Monday, March 2, 2009

Looking for secret gay places

I am wondering where we should meet up with my policeman 'friend' when I finally bring myself to entice him to a meet later this week. It’s never easy to plan a first date when you are straight due to the myriad of choices available. However options are severely limited for a suitable gay-friendly establishment in Nairobi. I sat in the office mulling over this detail but found I kept going round in circles as they are numerous factors to consider when living in a society that is so homophobic:

(a) does he just want a drink and a chat with a new friend (the wasted-effort possibility), or

(b) could it be he’s also after a first date to explore and take things further? (the eternal-optimist option). I know what I want but it’s not entirely up to me.

My usual haunts are strictly no-go due to a danger of meeting up with anyone who remotely knows me from my professional or other social life. That rules out the quaint pseudo-English pub on the mezzanine floor of KCS House whose demeanour portends privacy but where the eyes and ears of the regulars are always tuned in to surreptitiously analyze each minute nuance and pricked to amplify every whisper of any unorthodox pairing.

So I haven’t decided on a venue yet; I realize I might not have to as my date could already have somewhere planned.


  1. I suggest the safari Bar..No one will care if you are friends or 'friends'

  2. Never thought that this would be difficult...wouldn't anyone seeing you together assume you were friends?
    A British friend once commented that Kenyan men are, in general, quite tactile and affectionate with each other. Once he pointed it out I started noticing it...they are lol this is even more funny in light of the fact that they also are very homophobic lol kenyans kill me lol

  3. Hi, its as if secrecy for you is the watchword. In this particular case, what would concern me more is CAUTION. People like us are prone to thinking that when someone is friendlier than expected, its because he has latched on to that side of us that cries out for acknowledgement and fulfilment. But, to my utter shock, a similar encounter years ago led to me being trundled into a cab at 2.00am and sent home unceremoniously. I had even brought with me a bottle of wine (12% alcohol), but when the beans were spilled, the wine, and in particular, the alcohol content was construed as an attempt by me to get him drunk in order to take advantage of him. It wasn't funny, trust me :) Please be careful.

  4. @Anon 1:46pm

    Thanks for your suggestion. Safari Bar is a likely candidate only problem is it's affluent settings - I don't want to give the impression I come bearing gifts..

    @Anon 3:47pm

    I think when we are engaging in what society considers The Forbidden then we tend to give off vibes that confirm it..a look too long or a stray hand. As you say Kenyan men are tactile, some even walk holding hands but a gay couple doing this will be set alarm bells off. I may be wrong, I am just not brave enough to test this theory just yet :(

  5. Anengiyefa,

    Hi. You are right secrecy is very important; I could be hounded out of a job or worse be arrested (I don't know for what) in an attempt to extort money.

    I feel you on your experience and the part about misreading signals..It's funny the way you describe the incident but I bet it was anything but when it happened....jeez all we want is some love! These people! :)

  6. No, it wasn't funny at all, but I think that the best way to handle such embarrassment is to laugh about it, while taking seriously the lesson that it teaches us. I wish you well in this your escapade and am looking forward to hearing how it all turned out. :)


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