Rwanda gospel singer comes out as gay


Albert Nabonibo (YouTube)

Determined to show that being Christian and gay are not incompatible, a gospel singer from Rwanda has come out of the closet.

Albert Nabonibo, 35, opened up about his sexuality in an interview with a Rwandan YouTube gospel news channel, apparently “shocking” many of his conservative fans.

He said that he is not alone in the church, with most of the LGBTQ faithful afraid of being stigmatised and discriminated against.

“In fact, there are many like me, even in churches, the fact is that they hide it because of the mentality of the faithful and the community and for their safety,” Nabonibo told the BBC after appearing in the video.

“I feel sorry for people like me who live in fear, they should go out to be heard, because we have to be treated like other people,” he said.

The singer has been praised by some for his courage. “Congratulations and I’m proud of you especially we need people like you who can accept their sexual orientation,” commented one man on YouTube.

Others have predictably attacked Nabonibo, usually citing scripture and religious bigotry. One warned that he represents “the new Sodom and Gomorrah” while another asked if he was on “Satan’s mission”

Despite the backlash for simply revealing who he is, Nabonibo insisted that he won’t be deterred from going on to “sing for God.”

He added: “I will live with those who accept me and those who reject me – I know it will be a daily battle.”

While homosexuality is legal in Rwanda, it remains a taboo in the country. LGBTQ people are not specifically protected from discrimination and same-sex relationships have no legal standing. The Constitution of Rwanda only allows for “monogamous marriage between a man and a woman.”

In a recent positive move, Rwanda was among the few African countries to vote in July to renew the mandate of the UN Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend