"My Inspiration"

Malawi-couple

A reader writes:

As a gay African man (Kenyan), I have been infuriated by the recent proceedings in Uganda and just incandescent at the Christianist right's midwifery of this execrable 'bill'. For the LGBT community in majority of sub-saharan Africa, the stigma is absolute. South Africa remains the lone outpost of progressivism because gays can legally wed there. Kenya is the most socially liberal country in East and Central Africa but only relatively so since homosexuality hasn't been decriminalized yet.

I've thought a lot about how I've enabled this by not being open about who I am. I have heard the same disgusting anti-gay rhetoric openly spoken at parties and gatherings where I was present and I said nothing. No more.

The picture of the Malawian couple in the back of a pickup truck, besieged and utterly alone, surrounded by a sea of unsympathetic and mocking faces, sealed the deal for me. It is no longer possible for me to take my own indignation about these human rights abuses seriously. How can I while being closeted at the same time? This is why I'm coming out. As soon as possible. I'm telling everyone that matters to me and will admit openly to who I am to anyone that cares to ask. It is clearer to me than ever before that I can't have it both ways. I can't be outraged and closeted at the same time.

You correctly called those two Malawian men heroes and I saved that post. They remain my inspiration.

And my reader becomes a hero of mine as well. The Internet is helping to propel global gay consciousness as well as religious fundamentalism.