From the beginning of time, lesbians, bisexuals, gays, queer, trans-genders and intersex people have existed within every community in the world. However, Africa considers the community to be unnatural and un-African yet there are countless testimonies of explorers and missionaries who witnessed homosexuality in Africa, and paradoxically Rwanda! Indeed, Rwanda has been home to LGBT members! Growing up a lesbian in Rwanda is challenging due to the lack of information about the LGBT community in Rwanda and Rwandans’ disbelief that it has been a home to queer members. FADA took some time to explore the LBT community in Rwanda to connect and collaborate with the different groups the LBT community we have in Rwanda. This is a short analysis of the different LBT groups we have encountered within Rwanda for the many LBT feel isolated and are struggling to solely understand their sexuality; It is a reminder that no one must face the difficulties of understanding their sexuality alone.
Note:1. The descriptions are coming from the writer’s perspective and may not necessarily relate to everyone in the mentioned groups. No puns intended!!
The Activists: These are the Rwandan LGBT activists that have been in the LGBT movement for nearly a decade. Most of them are out of the closet with their families and societies, they are very passionate and proud of their sexuality. They are intellectual, brave and can unquestionably defend the movement with any Rwandan authority or officials. As a result of the different opinions and conflicts taken place at the beginning of the LGBT movements, many have parted ways and created their own LGBT organizations. However, they are harmonious amongst each other and collaborate to advance the movement.
The Expats: These are the vibrant LBT community in Rwanda that has occasional dinner parties and meet at events to keep in touch with their queerness. Their gatherings involve fancy bottles of wines and liquors, exotic food and a great deal of conversation. Their parties or the other hand, lack LMFAO to officially make their parties the wildest LBT parties in Rwanda. Sadly, most of them are still in the closet due to their fear of Rwandans’ disapproval on homosexuality. However, they are very kind and are willing to befriend and open up to anyone who is LBT.
The Loners: These are the LBT who are still very fearsome of their sexuality and minimize their involvement in it. Their best friend and less than three other LGBT friends are the only people that know about their sexuality. They are sure that the apocalypse would arrive if they were to be ever outed. They fear to touch their same-sex lover’s hands in the streets and would rather die than be seen with the LGBT out of fear of being associated with them. These pray that their sexuality is a phase that no one should ever find out about.
The Lower class: These are the LBT members are the main victims of the discrimination and abuse of being an LBT. Many are not educated and empowered enough to fight for their rights and seek solace and security within their groups and the LGBT activists. As a group that has faced the same struggles of isolation by the community throughout their existence, they make sure to bend over backward for each other’s comfort. They are an honest example of a Rwandan cult. They are very conservative and do not interact as much with outsiders. They regularly meet up for outings, events, and parties and they know how to have a good time.
The Upper class: These are the sophisticated, successful, empowered LBT Rwandan group. Most of them work in high places and have busy schedules, causing their meetups to be very limited. You can definitely expect fancy wine, food and powerful conversations about the movement of the LBT in Rwanda in their gatherings.