Cameroon goes strong on transgender people; convicts of ‘attempted homosexuality’

Nii Ntreh May 12, 2021
Transgender rights is off the table in most countries in Africa and even in countries with laws favorable to gay people, the cultures are not yet receptive to trans people. Photo Credit: BBC

The central African country of the Republic of Cameroon registered a new dimension in the continent’s clampdown on LGBT individuals and affiliated bodies when it convicted two transwomen of the crime of “attempted homosexuality” apart from a failure to carry identification and

The pair were arrested on February 8 due to their choice of clothing in a restaurant They are Shakiro, whose birth name is Loic Njeukam and Patricia, also known as Roland Mouthe. They were each sentenced to five-year terms and fined the local monetary value of $370.

One of their lawyers who spoke to Reuters called the court ruling a “political decision” and revealed that they intend to appeal. “It’s Yaounde (seat of government and capital city) that said these people must not bring homosexuality to Cameroon,” the lawyer said. The government is however yet to issue a statement on the ruling.

One of the two persons, Shakiro, is regarded as a social media sensation much in the same way as Nigerian socialite and transwoman Bobrisky. The latter is also targeted for threats but remains vocal about her right to be who she has set out to be.

Both Cameroon and neighboring Nigeria are among 30 countries with stern legal punishments for individuals who identify with the LGBT spectrum

Gender fluidity in Africa

Gender fluidity and gender dysphoria are taboo topics for many modern Africans and Black Americans in spite of the distance between the mother continent and the so-called New World and the differences in cultures.

Behavioral scientists and biologists have lent their voice to the scientific bases of these facts of life yet, it is easy to spot opposition to the realities from people coming from the above-named communities. The opposition goes to the extent of pushing parents and community members to the point of abusing others who are gender fluid and gender dysphoric.

It has to be said that the opposition to those two states of life proceeds from a general Black American and African rejection of LGBT humanity. America’s Black people are less likely than whites to accept LGBT humanity while the hostility towards gay people in many parts of Africa borders on the deadly. The Christian religion has been blamed for this attitude toward queer people since both Africans and African-Americans report high levels of Christian religiosity.

That notwithstanding, science of human sexuality is still very much an area in development. So much about about our sexual natures remain a mystery to us. But we do seem to appreciate commonsense realism – the fact that queer people exist and their nature is not less human.

Evidence shows that some African peoples have known some of these mysteries of human sexuality before colonialism.

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