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Kenyan, Christian, Queer: Changing Narratives of Homosexuality and Faith

Dr Adriaan van Klinken, Faculty of AHC/School of Philosophy

In spite of virulent socio-political homophobia across Africa, many African societies simultaneously witness a growing LGBT movement that is becoming increasingly visible in the public domain, advocating for the recognition of their rights. Interestingly, as much as religion is a driver of homophobia, many African LGBT people are religious themselves, and they creatively make use of religious beliefs and practices as part of their self-organisation and socio-political mobilisation.

This project examines these dynamics in the context of Kenya, which is timely given the current campaign for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country. It specifically focuses on Christian LGBT activists, organised in Cosmopolitan Affirming Church (CAC; Nairobi), which is an important hub of faith-based LGBT activism in East Africa. On the basis of practice- and community-based participatory methodology, the project undertakes the production of a documentary film that foregrounds the creative ways in which CAC reconciles sexuality and faith, intervenes in the politics of sexuality, and negotiates an alternative to hegemonic forms of Christianity. The project will empower CAC members and increase their level of social inclusion, as the film aims to change perceptions of the subject among various audiences, as well as to inform practices specifically in religious circles.

Dr Adriaan van Klinken can be contacted by email: