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SPOONER: In tolerating gays, we are moving in right direction

As I was driving to work a radio presenter with his forced American accent came on, ‘How do you tell if a guy is gay?’

My hackles went up as I braced myself for the onslaught of the public against homosexuals, but I was to be surprised.

Firstly, the tweets that were coming in to the show were not the usual death threats and had more of a joking tone; I consider this progress.

Then the presenter rounded up the discussion with “well, in any case, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with what people do in their own bedrooms”. I was floored! A public figure who isn’t too shy to say he was not against homosexuality.

I feel that this positive trend of tolerance has slowly been growing in Nairobi.

A couple of years ago the Kenyan Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) group ‘Gay Kenya’ staged the country’s first public gay film festival titled “The Out Film Festival”. The festival was a success and is now a yearly event in Nairobi.

Recently I was out at a well-respected bar with a group of friends which included a lesbian friend and her girlfriend.  They were holding hands and when I asked them if they weren’t worried someone would challenge them, they told me that they’ve never had a problem with it in Nairobi.

In fact, they get no disapproving comments and less antagonistic stares than if they had been in Europe. I felt proud of fellow Nairobians in that moment. It was wonderful to see that these two individuals were able to not feel threatened.

As we move towards a less homophobic society perhaps the culture of tolerance will spread and it will be recognised that discrimination along sexual preferences is unjust. After all, what two consensual adults do in the privacy of their own home is surely their own.