By Baby Dyke
Once upon a time, eons ago, there was a colony of people that existed on a rainbow-colored planet. There, they were free to love and to exist. One day, as they were prancing around on their unicorns, one of the unicorns tripped, fell and bore a hole on the planet’s surface. The people from this planet started falling, one by one. They landed on a planet called Earth. The Earth people were so taken aback by these colorful people, they labelled them queer…
A few days ago, I was sitting at a training session when the recent Ezekiel Mutua ban came up. Now in case you aren’t from Kenya, Ezekiel Mutua is the person in charge of the Kenya Film Classification Board. He goes about banning things that he feels affects the morality of Kenyans. Recently, he banned a Coca Cola ad because people were kissing. He also banned some cartoons showing on cable TV because they were, ‘glorifying homosexuality’ and not appropriate for kids.
When this came up during training, I kept quiet. I never know how to react when people bring up homosexuality or anything gay so my resort is usually to keep quiet. There were some girls in class who started saying how they agreed with Ezekiel, that the shows could ‘make your kids gay’. One girl raised her voice to disagree, and I, in turn, said I agreed with her, because a lot depends on how you raise your kid. The first girl said that you could even take your kid to church and they could then watch TV and end up being gay. Those who agreed with her cited music videos and how they make young girls want to be like the video vixens. I had so many rebuttal questions but I ended up saying, ‘there are a lot of factors that could make someone gay, not just watching TV’.
It’s not the first time that I have witnessed the ‘where does homosexuality come from?’ debate being waged. I have heard the whole ‘nature vs nurture’ debate too, but the discussion in class really got me thinking.
Are people born gay or do they ‘become’ gay?
Where do we come from? How did I become the queer person I am?
There are people who argue that we are born this way. There are people (usually the ones against us) that argue that it’s a lifestyle choice we’ve made. One researcher countered that, if it is indeed a choice that we made, wouldn’t we remember making it? The element of choice comes in the way you choose to live once you realize you are gay, not with being gay. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember being asked at any point in my childhood if I wanted to be gay.
Was I born gay? I don’t know. Did my upbringing make me gay? I don’t know. I feel like there are a lot of factors that influenced this. All I know is that I feel the way I feel and that’s okay. I wish other people would be okay with that too. I know that it doesn’t matter where my gayness came from, or yours too. It is about how you live with it.
Allow me to digress.
If you’ve noticed, I started a Twitter account for Baby Dyke. I call it my gay account. Where I can strut my colors of the rainbow in full brightness, where I can say what I want, how I want, no matter how gay it sounds. See, I have my normal account, the problem is, I was starting to feel ‘too gay’ for it. People were starting to ask me too many questions. A few days ago, I went on a retweeting spree of gay stuff and then I say someone tweet, ‘I’m about to mute a fave of mine because she’s too much now’. Maybe the poor girl wasn’t talking about me but it felt like she was. I went and unretweeted all the LGBTI stuff I had retweeted. I resolved to stop tweeting on that account, just in case I am being ‘too gay’ and too loud. See the thing is, the 3000 and something people who follow me on that account, followed me when I wasn’t out yet. When I was tweeting kawaida (everyday) shit. I don’t like that I feel the need to hide my gayness from them. I don’t like that I feel that my gayness is too much.
But it’s what I feel.
For now I’ll be over at @kenyanbabydyke trying to make sense of all this gayness and luxuriating in the presence of fellow queer people.
For more on the Kenyan Film and Publication Board check out this piece on how they tried to ban something they thought was a ‘lesbian orgy’.
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