A gay man in Rwanda wrote a letter to the editor today in Rwanda's The New Times. It is a clear, comprehensive call to understand the struggle of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people not only in Rwanda, but throughout Africa.
First of all, I would like to excuse myself for those whose views differ from mine on this subject. I am a Rwandan, but I am considered different because of my sexuality.
Growing up, I faced many problems in my social life, being called silly names like (Cyabakobwa and so on), or being mistreated. This is something that still affects me in my everyday life.
I always wanted to change and be like everyone else, but after a long fight I failed: I never changed.
When I reached puberty, I started being attracted to men instead of women. I am gay.
Many people think that gay Rwandans were influenced by western cultures. This is a big lie and an insult.
I take myself as a living example: I’ve been in contact with Western Culture through the Internet for two years but I knew I was different since I was 12.
Right now, I am in my twenties and nothing has changed. I am still attracted to men. I’ve never told anybody since it would be called a shame and I would be an outcast in my family. It really is not easy; I didn’t choose that, and I wasn’t influenced by anybody.
I know that there are many children out there, many men and women who are in the same situation as myself.
They are misunderstood, humiliated and forced to act against their conscience, like marrying a person they don’t love.
This leads to many problems such as infidelity and spreading diseases. But the society refuses to acknowledge us. They still show a disdain and hatred towards even the concept that we live.
Gay people in Rwanda face a bunch of problems, such as discrimination, humiliation, familial rejection, health risks like AIDS and other STDs.
Because of discrimination, they are prone to AIDS, since they don’t receive any appropriate sexual education, and have to hide who they truly are.
They never get a normal lifecycle; never enjoy a healthy relationship with their lovers. Many gay Rwandans consider STDs as heterosexual diseases and they don’t take any precaution.
This is why AIDS has a higher rate among homosexuals as CNLS recent report showed.
I would urge every Rwandan to be aware of our existence. Parents and neighbors should not persecute children because they are manifesting gender problems.
This is attacking nature and it has consequences which can range from chronic loneliness to suicide.
Neighboring countries have criminalized homosexuality in the name of religion, which is really sad because it’s criminalizing nature, how someone was created.
The Republic of Rwanda supports the separation of the state and religion. I hope Rwandan legislators will follow the Constitution and fight for every Rwandan’s rights. HERE
I wish also that some day we will receive equal rights like acceptance from our families and the society, and be allowed to marry the ones we love and not live undercover for the rest of our lives.. HERE
Name withheld on request
THE GOVERNMENT OF RWANDA ¨SEPERATES CHURCH FROM STATE¨ as THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF RWANDA REFUSES ¨TO MINGLE WITH HOMOSEXUALS¨
Emmanuel Kolini, the Anglican archbishop of Rwanda
¨REMERA - Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini has called on churches in the East African region to fight against homosexuality for the good of the society.
The leader of the Province of the Anglican Church of Rwanda insisted that Anglican churches in East Africa will not mingle with the homosexuals in the affairs of the church for the good of the community.¨
· Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar · Thanks to The Government of Rawanda · Thanks to The New Times, Africa · Thanks to African Activist
TAKE ACTION AGAINST BIGOTRY, IGNORANCE and OUTCASTING/SOCIAL ISOLATION: The ANGLICAN UN, United Nations, HUMAN RIGHTS Observer, Mrs Hellen Grace Wangusa from Uganda, has an office and staff provided by the Episcopal Church (USA) at the Church Center 815 Second Avenue, New York, 10017. The direct office line is (001) 212-716- 6263 and the email address email@example.com
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