On Monday, Cameroonian gay activist Eric Ohena Lembembe was found dead, with reports that his hands, arms and face were burned and his feet and neck appeared broken. His apartment was then padlocked from the outside, but the curtains were left open so the body could be found. Many have taken this as a message from his killers that they wanted people to see what would happen to gay people.
As in many other African nations, life is tough for the LGBT community in Cameroon, with people facing harassment as well as legal censure – just expressing gay feelings can get you locked up, such as gay activist Jean-Claude Roger Mbede, who was given three years in prison just for texting ‘I’m falling in love with you’ to a male friend.
The new documentary Born This Way takes a look at gay life in Cameroon, and has now been given extra gravitas in the wake of Lembembe’s murder. As with the recent Call Me Kuchu, which looked at LGBT people in Uganda, it shows that while things are very bad for gay people, in amongst that they’ve managed to create their own community that brings them much joy and love. Take a look at the trailer above.