their jobs, beaten in the streets, threatened with violence, suffer silently until some cannot take it anymore and they end up taking their own lives. All this because of their sexual orientation. Something none of us has control over. Gay or Straight. None of us wakes up one day and decides, “from this moment on, I will be emotionally and sexually attracted to men (or women).” It all occurs naturally. For me, and I’m sure if you ask many other gay identifying people, it is not a choice we made.

I tried to be different. I tried to fit in to what society wants me to be. It did not work. I prayed on it. I contemplated hurting myself. I finally got to the point of accepting that this is who I am. There is nothing to justify the level of hate spewed on social media towards people who love others of the same sex. Love is kind. Love is selfless. Love is full of hope. Love is full of trust. Love is not proud. Love is God and God is Love. People, diverse as they are, love differently.

So when a mother allows her daughter to commit suicide because she does not like the fact that she loves other girls, when a father beats his son to inches of his death because he is uncomfortable with the fact that his son loves other men. When a landlord evicts his tenant because he never sees women visiting him, just men. When an employer fires his employee because a picture of her kissing another woman was leaked on the internet. When a preacher preaches hate towards people who have made no mistake other than not being able to love others of the opposite sex. When the state criminalizes consensual, adult, same-sex conduct, I question the kind of morality that we as a nation are pushing.

#Repeal162 is about fellow Kenyans. Gay and lesbian people are a part of the Kenyan society. We have been a part of the Kenyan society since our grandparents and great-grandparents’ time. We will still be a part of this society. We contribute to its growth. We suffer the repercussions of our corrupt leaders. WE ARE KENYAN. We are patriotic Kenyans and we will remain Kenyan until we breath our last. The ruling on Friday 24th of May 2019 will not only impact gay and lesbian people, but will also have an impact on the whole of the Kenyan society, and by extension the African people.

Anthony Oluoch

I am a lawyer, a brother, a son, a friend, a neighbor, a confidant, a student of life and I am Kenyan. Became a human rights activist so suddenly sometimes I ask myself if this really is something I wanted. But I have come to embrace it. I have come to realize that I like what I do. That on some level, what I do makes life easier for someone and hopefully, eventually, for myself…Probably the best way to describe me is in the words of Winston Churchill, I am a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

4 thoughts on “#Repeal162: It’s About Fellow Kenyans (UPDATED)

  • February 20, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Nice read. If only

  • February 21, 2019 at 9:02 am

    My respect!

  • February 21, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Wonderful rousing read my friend, though the sorrow at such pain throughout your rhetoric is paramount.

  • February 22, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Beautifully, beautifully said.


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