The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda strongly condemns the hate speech promoted by Ayo Kimathi at the “African History & Culture Come Alive” event hosted at Liberty Theatre, as reported in the Royal Gazette.
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been cited as a human rights abuser by Amnesty International, amongst other human rights organisations. Allegedly playing a video of this man suggesting that members of the LGBTQ community should be subject to the death penalty is equivalent to inciting violence within Bermuda’s community. President Jammeh is not an example of the kind of leadership Bermuda needs, and his model of violent homophobia does not deserve applause.
Mr. Kimathi’s suggestions that homosexuality is a “white sex” crime introduced to Africa by European colonizers is historically inaccurate. There is documentation of normalized homosexuality in Congo, Madagasgar, Ethiopia, Pangwe (present-day Cameroon and Gabon), Ghana, Sudan, South Africa, Egypt, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, amongst other countries. What the European colonizers did import to Africa is homophobia and hateful attitudes towards natural sexual orientations.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda has gathered a variety of information on the topic of homosexuality in pre-colonial Africa and will list articles and books for further reading for anyone interested on their website.
The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda remains committed to promoting safer spaces in Bermuda for the LGBTQ community. We look forward to the series of discussions on marriage equality on Monday, September 28 and Thursday, October 1.
Homosexuality is not un-African, by Sylvia Tamale, Aljazeera America
Homosexuality un-African? The claim is an historical embarrassment, by Eusebius McKaiser, The Guardian
If you say being gay is not African, you don’t know your history, by Bisi Alimi, The Guardian
The idea that African homosexuality was a colonial import is a myth, by Bernardine Evaristo, The Guardian
Debunking the myths: Is Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transsexualism Un-African or Unnatural? by Yemisi Ilesanmi, FreeThoughtBlogs.com
Boy-Wives and Female Husbands – Studies of African Homosexualities, Edited by Stephen O. Murray and Will Roscoe Palgrave for St. Martin’s Griffin
Heterosexual Africa?: The History of an Idea from the Age of Exploration to the Age of AIDS, by Marc Epprecht, New African Histories