A day after his birthday on 18th January 2014, Binyavanga Wainaina came out of the closet in a poignant letter written to his mum who had passed away over a decade ago from diabetes.
The letter was titled “I am a homosexual, mum.” And it marked the beginning of a new phase of freedom from the closet for the writer who was well respected in the literary circles. The declaration came with its own share of accolades as Time Magazine declared him one of the "Most Influential People in the World." in its annual list of Time 100.
2 years after he came out of the closet, Binyavanga sent out this message that insinuated that he was HIV positive as the world celebrated World AIDS Day on 1st December.
A few people had their reservations in regards to the tweet and thought that the author’s account had been hacked but The Star confirmed his status. Speaking to Binyavanga’s friend, the newspaper found out that he had not been hacked but sent out the tweet himself.
"It is true that is his twitter handle. Even of his Facebook page he said the same statement. He decided to make public his status so as to create awareness among many victims feeling stigmatized. the friend disclosed.
This declaration has been met with mixed feelings from the public, most of them positive with many applauding him for his decision. Here are some of the reactions:
LINDA ADONGO @lindaadongo: @BinyavangaW proud of you hope the rest of the public can also come out spreading positive vibes like you do.
Paul Machira Kiruma @PKiruma: @BinyavangaW those encouraging you here r hypocrates, they, like me r wondering, WTF, will your dropping of bombs ever end?
Nelly Bosire @Starlight_Bo:@BinyavangaW Way to go! Life is for living, positive or negative.
Mama Yao @LittlerachiK : @BinyavangaW way to go. Please scream it from the house tops. HIV is not a death sentence. Unless of course you let it
KamauGatwechi @KamauGatwechi: @BinyavangaW you'll counter the virus with your positive attitude
Kenneth @kenotyc: @BinyavangaW I celebrate you. Brave!!
Wils Njuguna @Wilsnjuguna: @BinyavangaW A brave move. I celebrate you. That’s the way to go