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Writing Queer Kenya

On behalf of:

Editors: Keguro Macharia and Angus Parkinson

We lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, in a word, queers, have had the distinct un-pleasure of being told we don’t exist—in official government statements, historical documents, and contemporary statements. Well, we do.

We want Kenyan stories by Kenya-based and Kenya-born queers. About everything. We want writing about the dailyness of our lives, the good, the bad, the weird, the indifferent. If you have lived it, we want to hear about it. We especially want to reach beyond Nairobi, Mombasa, and other cities to all corners of the country. And we know the rest of Kenya, Africa, and the world wants to hear these stories as well.


We have three distinct formats. Choose what appeals to you.

1. Interviews: Tell us your story. Get in touch with us and we’ll arrange an interview. We value your time and your confidentiality. Not sure you want to meet us directly? We have phones and email and all manner of ways to make this happen.
2. Letters to Kenya: Write (or unearth) a 500-1,000-word letter. To whom? Parents, pastors, the government, best friends, former friends, present lovers, former lovers, the person you really want to tune. Get personal, get intimate. Say what you really want to say!
3. Personal narratives: Write (or unearth) a 2,500-3,000-word narrative about the dailyness of being queer. The high points, low points, the endless plateaus, the quick glances, indrawn breaths of desire, domestic thrills, sexual boredom, beginnings and endings. If you write it, we’ll consider it.

All submissions should be typed, double-spaced, and submitted electronically to queerkenya@gmail.com. If you can’t type, don’t want to, or can’t get hold of an email program that functions, get in touch with us. We can help.

How You Can Contribute

1. Get the word out. Convince your friends with hidden manuscripts or stories that must be shared to un-closet them.
2. Send us encouraging emails. We need your good wishes, your fabulously good wishes.
3. Volunteer time! We need all the help we can get.
4. Take ownership. We’re editing, sure, but these are our collective stories.

Important Dates

April 30, 2009: Deadline to Receive Submissions
June 30, 2009: Selected Contributors Contacted
Publication: December 2009.

Questions? We’re glad to answer. Please contact us at queerkenya@gmail.com

8 comments to Writing Queer Kenya

  • Cool! I had always hoped the queer community would stand up and counter the myths that surround them in Kenya.

    Do you know if the editors have tried to contact Nairobi Gay Man? He’s been writing at Blogger for quite a while, and he’s got plenty to say. I’m sure that when they launch, he’d be happy to write a piece or even just link to them on his blog. They can find him here.

  • Loving the new look.

  • donald

    Would you like Kenya destroyed in same manner as Sodom and Gommorrah?
    This is what you are subjecting this nation to with your “queerness”

    The Bible clearly states it that homosexuality is an abomination to God – its not a question of preferrence. God hates it – period!

    It was sin before, it is sin now, it will be sin even for the future generations….because God says so.

    Have a look at this site: http://www.888c.com/yDD49.htm
    Please read the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Romans

    Donald, Kenyans seem to be doing quite a good job of destroying themselves, stealing from themselves, murdering each other, letting their fellow poor citizens suffer etc. thank you very much without the help of “queerness” and while at the same time proclaiming their religiousness fervently …I wonder what God has to say about that?

  • Donald

    I am not endorsing any criminal acts done by Kenyans or anyone, (even those done in God’s name).
    I myself am not 100% perfect and I will not pretend to be.
    But two wrongs make no right – because other people have committed insidious crimes doesn’t mean its ok to perpetuate them, or worse, use them as a basis to justify this pervasiveness.

    Its because we are allowing such vile (I dare call them vile as that’s what they are) acts in our country that God is turning away from us, hence all the acts of violence, corruption and so on that we are witnessing across our country. We should repent and seek God’s forgiveness for us to come back on track – allowing “queerness” to take root in our society and giving them a voice just plunges us deeper into the hole we are already in.

    Its all in the Bible, please read it – from cover to cover

    We will have to agree to disagree Donald, since I am of the firm belief that what two consenting adults do in the bedroom is none of my business. And I certainly do not think that God is “forsaking” Kenya because of homosexuality…

  • donald

    As much as I would like to convince you that this lifestyle is wrong, the final decision is yours and every individual has that right to make their own decisions.

    But atleast have a look at the Bible, esp the books I have mentioned…then you can make your decision…

    Atleast do that much

  • emaina

    i believe everyone has a role to play.being gay is very normal.it happens n i have seen so many you are not the first n i wouldnt condemn you,all i can say is dont hide your identity be yourself n you never know may be you are gonna open a way for so many that are scared of getting known.the community could shunn them or they could be disrespected.be yourself.