Jeffrey has been working at Ishtar-MSM, a community-based organization that advances the sexual health rights of men who have sex with men to reduce stigma and discrimination they face by advocating for their rights to access health care, including STI/HIV and AIDS-related care and treatment. Ishtar-MSM is a member group of The Gay & Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK). As Program Manager, Jeffrey has taken part in various activities on advocacy, policy and strategy formulation, and analysis. He is experienced in evidence-based HIV and sexual health programming and has sat on a variety of technical working groups at the national level. He has a keen interest in community research and is a Co-Chair of the G10 a research agency at the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya.
LGBT and Aging in Africa
Kenya like many African countries continue to have criminalizing laws against same sex relation embedded in the penal system 162-165. Kenyan heterosexual society believe that homosexuality is a way of life that society should not accept. Traditional, religious and cultural values play a substantial role in this figure. Religious leaders in Kenya, condemn homosexuality and transgender identity as signs of decadence, disease, and immorality which represents beliefs and perceptions of their followers.
LGBT have limited access to appropriate HIV/ Sexual and Reproductive Health information and services. Many barriers affect them from accessing formal health services. Discrimination, stigmatization and subjected to violence because of their sexual orientation In Nairobi, LGBT experience physical violence and threats of death. This physical violence includes; harassment, riots beatings, lynching and mob justice, hateful printed publication hate speech. The common form of violence is verbal where insults and derogatory terms are used in reference to LGBT persons who are often referred to in words that portray them as subnormal, pathological, perverted and deserving of annihilation.
The presence of stigma and discrimination attached to LGBT and their lifestyles is a common thread that runs through many cultures and communities in Kenya. Stigma usually begins from the family and neighbors, who alienate, harass and humiliate them. Close friends and workmates or also perpetuate this stigma against the LGBT persons. Secondary to stigma and discrimination are a chain of associated violations which include aggression and humiliation in public, refusal to get service by service providers, often internalize the stigma leading to low self-esteem and an exponential decrease in the community’s reluctance to protect its members.
It is therefore important to create spaces for dialogue highlighting the plight of older LGBT persons, conduct research for data to support programing and advocacy to develop inclusive policies for older LGBT persons in Kenya and Africa