March 1, 2023

#24 - African Voices: Mwendia Shares on Same-Sex Attraction in Kenya

#24 - African Voices: Mwendia Shares on Same-Sex Attraction in Kenya

We are so excited to welcome Mwendia Steve Kiengu to the podcast as we begin highlighting perspectives from Africa!

Mwendia is a seminary student in Kenya who’s grown up with same-sex attraction. He talks with TJ about the African cultural dynamics they’ve both experienced around same-sex attraction—how people talk about it, advice they give, and the challenges that Christians with same-sex attractions face.

We value Mwendia’s perspective on sexuality, both for Africans engaging in the conversation and for global listeners expanding their knowledge of the world.

Note: This episode uses the terms “Side A” and “Side B” (and X, Y) as shorthand, which is most often a western framing. If you’re new to the conversation, we recommend one of these resources as an overview.

Timestamps

(0:24) TJ: On highlighting African voices
(04:09) Introducing Mwendia
(16:02) Same-sex sexual relations (and insult words) among Kenyan young people
(22:54) Are there gay Kenyan celebrities?
(25:36) Most closeted Kenyans stay there (under pressure to marry, have kids)
(32:21) African values on marriage + kids (high), celibacy (low)
(40:41) Openness to celibate partnerships, LGBT language? in Kenya
(50:02) "This is a western ideology”
(58:44) Kenyan Christians who affirm same-sex sex?
(1:00:00) Finding the boldness to build community
(1:05:36) What LGBT language is used among Kenyan Christians?

Links and References

Mwendia’s blog: https://thequestionofsexuality.home.blog/
Washed and Waiting by Wesley Hill (2010) Link to publisher
Spiritual Friendship blog: https://spiritualfriendship.org/
Revoice conference: https://www.revoice.org/
Still Time to Care by Greg Johnson (2021) Link to publisher

Below are some resources or terms mentioned in this episode, which may help make this conversation accessible to global listeners (inclusion does not imply endorsement, of course).

  • Binyavanga Wainaina was a famous Kenyan writer who was open about his homosexuality. Wiki
  • Kenyan fashion designer and LGBTQ activitist Chiloba Edwin was recently murdered. Wiki
  • The story of Leah’s and Rachel’s use of their maids as surrogate mothers/concubines to build their families is found in Genesis 29:31 through 30:22.

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Credits

Creators and Hosts: David Frank, TJ Espinoza
Audio Engineer: Carl Swenson (www.carlswensonmusic.com)
Podcast Manager: Elena