Cameroon father decrees: No school for lesbian daughter

In southern Cameroon, a father who discovered his daughter’s sexual orientation has blocked her from attending her final year of school.

Road sign shows the way to Kyé-Ossi and to the border with Equatorial Guinea.
Road sign shows the way to Kyé-Ossi and to the border with Equatorial Guinea.

By Steeves Winner

Eighteen-year-old Debo (a pseudonym) lives with her two parents in Kyé-Ossi in southern Cameroon.

She had long been suspected of having sex with girls, but her parents had stumbled on no irrefutable proof. Until this year.

In late August, Debo had been caught in the act while she was entertaining herself at a party. That news quickly spread to her family.

Her father was so angry that he refused to allow her to return to school when the new school year began.

On Sept. 3, her brothers and sisters went back to school, but Debo had to stay at home. She said:

“I thought it was just a temporary temper tantrum and that my father would come to his senses because I tried hard to get him to forgive me.”

Two weeks later, Debo returned to her father to beg him to let her return to school.

Instead of agreeing, he demanded to see Debo’s lover. Debo refused.

“I don’t know why I should do that. My partner will never agree,” she said.

At present, Debo is still barred from attending school and her father is still furious with her.

She doesn’t know what she will do.

These facts were reported from Kyé-Ossi by an human rights activist.

Steeves Winner, the author of this article, is an activist for LGBTI rights in Cameroon who writes under a pseudonym. Contact him at steeves.w@yahoo.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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