Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thankfully thankful

To my housekeeper Imelda, thanks for last night when you joined us in the lounge to watch Evita as George and I lay cuddling on the couch. Thanks for wanting to share our quality time with us instead of choosing to retreat to your quarters after dinner. I saw how completely at ease you were sitting with us while also knitting that sweater for your beloved son, chatting and laughing. You’ve never shown that repulsion some straight people describe at the sight of two men kissing or being affectionate. You know I love you.

Thanks to the talkative travel agent in the crisp button down blue shirt and matching dark tie for not flinching when we booked the double bed for our upcoming Easter break. I was searching your eyes for the familiar revulsion but you saw my fear and purposely reassured me when you said, ‘It’s a wonderful lodge, you’ll have no problems.’ You understood how much this meant to us.

Finally to the female attendant at that petrol station along Limuru Road on Sunday evening, you noticed George’s hand caressing my knee when you brought my change back to the car. You showered me your dazzling smile as you’ve always done whenever you’ve served me in the past. You are a star.

What are you thankful for?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Catholics, please help me out on this one

I am a little confused but more than a little angry. So the Pope says that distributing condoms will only exacerbate the crisis with Aids. I also appreciate and understand every one’s private choice when it comes to matters of sex. So how in God’s name does the Holy Father come to use his privileged reach to millions of Africans to spread a dubious interpretation on the science of condom use? I find it shocking that these views are putting at risk the work carried out painstakingly by medical professionals in the remotest clinics and the millions of shillings spent in the poorest of countries. No one is saying that condoms are the only weapon against transmission of HIV, but the facts are there that they are highly effective. I find it especially unpalatable to hear these opinions from those who have voluntarily taken vows of celibacy.

Please dear Catholics how do these views sit with your faith? Am I missing something here?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kenyans addicted to secret gay sex

I am so tired right now and sleepy. George went out last night alone to Carnivore for Kamba night. He came home at 3.30 in the morning to find me in the lounge drinking my 8th glass of Drostdy-hof red while nodding to R-Kelly Home Alone. George was alot worse for wear when he hi sweetied me; I was so relieved to see him after hours of anxious waiting. God please also answer our prayers for a lot of rain. I thankfully supported my inebriated boyfriend upstairs and put him to bed where he kissed me I love you. Imelda and I spent today administering endless juices and spooning George baby chunks of fruit salads to fight the monster hangover he was suffering. My cherished role as lover-carer gives me so much. G seems fine now, asleep upstairs where I’ll re-join him shortly.

Anyway…some readers have sent me strongly worded emails to say they are opposed to any attempts to decriminalize homosexuality even though they themselves are gay. I deciphered these opinions to be a question as to why anyone would be rocking the boat while life remains perfect for them. Apparently the status quo is preferred and any changes to bring homosexuality to the open would only spoil the fun.

Incredibly it seems that the clamour for gay rights does not have the full support of all gay people. It appears this allure of anonymous or illicit sex that is labelled illegal remains more powerful than the quest for any protections under the law.

Has the law inadvertently spawned a swathe of men addicted to secret gay sex happy to remain that way cushioned in a false sense of security inherent in these arrangements?

Friday, March 27, 2009

A blog with a soul

If you thought my life was interesting then there is a Kenyan blog that you should not miss. It's called In My Own Words.
It is an amazing, humbling and inspirational story. And it’s beautifully told by Pater Nostra. I think of it as a blog with a soul. You might even shed some tears as I did.

Music to make love to

Something for the weekend, listen to that voice in your heart...enjoy



secret garden - barry white

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meaning of gay Kenyan in dictionary

I am learning a new language and using a different dictionary. Came across these definitions:


John

Meaning: Gay Kenyan who gets an F in Calculus but refuses to sleep with the teacher to get a different grade.

Example of use: You are such a "john"

Karori

Meaning: Kikuyu word for a cute Gay Kenyan male. (A Kikuyu bird has whispered to me that this definition is more 'suspect' than the others!)

