Affirmation is the new Liberation Theology, Professor Adriaan Van Klinken Points Out

The human being fulfills self-determination at various levels but these three, are so crucial:

sensual or sensuality
living or pursuance of a quality life
interaction or an interactive lifestyle

Humans are endowed with senses, which we need to use variously to find or enjoy food, smell, sleep, locomotion, mobility, confidentiality, safe passage/keeping and to catalyze how we associate.

We have to be provided contexts within which we can pursue our ideas, plans and engage in fulfilling our dreams.  In other words, the following freedoms are so important for self-determination and self-preservation:

Freedom of conscience and religion
Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
Freedom of peaceful assembly
Freedom to associate

These freedoms, are non-negotiable and non-alienable. They must be enjoyed or claimed by all persons irrespective of their status.

However, it may surprise you my reader when "identity" has been used to either favour or deny certain people services.

Hence entrenching inequality and disparities.

I came across Adriaan Van Klinken’s   "Religion, LGBT Activism, And Arts of Resistance in Africa; Kenyan Christian Queer," and saw how there is a connection made between the role religion plays on Queer life and vice versa.  

Religion, can connect with LGBTIQ+, through, affirmation which in turn is necessary for resilience, celebrating identity, inclusion and dignity. These in turn cause tolerance toward LGBTIQ+.

Besides religion, political, economic, cultural and social factors are enablers for resilience which in turn ensure dignity of all persons.

There are issues that act as enablers or barriers toward acquiring quality life aspirations. However, nothing may beat the identity of persons. For LGBTIQ+ this fact is a daily lived experience.

I took time to read Professor Adriaan's book, and used to critique the subject of resilience. Simply put, resilience is the capacity to recover or to be tough. It is also defined as persistence. How do LGBTIQQ who are facing persecution in all forms thrive ad survive? 

This question has become my obsession as I design what I term "Niche-Advocacy," and hope to apply my findings in supporting or leveraging service delivery targeting LGBTIQQ. The book was timely, thanks to Nature Network of Kenya.

The book made me connect many aspects of life. 

It reminded me of another word I kept hearing  at the Church I go to.

"Affirming!"

My understanding of this was it meant expanding space for others to occupy. Or, bringing into a given organization more people who may not necessarily have the required conditions to make them members. It means, providing space at the table (as African-Americans say). Or sharing the cake (as Ugandans say).

It also means to encourage or offer emotional support. Indeed, affirmation compels humans to do. To act. It compels humans to use religious, political, economic, cultural and social factors as enablers for protection of human dignity hence, rights. This in turn is what builds resilience which in turn ensures dignity of all persons. Once these are in place, agency, autonomy and self determination are possible.

The book, from start to end, shows there is a bitter-sweet relationship between religion and LGBTIQ+. These two entities either support or subvert each other.

Religion presents contexts within which LGBTIQ+ can draw motivation to engage in self determination. Or, it can also cause persecution and hate toward LGBTIQ+.

Professor Adriaan (see pg 169) argues that, religion provides opportunities for believers to acknowledge inclusion, loyalty, forgiveness, justice and community transformation. It is a love that frees from obsession to bring down, fault find, denigrate and judge others as un-religious like. Just because,  they do not belong to one's political party, ethnicity, religious belief, or lower status. Affirmation, is the new Liberation Theology.

Without opportunities like affirmation, humans fail to be authentic. They fail to be honest with self when they are faced with barriers to quality living and engagement in life improving practices. This is so because, we all aspire toward certain ideals. Most importantly, humans aspire to be self preserving, self determined and self advocating. These are basic aspirations, before we move up the hierarchy and seek political, legal, social, cultural, physical, economic and spiritual support. We are faced with being enabled or subversion with which to go on or fail in meeting needs of our daily life.

If, LGBTIQ+ are denied opportunities such as citizenship, employment, mobility, education, housing, food and health, life can be hard. They cannot engage in their own self-determination.

Political, religious, economic, cultural and social barriers stand in the way toward acquiring quality life aspirations. Because, through them one's identity may be used to abuse human protection for the LGBTIQ+.

LGBTIQ+ persons are aware of this because this identity shows how political, religious, economic, cultural and social factors can be used to support or subvert aspirations. These factors have to be in place for dignity to thrive.  This is what makes humans whole. Anything less, is destructive.

So, affirming spaces promote self-esteem and confidence. They transform our understanding of the fuller picture of humans, diversity and uniqueness at the same time. 

Affirmation runs on a special fuel called action, on a road called identity, in a car called inclusion and the destination is dignity.

Affirming spaces support growth and development

A community leader supports others to access vital information through sharing books

Queer and Liberated

Give them knowledge and let them lead a productive life


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