Perceptions of Young Kenyans on Queer People (Based on a Survey We Conducted!)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Prepared by Wambui Ochieng’ & Betty Kariuki

Survey Prep

We designed and handed out a survey to find the perceptions of queer people among young people in Kenya beginning June to the end which is Pride month! Happy pride month to all queer people in Kenya, know that you are worth everything we’ve been denied in this country!

Btw if you need a video version of this review, you can find it on our Instagram or our YouTube channels.

I had help from a fellow queer woman, and a cis-het man, now that I think about it, I will have a trans-person, a gay man and a lesbian help me design the next one. And we will keep on doing these surveys, every year, coz apart from cutting off people from my life, we need to monitor the development of these thoughts.

I am glad that we got more than 80 responses from our respondents. That’s a lot! And the respondents were from various genders.

Given that the survey was anonymous, people gave their opinions honestly and without repression, lets see how that goes next time when we ask for emails and names, Muhaha!!

Results

We developed 20 questions in this survey.

  1. First question asked the gender of the respondents.

Forms response chart. Question title: What is your gender. Number of responses: 81 responses.

2. The second one, their pronouns

Forms response chart. Question title: What are your pronouns?. Number of responses: 79 responses.3.The third asked about their sexual orientation

Forms response chart. Question title: Are you straight or queer?. Number of responses: 81 responses.

4. When asked about the first time they had about homosexuality, most respondents said that they were teenagers.

  • Most of them responded that they heard about homosexuality from high school or primary school.
  • Some got this information from the famous Biblical ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ story.
  • One respondent said that they had been educated about homosexuality by their parents.
  • Another one declared that they hoped to never remember.

5. The fifth question asked if the responded were aware of the meaning of the Acronym LGBT.

  • Most of the respondents replied: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender.
  • Some replied that it was equality/equity for love
  • One said that it referred to ‘weird sexual habits.’

6. The sixth question asked people about their feelings toward the LGBT community specifically what came to their mind when they heard the term. There were various responses to this question. Lemme share with you the photos of the responses as well as quote some of them

  • “At first it used to creep me out but as I go through life and get more exposure I don’t have any issue.People should have the freedom to be who they want to be.”
  • “I respect that they are human beings and I will play not any part in violating them but I don’t agree with homosexuality it is wrong and should never be accepted in Kenya.”
  • “They need to change and realize what they are doing is bad.”
  • “I don’t have a problem with them at all.”
  • “I feel they are human like any other and yea there shouldn’t be any law decriminalizing their choice on sexual orientation and yea,their preferred identify as LGBTI.It’s quite absurd that these people face violence, discrimination and inequality from the majority populace just because”they’ve chosen to be them,live them and do them”worst even end up being killed/executed.I feel it’s wrong,wrong and just wrong.”
  • “Am open minded, there’s no God so “this is not natural” bullshit doesn’t apply to me. We’re all different homosexuals, like everyone else should be recognised and have freedom to be who they are.”
  • “Again?! Why are these people drawing attention? There’s nothing cool about being in LGBTQI”
  • “A group of individuals who are not free to love/be themselves because society thinks they’re unatural/possessed by evil spirits.”
  • “Sodom and Gomorrah.”

7.The seventh was mostly designed for straight people

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you have friends in the LGBT community?. Number of responses: 81 responses.8. It was only logical that we ask the question if our respondents (specifically straight people) would continue to be friends with someone who came out to them. A bar graph for you.

Forms response chart. Question title: Would you continue to be friends after your friend came out as LGBT (Specifically for Straight People). Number of responses: 72 responses.9. “Have you ever been hit on by queer person and what was your reaction?” We asked, and

  • 18 people responded “No”
  • Some said yes and they didn’t mind and stated their preference
  • Some said yes, they were hit on and realized their sexual preference afterwards
  • Others responded
  • “What’s queer? I’M STRAIGHT”
  • “Yes, I was happy to know that i attract both genders, its equal to someone saying you are quite interesting.”
  • “Yes. Awkward, made me wonder about how I carried myself and what I potrayed to others.”
  • And some other extreme responses
  • “Yes. The nigga wanted to die early.”
  • “Fought back.”

10.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you support Queer Rights?. Number of responses: 78 responses.

11. Forms response chart. Question title: Where do you stand on the LGBT community. Number of responses: 81 responses.

12.  We asked the respondents the reasons of their stand on the LGBT community

  • Love is love
  • Because they are humans just like the straight people. Wacha watu waishi maisha ah😂
  • Because I have mixed feelings on whether to accept or be against
  • These people are human being like any other hence not bereft of their human rights.Instead of castigating them to an extent of creating laws decriminalizing LGBTQ,their should be laws and policies geered towards full and maximum protection of their dignity.
  • According to me it’s against nature
  • Sodom and Gomorrah
  • Honestly what’s LGBT? Man is for a woman
  • Im a human right defender. So, humanity first.
  • I think the movement creates identity politics and that can be dangerous.
  • It’s not godly
  • I am a born again Christian. I get that these people may have been molested while growing up by both genders and all. I just don’t get why they have to make a big deal about being in the community. For one, we Christians sin as well so I’m not saying we are saints and holier than thous. However, when we sin we don’t go around saying we were born like that. We repent and go back to God. It’s like legalizing a sin. It is not like actually, it is. I do not support people killing or harassing them though. They should be spoken to nicely or something.
  • Because it’s immoral behavior and it needs to be stopped

13. Then we asked about the kinds of violence people had witnessed against LGBT

  • Most talked about how gay men and lesbians are hunted, vilified and expelled from high school

“Not first hand. But in high school I think I heard a boy was beaten up for being suspected to be Gay.”

“Yes. School.They would be expelled”

“Yes. Back in high-school gay boy used to be beaten by fellow students and the school administration seemed to support it. Sadly i was still homophobic at this time.”

“There was a fight in the house so one of them went to report the incident, when the police investigated and found out that they were lesidians they were arrested on charges of it.”

  • Some talked about their own personal experiences with violence themselves
  • Some expressed having violated gay people themselves

“Yes.I beat up a gay nigga.”

“Never witnessed any firsthand injustices on them but am aware such person’s live in fear of their lives and also of being discriminated against by the society.Imagine you as an individual LGBT person and the whole society against you, and on the other hand weaponed by certain statutory laws/legislation.It’s hard to bear!”

14.

Forms response chart. Question title: Are you comfortable talking about LGBT issues?. Number of responses: 79 responses.

15.

Forms response chart. Question title: What forms of injustices are most commonly experienced by the LGBT community within your community ?. Number of responses: 76 responses.

16.

Forms response chart. Question title: What would you do if you witnessed a queer person going through injustices such as discrimination and violence?. Number of responses: 75 responses.

17. We wanted to know the reasons why people would chose not to interfere

“Because i may get abused too.”

“I don’t fucks with that shit.”

“Because it’s tricky…lgbtq practices are illegal in Kenya but I also don’t have anything against them…so I’ll just stay out of it”

“Coz we all human and no one is special.”

“Who cares”

“They can be different if they choose to. If a terrorist wants to stop being hunted by the law, they simply stop being terrorists.”

18.

Forms response chart. Question title: Do you know about section 162 and penal code 165 of our Kenyan constitution? (These say that gay men can be imprisoned up to 14 years ). Number of responses: 80 responses.

19. Forms response chart. Question title: If you were to vote to repeal this section, how would you vote. Number of responses: 77 responses.

21.

Forms response chart. Question title: We will be having a dialogue about this topic come end month. Would you like to be part of it. Number of responses: 79 responses.

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