Example of use: "He is such a Karori. "

Hun-nay

Meaning: A term to address an attractive female, typically used by a newly inebriated gay Kenyan man, of East Indian descent.

Example of use: "Hun-nay! I kissed a girl and I liked it!"

The dictionary is here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Top 10 of what I don’t like (today)

Not in any order but loathed all the same!

Kenyan politicians

Bullies

Banks

Workplace gossip

Perpetual Complainers

Gluttony

Thieves

Betrayal

Violence

Rudeness

Yeah, it was that kind of day. What makes you angry?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Calls to out gay Kenyans

Recently I was shocked to come across a gay forum where someone had written calling for gay Kenyans still in the closet to be outed. The reasoning given was that by remaining hidden, these gays are slowing down the march towards achieving an end to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. You can breathe easy I do not intend to reveal the name of that site as I am totally against this kind of militant activism on numerous fronts. My reasons are not entirely selfless; I am after all still in the closet.

I find calls for such direct action both insincere and deplorable. These actions would only help to diminish the very rights to freedom of choice and the right to privacy that we ourselves are calling for. It’s inconceivable that intimidation and fear, ironically the very tactics employed by blackmailers, should be used by other gay people. Even in cases where an anti-gay campaigner is identified to be secretly gay I would still defend their right to privacy, as unpalatable as this may seem.

My view is that these basic freedoms should not be applied nor enjoyed selectively.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Looking Gay

Judge I’m guilty as charged. I confess to loving nice things and looking good. It doesn’t stop there; my bathroom routine is nothing short of epic from exfoliating to moisturizing to unnecessary fortnightly trips to the cute barber along Kimathi Street. My colleague Sheila moans that I give her unfair competition when we speak at client presentations.

In the bars of Nairobi closeted gay men stand out like flashing neon signs in their designer jeans, trendy tops and ruggedly chic boots. Working out at the gym is ofcourse the gay man’s other religion. You can even spot the senior queens turned out immaculately in bespoke tailored jackets and shirts, tapping the soles of shoes that whisper sophistication and good taste. In their wake hangs the hazy seduction of signature colognes.

Am I alone in thinking that many gay men come with a higher degree of vanity?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Obama to sign gay rights declaration

In a straight reversal of the Bush administration's policy, President Barack Obama will sign the non-legally binding United Nations declaration advocating for the decriminalization of homosexuality. By signing the document submitted by France in December 2008, President Obama wants to demonstrate his commitment to the wide spectrum of human rights. It is a significant positive step for gay rights worldwide. Unfortunately Kenya remains a signatory to the opposing statement.

Human rights groups report that homosexuality is still outlawed by more than 85 countries and that it is punishable by death in several Islamic states, including Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. I am running a poll (to the left side of this blog) asking whether Kenya should decriminalize homosexuality. Please leave a comment to let others know what you think.

Yours truly even gets a mention.

Friday, March 20, 2009

VIP clients of the gay Kenyan

Secrets of gay Kenyans exposed. This is about men who pay money to have sex with other men. Homosexuality remains an aspect of our society that is despised and whose existence is often denied. I stumbled upon this account of a male sex worker and the clients claimed to include politicians and religious leaders in Kenya.

It’s here.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Secretly living with my man

Sheila remarked the other day at work that I appear suspiciously happy. I privately took her accusation as a compliment to my new life with George but lied to her smiling sweetly 'it’s the way I’ve always been', and then made a point to be rude to her at least twice that day. I know women have a sixth sense that's sharper than a serpent’s tooth. I still can’t let people get too close as my secret has now become bigger and more expensive.

My gay life is going very well at the moment, thanks for asking. George returned back to work on Monday. He leaves the compound at the ungodly hour of 6:15 to hitch a lift from the security company’s van that patrols our estate to the main road; I find it odd when he gets out of bed one hour before I do to get ready for the day. Strange how quickly the habit of a lover’s warm embrace is easily formed; it’s as if we always lived together. I think he’s also fallen in love with Imelda, my keeper of secrets and a house. Lying in bed I jealously strain to hear the pair of them laughing and talking in the dining room downstairs as George has his breakfast. Imelda told me the house now feels alive with good spirits.

I caught my reflection in the glass doors to the building where I work, a noticeable lightness to my step; surely life before George was so predictable. It’s wonderful to have someone to think about and care for; we share at least three telephone calls during the day to plan with George what to have for dinner and which movie to watch. I’m the guy singing in the car and merrily letting you go through amidst the chaotic Nairobi traffic! Life can be so sweet indeed; take my word for it also on the undivulgable details. Nothing beats going home to a man that you love and who loves you back.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Poll: Should we decriminalize homosexuality in Kenya?

The law in Kenya criminalizes homosexual behaviour and attempted homosexual behaviour between men, which is referred to as "carnal knowledge against the order of nature". The penalty is 5 to 14 years' imprisonment. The age of consent is 16. Lesbian relations are not prohibited in the law.

So the questions I would like to ask are: Are you a gay Kenyan? What are your views. Or as a straight Kenyan do you think Kenya should continue to criminalize homosexuality? Take the poll and let’s see what people think.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Are gay men jealous of women?

A few years ago I was at a wedding reception of a Kenyan music producer where I joined two women acquaintances in the flower bedecked marquee. They soon started talking about a male guest working in advertising who everyone in Nairobi knows to be gay.

‘These gay men can be nasty, they like to gossip like women,’ pigeonholed chocolate-toned beauty in a stunning KikoRomeo creation.

‘Yes,’ replied princess daughter of wealthy NSE stockbroker, index finger flicking away a stray dreadlock. ‘And they are so jealous of women.’

I just nodded as if to say all this gay talk is emasculating my heterosexual self. They had no idea that they were talking to Mr Gay himself.

It got me wondering. I definitely don’t hate the female of our species. However it seems that increasingly the myth of the gay man’s best friend, the fag hag, is being called to question. I’ve had it said that gay men even hate women and also that lesbians hate men. Not in the not-my-cup-of-tea sense but in the can’t-stand-your-face sense. Could it be a case of jostling for position in a fractured society? It’s a sad reality that far too many of our women are at the bottom of the food chain - as Kaasa puts it here eloquently. Or is it the machinations of chasing after a common factor that would make some gay men hostile to women as observed here.

Honestly, I don’t know what to make of it all. Those most discriminated against stand accused of doing exactly that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Saying what I mean

Now that I bagged myself a policeman, I got day-dreaming today during a rather dull meeting at work about the fun I could have with double meanings around the subject of law enforcement. I scribbled some here:

- The long arm of the law (he who says size doesn’t matter is lying)
- Take the law in my own hands (yes please)
- The law is an ass (I am not incriminating anyone!)
- A hung jury (I think many will like this one)

I’ll see if I can come up with some more to amuse me as I think about my policeman lover. Feel free to share yours too!

Together

I got up the next morning and went downstairs leaving George asleep looking so serene.I made myself a glass of carrot juice and wandered to the garden where the Jacarandas have refused to flower, my thoughts were all over the place. Why is this man who is sleeping upstairs like a lamb making me feel as if I have just arrived at the top of a hill pushing a heavy wheelbarrow? I never lied to myself that I am not successful in what I do, but I always recognized I was not special in anyway. I know many people in my life better than me craving some material things which came my way mainly through the generosity of parents.

I said to George as he took his cup of tea and fruit salad sitting next to me on the balcony gazing to a coffee plantation glistering from a light drizzle during the night: ‘I have not met someone who makes me feel the way that you do.’ And he put the spoon down and said he had in the past but I made him feel better. I answered that is fine, we are now together and we can forget about the others who did not want to make us feel we were also human.

George liked watching movies and I had work to catch up with, so I left him watching the dvds that I have from that sad boy-hawker who sells them outside Sarit Centre. When I reappeared to top up George’s drink as he lay sprawled on the sofa in the lounge, he silently looked up and my heart heard his beating, I want to live with you and nothing else matters. I retreated to the study and looked at the emails from work which I deleted and saw some others from thegaykenyan.blogspot.com that I replied to. All I could think of was how to be happy with George.

