Binyavanga Wainaina’s coming out last week was seen as a ‘bombshell’ by a wide range of media, including the New York Times, and Kenya’s Daily Nation. Certainly it was cheered by many, both publicly and privately, as courageous and timely. The question is: Will it inspire other prominent Africans to also come out of the closet? While Binyavanga’s welcome bombshell may change some attitudes, it won’t change enough. We will need many more prominent Africans to come out of the closet if we really want to see assumptions and prejudices of the homophobic majority start to shift and shatter.
In his recent State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama highlighted the need to reduce inequality, widen access to healthcare and education and create jobs in the US. It is unfortunate that his administration’s foreign and trade policies threaten to undermine those very things for billions of people in the developing world. This is particularly so when it comes to trade.