Ever wondered what Tinder is like in an impoverished African nation, or generally thought about what Tinder would be like in Africa in general? If the answer is no then I do not blame you at all, if the answer is yes then congratulations you are as weird and peculiar as I am! Regardless of your answer it’s time to virtually bless the rains down in Africa and hit up the county of Tanzania.
With an estimated population of 59.73 million, Tanzania is famous for its incredible wildlife, being an absolute gem of a safari spot and home to the world famous Mount Kilimanjaro.A country known for its beautiful landscapes, it seems fitting that an absolutely beautiful specimen of a human would be able to fair well on tinder. Unfortunately there wasn’t any beautiful specimen available to do the job so I guess I’ll have to step up to the plate, what a shame.
Africa as a continent doesn’t get that much love, in fact so little love is given that many spuds around the world think it’s a country. The vast majority of countries in Africa, as we all know, have a high poverty rate, are underfunded and have inadequate facilities (particularly hospitals) lots of corruption and a tonne of starving humans. Despite these awful things, the way of life in African nations is wonderful and fascinating. From the many tribes and different regionalcultures to the cuisine and the arts, Africa is a spectacular place unless you’re gay or part of the LGBTQ community, in which case life is a closeted hell filled with an excruciating amount of fear.
When deciding what country I was going to look into next, I researched into LGBTQ rights in Africa and there are some countries that are more progressive such as South Africa (the only country that allows gay marriage), Burkino Faso and Cape Verde. By progressive though, I mean that it’s simply not illegal to be LGBTQ. In Africa the vast, vast majority ofcountries will give you prison time for being gay, and quite a few have the death penalty in place as well. There’s this attitude of LGBTQ being ‘un African’ which is plagued throughout the continent, especially upon males where the masculinity complex is heavily imposed, thus the feeling that it’s way worse for men to be gay than women. In some countries being a gay woman isn’t illegal but it doesn’t mean it’s fully accepted amongst the people; rapes upon gay women are common and beatings are equally shared by both sex’s. It’s fucking sickening to say the absolute least.
Tanzania is no different to the crowd in Africa where being LGBTQ can end up with a person receiving a life sentence. Yes, you can spend your entire life locked up in prison for simply loving a bit of dick whilst possessing one yourself, and loving a bit of the lady flower whilst also having a lady flower. It’s a fucking shambles. To add the cherry on top, by cherry I mean a mouldy poison filled cherry, vigilante style beatings, tortures and even executions are common and tolerated in the country. Any decent human would never wish for this to happen to anyone just for the sex of the person they love; even people who are a little bit homophobic wouldn’t wish this upon anyone. It is so completely fucked, I can’t even make a joke about how fucked it is.
With my 24 hours on Tinder in Tanzania I decided to change it up from the usual ie. trying to attain as many likes from people who have a fetish for Scottish men who have man boobs bigger than a professional footballers ego, and instead went gunning for likes from Tanzanian men, to find out what it’s like to be gay in Tanzania.
The 24 hours of Tinder swiping conducted in the usual manner of two rounds of available likes, I managed to match with a couple of guys despite the obvious lack of males on the app, for the reasons above. With girls though, holy sweet cabbages I got a tonne of matches, 14 to be exact out of a total of 26 swipes. For the first time in this series I matched with more girls than guys, well seen, when I was trying to match with the males! Regardless, with the male matches I reached out to a couple of them to ask what it was like to be gay in Tanzania and my biggest take back from it was there’s a lot of denial.
Out of the two guys that replied to me both claimed to not be gay at all, with one just claiming that he enjoys chugging his big African sausage to gay porn which is pretty homosexual if you ask me, but can you blame them? Being in a country where your life is at risk if you love your own sex you can understand the ‘I’m not gay’ sort of denial stance even with someone who isn’t Tanzanian or African. Despite my gaydar going into over drive I’m not going to question what they say their sexuality is, even if gay porn gets one of them shooting for the stars, and be like no no honey you are as gay as Big Gay Al in South Park.
Whilst talking to them, especially the non wanker, they really hammered home how difficult it is for gay people and how the vigilante assaults and prisons sentences are common throughout the country, but can depend on where you are. Some places are more safe than others apparently but I was told that if you keep a low profile that you will be fine. I guess this gives hope for some that you can live a little as a LGBTQ person, but it’s still not good enough for a lot of people. Having to hide your love for someone and keep it underground for the fear of assault, torture, life imprisonment and even death is incomprehensible for me to fathom, and I’m still not the most open with my own bisexuality.
Despite the treatment of LGBTQ people in Tanzania, it’s still a country that would be incredible to visit, you would just have to be careful and crawl back into the closet. Like the non wanker said, if you keep a low profile you will be fine. My heart goes out to all the LGBTQ people in Tanzania and I hope, more than I hope pineapple on pizza gets banned from restaurants and pizza chains, that one day more tolerance comes into the country.
Stay tuned for our next destination on this 24 Hours on Tinder series!
Swankie – 23, Scotland. Loveable Loser.