Monday, November 29, 2010


So yea there you have it. Raila has said it. Raila has validated the homophobic prejudices amongst most Kenyans. What Raila says holds a lot of clout in Kenya. When Raila speaks some people do not even pray on that day because "thus says Raila- the Lord".

It is saddening. Not just because of the struggles of the LGBTI community in Kenya but because of the systemic oppression of a people, citizens of a country by the same 'people' who need to protect them. It is this moralism that eats up contemporary society. It is this sort of 'universal morality' to which we all should subscribe that tears my heart. It is when a duality of 'good' and 'bad' sex is created by ignorant 'leaders' who do not themselves always fall on the 'good side of sex' that sexual 'deviance' is illegitimized. This is the 'trouble with normal', Michael Warner will tell you.

I do not particularly care about Raila's homophobia as much as I feel disheartened by his utterances on the arrest of gays to a community that is already (almost inherently) homophobic. For Raila to call for the arrest of gays makes a bad situation worse. Given the number of times that violence against gay and lesbian people are arrested and harrassed by both the police and millions of 'uninformed mobs' in Kenya, finally this violence has been validated by one of Kenya's most 'powerful' politicians.

I will not waste my energy ranting about Raila's utterances. I will not waste my anger on him because he does not even deserve a minute of my otherwise busy schedule but i will point out one thing (to whoever cares to listen): Calling homosexuality 'unnatural' is so I-dont-know-what century. i believe that it is during sex, whether queer or normative, that people become 'natural'. It is during sexual activity that people become more animal than human. They get rid of their inhibitions and sexual shame and stigma. After the activity then they go back to their 'unnatural selves' of separating the private from the public and trying to be 'normal'. An attempt at fitting in within 'norms' set out by Lawd-knows-who. It is an argument that can never hold.

This 'homosexuality is unnatural' claim is ignorant and utterly annoying. It is a construct of religion, the state and heterosexual normativity. It is a way of disciplining 'deviant' sexual bodies. It is way of thinking that enforces the dominant/ normative social order and it is way of excluding a percentage of the population based on patriachal rule.

I fail to understand why most Kenyans do not get it. With the new coinage of 'mpango wa kando' or South Africa's 'makwapeni', why do we still have heterosexual people who believe that their sexual orientation is 'right' and moral?? Why don't they think cheating on their partners is equally a form of sexual deviance? If we are looking for a society that is sexually moral, why is it important to keep pointing at Raila's uncircumcised penis anytime he starts a campaign? Why is it necessary for Raila to point out that his wife Ida is not complaining about his foreskin? Because whatever goes on between the two during sex is not anyone's business, right? Ok, so whose business is it when two women buy didldo's the size of a baobab for their own sexual pleasure? Why is homosexual pleasure a shame? Why is it stigmatized? Why is it punishable by your fucking-annoying law?

I will tell you why. it is because most of us grow up in societies that are supposedly heterosexual on default. We grow up with our families expecting us to bring someone of the opposite sex home. We are taught about sexual shame as toddlers. you are taught not to touch your genitals and they are 'christened' so that they do not sound so shameful. You carry between your legs a willy-nilly or a veevee, you are told. It is time for Kenya's utterly-homophobic community to realize just how equally 'shameful' their sexual lives are. It is time we learnt to stop this moralizing discourse and advocated for basic human rights.

If you think the LGBTI community wants to be 'normal', forget it. people should be able to carry their sexualities on their sleeves if that is what they want to do. They are not going to be ashamed of themselves as you are while driving through Koinange Street for a quick pick-up before you go home to your wife or husband carrying the 'odour of illicit intimacy'.

By the way, stop invoking the stupid Adam and Steve rhetoric because we all do not believe in the same god(ddess). And calling homosexuality 'Western/UnAfrican' is an insult to the intelligence of an African thinker.See More


Emmanuel Chenze said...

Sincerely how does Raila's circumcision status arise here? He is a leader of all kenyans.whether he is circumcised or not is none of my(and your) business. The issue about gays is another one altogether. Just criticise his stand on gays, which he has since withdrawn, and not anything below the belt. I respect him as a person who has sacrificed alot for this country. He is a leader of all kenyans

anapolojetik said...

Hi Emmanuel,

Yes, you just got right to the point that I was driving at. I respect Raila as a person (just like everyone else). My raising the circumcision issue was to exactly show why most Kenyans will talk about sex and sexuality as private affairs unless they do not agree with something about another person's sex side of life.

While Raila has relentlessly fought for Kenya, the LGBTI community is Kenyan and deserves the right to live. That's my whole point. Raila's making of such a remark, whether he's withdrawn or not, was careless and discriminatory and he can surely do better than that.