Nairobi at night

Reports from Kenya claim that an increasing number of clubs and bars in the country’s major cities are barring entry to anyone who “looks” gay or lesbian.

Identity Kenya said that it has received reports from Nairobi, Nakuru and Mombasa that “popular drinking joints are now enforcing a strict no-entry rule on men who are deemed too effeminate or women seen as too ‘masculine’ or ‘butch’.”

It described this as “an all out war against persons who are perceived as gay, lesbian or transgender”.

The website said gay patrons were recently shocked to be turned away from Tacos club in Nairobi, which had previously been gay friendly. The club has reportedly hired extra security to keep gays out. This apparently after the owner found two men fondling in the bathroom.

Other venues in Nairobi that are also said to be turning away members of the gay community include club Tribeka, club Envy, Jazz club and Steps club.

Club Taidy in Nakuru and club California in Mombasa are also believed to have followed suit.

“Since the management knew the gays hanged out with the lesbians, they decided to also say no to them. If the bouncers see you they point you out before you can enter or shout at you,” said John, a gay student from Nakuru, about club Taidy.

Editor of Identity Kenya, Denis Nizoka told Gay Star News: “There are reported cases of bar security beating up, assaulting patrons who display feminine or butch characteristics.

“This is wrong and should be reported to police. Also, such bars should be avoided by LGBT people and we can show them that we have the pink power and we can spend our money where we want,” he said.

Identity Kenya said that a number of hotspots remain “safe” or “tolerant” in Nairobi. These include club Sylk, the Wine Bar, club Sound, Galileo and Simmers.

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