Perfect proof that I not only survived my adventure in Cameroon, but prospered from it. Here I am at the university where I presented Queer 101 to a crowd of about 200 students, professors and visitors.
Turns out I am the first openly gay man to stand up in Cameroon and share my story. And the response? Amazing. First off most had never seen a one-person play before, so they expressed great enthusiasm as I switched from character to character. I got loads of laughs (it’s a comedy so that’s a good thing) and great applause.
During the short Q&A session, one man labored to ask me if I was gay myself. He seemed uncomfortable asking an even gave me permission to pass if I did not wish to answer.
The room grew still and it seemed people leaned forward in their seats as I told them that yes, I am gay and how I wish it were a gay Cameroonian on this stage tonight instead of me, but sadly he or she would probably not feel safe. Then very gently I spoke about queer issues.
Then for the next days the discussions began, all very polite and often without actgually saying the words gay or homosexual, but we talked. Then the gay Cameroonians revealed themselves to me, and there were many.
I feel amazed, stunned that I had this opportunity. I need more time to process it though.
I then premiered my play in London and Birmingham and in a few moments I will board a flight to Madrid. (Big Smile!)