Rwandan gospel singer comes out as gay, to country’s shock

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09/16/2019

Friends of Albert Nabonibo, a well-known gospel singer in Rwanda who recently came out as a gay man, do not want their names revealed. It is too shameful, one says. Another says he is anguished because his family knows he often used to socialize with Nabonibo. The singer shocked many Rwandans in August when he revealed in an interview with a Christian YouTube channel that he is gay in a country where such a public assertion of homosexuality is unheard of. Although the central African nation has been relatively free of the anti-gay rhetoric commonly heard in some other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, homosexuality is still widely despised, and LGBT people keep a low profile. Nabonibo told The Associated Press that he came out in order to live normally. Yet the reaction he has received, from family and friends to strangers, has been mostly “horrible,” underscoring the intolerance faced by LGBT people in many parts of Africa. “But there is no going back, because I have to live my real life,” Nabonibo said in an interview in the capital, Kigali. “It’s so sad to see people you know abusing you.”

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