There have been evidence of homosexuality, bisexuality, trans people ect in many African societies. (I think I used this example a lot) For example the Azande people of South Sudan, partly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and partly in the Central African Republic. E. E. Evans Pritchard recorded that male Azande warriors in the northern Congo routinely took on young male lovers, who helped with household tasks and participated in intercrural sex with their older husbands. But this died down when Europeans took control of Azande land
E. E. Evans-Pritchard stated that: “All the Azande I have kown well enough to discuss this matter have asserted also that female homosexuality (lesbianism) was practiced in polygamous homes in the past and still (in 1930) is sometimes…Before European rule was imposed on the Azande…Part of the adult male population of each Kingdom was organized in military companies of abakumba (married men) and aparanga (bachelors)…It was a cusyom for memebers of the bachelor companies, some of whom would always be living in barracks at court, to take boy-wives”
This is one of the many examples of how the West brought homophobia clothed in religious doctrines to Africans
People in Zanzibar are Swahili and one Swahili woman Sophia Musa Mohamed points out that in the book “Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men, and Ancestral Wives: Female Same-sex Practices in Africa”
"…we do have a history in our country. For instance there are words for us in Swahili, so same-sex practices must have been going on for a long time. Our grandmothers still know the words: wasenge, wasagaji, mashoga and wapemba. Presently these terms are used in denigrating way, to insult us. Wasenga and mashoga refer to men, so they mean gay. Wasagaji means lesbian. Wapemba is a general term for homosexual which derives from the name Pemba, in Zanzibar, as people thought that homosexuality originated from the coastal region. This region has many descendant traders from Oman, where transgender practices are more accepted…"
Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Transgender all those aren’t a foreign concept to us these people have lived in our societies for hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s sad because now in Zanzibar homosexuality is illegal and punishable my imprisonment. Although it’s not criminlised in Congo the LGBT community are still persecuted. I get upset whenever I think about this because I’m queer and I’d like to learn more about the histories from those two societies and I’d like to feel safe when I go to my countries
I think colonialism and Western influences have erased the history of LGBT communities in the Congo region and Zanzibar.
The homophobia and transphobia in numerous African societies may be due to Western indoctrination but we as a people also need to take the blame. Especially our governments. They are not doing enough to protect LGBT communities or educate people on the matter. We can blame the Europeans and Americans all we want but if our government aren’t doing anything what would that solve?