When a Kenyan lesbian is murdered, who avenges their death? Feminists? LGBT activists? Anti-violence campaigners? All of these, argues the Kisumu Feminists Society of Kisumu, Kenya, should be the same. This is why when Sheila Lumumba, a nonbinary lesbian, was murdered in Karatina just this April, the Kisumu Feminists Society started two campaigns: #justiceforsheila and #protectqueerkenyans.
The founder of the Kisumu Feminists Society, asking to be identified only as Afrika, explained that the Kisumu Feminists society was born in 2019 after a rash of femicides. Because sexual violence and gender-based violence in Kenya often extends to members of the LGBT community, Afrika, who herself is a lesbian, was compelled to create the Kisumu Feminists Society as an “intersectional feminist organization that openly worked with LBTQ+ women, an organization that didn’t shy away from saying, ‘we work with lesbians.’” The Kisumu Feminists Society’s mission is to “prove to the region and maybe to the country that feminism and queer activism can intersect.”