I made up my mind then because sometimes when you live unloved for so long you think you know; I knew this was not enough because he also needed to want the same and I went to George and said please we need to talk. George stopped looking at the television and asked why I looked serious, what was it. I took the remote from his hands - gently, I was conscious he might think I was trying to control him if I grabbed my remote.

‘You can see I have a house that should have a family but I live here just myself and Imelda. My family visit whenever they wish because they imagine my unfilled life is theirs.’ I didn’t need to finish because he said yes I’ll move in with you because here is much better than there and I know we’ll be happier. I wanted to kiss him on his lips, his honesty shamed mine but he also needed to hear from me.

I said, ‘We can live anywhere but at the moment please let’s live here. If anything should happen I feel you can take care of me and don’t think I would not be happy in a single room because I would so long as you are with me.’

Things continued moving very fast. Later in the afternoon after lunch I loaned George some money because he needed to hire a pickup to transport his belongings to my house. And I wanted him to know I trusted him so I also gave him the card that I don’t use together with the pin number. I said, ’When you want to buy something but don’t have cash you can use it, but please be careful.’ While he was gone to collect his things I rang cardcentre and told CFC bank to put a 10000 shillings limit and to sms me for any transaction over this amount.

My mind was spinning like a roulette wheel. What will I tell my family and my friends when they find out about George. I discovered no answers after 2 hours of digging, only a nagging disappointment that wondered whether I also agonised how they were living their lives.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The next day with George

The following morning I woke up to a brief confusion of unfamiliar surroundings. Brian had left and George was already up and he offered me a breakfast of sweetened tea and warm mandazis from the kiosk outside his compound. When I was done I said to George that since you are on holiday and I am not going to work today how about we spend the day together, he said yes, ‘I want us to finish where we left off’. Looking into his smiling eyes I knew last night was the beginning of something bigger than anything I had ever experienced before. We got into my car with his small adidas rucksack and drove out back towards Westlands and along the hills of Thigiri Ridge. As we arrived at the barrier gates to the estate I said to George, money is not what makes people happy because these are just houses that people call homes but the people here are not all happy. George nodded but I could tell he was not convinced.

Ten minutes later I steered the car into the garage built for trucks and we walked through to the kitchen where wonderful Imelda was chopping up a chicken and cleaning vegetables for my evening meal. Imelda and I looked at each other to say all was well before I made the introductions: ‘George this is Imelda my house-keeper,’ and Imelda proffered her right hand supported by the left one to George as a mark of respect. And she looks to me briefly as if to say don’t worry even this secret you are calling George is safe with me. Imelda knows more about my life than my mother and I love her as much. Whenever I have spent nights with a man she always serves a breakfast tray set for two, knocking on the door and quietly disappearing before I go to collect the tray. She once told me she knew from the pairs of shoes left downstairs in the porch.

Then I said to Imelda take the rest of the week off and go to see your son in Kawangware. And she told me ‘But boss it’s not Sunday,’ and I said just take the time off, here is 2000 shillings and it’s not a salary advance.

I asked George to make himself comfortable and Imelda went to fetch him a cold drink of apple juice as I whistled Binti Kiziwi in the shower and then changed my clothes. Surely there would be little chance of meeting anyone I knew on a Friday afternoon. And does it matter, I asked myself. Tamaku you must stop living your life according to what others think. So we got back in the car that Imelda had just wiped down, drove to the nearby Village Market and I felt so proud showing off George, all those women beautiful in their Bulgari shades and rich men in Jacaru hats thinking they are happy but they looked jaded and haggard from the secret weight of their journeys which now confined them to just sit in expensive caf├ęs.

The good-looking young man sitting at the next table touching knees with an old mzungu man from the UN glanced at us forlornly because we looked like the couple he yearned to be a part of but he was picking at a sumptuous dish of tiger-prawns and sipping a ridiculously expensive wine at an attempt to douse the flames of a shame that he mistakenly thought everyone could see burning his heart.

