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SOPHOMORE ISSUE NOVEMBER 2011 Identity Gay, Straight or on The Rocks DANCING QUEENS Nairobi Bars With A Gay Connection Since The ‘80s It was the grenade attack on Mwaura’s Bar in Nairobi at the end of October that brought it all back to me. I read a news story on the online website Behind the Mask in which Denis Nzioka (Editor of this August publication) said that Mwaura’s was a gay-friendly bar frequented by men who have sex with men (MSMs) of all ages. It got me thinking about the my experience in Nairobi’s gay friendly bars and how some changed through the years and in others only those with a gaydar as sharp as a bat’s sonic hearing knew what was going on beneath the surface. I started visiting bars in Nairobi as an under-age teenage drinker, but it wasn’t until I was about 20 years old and working in the CBD that I began to tentatively explore bars where I could meet other gay men. In 1989, for a seriously closeted guy who was not out to his colleagues and other drinking cronies, this seemed like mission impossible. Of course growing up one had heard about the Thorn Tree at the then New Stanley hotel where if you wore white trousers while sitting at the terrace café, you were signalling that you were gay. The problem for me was that even in those days when the price of alcohol was controlled by the government and hotels, clubs and restaurants were divided into classes based on cost a drink at the New Stanley could not be a regular option on the crap salary I was earning then. For that matter neither was a drink at the other supposedly discreetly gay friendly bar, the Delamare Terrace at the Norfolk. HIGHLIGHTS CONTINUED ON PAGE 24 Mungiki Assault Gays 3 Score Card 8 Adoption 10 Uncommon Calling 17 Sex Work Saves Love 19 ICASA 25 Gays And GOD 31 CJ Mutunga ‘Refuses’ Mention in Gay Book Kenya’s Chief Justice, Willy Mutunga is alleged to have ordered that a quote he gave for a gay book published in Kenya not mention him as the Chief Justice. Sources say that he ordered the title of ‘Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya’ be replaced with his old job title – that of Ford Foundation Representative. The book, by gay group Gay Kenya is titled, ‘My Way, Your Way or the RIGHTS Way’ and published by Story Moja, is a domestication of the Yogyakarta Principles which are human rights applied in the context of sexual orientation and gender identity. CONTINUED ON PAGE 12

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