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‘They Go Burn in Hell!’ Exploring How African MSM Negotiate Religion and Sexuality in Canada

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Chapter Summary

The chapter introduces the "nature" of homosexuality in Africa. The concept of homosexuality, as a social identity, is a contemporary phenomenon that is foreign to African cultures. Some indigenous spoken languages on the continent have no explicit terms for homosexuality. The chapter examines the relationship between religion and sexuality in the colonial nationalist regime. It analyzes how the hyper-masculinity of European colonizers and the regulation of sexual desire of Africans were used to sustain and maintain control of the colonies. Next, the chapter assesses the impact of nationalism and religion in the discourses of homophobia in Africa. The data obtained from interviews addresses how queer African men are able to negotiate their religious beliefs and sexual identity in Canada. The effects of colonialism linger on in postcolonial discourses of sexuality. Human rights considerations should influence how African governments treat their citizens.

Keywords: African cultures; Canada; European colonizers; homophobia; homosexuality; hyper-masculinity; national discourses; religious beliefs; sexual identity



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