Rwandan gospel singer comes out: ‘It’s time people knew being gay is normal’
A gospel singer in Rwanda has come out as gay, and although he was ready to face the backlash, he wants people to know that “being gay is normal”.
Albert Nabonibo, 35, is reportedly the first gospel singer to come out in Rwanda. Although gay sex is legal, attitudes towards LGBT+ people are hostile and the topic of sexuality is taboo.
Nabonibo told the BBC: “In fact, there are many like me, even in churches, the fact is that they hide it because of the mentality of the faithful and the community and for their safety.
“I feel sorry for people like me who live in fear, they should go out to be heard, because we have to be treated like other people.”
The singer said that he hid his sexuality for years, and he has faced some negative reaction since coming out.
“Some have insulted me, some have called me crazy and some stupid, but there are some who understand me, like my brother who always encouraged me to be who I am,” he said.
The gospel singer said he would continue to “sing for God”, despite the negative reactions.
Nabonibo is from a suburb of the capital, Kigali, and is a Christian. He said that whatever happens, we will continue to “sing for God”.
He added: “I will live with those who accept me and those who reject me – I know it will be a daily battle.”
According to ILGA: “Although Rwanda does not criminalise same sex-relations, social stigma against LGBTIQ persons is prevalent, including family exclusion and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is rife in the employment sector.”