Friday, July 12, 2024

Cameroon: Biya’s daughter comes out as lesbian, wants anti-gay laws changed

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Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey
Elvis Adjetey is an experienced African journalist who has worked with top media brands in Ghana where he is based.

A daughter of Cameroon’s president has started a campaign to review the country’s anti-gay laws as she comes out of the closet.

27-year-old Brenda Biya has shared an image of her kissing a Brazilian model Layyons Valença, sparking mixed reactions in Cameroon.

In an Instagram post accompanying the picture in which she embraces the model, Ms Biya said “I’m crazy about you & I want the world to know”.

Ms Biya said she had been with the Brazilian model for eight months and had already taken her to Cameroon three times without telling her family they were in a relationship.

Change anti-gay laws

Brenda Biya told the Le Parisien newspaper that there were many people in her situation and she hoped to inspire them, adding that coming out as a lesbian can help change the law banning same-sex relations in her country.

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The musician who lives abroad also hinted that she had not informed anyone in her family before publishing the post.

“Coming out is an opportunity to send a strong message. The law is unfair and I hope that my story will change it”, she said.

Paul Biya, 91, has been Cameroon’s president since 1982 and is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Unofficial reactions 

There have not been any many messages of support as well as public negative reactions since posting about her relationship.

But her brother was the first to call her after the post, angry that she had published it without warning the family, she told Le Parisien.

Her parents, the president and First Lady Chantal Biya, later called wanting her to delete the post. “Since then, it’s been silence,” she said.

She said she had her first crush on a girl when she was 16, but said that it was difficult to express her love because of the situation in her country.

Same-sex relations are against the law in Cameroon and are punishable by up to five years in prison.

The president and first lady have also not commented on the post.


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