Lawyer Eric Gitari shares his experiences of being harassed, publicly shamed and fighting for LGBT rights. In May a leading Kenyan tabloid, Citizen, ran a picture of Eric Gitari and nine of his compatriots on their front page. The news splash? They were were being outed as “top gays”.
Life in Kenya is not easy for the LGBT community, who have to contend with daily stigma, the threat of mob violence and lengthy prison sentences. Gitari, who is a lawyer and human rights activist, is undeterred by this and recently secured a major legal victory for the community.
After a long fight, Kenya’s high court ruled that his organisation, the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, could be formally registered in Kenya. This paved the way for similar organisations also supporting the community to follow suit.
Shortly afterwards, Citizen ran their front page. The next battle on Gitari’s hands is a lawsuit he has filed against the state over forced HIV testing and anal examinations, which the government says can determine men’s sexuality. Read more via the Guardian