vendredi 19 février 2016

Being gay in DRC: The interview (3)

                          Gays from Kinshasa talk about their sexuality

Nom: Zanzibar
Age: 42
Profession: Employee
Married since 2013
Orientation: Bisexual (more oriented toward women)
Position: Versatile
Child: A daughter
City: Kinshasa
The original interview was done : Friday, august, 26, 2011
 Time: 11.57 AM
Updated in February, 13th, 2016

 Zanzibar is a bisexual man from Kinshasa in DRC. Straight at the start, he discovered at age 33 in 2009 that he could find sexual pleasure with men. This part of his life remains unknown to those around him. He confirms that he is more attracted to women but men do not leave him indifferent. He is one of the few people we met who do not feel different in society because of his sexuality. When we met him first in 2011, Zanzibar was not married. Since 2013, he’s married to a beautiful woman and still enjoys his life as a bisexual.

"I wanted to try a gay experience and I enjoyed it."

1.     What is homosexuality?

·        Zanzibar: It is love between two men

   2.  What is the earliest age you can remember having homosexual feelings?

·        Zanzibar: At the age of 33 six years ago. I wanted to try a gay experience and I enjoyed it.

3.  When did you realize that your sexual feelings were different from heterosexuals?

·        Zanzibar:  I thought I was different from other over my sexuality as much as 33 years, I considered myself exclusively heterosexual.

 "A co-worker told me on several occasions his love for me and one day I gave in to his desire for curiosity."

4.  Is there a particular event or moment in your mind when you realized you were different?  Can you share it with us?

·        Zanzibar:   There is no particular time. I do not think I'm different. I'm pretty open-minded because I grew up in a multicultural environment. A co-worker told me on several occasions his love for me and one day I gave in to his desire for curiosity. I enjoyed this experience and I also fell in love with my colleague and we were very close. I’m both active and passive. In yielding to this desire, I discovered that I was also sexually attracted to men and I could also enjoy them as much I like women.

5.  How did you feel about it?

·        Zanzibar: The homosexual experience was interesting. For me, it's sex and nothing more.

6.  Were there others when you were growing up that were known as homosexual (male or female) in your city or neighborhood, or village?  If so, what do you recall was said about them?  How were they treated?  How do you recall them (homosexual men or women) living their lives?

·        Zanzibar: There were gays in my neighborhood when I was growing up. People used to laugh after them. They were somewhat marginalized. I do not know how they lived their lives.

7.  Every day we learn how to live as heterosexuals.  Were you taught the ways of homosexuality?  How to live as one?

·        Zanzibar: I was not taught the ways of homosexuality. It's just sex for me because I love women too. I am bisexual and I like it more.

8.  When did you discover the term ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’?

·        Zanzibar: I discovered the term ''gay'' or ''homosexual'' very young through my friends.

9.  A person’s sexual orientation is shaped well before that person recognizes there is a name for it.  A heterosexual is heterosexual before he or she knows they are heterosexual/’straight’.  The same is true for homosexuals.  How did you feel when you learned the name for your sexual identity as a homosexual?  What did it mean to you in terms of how you saw your future?

·        Zanzibar:  In my case, I do not know. I just realized that I could love men and women. In the future, I will continue to have sex with men as I will be pleased.

10. Do you know of or have you heard about homosexuals that lived in the past in your society/culture?

·        Zanzibar:  No

11. Do you know of famous people (past or present) in your culture/society who were/are homosexual or at least bi-sexual?  Can you name any from the past or safely name any today?

·        Zanzibar:  No

12. They say homosexuality is a foreign concept to Africa.  What do you think about that statement?  Can you prove your assertion?

·        Zanzibar:  Homosexuality has always existed in traditional African societies. The only problem is that people do not speak about it because it was a taboo subject.

13. Has the stand against homosexuality become more virulent than you can recall growing up?  Give us some examples.

·        Zanzibar:  When I was growing up, people did not speak about homosexuality. Now they talk about it because homosexuals are more visible.

14. Why do you think it has become more virulent?

·        Zanzibar:  Because evangelical churches criticize openly and strongly homosexuals.

15. Can you give me the names of people or organizations in your country or elsewhere in Africa that are stirring up homophobia?  Who are these people?  Are they all African?

·        Zanzibar:  I have no idea

16. I’m sure there are heterosexuals who do not agree with homophobia, or laws against homosexuals.  Do any of them speak out?  Are any of them public figures? (Politicians, entertainers, sports figures, intellectuals, writers, artists, etc.).

·        Zanzibar:  I do not know

17. What can those of us outside Africa do to help?  What organizations can we work with to help your plight?

·        Zanzibar:  Those outside can help us by asking to African governments to not criminalize homosexuality. Organizations with which you can work with are: The United Nations and Amnesty International.

18. How do you deal with family pressure?

·        Zanzibar:  I have no family pressure because my parents do not know my interest in men.

19.  As a gay man do you think you will marry to be in accordance with the African society?

·        Zanzibar:  I will marry a woman by choice, not to conform to tradition. I discovered that I am bisexual and I assume myself.

Interview done by Justice Walu
Questions from Doug Spencer Cooper

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