Stories Of Our Lives That We Don’t Want To Hear

Njoki Ngumi, George Gachara, Jim Chuchu

My views on homosexuality have changed a lot in my 32 years. My first conscious memory of the issue is watching a mini-series on KTN. I don’t remember the name of the series, but it had something to do with a wall or a fence, and I think it starred Oprah Winfrey. In the series, a lesbian woman experiences ‘corrective rape’ from some neighbourhood boys. When asked why they did it, they said they wanted her to know what she was missing. They claimed she was only gay was because she had never had sex … with them.

I wasn’t old enough to know what lesbianism was, but I was old enough to recognise rape. I wondered why they would do that, how they could do that, what on earth made them think that was right. So I asked my mum about lesbianism, and she explained it to me. I didn’t think it was particularly strange. I figured that’s just how some people were.

Later, I read Bible verses that seemed to condemn homosexuality. Something about men lying with men the way they lie with women. Or rather, men NOT lying with men the way they lay with women. The verse left me conflicted, because in my mind, some people were simply born gay. So why would God create you with certain desires and then tell you they were wrong? Although … in all fairness … many men use the same question to support cheating and polygamy, so … *shrug*

Dorothy Parker on Heterosexuality

Over the years, I’ve argued – mostly with myself – about whether homosexuality is nature or nurture. Are you born gay, or do you learn to be attracted to members of your own gender? Is it about genes, dysfunctional families, or an inseparable mix of both? Did I – at some point in my life – make a conscious decision to be straight? And if not, what makes me think someone can deliberately decide to be gay? Or conversely, if we are all just ‘born straight’ what happened to particular people to make them gay?

One side of the argument says hey, everyone is born with one head and two hands, so if you come out of the womb with multiple heads and just one hand, then something must be wrong. With you. And this is the logic they use to persecute people who are gay. Plus, if the internet is to be believed, gay and straight are just two sides of a multi-dimensional coin that spans up to 50 sexual identities.

I don’t know the genesis of sexual orientation, pun intended. I do know that as long as you’re consenting adults and you’re not hurting anyone, then who you choose to love is your business. I also know that everyone deserves to be in love, and to express that love in healthy, sensual ways that are mutually pleasurable. Of course this brings into play the question of homosexual teens, but I’m a mother with a tweenage child, so I’d prefer ALL children to  abstain until they’re at least 18, regardless of their and sexual identity.

True love waits until you finish high school

Why is this coming up now? Because last week, a group of Kenyan film-makers took a huge risk by releasing a film about homosexuals in Kenya. The actors in that film took a possibly bigger risk by portraying gay characters in a country where people can be arrested simply because the person they love has the same sexual organs that they do. Also, some of my favourite people are gay, and I think they have as much right to love and sexual intimacy.

In this interview with CBC in Toronto, Jim Chuchu, Njoki Ngumi, and George Gachara seem apprehensive. They’ve produced the movie and they’re proud of it, but they don’t know what happens next. They don’t know how Kenya will respond when they come back home, or if it’s even safe to come back home. The actors in the film are probably equally shaken. I think what happens to these people is entirely up to us. If we decide that they will be safe, then no-one will raise a hand to hurt them. If we decide to burn them at the stake, they’d probably be better off at Toronto Airport.

Speaking for myself, as long as both lovers are consenting, no one should be injured because of who they love. Your family may not agree. Society may not agree. The church may not agree. But in my opinion, whether your lover is black, white, orange, grey, straight, or gay, it’s nobody’s business but your own. And once we admit that, the world will be a safer, happier place for everyone to live and love.


George Gachara Arrested

‘Til youAlanis Morissette ♫

5 thoughts on “Stories Of Our Lives That We Don’t Want To Hear

  1. I agree with you here. The judgement that two consenting adults face in some areas just because of their sexuality is rather uncalled for. As long as they are not hurting anybody I think the world should just learn to respect that and leave them in peace. After all, what they do, just like for heterosexual couples should be their business.

  2. I agree with you that whatever happens between two consenting adults is their business. What I do not agree with is the justification of it… Matters sexual should not be rationalized. If you replaced the term homosexual with rape or infidelity I doubt whether you will have the stance about the issue… And yes matters sexual are tricky because either way someone is hurt whether directly or indirectly so whether consensual or not, homosexuality like any other sex related issues ultimately ends up hurting someone or two.

    • Homosexuality, rape, and infidelity are nothing alike. Rape is unwanted sexual intercourse, so no consent. Infidelity is unwanted sexual intercourse, because the partner being cheated on doesn’t agree. So again, no consent. Homosexuality is sexual attraction (and sometimes intercourse) between two partners of the same gender. It doesn’t need to be rationalised. It just is. Rape and infidelity can never be justified or rationalised.

      Consensual homosexuality doesn’t need to be rationalised or justified. It’s consensual. As a heterosexual female, I don’t need to explain why or how I’m attracted to men. It’s just the way I am. So it doesn’t make sense to ask a homosexual to explain, rationalise, or justify why they are attracted to the person they are attracted to. It’s just the way they are. They were born with a head, two arms, two legs, a heart, sexual organs, and attraction to people of the same gender. You can’t rationalise the way you are.

      Consensual homosexuality is between the partners involved. It doesn’t hurt anyone. It might disappoint others who would prefer you to be straight, but it doesn’t hurt anyone. If I were to cheat on my partner, it may disappoint, anger, or offend them. It will definitely betray them. But it won’t physically hurt them. If I were to marry a man my parents don’t approve of, it may disappoint, offend, or anger them, but it doesn’t physically hurt them. If I were to marry a WOMAN they don’t approve of, again, it may disappoint, offend, or anger them, but in the same context, it doesn’t physically hurt them. So you really can’t lump the three issues together.

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