Kenyan, Christian, Queer

Religion, LGBT Activism, and Arts of Resistance in Africa

By (author) Adriaan van Klinken

Paperback - £23.95

Publication date:

08 September 2020

Length of book:

248 pages

Publisher

Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271083810

Popular narratives cite religion as the driving force behind homophobia in Africa, portraying Christianity and LGBT expression as incompatible. Without denying Christianity’s contribution to the stigma, discrimination, and exclusion of same-sex-attracted and gender-variant people on the continent, Adriaan van Klinken presents an alternative narrative, foregrounding the ways in which religion also appears as a critical site of LGBT activism.

Taking up the notion of “arts of resistance,” Kenyan, Christian, Queer presents four case studies of grassroots LGBT activism through artistic and creative expressions—including the literary and cultural work of Binyavanga Wainaina, the “Same Love” music video produced by gay gospel musician George Barasa, the Stories of Our Lives anthology project, and the LGBT-affirming Cosmopolitan Affirming Church. Through these case studies, Van Klinken demonstrates how Kenyan traditions, black African identities, and Christian beliefs and practices are being navigated, appropriated, and transformed in order to allow for queer Kenyan Christian imaginations.

Transdisciplinary in scope and poignantly intimate in tone, Kenyan, Christian, Queer opens up critical avenues for rethinking the nature and future of the relationship between Christianity and queer activism in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.

“In a fascinating dynamic that speaks to the passion and intimacy of the book, the author weaves his story with the stories of those whose lives he narrates. Thus, the author tells us about his connection to the communities he studied and how he is even assigned the position of an ambassador and advocate for these communities.”

—David Ngong, Reading Religion