We shared a pili-pili sprinkled pizza with George but I could tell that he was not comfortable basking in this glare of Nairobi decadence. So I said to him lets get some things I need from Nakumatt and then we can go. And he replied, yes we must be alone together away from these people. Then we left to go into the supermarket where I bought some things which I didn’t need before going back to the car.

I thought, how I can make this wonderful man accept me and my life just as I am, and I drove out of Village Market and headed towards Runda passing the barrier and proceeded to Mucatha to a bar-cum restaurant with a name that sounds like beats from an African drum. We had some beers there and shared a table with some lively girls from Safaricom on their night out and I could tell George was loving it now so we stayed because I was too . It was no surprise that we left at 8 pm to head back to the house.

When we got to my gate I told the cute security man from KK guards who I couldn’t remember his name not to let anyone through the gate, not my parents or my siblings not even my friend Mike. He looked at me and George with a thirst and I thought, you had your chance since you started here 3 months ago and when I made a move of friendship you rebuffed me, you blew your chances playing hard to get and don’t forget you still owe me that money you borrowed. Most of it was only my tipsy imagination from a long past of spending many evenings alone.

Then we went into the house and I said to George there’s more drink if you want it but he said no, let’s go to bed. So I took him upstairs and George settled to have a bath as I checked email from work in the study before I joined him in the bedroom. I undressed and had a shower and after I came out, George was lying in bed wearing the blue gown my sister had bought me from Deacons in November for my birthday as a dvd of Prison Break was showing on the TV. When I leaned to face him I noticed he was crying, I asked why.

‘I dreamed to meet someone just like you,’ he said as I held his head in my hands. And I couldn’t think of anything but to whisper, ‘I have met the person that I love; and it is you George.’ So I switched off the light because we now both needed to love.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The gay kenyan gets picked up

I am pleasantly surprised to see my blog mentioned amongst others by Gukira.

"I note, with great delight, the increasing number of gay and lesbian blogs on KBW and online!

Diary of a Gay Kenyan
Single Gay Life in Kenya
Wilde Yearnings
Shogeek

The longstanding
Rants and Raves of a Kenyan Gay Man

I feel like a proud mama–though I had nothing to do with these being set up.
Do let me know if I’ve left out others!"

I'm in good company.

My evening with the Policeman - Final Part

Continued from here:

I parked the car next to three matatus outside a block of flats where George said he lived; I had to believe him when he said to me it was safe. Two men in black coats whom I took to be watchmen waved ‘habari’ as we left the car and we climbed a flight of stairs past a metal grill door and entered a sparsely furnished room. It didn’t surprise me as policemen here are not well rewarded. But I remembered that I was not there for creature comforts.

There was a sofa upholstered in polyester tartan-print to the side of the gleaming but bare floor and I could feel the wood slats through the worn cushions. I sat with my back to a wall facing a corner-shelf which carried a small Aucma television that George switched on to NTV and then turned the volume down. A brightly-coloured leso partly partitioned the room and I could see the wooden legs of a bed behind it. George, still standing, stretched his arms to me smiling and said ‘karibu’ and I generously replied, ‘Asante, it’s a lovely place you have here.’ Then he walked to a sideboard which acted like a kitchenette as I stared at the walls where March 2009 was advertising Bidco cooking oil and a clock was ticking just after 8pm. I felt like a fish out of water.

Two minutes later he turned round to present two bottles of Tusker which he opened. He passed me one as he came to sit next to me on the sofa. I took a large gulp of my drink and we chinked our bottles together to an unspoken toast. I toasted privately in my mind, long live the tribe of the Mashoga.

George started to tell me about how he lived on his own and he had been a policeman for six years. He liked what he did and I nodded, thinking we need more handsome men like you working in the force. I told him the truth about what I did for a living which did not surprise him; we both laughed when he revealed how he had noticed my distinct motor in the morning traffic over the previous months. He said I must be wealthy and I told him no, perhaps just lucky. Then he told me he didn’t want me to think he wanted my money, I lied and replied the thought hadn’t crossed my mind.

His arm was on the back of the sofa almost touching my shoulder. We were looking intensely at each other drinking warm Tusker lager straight from the bottle, talking about gay life and how difficult it is to meet gay men because they are hiding like us in pain afraid. I was thinking this man is hot, my body was screaming do bad things that I like to me now. Blah blah blah. My lips were moving but I was not speaking. Without warning we kissed, awkwardly holding together for a few precious seconds before we both broke away.

I gazed deep into his eyes. ‘Can I stay the night?’ I needed to know. And he said quietly, ‘Yes please stay. And you don’t have to leave early – I’ m on holiday for the next one week.’

So I excused myself to go to the communal outside bathroom down the unlit corridor. I took my phone and texted my assistant to tell her I would not be in the office on Friday and to cancel my meetings. I went back to George and we carried on drinking, talking and laughing like old friends. We watched silently the news on TV of the horrific execution of two activists from Oscar foundation earlier in the evening. We didn’t talk about it any more; perhaps we didn’t want to be sad. Not tonight. I sensed something had changed in the few hours I’d spent with this man. Could he be the one?

Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door and George went to see who it was. A man stood there, and George stepped aside to let him in. It was his younger brother and he wearily explained how he had been unable to get to where he lived due to the transport chaos caused by Mungiki activity and had hitched a lift here to spend the night.

‘Sawa Brian,’ George said to his brother. ‘You can sleep on the sofa. My friend came to visit and I think it’s also not safe for him to go home at this hour.’ Then he added seamlessly, ‘Tamaku you can share my bed.’ And do nothing but sleep – damn this Mungiki.

After that we had a few more drinks, before going to bed behind the drawn leso curtain. With the lights off we lay silently on the narrow bed holding each other tightly in an equal embrace; so happy together and yet afraid to speak. As we drifted off, I was grateful for the presence of Brian sleeping five feet away for unknowingly giving George and me the chance to enjoy this simple peaceful pleasure.

Friday, March 6, 2009

My evening with the Policeman

So this is how it went:

Of course I was no use at work yesterday afternoon in anticipation of the Event. I drove straight home, cutting and hooting happily like a maniac through the beautiful Nairobi traffic for a long thorough shower and shave. Next I cocoa-buttered myself head to toe (top2bottom?), and finally two outfit-changes later stood in a polo shirt, blouson jacket and a pair of khaki shorts with matching canvas shoes. Oh, and a snug pair of boxer shorts.

I was parked on double-yellows outside HFCK on Koinange Street at 7.25pm, hazard lights flashing. He appeared almost immediately at the front-passenger’s window, opened the door and let himself in. My heart was racing, checking him over, assessing, then central-locking and with an eye to the rear-view mirror we pulled away to turn right at Kenyatta Avenue. Please God, if I don’t get car-jacked tonight, I’ll go to church every Sunday.

‘So you came.’ He asked, flashing me that smile. ‘Thanks for not letting me down.’ Only a fool would stand up this handsome man sitting next to me in a black t-shirt under a brown corduroy jacket and sporting loose fitting jeans.

I nodded not trusting the amphibian lodged in my throat. Inside the car the air was charging with the tones of sweet sweat and the citrus of Issey Miyake.

‘I am George.’ The sureness of those words grabbed me by surprise; my fear started to ebb away as the car inched toward the roundabout.

‘My name is not Mike,’ I confessed, peeking through the mask. I gambled to play fair. ‘Call me Tamaku.’

‘I understand,’ George said thoughtfully staring out of the window. ‘I was afraid this would be a set-up. You know many people don’t like guys like us.’

Guys like us? GUYS LIKE US! He thinks I am a policeman too!

Mercifully for me he saw the puzzled look I was trying to disguise desperately like a miscalculated fart.

‘I mean,’ he continued slowly, ‘Gays like us.’ Hallelujah. Simple words to lift away my cloak of fear. I caught my shiny face in the mirror smiling back in relief.

From that moment, the conversation came easy. So I drove as directed joining Uhuru Highway then up on Chiromo Road, Alicia Keys coming with us but just in the background, slowly fallin in and out of lovin you. We were now quite relaxed, George enjoyed his cigarette and both of us talking about how the Mungiki had paralyzed parts of Nairobi in the day. We passed Westlands, heading to where George said he lived – Kangemi, a not-salubrious neighbourhood I would never venture in the day but I was feeling euphoric. God please, please. And George was already making me laugh, joking how I looked like a schoolboy in my shorts……

To be continued….

I am safe and well

No need to post bail. Thanks for the messages of concern. More later.

Nice day....

x

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

If I don't blog on Friday I have been arrested

I summoned the courage to call the policeman this afternoon. I suffered the wait of four long ringing tones before he answered his phone.

‘Sasa.’ His hello was calm, the breathing from both of us measured. I sensed he had been expecting my call.

'It’s me – Mike,’ I replied, using the name printed on my bogus business cards. It’s also my homophobic best friend’s inconspicuous name, a contradiction that makes it easier for me to remember my necessary lies. A cheap thrill.

‘What are you doing tomorrow night?’ I asked, then without waiting for a reply, ‘Can we meet?’ It’s a technique I regularly employ; two questions in rapid succession to maintain ambiguity.

‘Sawa,’ he agreed in response to my last question. His voice had that gentle masculine resonance that is music to my ears.

‘Where?’ I liked this guy already.

I had still not decided on a venue. I doubted it but I had to ask whether he owned a car, just to be polite. He didn’t.

Then a bolt from the blue. ‘Pick me up,' he said. Just like that. ‘We can go to my place for a drink'. Bingo. Road to Damascus.

So we settled on me picking him up at 7.30pm tomorrow night at a street corner outside a bank. Just before we finished he added, ‘Niko poa’ which translates to he’s ok but which I interpreted as ‘I am cool, don’t worry’. We are after all in the country of Hakuna Matata.

Afterwards my over-active imagination started thinking that perhaps I had just triggered the sequence of my abduction, followed by torture and ending in death. But I also know that nothing ventured, nothing gained so I’ll take my chances. However if I don’t turn up here on Friday with an update then those chances are that I’m in some serious trouble.

At the moment I’m quite excited as to what tomorrow night brings. I am fighting conflicting interpretations – he said ‘my place’ – meaning his home or did he mean his local pub? No doubt I’ll rearrange this equation in my mind a few dozen times before the date.

Wish me luck.

Anti gay blogger finds new home

I just discovered that the Kenyan anti-gay blogger known as Blake has a new home.

It will be interesting to see whether he’s mended his ways or this is another platform for him to espouse his hateful views.

Time will tell.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What’s inside a gay man’s bag?

I’ve noticed the ever-increasing number of men parading around the streets of Nairobi carrying stylish man-bags; objects that are the envy of many women. I compiled this list, during that hypnotic hour after 3pm in the office, to show what could be found inside these bags:

Keys

Spare mobile (the model replaced last week)

Toothbrush and mini-toothpaste tube (nothing’s more of a deal-breaker than the aromatic confession of a lunchtime curry)

Deodorant roll-on (To keep fresh and cool under the Nairobi sun)

Deodorant spray (For topping up that cool and fresh)

A pack of 3 (you never know when opportunity will present himself, no unwanted ‘babies’)

Umbrella (to keep dry under Nairobi’s storms)

Baby wipes (yeah baby, accidents do happen)

Compact mirror (for the visual reassurance that no unsightly ‘greenies’ are wedged between teeth)

Water-based lube (never oil-based)

Hand-cream (not that kind of cream, the cream that comes in a tube…still iffy I know, I mean the kind to compliment the weekly manicure)

Moisturiser (er, to keep skin hydrated)

Have I left off anything? Feel free to add your own; no prizes, just for fun.

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.