Jabari is a Kenyan gender non-conforming queer Black African feminist who combines art, culture, and social justice to create equanimity, a justice for queer people. Living in a homophobic society, Jabari has carved out their own space and asserted their right to exist as they are while giving others the confidence to do the same.

The first night I met Jabari, I knew they were cool. The septum piercing hanging unapologetically from both of our nostrils was our telepathic connection: we knew that we were safe around each other. Later that night I learned that we both use them/them pronouns. Jabari hadn’t planned to go out but they were persuaded. As our group of friends walked to Dagoz, a small live music venue around the corner, I told the group that I was looking for a place to stay, closer to the studio I was working in. Immediately Jabari offered to host me.

Once I moved in, me and Jabari did photoshoots, shot a short film, watched anime together, cuddled, went to Queer events around Nairobi, read each other’s books, and burnt cookies together. Coming to Nairobi, I had no idea how much I would have to hide myself to pass as not Queer, but Jabari gave me the confidence to dress the way I want to and be my full self in public spaces. They are constantly expanding social norms, fighting homophobia/transphobia and forcing Kenyan society to move forward. They are revolutionary. 

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