Friday, November 18, 2016

Queer Africans and the Law (1)

Woken to a very beautiful morning.

There’s been wind, and clouds, and more wind that shakes the world in the last few days. So, waking to little wind and a cloudless sky except over the mountain is special. Belly of sun inching up from horizon…., had to take a pic. No, sorry, wont share…., except with copyright etc….!!! Hey, allow me a small vanity!

Later in morning (oh, that was very early morning..), someone sent me a text…., where is the blog post of today?

Okay.., takes time to weave words onto the page…, but here.

Was thinking of the law and LGBT peoples of Africa. You know, in Africa, context is everything. So, what matters the law when pretty men in suits sit and meditate on morality that is hypocritical as they write it? Who polices the law?

But, it matters. A lot.

Was brought home to me when my country mates woke to design a law that demanded death of me. Yikes, that fight, I documented it on this blog. It reminded me that, though African countries are generally ‘lawless’, though I had been living a fairly confortable, closeted life, with odd multiple compartments that were mutually incompatible, the law still matters. Because, as a criminal, being found out and falling into the spiders net of the law courts in Africa is torture, designed by the worst torture masters. The law matters.

Baseline. Many of my African brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers and elders admit, without remorse, that they hate Gay Africans like me. To them it is a visceral, 'natural' hate. They don’t need to justify it. Indeed, they wonder at the depravity of the international community that can justify that ‘Gay Rights are Human Rights’. To them, we barely rate humanity.

We are human. I am human. And, that I will throw in their faces…..

But, I digress.

So, in Ivory Coast, there is apparently no law that criminalises consensual same sex intercourse. And, that would be one of the few countries on the continent that don’t. Apparently, former French colonies. The British were more errr, ‘Victorian’ about sex!!!

But, case came to light, where two guys fell into the arms of the law  in the town of Ssassandra in Southern Ivory Coast. The details get extremely mucky. I admit to x-ray vision, but even my super eyes bounce off… But, the facts. Two men reportedly had sex together. Consensual sex. No law criminalises private gay sex. But, said the righteous prosecutor, because there is no law doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be punished. So, the admitted, bewildered lovers found themselves with 18 months long jail term…, because the court agreed they ‘should’ be punished, even in the absence of a law stating so!

Well, in its absence, apparently they were sentenced under the 'public indecency' act...., see, the court had to have a basis for the sentencing....

I always ask the question, rhetorically, but still. Why do fellow Africans believe I am so bad because I have sex with other people that agree? To us it is a pleasure, why do you mind so much?
Okay, fact is, people do.

Of course I cant get over it. I am gay. They have to be the ones to get over it!

But...., besides those of our countries which dont criminalise same sex behaviour are the majority that do. And those are a mess...., but this post would become too long. So, till tomorrow?


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