Barack Obama’s recent historic visit to Kenya sparked an impassioned debate about LGBT rights, one that extended far beyond its borders. With same-sex sexual activity still an offence punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment across the state, many were calling on the President to stress the need for greater LGBT equality in his highly anticipated speech.
To LGBT activists it would’ve been hypocritical for the leader of the free world to omit gay rights from his address, considering how fervently he’s championed them in the USA. For opponents to equality it was simply Western interventionism.
This heated debate took a personal turn for the country’s most prolific queer activist Eric Gitari, a human rights lawyer, when a national tabloid ran a feature naming him as one of Kenya’s “top gays”, listing him alongside a number of prominent academics, journalists and politicians, among others.