By Courtney Stans
Because of his work with LGBTI people, last month a nurse in Cameroon was attacked at home by a neighbor who accused him of being gay. Based on that accusation, his landlord evicted him.
Henry (a pseudonym used here for his safety) has worked as a nurse at the LGBTI advocacy group Alternatives-Cameroon in Yaoundé for four years.
On the night of Aug.1, he was assaulted by a neighbor as he returned to his home in the Nkolfoulou section of Yaoundé with Gene (also a pseudonym), an LGBTI man who had come to see him for treatment of anal health problems.
Henry first met Gene on July 19 during a proctology training session where Gene spotted Henry and recognized him as someone who lived in the same neighborhood.
“I often receive repeated visits at home from Alternatives-Cameroon beneficiaries who need treatment. This does not leave the neighbors indifferent, because they recognize that these visitors are homosexuals.”
Neighbors protested loudly about those visits, accusing Henry of bringing “faggots” into the city. He explained to them that these were patients in need of medical assistance, but no one believed him.
“Last August 1st, when I was coming home with a beneficiary, my neighbor called me a ‘fag’. I insulted him in return and soon he was assaulting me in my living room with a stick.”
Henry is still recovering from the bruises that he suffered that night. He is also awaiting any results from the complaint he filed with police against his neighbor, who not only assaulted him but also destroyed his computer and stole 20,000 CFA francs (about U.S. $30) that was on the table when the assault occurred.
The landlord demanded that Henry leave the house permanently to avoid “polluting the atmosphere” for other tenants.
Courtney Stans, the author of this article, is a Cameroonian journalist who writes under a pseudonym. Contact her at email@example.com.