The entire weekend all I could see on social media was the rainbow. Its interesting how this small number of people has grown profoundly by supporting each other since is foundation. LGBTI (lesbian, gays, bisexual, transgender and intersex) History Month originated in the United States and was first celebrated in 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Wilson originated the idea, served as founder on the first coordinating committee, and chose October as the month of celebration.

Growing up in an African setting I never really got to know much about gays or lesbianism until years later in school. One of my best friends, Laura, was caught ‘misbehaving’ with another girl in the dorms. They were paraded for everyone to judge, see, exclaim and to shame the ungodly act they had committed. It was unheard of, demonic, even the pastor prayed for them. While screaming, Pepo shetani toka!  He could feel all the demons come out of them. Years later, my best friend told me that whole scene had traumatized the poor girl. Since that incident, she always felt like an outsider.

I still remember her parents face, the disappointment, the disgust in everyone’s face. I felt bad for her but she chose this, I would say to make myself feel better about not walking or interacting with her anymore. I was scared of what my friends would think of me if I had a lesbian friend and even worse, what my parents would think of me. The entire time I wasn’t thinking of her, I felt as if she had a choice to be normal to be like everyone else how dare she put me in this situation is all I could think off, and honestly I hated her a little for not being like me, normal.

Years later, graduated college, kissed a girl or two and I realize she did not want that life. It’s not what she asked for its what she felt throughout her life. I sat her down and for the first time to find out what it feels like to be different in a world where different meant being shunned by the closest people next to you.

Laura enters the restaurant in town 15 minutes after I do, she looks stunning, her walk is confident and when she notices me at the back she smiles and waves and walks towards me. Shes beaming and has lost a couple of pounds she looks amazing. She sits down and orders lemon tea, I gulp the coffee I had with. As soon as we get the pleasantries out of the way I can’t help but notice how much I had missed her, no homo though hehehe.

When did you discover you were sexually attracted to girls?

One night at ‘my boyfirends’ campus room, we were playing truth or dare and the guys dared us girls to kiss and for the first time I felt alive. It took 7minutes for me to realize who I am, and that I love girls not boys. I was only fourteen remember.

How did you feel in high school when you were exposed for lesbianism?

So when that incident happened in high school I was embarrassed of course, but I think the teachers should have dealt with us differently. it made me question everything about myself, my insanity, I told myself I was going to hell. I even contemplated suicide but I was too scared to go through with it. I wanted all the pain to be over, my parents couldn’t understand they asked the pastor at home to pray with me and talk to me on a daily basis for two weeks, the demon inside me had to be vanquished it was hell for me.

What resulted from it?

Immediately I cleared high school and joined campus I started dating some guy not because I loved him or was sexually attracted to him but because I wanted a cover up, deep down I thought maybe if I loved him more maybe if I kissed him more maybe if the sex was on a regular basis I would be able to change, I would be normal again. I stayed in a situation I did not need to be in for almost two years, bitter, unloved, always cringing before going to bed and thinking about him on me was just sickening don’t  get me wrong the sex was okay but I would have preferred it with someone else. It got serious quickly and he would talk about going to see his parents, and I had to be honest with him and myself no matter how hard it was I couldn’t live a lie for the rest of my life could I ? so I cooked him dinner his favorite  pilau nyama, even got a mzinga of vodka in case it got crazy and after dinner I spilled out the truth. I told him I was into women. He just looked at me and asked me how long I felt that way and that conversation was the most honest we ever been to each other and it took a while before we were friends again but I must say we are in a better place right now.

How was your relationship with your boyfriend?

Yes, my first boyfriend in high school and it lasted a whole four years in high school imagine. After schools closed my friend and I would go visit our boyfriends in campus believe it or not they were in campus and we were in high school it was an intrigue. The worst part would come when my friend would step out with her boyfriend and I would be left with my boyfriend alone. He must have tried a million times to kiss me to no avail and at times he would blame it on my age but that wasn’t it I just wasn’t feeling it, no connection, nothing. I even initiated it sometimes and still nothing.

What happened when you opened up to your folks?

I think by then they knew who I really was despite them trying to change me, they knew I fancied girls they must have been embarrassed at first but with time they accepted me for who I am. They got to know Christine my partner and they love her too, I would have been devastated if it had happened different but since they were accepting and supportive I love them for that ,it’s not easy though when we attend family events, the side glances but one step at a time.

What about work how do they deal with you being gay?

First I care less what anyone feels about my sexuality the same way I care less about theirs. However, my boss has been supportive we hardly talk about my personal life but from time to time he asks about Christine and my kid so that’s great.

How did you meet your girlfriend?

It was so funny since the first time I saw her I actually liked her friend more.  I even asked her for her friends number I thought she was cute I told her, she smiled and gave me the friends number and we did not talk until two months later when I saw her again at a concert in Naivasha. I still remember the look she gave me before she walked up to me, she asked me if her friend and I had kicked things off , I confessed I dint even call her, she smiled and asked me to join her and her friends for the weekend and that was it I knew it then and there she was the one you know that feeling when you know you just know.

Christine has been a rock for me, you know it has not always been easy especially growing up here {she  means Africa} they all think it’s sinful loving someone from the same gender as you ,and I always thought there was something wrong with me, I remember an incident when I was  fourteen just before I joined high school, all my girlfriends from school were talking about their men crush but all I could talk about was Britney spears. I had such a crush on her at first I thought it was  her songs but this was different, I would fantasize about her and it scared me to death. I opened up to one of my friends back then and she told me that was wrong and that I shouldn’t let such feelings over power me.



A sensitive question if I may ask please, how did you get your daughter?

I knew that would come up, after dating for two years we really wanted a child to complete our little family we even joked we would both get pregnant at the same time. We thought of a sperm clinic to get a donor but after talking to both our families about it, both our brothers wanted to volunteer as sperm donors for our child and we thought wow that’s a great idea. They both donated and were screened and after some fertility examinations I was in a better position to carry a child. At that moment, Christine’s brother was over the moon about it and you won’t believe it but it the insemination took the very first time, my family is very fertile. So that’s how we have our lovely Tina.

Your daughter is almost three, growing really first what do you think is the best way to explain to her your situation?

My girl is a clever girl she calls me mom and Christine mommy she already knows she has two moms and I think that’s even better. Both our brothers have been there for us and they are great dads to their kids and also to Tina. You wouldn’t know the difference if you saw them together, I think will wait until she is thirteen and explain everything to her then.

Aren’t you scared other kids would have mentioned something to her until then?

Of course I am worried I will shield my child from all the pain this world can infringe on her but I cannot protect her from everything. I will make sure our relationship is open enough for her to approach me in case of any questions.

What would you love to see change in this country so as to accept people from LGBTI community?

First off all the perception that being LGBTI is sinful and one can go to hell if she’s from any of the following groups, I cannot tell you the number of people who have been hurt, ridiculed, abused to a point of  committing suicide due to the cruelty experienced all over. People tend to get scared of what they don’t know  but let me ask you being gay or lesbian is it as bad as terrorism? When did it become a sin to try and be happy in our own skin? To find a soul out there that loves you cares for you and would do anything for you? Don’t we all look for our soul mate regardless to which body its occupies? I have found my soul mate in Christine and people go a lifetime without knowing true love and I’m just lucky I found mine.

I looked down at my watch and it was almost 6 in the evening we had been talking for almost three hours now we called the waiter ordered some drinks and continued with our talks on politics and boys of course girls too.By the end of the day I had all questions my answered even the very embarrassing ones.

By @KaraniJanet