Keguro Macharia accepted an invitation to participate in a conversation that will live behind a paywall and, thus, will be inaccessible to many in Africa. I am an Africa-based scholar trained in the United States, struggling to unlearn the fluencies that so readily grant me access to conversations in mainstream queer studies. I am an Africa-based scholar who has chosen to publish most of my thinking on queerness and especially queer Africa on a publicly available blog as an ethical and political act that refuses academic gatekeeping as the price one must pay to be legitimized as a scholar. My blog is called "Gukira," a Kikuyu word that, depending on how one reads it, translates as to keep silent, to cross (as in cross a road), more than, and, if one really stretches it, to awaken. Gukira is a wandering word, a wayward invitation to linger in and on spaces of fugitivity.1 I am an Africa-based queer scholar trying to find the right way to enter a conversation whose premises seem much less clear after more than a year spent away from the US academy. From here, my protestation, "I am not an Africanist," meets with puzzled looks.
GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2016