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LOCKED IN KENYA’S CLOSET

For gay Ugandan refugees in Nairobi, life is on hold and lived in secret

@JacobKushner

ONE BUSTLING AFTERNOON in Nairobi, three gay men from Uganda were walking home from a sexual health center when they were stopped by a police officer. Nelson, 25, was carrying a purse. In it, the police officer discovered pamphlets about gay rights, as well as condoms and lubricants that he’d received at the center.

To the officer, “that was the evidence that we were gay and we had come to destroy Kenya with our habits,” Nelson recalls. (The names of all refugees in this story have been changed for their protection.) He says police took the three of them to jail, placing them in a cell with straight prisoners and announcing that “these are gay people—you don’t know what they will do.”

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