Lesbian life in Cameroon: Her dream is to escape

Like many citizens of Cameroon, Elsy has a dream. She dreams of leaving  her native country and moving to Europe or the United States where she could live her life to the fullest without any prejudice.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Flag of Cameroon

By Courtney Stans

Elsy (a pseudonym) is a 38-year-old lesbian who lives in Yaoundé, the political capital of Cameroon.

Until two years ago, she was in the closet. No one knew her sexual orientation until it exploded into view during a fight between her and her partner. Then her nightmare began.

She was a successful teacher at a primary and nursery school. She was fired when her sexual orientation became known.

Now she has no job, so she no longer has enough money for food, housing and other basic necessities. She said:

“A relative gave me accommodation in a communal residence where we are five women in a room. For the past six months, I have had to share my daily life with strangers and keep my sexuality a secret.”

Rejected by her family, she has found no way to escape from the  nightmare. She keeps trying to find a job, but that is very difficult these days in Cameroon, where the majority of young people are unemployed.

“My dream is to leave Cameroon and find a better life elsewhere where I can work,” Elsy declared. “I want to live my life to the fullest without prejudices or accusing eyes. Please give me a hand. Please help me wake up from this dark dream.”

Courtney Stans adds:

I hope readers will open their hearts and help Elsy escape from the discrimination and lesbophobia of Cameroon.

Elsy is counting on us.

Elsy is counting on you.

Elsy is waiting to chat with you.

Elsy is screaming for help!!!


Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at

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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