At the core of a full and free life is the ability for one to have the freedom to make his or her own choices. One should be free to make a choice on their own, without any forces or fears dictating them. That is what we have been taught and is what our leaders and people have fought for so bravely.
People are not the same and are not created the same. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the next person. This month is globally known as a month to celebrate and recognise the Gay and LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community.
In the past few years, there has been a drastic change in perception and outlook towards this community, slowly people are more accepting of members of that community and this is evident on social media as more people are coming out and freely and openly speaking out on their sexual orientation.
It shows the maturity that the world, in general, has undergone since the days of oppressing people for their lifestyle choices and preferences. Every person has a right and choice to partake in whatever activity they desire with whomever they desire, even in the bedroom.
Of course, each person’s right ends where another person’s rights begin. Just like one can choose to become a transgender, another person can find that to be against nature and the norm, and he has every right to be against it.
This was evident in Kenya, where the country’s courts upheld the ban on gay marriages. That was a major blow to the members of the LGBTI community as to them it probably feels like they are not considered as human enough to have their rights accepted by the law of that country. As it is in most African countries.
Things are however getting better, in the United States in the past few years, a number of states have passed laws allowing same-sex marriages and this has rubbed off on some African countries. Just recently, our neighbour Botswana has passed a judgment that decriminalised same-sex marriages. This Pride Month has been great to the LGBTI community.
The topic of same-sex marriages and relationship causes divisions among the public, but the one thing we can be certain about is that the youth are ready to engage it and put it to rest for good, so we can move on to other pressing issues.
* Olavi Popyeinawa has a diploma in Alternative Dispute Resolution and is currently studying law, LLB at the University of Namibia. He writes on youth matters. Find him on Instagram: olavi_popyeinawa, Facebook: Olavi Popyeinawa and Twitter: @ OlaviPopyeinawa