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I’m A Lesbian And A Human Rights Activist

My Story: The life and times of a woman trying to find love and meaning in present-day Kenya

BY YAZA Ghana Team

Aug 05, 2021, 01:00 PM

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“Which part of my story do you want me to tell?” 30-year-old Marylize Buibwa shoots when we sit down for this interview. 

She is wearing black jeans and a white chiffon top. She has her locks piled at the top of her head in a bun. She has a confident handshake.

“All of it,” I say.

“I will try my best,” she says leaning on the table between us. “I am a lesbian woman and a human rights activist,” she starts.

Marylize spent most of her childhood in Nairobi and Taita Taveta. Growing up alongside three sisters and two brothers, she remembers always being the tomboy. The girl who preferred running outside to playing with dolls, who favored shorts to frilly dresses.

It was not until high school that this, her demeanor, became an issue. 

“I found myself in the principal’s office many times having been accused of being a lesbian. I had never made a pass at another girl. I struggled to see what it was that other people saw in me, which made them label me as different, that I didn’t,” she recalls.

She knew she was different. As other girls her age raved about boys, she remained disinterested. She had a crush on a girl or two but she couldn’t dare admit it, much less explore her feelings.

“I couldn’t admit my feelings to myself much less act on them. I couldn’t dare. My mother is very religious, we were all raised this way,” she explains.

Trying To Fit In

Soon after high school in 2009, still, in a bid to fit in, she got into her first and only relationship with a man. It was non-sexual and he was a gentle, kind man and he was very good to her but being with him felt like denying her true self. So, towards the end of 2010, she came out to him.
Read the full interview here