Acclaimed African Author Comes Out as Gay


Supporters of African LGBT rights were so relieved about Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni’s veto of an anti-gay bill that they were nearly blindsided when Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan’s signed a similar bill into law.

The law prompted Binyavanga Wainaina, a prominent Kenyan author who also spends a lot of time in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, to share something his wide readership did not know: he is gay. Alexis Okeowo has more at the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog:

“I am taking a risk but do not feel my personal safety is at risk. I live in a cosmopolitan city that ceased long ago to be shocked about weird gay arty types like me,” he said, of his life in Nairobi.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →