In 2008, after moving to the port city of Kisumu in western Kenya, Paula Abuor decided to open up her house to other LGBTQ people. Meeting in bars and parks was just too risky – and, as one of Kenya’s LGBTQ ‘elders’, she really wanted young Kenyans setting out on their queer journeys to have a safe space where they could be themselves, embraced by love when their families and friends wouldn’t accept them. That’s how Annette Atieno found herself there – when she was outed by a relative and her mum sent her away from the family home in Nairobi to Kisumu. Annette takes us on a poignant journey to meet Paula and other people from that era. In doing so, we delve into an important chapter in Kenya’s LGBTQ history – and Annette reflects on the role Paula and her Kisumu house played in her own queer journey.
We are proud to have partnered on this episode with Africa Writes 2021 festival. Africa Writes is the Royal African Society’s literature festival. Each festival showcases established and emerging talent from the African continent and its diaspora in what is now the UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary African writing taking place over an exciting weekend at the British Library. The festival features book launches, readings, author appearances, panel discussions, youth and children’s workshops, and other activities. Learn more on www.africawrites.org
AfroQueer Podcast is produced by AQ Studios and Edited on Hindenburg Systems.
This episode was reported by Annette Atieno and Tevin Sudi. Produced by Penny Dale with assistance from Annette Atieno. Written by Penny Dale. Our Story Editor is Kerry Donahue.
AfroQueer is executive Produced by Selly Thiam
Rachel Wamoto is our social media manager and Tevin Sudi is our audio editor.
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