Being Gay Isn't African?
Recent responses on our Youtube page about homosexuality have indicated that it is a western phenomenon that is being exported from Europe.
This is the general attitude in a lot of African communities.
It is difficult to counter this attitude as not much is documented on homosexual relations in Africa. Despite this, there is evidence of relationships that mirror homosexual relationships, an example of this is the history of Yan Daudu, which is a Hausa term used in the northern parts of Nigeria to describe effeminate men who were usually wives to other men.
Around the 1800s, Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda (now known as Uganda) was an openly bisexual monarch who had 16 wives & often had sexual relations with his royal pages. This continued right up until the British invasion that came with Christianity, which strongly opposed homosexual relations. In Uganda, Mudoko Dako is a term used to describe effeminate men who are treated by society as wives. In Namibia; Damara indicates instances of lesbian couples existing.
There seems to be a real confusion regarding Africa’s past & history on homosexuality. Little has been documented, and people’s attitudes about homosexuality being unAfrican continue to be fueled by politicians who play on the “homosexuality is wrong” notion to win votes.
What is funny is that there is evidence of homosexual relations in the caves of Zimbabawe, where politicians denounce homosexuality. There are rock paintings that indicate that same-sex relations existed between some of the men in the community of Khoisan, and at times, it was to appease the gay gods.
Even though there is evidence of same-sex relations in the African history, why do people’s attitudes continue to be biased against being gay as an African notion??
There remains a strong school of thought amongst people on the continent that homosexuality is a Western export. That the Europeans themselves brought this idea to Africa and planted it in the minds of the local people. Such thoughts are not only wrong, as they deny the fact that being gay is not a choice but a part of someone’s identity, but are also extremely ironic. Why ironic? Let me break it down for you…
Those who believe that homosexuality was brought to Africa by the Europeans seem to forget that it was the introduction of Christianity amongst African countries which has contributed towards negative perspectives on homosexuality. As Western missionaries spread across the continent, so did their message, and that has stuck until today. With people using the Bible to justify their hate of gay people ((Leviticus 18:22: “No man shall lie with another.), it is easy for people to forget that homosexual relationships existed long before the first European set foot on African land.
So with all this evidence, it’s hard to refute the fact that in African societies there have been cases of same-sex relationships. In fact, being gay is a very real part of African history and culture. We cannot deny that fact and people’s attitudes will only change once they believe that being gay is not a choice. What do you think?