7 Queer African Women Talk About Loving Other Women

January 18, 2021

What is it like loving women as a woman? Seven African women tell us about the experience.

Hadiza, 20, Nigerian

I expected it to be easier. I expected dating women to make me feel more safe and less insecure. The safety part is true, but the easy part is not. Women are challenging. Dating them is not super smooth, or super easy. They can be just as unpredictable or maybe even more unpredictable than men. Sometimes it’s very stressful pursuing women, and they are mean, but I still feel safe.

Nana, 23, Ghanaian

Cis women are always talking about how dating women will be easier, and I have to laugh. It’s funny because someone must have really lied to them. You will not understand women better just because you are a woman, because women are multi-dimensional creatures that are not incapable of evil. They will hurt you and you will cry and still buy them gifts. They will also love you because that is what women do. I cannot not love them, because not loving women feels unnatural.

Cynthia, 21, Nigerian

When it came to dating women, they made me realise I could feel emotions. I was always so closed off, but I loved the vulnerability. I think I learnt vulnerability in the way that made me understand that it doesn’t make you weak for being able to bare your soul to someone, and women never hesitate to show you how much they car for you. You can always feel the love. Also, the orgasms are great.

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Jane, 25, Ugandan

For some reason I expected women to be softer, and it made no sense because I am not soft. I expected great sex too, but let us not talk about the sex. In reality, women are as complex as men are, maybe more so. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are in touch with their emotions, and others are at sub zero when it comes to feelings. Others want to put down roots immediately, and some are impossible to pin down even for coffee. It’s all different, exciting and I love figuring it out. Women are also bad at flirting, but because we’re African living our reality means that this person is bold and has put at least one tiny foot out of out society’s lines.

Esther, 22, Nigerian

Women require more emotional and mental attraction than men. With men you could always be aloof and there would be no issue, thy will accept it, but with women I had to actually communicate and put in a lot of emotional labour. Women also make me feel great about myself. They listen more and care more. I feel more in love and more loved when I am with women. I feel like Nigeria ruined a lot of my relationships with women. I always feel trapped because of homophobia, and unable to express myself and for that reason I hurt a lot of people. I did not want to fall in love with someone and have to leave them because I would have to marry a man or leave the country to survive.

Cordelia, 20, Ugandan

When I first realised I liked women, I was in a homophobic single sex school that I was later on expelled from. With that, all I knew was that liking women would cause me trouble and hate. Eventually, I had to unlearn a lot of homophobia my religion taught me. For me, I would say loving women is worth all of the homophobia I have had to endure because there is a kind of peace and safety I get to feel.

A, 22, Zimbabwean

I knew I liked women in 2018, but I didn’t really take to seriously till 2019 when I met someone. I had no expectations, but lots of uncertainty though. You don’t know what to expect or how to behave. I like how with women I can be myself. You don’t have to curate who you are, and I love that I can just be used. Growing up you’re constantly told “men want a woman like this, men want a woman like that”, so you just start conditioning yourself to become this woman that a man wants. With a woman I do not have to do that. She loves me for me, I love her for her. It just feels right. Zimbabweans are very homophobic. You get bullied and attacked online, sometimes people will I as far as sending death threats. So when you go out, you have to pretend.

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