Gays take part in Kenya’s first mardi gras


Pic: Afra Kenya/Facebook

Gays and lesbians openly took part in Kenya’s first mardi gras earlier this month, reports Denis Nzioka.

Despite homosexuality being illegal in the country, the small group of LGBT people were included in the event at the Tree House Club in Nairobi on 7 March, along with other arts and cultural organisations.

Thanks to the Afra Kenya queer women’s art collective and advocacy group, two LGBT participants were painted in rainbow colours while others waved rainbow flags during the parade.

A large banner with the word “queer” painted across it was also created by members of Afra Kenya.

The organisation said on its Facebook page that the celebration, which included DJs, bands and street food, was “enjoyed fully.”

Under Kenya’s penal code, same-sex consensual sex among adults is punishable with between five to 14 years imprisonment.

In January, Kenya’s Attorney-General, Githu Muigai, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that his government is not enforcing its gay sex ban. Last month, however, two men were arrested on charges of having gay sex and were forced to undergo humiliating medical exams.

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