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Your most burning LGBT questions answered!

Asking questions about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people can be difficult, especially if you don't know who to turn you. Love Matters has got you covered!
Is it illegal to be gay in Kenya?

No. The Kenyan Penal Code is very clear: what's illegal are sexual acts between consenting adults of the same sex/gender. For example, if two adult men agree to have sex with each other, the act of having sex is against the law.

It's not illegal to be gay. Or lesbian, or bisexual, or any other sexual orientation one might identify with.

Is homosexuality a Western import?

No, it's not. There are quite a few references to homosexuality from all over Africa dating back way before the first Europeans and slave traders set foot on the continent.

Homophobia, on the other hand, is a Western input. It's the British colonial laws that first started punishing behaviour that was considered 'immoral' by the Colonialists.

Do people choose to become LGBT?

No. People don't choose to be LGBT; the same way they don't choose their eye-colour or whether they are left- or right-handed.

Think about it: did you ever decide what sexual orientation you'd like best, and which would best fit you? Chances are, the answer to this question is no. And the same goes for LGBT people: just like someone just 'knows' that they are attracted to the opposite gender, another person knows that they want to love someone of the same gender (or many genders).

Do LGBT people recruit others, like young people?

Because you don't choose and can't change your sexual orientation, it's impossible to recruit someone. If you are straight, could you pretend to like someone of the same gender? Sure. But would you really be able to change all of your feelings and emotions? That's very unlikely. It's very, very unlikely someone can change your sexual orientation. Just like gay men and lesbian women can't be made straight.

Can LGBT people have loving, long-term relationships?

Of course! Just because someone identifies as LGBT doesn’t mean we know anything about the type or quality of relationships they have. No two relationships are the same, and it's up to the people in the relationship to decide what's okay and what's not. And that's the same for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Do you have any more questions about sexual orientation and gender identity and expression? Send us a message or get in touch with our forum moderators.

Did you learn something new?

Comments

Hey Eli, you really can't tell for sure unless your friend confides in you. It's not a good idea to try figure out whether someone is gay based on their behaviour or even how they talk. This is usually a sensitive subject, all you can do is to be their friend and when they are ready and comfortable enough they will disclose this information. Check out the following article for more information on what you can do to be supportive to your friend;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/sexual-diversity/sexual-orientation/being-supportive

 

Hello there,

Everyone has a sexual orientation. Who do you feel sexually, romantically and emotionally attracted to?

Gay is a general term for men and women who are attracted to their own sex, but often used to describe men who like other men. A lesbian is a gay woman. If you’re attracted to both women and men, you’re probably bisexual. You can be attracted to someone of the same sex even though you don’t identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Perhaps you’re a woman who usually likes men, but you find yourself feeling attracted to another woman. That doesn’t mean you’re a lesbian. Your sexual orientation is the overall pattern of sexual and romantic attraction that you experience throughout your life.

Understanding your thoughts, feelings and desires can be difficult. You don’t just wake up one day with all the answers about your sexuality, whether you’re gay or not. Some people know that they’re gay, straight or bisexual from a very young age, but for others it’s more complicated.

One daydream or experience doesn’t mean you’re gay, but if your fantasies are mainly about people of the same sex then you could be. Only you know how you feel, and only you can figure out your sexuality. If you usually imagine falling in love and having sex with someone of the same sex, then you’re probably lesbian, gay, or bisexual.

Remember, there’s no rush! It can take a lot of time to figure out your own emotions and desires. There is no need to label yourself right away, and sometimes people’s feelings change over time.


Sexuality is based on what you feel, not what you do. No one can tell you what your sexual orientation is.

https://lovemattersafrica.com/sexual-diversity/sexual-orientation/lesbian-gay-and-bisexual

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