On living free with Dan this month, Dan sat with Cameroonian celebrity, LGBT rights activist, social media consultant, founder of Kinnaka Business Group, and a proud unapologetic lesbian, Bandy Kiki, as she shares her story on coming out as a black lesbian woman, her ordeal with fibroid, the success of her myomectomy and her partnership with The Value Health Africa to create a successful awareness week on Fibroid and Cervical Cancer.
“There are a lot of people who will live from the story you’re embarrassed to share”- Bandy Kiki, 2019.
Her coming out story
Bandy Kiki grew up as an English speaking Cameroonian, in Cameroon, a French speaking country, and had therefore being a part of the minority group. As a person who believed in Equal rights for all, she narrated that there had been a crisis which led to a disagreement and had resulted in her getting attacked based on her sexuality, rather than the issue at hand. She came out on social media platforms to gain control of the situation, and change the narratives that had been circulated. As expected, such freedom doesn’t come free, as she recalled losing several clients afterwards and wished she had stayed silent. She later realized the power of speaking up, being visible and presenting your own voice, she affirmed that being in the closet was mentally consuming.
Bandy spoke on the place of love when trying to influence another person is pivotal and though her sexuality cannot be changed, it still left space for communication between people, like families. She explained that she wouldn’t give bigots the time of the day knowing that she says will have little or no effect on their judgmental conclusions, but that she will always be ready to have a conversation with anyone who is genuinely curious and open-minded.
Bandy wouldn’t say she’s religious, but believes in a bigger authority. She talked about the place of putting human’s right first before individual beliefs and strongly resounded that the first law of the bible is love, and religious folk should not be so judgmental to the queer community.
Being Lgbt in a black community is a tough deal and Bandy says she holds her mental health in high esteem, and she decided to be that person that others can turn to, as she had no one to run to at her own time of need.
Benefits of coming out
Bandy is grateful for the power of visibility coming out has offered her, being able to be herself and not leading a double life of covering up. Bandy believes that sexuality isn’t based on sex and hopes that people will come to understand the difference between a lesbian and a pervert as there are other things going on the life of a typical lesbian woman, besides “being lesbian” and every human should be respected for simply being human.
In response to her experience with homophobia and/or racism, she boldly stated that “a homophobe should not complain about a Racist as both are acts of discrimination” She also took her time to explain that though the law in the UK is helpful, the experiences are not 100% positive as she sometimes has to face homophobia, racism, and even sexism.
To any LGBT person wondering what to do, she advised that they should not be afraid to discover who they are, and always consider safety first.”
Watch the conversation below: