Danzen, 24, is a gay guy living in Rehoboth. According to him he has always known about his sexuality. It was in the 4th grade when Danzen started to develop „feelings that were seen as ‘abnormal‘ for another boy.“ It was back then that a teacher called him out on his “effeminate mannerisms”. Danzen waited for his mom at home and when she arrived he couldn’t hold back the tears. Telling her that he was in love with a boy, he was surprised by her reaction:
“‘n ma weet altyd en ek sal jou altyd lief hê.”
[A mom always knows and I will always love you]
Those were the exact words which he will never forget. His coming out to the rest of his family happened with a text message he wrote and sent to his whole family after too much alcohol in 2014. All, except one aunt, let him know that they would have known anyway. His aunt wasn’t impressed and rejected any support but telling her that she could either accept him as he is or they would be done, she eventually crossed her personal borders and nowadays they are cool.
His friends knew as well. He is adding that he doesn’t want to stereotype himself but challenging the gender stereotyped physical education at school, Danzen could never stay away from a netball court although he wasn’t allowed to play. Besides, when he did fall in love with a guy he always expressed it by being flamboyant and very vocal.
Experiencing discrimination as a homosexual man sadly belongs also to Danzen’s life. Nevertheless, he emphasizes that he “won’t allow a bigot the satisfaction to crumble under their scrutiny. I fight, I’ve always fought back, but getting older has taught me that it is not okay to waste your time on narrow-minded people that live in their own little box.”
Examples for the discrimination he experienced are threatening situations in public. Once he had been in a local club and a man slapped him across his face for greeting him. Danzen thinks the man might have felt he could be condemned by being associated with a gay guy.
Danzen calls Rehoboth a tolerant town anyway although homophobia is still a reality. He would wish queer NGOs like Out-Right Namibia would also decentralize and settle down in smaller towns.
Living openly as a gay man means to him to honour the legacy of the people who fought that he might be at least tolerated for who he is. Additionally, he describes himself as a stubborn and prideful man. Some years ago, he attended a pride march in Windhoek.
“I am gonna throw rainbows wherever I go.”
Talking about his belief and religion Danzen admits that there can be conflicts between being gay and being Christian but that neither one could be changed. In his church community everyone would be aware of his sexuality and that would be one reason why he is not really attending services anymore.
“Growing up I rebelled against the whole idea of going to church for that exact reason. I prevent it as much as possible. I have been in some ceremonies where the pastors were very tolerant. I am a Christian, I just choose not to interact with the ‘righteous’ too much.”
Working as a part-time teacher at a local school for the past two years Danzen wishes that people would “be more supportive and loving towards these little boys and girls who are just starting to realize who they are.” As a community Queers in Namibia would be growing and gaining more pride but not everyone would understand.
For his future, he would like to meet someone to grow old with and being able to adopt children together. Shouldn’t he be that lucky he could also imagine to adopt a child by his own as a queer parent.