May 30, 2009 3:46 AM GMT
This summer I will be going to Cameroon, Africa for a month and a half or so. It is illegal to be gay there. Even though I am not, erm...flamboyant, if you will, and I know that I do not come off as a gay man when someone meets me, it still worries me a tad. I know the obvious things NOT to do, like mention being gay to anyone, hit on dudes, dance around to Madonna on repeat in my underwear, etc. I am going there on a volunteer trip to work with chimpanzees and gorillas at a sanctuary and the surrounding reserve. It will definitely be a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I plan to travel back here again to do more work once I become a wildlife veterinarian. It did not really phase me at all until some of my friends kept mentioning to be careful and telling me how worried they were, and gosh darn it, they are rubbing the worrying off on me! I have heard they are recently cracking down on 'unnatural homosexual activity', and have also recently arrested numerous gay men because of rumors they were gay (coming from a source inside Cameroon). I could imagine Cameroonian jails are not the best spot to be, but I feel that as long as I keep a low profile I will be golden. Also, being a foreigner living there with a visa, I don't know how they handle that sort of thing. I am sure if it came down to it the US embassy would hopefully get involved (note: hopefully..ha!) I went to Nicaragua last year, and although being gay was not illegal there, homosexual ACTIVITY was and was enforced. In Cameroon, it is both that are heavily enforced. Anyone out there been to a place like this that has very low tolerance and laws against homosexuality, and if so, any tips to share?