THE RISE OF LESBIANISM ACROSS KENYAN UNIVERSITIES.
Lesbianism is on the rise in Kenya. And Kenyan universities are fast on track to being the Incubator to almost 2/3 of all lesbian population in a country where the word gayism is rarely mentioned in a conversation let alone in a family gathering. Nevertheless, Kenya just like most African countries are getting treated to rising cases and counts of lesbianism, the last incident being a court ruling to allow Gay persons to form an umbrella union.
The fact is Gayism and in particular, lesbianism is no longer a subject to ignore in Kenya.
We sought to find out just why the subject of lesbianism is on the fast track to becoming a national concern. To get the root of this, we scouted through Kenyan universities in pursuit of stories from real lesbians. The following were our findings and confessions from lesbians through Kenyan campuses.
To Ruth* a Maseno university student, she got into Lesbianism because it was her greatest fantasy. “When in was in primary school I watched a movie that had two characters who were both lesbians, I remember seeing them holding hands and kissing, and thinking, It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, When I got to high school my bunkmate gave me a peck one day and it was the most arousing thing I’d ever experienced, Things quickly escalated to kisses and then we’d ‘touch each other and that’s how I knew I was meant to be a lesbian.”
Ruth’s case is one of many that begins as a fantasy, usually, the question is ‘how does it feel?’ According to Cynthia Osia another university student, most girls call each other names like bae and boo, and it’s pretty normal to cuddle and share beds, To Cynthia, this brings a fantasy that many girls seek to experience, “Campus is all about new stuff and vibe, sometimes when we are cuddled together as girls, we try to see how it feels like, that was my case and my roomie’s.”
However, most girls admitted to trying it out, with each other just for the fun of it, “It doesn’t make me lesbian, it just makes me more informed on the subject.” Says Sarah*
We found out that to most of the campus girls it’s the curiosity as to How the act feels, rather than what the personality is, most girls who’d tried it out claimed they were not gay and just did it for the fun.
Winnie* a Moi university student claims the reason she became a lesbian is because of how people perceived her, “Most people would say I’m boyish since I was in primary school, People would say I dressed like a boy and looked masculine. I hated it, when I joined university, one day during a house party, a girl, came to me and told me how cute I was, it was the first time, someone saw me differently, let alone complimented me on my looks, that’s when we started dating.” To Winnie she couldn’t wish for anything else, “I hate it, when boys touch me, I never hug them, it feels so gross to me.” Winnie’s case is of perception, that many more testified to as being a push to the rise of Lesbianism, Jane* from The University of Nairobi Says, “ Some of the things people say to you, get to you, it’s the way people call you boyish names and phrases that turns your perspective to being Lesbian.”
What do you think, about this, do we have the freedom to decide for ourselves who we are, or do people’s opinions eventually get to us? Let us know in the comment section below…
Tracy* a student from T.U.K narrates a tale of how, a random man took advantage of her, in secondary school, one evening, “I was from school, and had to pass through an abandoned path that ran through a shortcut, in a forest, when he forced himself on me. Ever since I hate Men” To Tracy a man’s touch is disgusting, she says she had no option but to turn to other girls for intimate connections. “I cannot bear the touch of a man, it brings back my trauma and I cannot tolerate it. So, I turn to girls instead, and that’s just how it is.”
Tracy is among three Lesbians we interviewed who shared similar perceptions revolving around Men, and just how the dislike of men, results in Lesbianism.
For Joy* a student from Eldoret University, Money is the main motive as to why she is a lesbian, ‘’ I do it for the cash.” Says Joy, For a while, she has been dating an older Lady who pays and guarantees her bills, ‘’She pays all my bills and takes care for me, as long as, I am there for her sexually, I wasn’t lesbian before I met her, she came to me one day as I walked in town and asked if she could take me out, she seemed friendly so I greed. As we had lunch she told me how cute I was and how much she would love to have me over at her place, when I got to her place, I was amazed at how rich she was, she had no husband or kids so we had the place to ourselves, once done she gave me 20,000 and I couldn’t say no. I’m ok as long as she keeps paying all my bills and taking care of me.” To Joy this has been the main reason she is lesbian, Regardless, Joy claims to be Bisexual as she has a boyfriend though he doesn’t know about the affair.
Those were some of the confessions we received, on digging more into the subject, Lesbianism appears a normal encounter among most of the girls we interviewed, almost 2/3 of the twenty-five girls we interviewed claimed to have had a casual experience or an intimate experience with lesbianism. An intimate experience in our survey meant a sexual encounter and close experiences meant, Wooing from lesbians, arousal, proposals, and lures.
The term ‘come out’ was referred to as the understanding and coming to terms that you are a lesbian and not being afraid to say that you are one.
According to more findings, Online dating sites such as Tinder, some Kenyan dating sites, WhatsApp group chats, Facebook groups, and Instagram were accredited by most girls as the hubs or finding places for other lesbians, yet in contrast to these claims owners of the dating sites refuted these claims, citing that Lesbianism is illegal and they do not tolerate it. ‘’We have gotten a lot of inquiries from gay people but we have to follow the law. Unlike the US or UK, gay parties are illegal and we carry out our business within the law. But if laws could change maybe we can look into such an arrangement.’’ Ian Shirwood the founder of the largest speed dating and online hook-up site, Date Me Kenya, says.
More findings revealed that most Kenyans cannot openly point out a lesbian, to most Kenyans, lesbians are harder to figure out than Gay men are. Revealed sources that we interviewed on this, most claimed gay men are easier to spot as they have the common indicators to gayism than the girls do.
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WRITTEN AS INTERVIEWED BY VAZI COUTURE’S EDITORS AND FREELANCE CONTRIBUTORS TO THE EDITORIAL ACROSS KENYAN UNIVERSITIES. Where requested names were changed to conceal identity.