"Invisible": Stories from Kenya's LGBTQ+ Community
Article by The Editor
7th June, 2023 at 7:35AM
This Pride month is particularly heavy for the LGBTQ+ community in Kenya with homophobic sentiment sweeping the country. Right next door in Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni signed one of the world's toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, including the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality" which many human rights activists fear might be enacted here in Kenya in the near future if the current anti-LGBTQ+ campaigns prevail.Even in the midst of rising homophobia in Kenya, there is a growing movement of activists who are determined to challenge these norms and fight for the rights and dignity of lesbians, gays, transsexuals, and intersex individuals. Among these activists is Kevin Mwachiro, a queer journalist and advocate and prominent gay figure who has dedicated himself to collecting and sharing the stories of this marginalized community.Mwachiro's project, "Invisible," is an exploration of the journeys of LGBTQ+ individuals in Kenya. Through his work, he seeks to shed light on the experiences of men and women who have chosen to embrace their true selves despite the numerous challenges they face in a society that often rejects them.One of the remarkable aspects of Mwachiro's project is its inclusivity. He ensures that the voices of both young and old members of the LGBTQ+ community are heard, representing the struggles and triumphs across generations. Furthermore, he reaches out to individuals living in both urban and rural areas, recognizing that discrimination affects people regardless of their geographical location.Through his interviews and transcriptions, Mwachiro paints a vivid picture of the resilience and courage exhibited by these individuals. He captures their stories of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and the resilience they exhibit in the face of adversity. These personal accounts humanize the LGBTQ+ community, challenging stereotypes and fostering empathy among readers.By sharing these stories, Mwachiro aims to raise awareness about the discrimination and prejudices faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in Kenya. He hopes to provoke meaningful conversations and challenge societal norms, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and accepting society.Mwachiro's work is not without its risks. In a country where homosexuality is criminalized, he faces backlash and threats for his activism. However, he remains undeterred in his mission to amplify the voices of those who have been silenced for far too long."Invisible" serves as a testament to the power of storytelling and the resilience of the human spirit. By collecting and sharing stories, Kevin Mwachiro provides a platform for the LGBTQ+ community in Kenya to be seen, heard, and acknowledged. His work not only empowers individuals within the community but also encourages a broader conversation about the importance of equality and respect for human dignity.You can show your support for the LGBTQ+ community in Kenya by purchasing a copy of "Invisible" at:- Kwani Trust (Nairobi)- Goethe-Institut Kenya (Nairobi)Proceeds go towards LGBTQ+ advocacy in the country.