The government of Cameroon is finally beginning to respond to the discrimination and violence faced by the country’s LGBT community. But there’s still a long way to go.
Homosexuality is still illegal in the Central African country, punishable by up to five years in prison: In 2011, a man was arrested by government security forces for sending a text message to a male friend, and sentenced to three years. That same year two young men were convicted solely based on their appearance and drink orders.
The government turns a blind eye to “vigilante” executions but even those who avoid arrest or violence can be subject to harassment or extortion, leading many LGBT Cameroonians to seek asylum in the West.
Below, Cameroon native and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season One winner BeBe Zahara Benet speaks out about LGBT rights in her homeland.
For more information on international LGBT issues, visit All Out.