Lesbianism is a controversial topic especially in the African society where it is considered immoral. Though it is relatively acceptable in Western nations, the practice is strongly unwelcome in African communities and religions, Kenya among them.
The topic of lesbianism is so controversial that no interviewed sources, gay or straight, agreed to speak on record about it and that is why all of those interviewed in this piece requested anonymity for fear of victimization or stigmatization.
According to a survey done by michezoafrika.com over the last two weeks, this is a common sexual orientation across all women teams in Kenya. The most affected are football, handball, volleyball, rugby and basketball teams.
However, it should also be noted that the practice is popular amongst Kenyan women of all ages outside the sports fields.Being the 21st century, many will argue that Lesbianism and homosexuality is an individuals' choice and should not be a topic of concern. So is it wrong or right for one to be gay?
What is lesbianism?
Lesbianism, in the most simplified form, is the homosexuality of women. Lesbians are known to express their sexual and romantic desires toward other females contrary to the nature where all humans have an inborn instinct to mate with opposite sex.
Causes of Lesbianism
A recently published online survey states, “Psychology says a great number of lesbians have developed homosexual desires as a regression to the earlier stages of development.”
“There are two common models of lesbianism. If a girl experiences the company of other girls or girl more than that with a boy, she may possibly become a lesbian. On the other hand, if a girl, by whatever reasons, happened to hate a boy or boys, she may become a lesbian.” As Quoted.
Genetic: There also exists a controversial argument that some of lesbianism cases are genetic. In the western world where the practice is more acceptable in society, some have claimed to have been born with the gene and cannot help themselves to stop being attracted to persons of the same sex. This claim is said to elicit some sympathy from society for gay people to be accepted.
Peer pressure: In Kenya, most of the lesbians especially the ones in the sports world have been recruited to the same out of peer influence maybe in the teams or during their high school days where the practice is said to be more popular.
Men disappointments: In relation to a recent report we published last week on the struggles of single mothers in Kenyan sports, it has also emerged that some of these single mothers who have been disappointed by men have resolved to being involved with women and slowly converted to become lesbians for fear of more disappointments by men.
Raped: Though she is not directly involved in sports, one of our interviewed source openly confessed to practicing lesbianism. She says she gets attracted to sports women because they are masculine and strong. Taulina (nick name) says she was raped at her early puberty age and she has grown up to hate men to date.
“I find no attraction in men, I just get attracted to women especially those who look like men with masculine swag. I find this mostly in sports women and I love it.” Taulina says.
Women Soccer team
Michezoafrika.com has reliably learned that the recent trip by the Kenyan women soccer team to Ethiopia for a friendly match late last year was hit by widespread allegations of lesbianism. Officials accused a section of the team players (some of whom we talked to) of engaging in lesbianism.
Kenya lost 5-0 in the friendly match played in Addis and some of the accused players were said to have engaged in sex before the match.
An interviewed source from the soccer team acknowledges that just like in most girls’ high schools in Kenya, young girls who join these teams are recruited to becoming lesbians by older girls, some who play in the senior women’s team.
“It is true, very true that lesbianism is there in Kenyan football but don’t also forget, it is even widespread outside sports than you can imagine. Some of the players have their girl friends in other sectors that are not sports related. Just that those other girls love sportswomen because of their masculine looks and strength.” She said.
The interviewed footballer however denies allegations that all those who dress like men and have a masculine swag are lesbians.
“Not all those with Mo-hawks, sagging trousers and men looks are lesbians. Women footballers are Tomboys and that does not mean you are a lesbian. Soccer is known to be a man’s game and we mostly grow up playing soccer with men that is why we behave like men. Unfortunately it is difficult to differentiate so we have been given that blanket accusation that all of us who dress like that are lesbians.” She adds.
Another soccer team source denied allegations that the team is full of lesbians, “I cannot say that our team does not have lesbians, it has. But the accusations were exaggerated by team officials who wanted to get an excuse for the poor performance in Ethiopia. Not everyone in that team is a lesbian, I am straight and I am proud to be straight. But those who decide to be lesbians, it is their own problem.” She said while adding that,
“There was biased selection and poor preparation of the team so when we lost by a big margin, someone had to be blamed and they blamed lesbianism as one of the reasons behind our dismal performance. They don’t even have evidence; they just pointed fingers at a few players.” She revealed.
As revealed by a senior and experienced basketball player (Kenya women team), the practice is common and fast gaining popularity in Kenyan women basketball teams. She says some of the lesbian girls are single mothers who are being recruited to the practice because of their frustrations and failed relationships.
“It is unfortunate for us sports women because our men don’t trust us. They are so insecure especially because of our frequent traveling: our relationships with men don’t last. Some of the women have become so disappointed and in the end they become lesbians because they are afraid of heart breaks. It is true lesbianism is there in basketball teams.” She said.
Last year there existed allegations that the Nairobi Water women handball team was linked with rampant cases of lesbianism and rumors circulated on social media that the team was to be disbanded because of the same allegations.
However, Team manager Mary Muthau dismissed the claims of team disbandment and as quoted then she said, “The Company operates on rules that respect employees’ private lives. As far as we are concerned, life outside work is a choice of an individual and we cannot disband a team or take disciplinary action against the players or team simply because some of them have a different sexual orientation.”
One local volleyball official interviewed acknowledged that sparks of lesbianism have been witnessed among some volleyball players though he said it is not on a wide scale as perceived by majority of the public.
Introduce Peer Education
Our interviewed basketball source partly blamed KBF for locking out women in leadership positions at the federation. She says previously there used to be women leaders who spear headed campaigns that engaged women basketballers in worthy initiatives that included counseling on such controversial issues.
“We used to have women tournaments to bring women together in competition and afterwards we were counseled on various topics, but this no longer exists. This should be revived across all sports; perhaps maybe the growth rate of the vice will reduce.” She said.
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