LGBTQ Asylum Seekers Fleeing Violence in Africa Are Sleeping on Canada’s Streets

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07/18/2023

For decades, Theresa Makumi hid who she was growing up in Kenya—one of many African nations where same-sex marriage is not only illegal, but where being queer can lead to persecution and violence. Now the nation is closer to implementing a new law that could “kick LGBTQ people out of the country,” or even sentence them to capital punishment in some cases. One day back in February, the 38-year-old was caught with her partner in their home after neighbours burst through her door. From there, she was ostracized in her village, facing threats from the people she grew up with who told her they would contact the police to have her and her partner imprisoned for up to 10 years. “You either have to be an outcast (or) you have to be stoned to death,” Makumi told VICE News, referencing the fear of vigilante violence. “At times, there are some cultures where you have to be flogged naked around the village. You have to be humiliated and rejected.”

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