Homosexuality not accepted by Canada's black community

Published: March 23, 2011

Despite their long stay in western countries where homosexuality is accepted, African people living in Canada have not really accepted the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and still share the same prejudices with the large majority of those living on the African continent, according to Honoré Noumabeu, a Cameroonian born film director.

Une Vie Interdite/The Forbidden Life produced by Noumabeu is a documentary that looks look at how homosexuality and transgender are perceived within Québec’s African community.

“My observation is that it is still very difficult for those who were born and had lived in Africa to accept homosexuality , as long as they are not confronted themselves to this reality through one of their relatives or love ones, because they grew up or have inherited  of its cultural beliefs and values” says Noumabeu.

According to Noumabeu, despite the environment in their host country where homosexuality is well accepted, most African born Canadians or even African nationals living in Canada, still perpetuate the same stereotypes and feel the same dislike towards same sex practices.

Noumabeu, said what sparked his interest on this issue, was his first encounter with his colleague’s father who, much to his astonishment, happened to be a woman.

“Coming from Africa where homosexuality is perceived as a witchcraft practice, against all our cultural values and even liable to a prison sentence, I arrived in Canada and met a colleague who used to speak openly about her father who was gay”, he said. 

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