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Diary 19 – We are after all each other


I left Kenya when i was 24 years, 10 month and some days old. With me were two suitcases stuffed with books and unsuitable clothing for the upcoming winter and in the midst of the hot, tuesday afternoon, my heart was burdened by the choice I feel I had to take.

I was tired of living unnoticed.
I was afraid of my safety.
And most of I was tired of pretending I was anything that who I really was.

I am a lesbian.
A queer.
A shoga.
A dyke.
An ‘ abboration’ of nature.

Watching Kenya unravel causes me untold anguish. I am fatigued by the worry and anxiety I have shed tears for my friends, my family and the nation as a whole.

Yet, in the stillness of my heart, I am not surprised. I am not at all surprised that underneath the veil of calmness lies intolerance. We are as a nation and as individuals are not sentries of peace, we would like to believe that we have no strong affiliations to the groups that we belong to.However, I ask, take a moment to ask, who do you consider your friends, your crew, are they born from the same background, do they look like you, what are their professional and personal affiliations, are they in synch with yours?

I knew from an earlier age that I was different. Even though I ‘ belonged’ to a majority, I was still reeling from the overt forms of sexism, patriachy and homophobia. What I saw around me was a need for group consensus and I knew that for me to thrive fully, I would either deny being an authentic human being, or negate the truths of my experience. And so I did the former and I left and now I am left with images of the Kenya of my youth, nursing an untold nostalgia while basking in the sea of otherness.

For status quo to remain in place, there needs to be a level of group chaos. Kenya and indeed the world has tithered on this premise. Now that the pandora box has been opened and the shadow of our collective experiences has been unvieled, what choices do we have?

It is not the time to sweep this experience and return to ‘ normal.’ What is normal? Is it to pretend that this didnt happen? Is normal to congregate amongst ourselves, our ‘ tribes’ our safe havens and drink into the well of our tribes and in stupour like mentality point fingers at others.

We have an opportunity as individuals in our enclaves of influence to become more mindful and compassionate to ourselves and others. This is an opportunity to pour balms of forgivness onto the wounds of intolerance. We have a unique experience to thrive from this experence and be better human beings or engage in viscious cycles of hate.

We are after all, each other.

15 comments to Diary 19 – We are after all each other

  • Osas

    A beautiful, heart-moving and heart-warming posting. Thank you, black butterfly!


  • Wangu

    Thank you for your post, Mariposa. We are indeed faced with a crossroad – do we continue living as we were ‘back to normal’ or do we confront the inhospitable energies writhing in our hearts, that have quietly and oftentimes not so quietly festered in our hearts, when we are, after all, each other (so beautifully stated).
    Consider this: a piece of poetry on paper:

    If we look into this sheet of paper even more deeply, we can see the sunshine in it. Without sunshine, the forest cannot grow…And so, we know that the sunshine is also in this sheet of paper. The paper and the sunshine inter-are. And if we continue to look, we can see the logger who cut the tree and brought it to the mill to be transformed into paper. And we see wheat. We know that the logger cannot exist without his daily bread, and therefore the wheat that became his bread is also in this sheet of paper. The logger’s father and mother are in it too. When we look in this way, we see that without all of these things, this sheet of paper cannot exist.

    …Everything is in here with this sheet of paper. We cannot point out one thing that is not here – time, space, the earth, the rain, the minerals in the soil, the sunshine, the cloud, the river, the heat…”To be” is to inter-be. We cannot just be by ourselves alone. We have to inter-be with every other thing. This sheet of paper is, because everything else is.

    i choose to live myself committed to advancing kindness and communication.

  • Miss S

    You are a beautiful writer

  • acolyte

    Well at least you are free to be who you want to be now!

  • debaba

    Be who you are and live your life, ignorance is such a big disease tht is yet to be diognosed and cure found, I left kenya in 1988 and all my travels through the world I have leaned a lot, it is the content of the charachter that matters not gender, sexual orientation, tribe, clour, social stauts or what have you, we were all made in the Image of God and anybody who thinks they are better than others, is only competing with the Almighty , at the end of the day we will all have to find out after ther coffin closes and answer for ourselves., you go girls,may you be blessed in all ways.

  • kitts

    visit our kenyan lesbian group sapphomambo@yahoogroups.com

  • A beautiful moving piece Mariposa – Stay strong dear sister.

  • Melioner56

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  • […] Kenyan Pundit publishes a moving piece by Mariposa in which she relates the intolerance of the Kenyan people towards her sexuality with the ethnic intolerance towards each other. I left Kenya when i was 24 years, 10 month and some days old. With me were two suitcases stuffed with books and unsuitable clothing for the upcoming winter and in the midst of the hot, tuesday afternoon, my heart was burdened by the choice I feel I had to take. […]

  • […] I am a lesbian. A queer. A shoga. A dyke. An ‘ abboration’ of nature. […]