Social media is arguably one of the best inventions in human history and of course, it has had an impact on each of our lives at least negatively if not positively. We use it to propel our businesses, meet clients and even make deals to sustain our livelihood, we can also use social media for advocacy purposes and defend the rights and freedoms of people we feel are not in a position to defend themselves on their own.
On the contrary other people have turned social media into a medium of looking down upon others and defaming them either to gain a following or to disenfranchise their subjects, and such has led to the enactment of the Cybercrime bill which was recently signed into law by the president which confers charges on people who irresponsibly publish content and falsehoods online.
Let’s delve into an issue that has been a topic of discussion across our society and social media platforms in the recent past….the LGBTI conversation.
For those who might not be aware of what this means and stands for it stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex, these are people we refer to as the gender and sexual minorities, why minorities…?
Their sexual orientations and behaviors are presumed to be nonconforming to the societal understanding of sexuality and this has frequently affected their relationships and wellbeing within the society as most people consider them abnormal, cursed or even members of a cult organization, which is not true because they do not choose to be of a given orientation.
With the challenges well affirmed in our society we have had cases of this population facing humiliation and seclusion such as being ridiculed, some get disowned by family, others are arbitrarily arrested, others are raped to change their orientation, they are denied job opportunities, they are denied access to health services and some have been killed as a result of their orientation. With all those challenges in mind imagine it were your brother or sister going through the same tribulations or even you, probably you would be dead by now out, of suicide or some poison.
As a result of the challenges, good-willed individuals have come in to salvage the situation of these very noble people whose only mistake is being of the other orientation which a portion of the society has refused to accept its existence. They have created organizations which help and provide a safe place for these people who are facing daily life challenges not because of their sexuality but because the society has refused to level the playing field for them to benefit too as they lead a normal life like the other members of the populace. I have interacted with people who can attest to the same as they have directly benefitted from the interventions of these organizations into their lives.
Remember, it’s not about recruitment of anybody to be LGBTI, who can choose to be recruited into a given sex anyway. One of the organizations I respect so much that has strongly come out in defense of the minorities is not only specific to the minorities but they capture the scope of all human rights which are universal and not only subject to the LGBTI. NYARWEK-(Nyanza Rift Valley and Western Kenya Network) has its scope and thematic areas clearly indicated and their strategies well elaborated in their profile as well as their website.
Some of the areas that NYARWEK targets include:
-Improved capacity of LGBTI persons to advocate and exercise their rights and freedoms.
HEALTH-LGBTI persons receiving comprehensive health services without hindrance or prejudice
INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT-Strengthened, institutional Leadership, Governance and Management capacity of NYARWEK and Partners
LIVELIHOOD-Individuals and communities of LGBTI persons enjoying benefits of increased incomes.
From the above-mentioned thematic areas there is no single mention of recruitment or seeking an increase in the number of LGBI populace within the region but the main core is to ensure that this population is well endowed health wise, economically, their human rights respected and their livelihood well improved to match any other being across our nation.
This population exists but they die a silent death since they cannot come out of their closets for fear of being judged and victimized by the “world”, if given a safe space to explore and express themselves they always come out in large numbers that they are.
Nobody recruits them, nobody advices them to be LGBTI but it’s something within them that cannot be changed just like you cannot change yourself.
Anybody claiming to have been recruited should consider the plight of these people who genuinely fight to have a safer society to live in and continue living like any other person.