I want to start
to save my life.
I believe in equality for everyone everywhere.
I believe that we are bound together by the promise of shared humanity. I believe that when we proclaim ourselves human, we promise to treat each other with respect and dignity.
I believe that citizenship is the glue that binds together a nation, a citizenship rooted in the fundamental belief that we owe each other equality.
I believe that between citizens there is no higher mandate than that we cultivate a mutually beneficial citizenship.
I begin this way because I do not have the luxury of being understood. I begin this way because I do not have the luxury of remaining silent. I begin this way because I do not have the luxury of being tired.
And there are so many who speak for me and over me and at me, loudly and wrongly.
I do not have the luxury of dismissing others as uninformed or ignorant. I do not have the luxury of not responding. Even when I don’t want to, I must keep responding.
We speak on borrowed grounds because our own land speaks in ventriloquized voices.
Kenyans against homosexuality take their arguments from the U.S. Christian Right. They cite the 700 Club and the bible as though the two are synonymous.
They succeed because we homosexuals in Kenya lack faces. We are invisible when standing, silent when screaming, unseen when beaten. We are incoherent when arguing, detached when academic, and misguided when political.
This is what we hear about ourselves.
How does a tree point to its roots?
I am here.
We are here.
We hear when you speak.
We feel when you touch.
Proposition 8 matters.
Proposition 8 matters because its success tells us that gains can be lost.
It matters because the New Multi-Party Kenya is becoming the old: populated by corrupt leaders, suffering citizens, intolerant factions. It matters because we are losing and might not realize what is lost until it is too late.
That a Kenyan, any Kenyan anywhere, would support Proposition 8, would support taking away legally granted equal rights especially in the wake of the Post-Election Violence should give us pause.
We have seen what we can do to each other.
When you tell me that I am not equal, you rationalize the worst that Kenyans can do to each other.
When you tell me that citizens of a foreign country do not deserve to be counted as human, you make me fear for the foreigners who visit us here.
When you tell me that your bible justifies oppression and that it takes precedence over the legal documents that constitute us as fellow citizens, you make me fear the fundamentalisms that destroy nations.
When you tell me that your humanity should count more than mine, I am left silent, trembling, looking for places to hide in the open savannah.