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Nelson (lying down) and his boyfriend, who has since been resettled to the US, pose for a portrait at the gated house.Nelson studied theology and sexuality in Uganda and has made it his mission to keep morale in the house high.The 25-year-old has made it his mission to keep morale up among the rest.Apart from organising netball competitions at the house, he leads a twice-weekly dance group where he choreographs traditional dances from Uganda – Maganda, Emaali, Kisoga styles.Kenya has become a safe haven for those fleeing war and famine in neighbouring states.But in secret hideaways and temporary homes, LGBT refugees are being forced – once again – to hide their true selves instead of walking out into the world with pride.It’s due to his creativity and determination, bringing the refugees together to do something, that he’s become a natural leader of the group.“People have talents, but they don’t know how to expose them,” he says.
They are perpetual outsiders – out of place in their own countries, and out of place while they wait in limbo to see what will become of them.
As such, he writes plays as well as organising games and dances. It’s just a few square metres, separated from the rest of the yard by a collection of stones.
The garden is perfectly groomed – not a single weed in sight.
A de facto “coach” retrieves the netball and throws it to the next in line.
“They even went to Mombasa for a tournament – with Kenyans,” says Nelson, taking out his phone to show me photos of the team on the beach near Kenya’s port city.