Another senseless death. Another life cut short. Sheila Adhiambo Lumumba was 25 years old. Sheila was a non-binary lesbian from Kenya whose only crime was being queer. They were raped and murdered. It could have been me. It could have been any one of us. It will be one of us. Those of us – gender and sexual minorities – who make our homes on the margins of our intolerant societies are fair game for violence. Our dead pile up, the numbers of our dead increasing from Abuja to Yaoundé. The more we refuse to hide, the more of us will be killed.
Like so many before, we will have to find a way to move forward. We need to make each death count. Sheila’s death should propel us forward. Yes, to quote Lucius Annaeus Seneca, “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”.
I am Sheila Lumumba and I will carry their courage in my veins.