Parade Charade

What Did You Wear For Cameroon’s National Gay-Hate Day?

Despite calls for its cancellation from human-rights leaders across the African continent, homophobic Cameroonians celebrated “Gay Hate Day” in the capital city of Yaoundé on Tuesday.

The event, a hateful parody of traditional Pride festivals was organized by the Rassemblement de la Jeunesse Camerounaise association (Cameroonian Youth Rally) to combat acceptance of homosexuality, something spokesman Sismondi Barlev Bidjocka calls  “a crime against humanity.”

Lawyer and human-rights activist Alice N’Kom appealed to President Paul Biya to halt the event: “These anti-gay proponents say they are protecting our ‘traditional values.’ But we want to tell them that hate and homophobia are not African values. We are bringing together people from across the continent to tell our country that pro-equality voices in Africa are strong.”

The date, August 21,  has a special significance: It was on this day that 31-year-old student Narcisse Olivier Djomo Pokam was raped and murdered by a group of men that RJC claims were part of a “gay mafia.”