Let’s face it, the African continent is still not a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community. In almost every African country, homosexuality is considered a taboo.
Africa identifies itself with traditional customs and beliefs that date centuries back.
According to the Human Rights Watch, most African nations are still traditionalist and consider the LGBTQ+ community a taboo or ‘curse’. This has led most to shun away from protecting the rights of those who consider coming out or expressing themselves authentically.
More than thirty Africa countries have outlawed homosexuality and in some countries, like South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Mauritania and Northern Nigeria, the maximum punishment is death.
In other areas like Tanzania and the Gambia, an LGBTQ+ individual could face life imprisonment.
However, there has been some progress in the last few decades. South Africa, for example, was the first African country to legalize gay marriage and the fifth in the world back in 2006. Its constitution protects against discrimination based on one’s sexual identity, or any other form.
Despite South Africa constitutionally identifying LGBTQ+ community rights, social discrimination and hate crimes are still common in rural areas and other minor cities. According to local reports, violence is rife and murder cases have been on the rise.
Major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg are considered friendly, however, and are ideal destinations for the LGBTQ+ community to visit.