Gay so what?
Shawn Econo under CC licence

Gay. So what?

‘My name is Peter and I love cock.’ I have several friends who are gay and one thing they tend to do is to go for the shock factor. My reaction is: ‘Yeah whatever. To each his own. Some prefer salt, others pepper.’

The first time this happened I was surprised. As I got to know more gay men, I realised that this openness was a general trend. But it still felt like I was being slapped in the face with something I already knew. When I asked Peter why so many gay men do this, he just laughed it off. A friend of mine, who’s lesbian, did not get it either. She suggested it was an ‘up yours’ kind of approach to society – a society that often rejects gays and lesbians.

I like swimming

I honestly have no problems if you’re gay. It’s just your sexual orientation and that shouldn’t hamper you from getting medical services or a job. One may like boys and another may like girls. Great, I am happy for you both. I like swimming.

I pity people who treat others badly on the grounds of sexual orientation. Why? It’s just a preference. Just because you prefer salt over pepper on your chips, it does not give me a right to hate, beat or lynch you.

Live and let live

Society has had gays in their midst since Old Testament times, but no one talked about it. When I was 12, my elder brother and I went through confirmation, a right of passage to allow one to partake of the Holy Communion. We underwent the process with two old men who were in their 70s.

One of them was known to the village to be homosexual. Everyone knew yet no one treated him any differently. This live-and-let-live situation took place in the heart of traditional and upright rural Kenya – where one assumes to find the most homophobia! I only found out about the man’s orientation when my mother told me after he had passed away.

We also had a Sunday school teacher who everyone knew to be transgender. But no one – not even the 90-year-old women in the village – cared because he was great with the children.

Less homophobia, less ‘up yours’

Yet our society is still out to chastise and arrest people on the basis of their sexual orientation. I believe you should get to know people first before forming your opinion about them. And if more people did that, fewer gays would develop an ‘up yours’ attitude towards society.

Do you believe that Kenya is as ‘live and let live’ as it should be? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Facebook.

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