IDAHO In Kenya: What To Expect Today

Published: May 17, 2012

In a press release by NYARWEK LGBT Coalition and Kisumu Initiative for Positive Empowerment (KIPE), both MSM and LGBT groups based in the lakeside town of Kisumu, LGBT persons and allies will mark IDAHO with sports, games, a panel discussion and provision of counseling and testing services.
A dance competition is also in the menu of activities planned for that day.
According to the statement, signed by KIPE and NYARWEK, ‘our objective this year is to encourage constructive public dialogues among Kenyans on the issues of sexual and gender diversity through education.’
PEMA Kenya, Mombasa’s LGBT group, issued a press statement that was also published in The Star newspapers today. In it, they decried the continued criminalization of same sex persons.
‘The continuing existence of provisions in the Penal Code  criminalizing consenting sexual activity between adults of the same sex, discriminatory legislations and policies, coupled with  societal and religious misconceptions continue to spawn gross  violations of human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity.’
They also called for ‘creation of sage and enabling environments that ensure access to health services for LGBT persons.’
Esther Emily of PEMA-Kenya said, ‘IDAHO is the day to come out and celebrate the LGBT communities who have come to be visible and educate the public on the existence of gender and sexual minorities especially in Coast where homophobia is rife.’
In Nairobi, the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) will hold an afternoon event at the GoDown Arts Center from 3-7pm. The event, which will include a panel discussion from experts in health, law, human rights, religion and media experts, will be opened for public and media.
The key note address will be given by Keith Gilges from the American Embassy. Atsango Chesoni, the Executive Director of the KHRC is also expected to address the event.
Additionally, there will be the launch of E-kwality Fusion, a book and album by Kenyan lesbian activist, Kate Kamunde. There will also be performances by a dance troupe and spoken word. Akinyi Ocholla from lesbian group Minority Women in Action (MWA) will give an address titled “Education in Sexuality.
A fashion show is also lined up as well as a dance competition.

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