Binyavanga Wainaina, an influential
author from Kenya, has come out gay to protest homophobic laws on the
Wainaina, the winner of the 2002 Caine
Prize for African Writing, publicly announced his sexuality in a
short story titled I am a Homosexual, Mum published online
over the weekend.
“I, Binyavanga Wainaina, quite
honestly swear I have known I am a homosexual since I was five,” he
wrote in his story.
“Nobody, nobody, ever in my life has
heard this. Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled
air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and
firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a
shoulder, into her ear.”
“'I am a homosexual, mum.'”
Though arrests are rare, gay sex is
prohibited in Kenya. Recent anti-gay laws in Nigeria and Uganda have
received international condemnation.
a tweet to his more than 10,500 followers, Wainaina thanked
supporters: “Ten million thank yous to the thousands of Africans
and others who have given all kinds of public love, support. We live
in a beautiful continent.”