LGBT in Africa

            There are many problems throughout the world today. Although this might not seem like a huge problem to some, many people despise LGBT people all over the world. To me that is a huge problem because  many LGBT people are not welcome is Africa. Africa has many more things to focus on than people being LGBT in my opinion. Some Africans are scared that Americans are going to bring things that are harmful to their country. I looked at many different articles and each one said different things, but when put together they all mean the  same thing.

            I chose LGBT because many people that I know, that are even my closest friends, are LGBT, and I wanted to see how other continents, and countries saw LGBT people. Africa has a ton of problems with people being LGBT. Africa is the most homophobic continent on the Earth. Being LGBT is illegal in 33 of Africa’s 55 countries. Did you know that many Nigerians are terrified of gay marriage? Studies show that 90% of Nigerians believe their country would be better without homosexuals, while 26% of Nigerians believe gay people deserve equal rights as well as everybody else. Cameroon is a country that has laws that criminalize homosexuality. The Catholic Church is a driving force for anti-gay sentiment.

            George Freeman who is the director of the LGBT organization Pride Equality in Sierra Leone, put a story in a local newspaper about the organization. After the paper was published Freeman was drug out of his car and beaten by two motorcyclists because he supported the LGBT community. Africans are losing it, due to people standing up for the LGBT community. Almost all anti-gay laws come from European colonialism that dates to 150 years ago. Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Koroma, said that “we have to take into consideration our culture, tradition, religious beliefs and all that … I think the country should be led by what it believes is right for the country and not what is necessarily right for the international community because of the variations in our traditions.” To me this quote means that even when Africans take all of those things into consideration, the residents of those countries should be able to still be apart of those things even if they are a part of the LGBT community.

            There are many laws spread out across Africa. In Uganda it is illegal to be gay, someone can serve up to seven years in prison. The countries that use the “Death Penalty” for being gay are Mauritania, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, and Southern Somalia. Some countries that it is illegal to be LGBT are Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Sudan and Uganda. Some countries that it is legal to be LGBT are Chad, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger and South Africa. Many more countries in Africa think being LGBT is either legal or illegal. But from this research it is shown that all of the countries in Africa are not on the same page, when it comes to dealing with the LGBT community.

            There was a Anti-Homosexuality bill made that was halted by President Yoweri Museveri, another bill that was signed in December of 2013 was called the Anti-Gay bill. President Obama wanted to have a meeting with Nigeria’s President about the “Same Sex Prohibition Law.” Uganda’s President Lokodo accused America of “blackmailing” Uganda for the bills they had. Politicians blame the gay for taking away attention from their own problems. Which shouldn’t happen because they should be focused more on the problems going on around them instead of how individual people are living their lives.

            The Anti-Homosexuality Act states life in prison for instances of gay sex. Either 20 years in prison for being LGBT or fines up to $1000 for those found “guilty.” The LGBT community could be punished by death in some states and countries. Yahya Jammeh said that people of the LGBT community should have their throats slit. Which is kind of like saying they should have the death penalty. LGBT’s are apparently just wrongful people in the world and should die for being who they are.

            The Gay Pride Parade took place in San Francisco on June 28th, 2015. This event happened two days after the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage. Some people think that it is a sin to marry someone of the same sex. That those people are like offspring of Satan or something. Most people see the world, and marriage, as a woman and a guy getting married, having kids, and being a happy family that goes to church. But that isn’t how the world is today, there are LGBT people out there in the world, and most people think it is wrong.

            Most people will treat LGBT people as animals, or devils, or other things that are disgusting to the world. People believe that the things that shouldn’t exist in the world, should just be killed and never allowed to be who they are. Many LGBT people have been raped, killed, tortured for being the way they are. Gift Makau was one of those people, she was raped, tortured, and killed in a dark alley way, for coming out to her parents as being lesbian.

            The way I found the information for this article is simple. I typed into my Google search bar “LGBT in Africa,” then I just scrolled through until I some titles that interested me. I then clicked on the articles and read through them. Some of the articles that I found I knew weren’t going to help me at all, so I just went back to my search and continued looking for good articles. Each article that I chose to use in my paper either had an interesting picture at the top or it had a term that just popped out to me. One of my articles said “Why Nigerians are terrified of same-sex marriage in America?” then when I first read it I was thinking, “Why would they care about what is going on in America?” But then it hit me, the reason why Nigerians were so scared of LGBT in America was because we allowed it, and they thought that maybe people in Nigeria would follow in the footsteps of Americans.

            My research tells me that the people writing these articles about LGBT and gender in African countries are seeing this happen right in front of them. Many of the articles that I chose to look at seemed to be by American Authors. That makes me think that Americans have traveled to African countries and seen what people especially women who are LGBT, are being forced to do. Like being thrown in jail for long amounts of time for being someone that everyone doesn’t approve of. I believe that even if there are countries in Africa that don’t approve of LGBT people, they should try to at least give them a less harsh punishment. Also try to understand why they are LGBT, because they never know it might not be because of Americans. People don’t become LGBT because they see their friends becoming it. Americans aren’t the reason that African men and women are apart of the LGBT community.They become LGBT because that is who they are in their body, and their mind.