On May 24 2019, Kenya would have been the second African country to legalize same-sex unions, after South Africa. Only last week, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to allow gay and lesbians to love each other because life is not only about making money and memes. But Kenya said NO. She, unlike countries like South Africa, France, New Zealand or even Austria values her “culture”. As justices Roselyne Aburili, Chacha Mwita and John Mativo were looking for the right words to dismiss the case, that was filed by three gay rights organizations in 2016, Bill* was planning out his entire future. He was hopeful. Years of teaching in a district secondary school in Lamu leaves you with nothing but hope. He was dreaming of a promotion someday. A better pay. A better house. A better life even! And now, he was going to seek out love and claim it. A “yes” from the High Court could have enlarged his balls by an inch; just what he needed to find his way out of his 12-year-old marriage that is just but two humans sharing bills and avoiding eye-contact. No one but God knows that he’s gay. God is secretive and he trusts Her with his struggle. He has always been coy about his love life. His brothers were surprised when he married his wife and they were in for another surprise if only Kenya had said “yes”. Now, he’s drunk on fear. He is stuck with a woman he loves but doesn’t really love because he can’t touch her as much as she wants to be touched. They don’t have sex anymore because he’d rather think about how life would be rosier if he had a male lover of his preference. He does not want to continue sobbing in his toilet every morning because it doesn’t help. Bottles of liquor don’t help either.
Bill* is not like the late Binyavanga Wainaina. He will not show Kenyans who he is and sit back to watch their cold stares because they don’t understand. He doesn’t have the patience to listen to their judging mouths talk as if they don’t know that they too will go to hell. He will continue going home to his wife every evening as he waits for death to claim them both because Kenya said “No” to his dream of ever finding love.