By Tony Mochama
So my Monday in Portugal turned out to be like Gay Day.
I was seated at a cafe called ‘The Fernando Pessoa Game’, named after one of Lisbon’s most famous poet, just enjoying the sun and some bourbon when two white guys sat at my table.
After some chitchat and the usual banter and to-and-fro of “where are you from?” it turned out Chad was from Australia and Marco from England. They were gay and married and had “done Kenya” for their honeymoon.
“I also got married last year and did Kenya for my honeymoon,” I said. Then added quickly. “To a woman.”
Chad was masculine in a Aussie rugby supporter way and his ‘wife’ Marco was feminine in a finger waving queer kind of way. After three more beers, a high Marco said, “I could bite you”, and invited me over to their hotel.
At this point I hurriedly remembered we were going for an American Embassy welcome reception as a group of writers and hurriedly excused myself from Marco’s clutches.
At the reception that evening, when Deputy Chief of Mission Lucy Tamlyn found out I was from Kenya and a journo, she wanted to know why ambassador Scott Gration resigned.
“I think he had a problem with homosexuals,” I joked. “Washington made him throw a bash for the gay community, which is against his principles, and he left in a hissy huff!”
“Do Kenyans, like you, have a problem with gays?” Tamlyn asked me with genuine curiosity.
“My views,” I dead-panned, “have evolved.”
I did run a reel through my head of the gay guys I know back in Nairobi, some of whom are acquaintances.