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President’s daughter hopes coming out will change anti-gay laws.

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The daughter of Cameroon’s president has expressed hope that her coming out as a lesbian will help change the country’s laws banning same-sex relations.

Brenda Biya, 27, told Le Parisien newspaper that she wants to inspire others in similar situations. Last week, she shared an image of herself kissing another woman, sparking mixed reactions in Cameroon.

“I’m crazy about you & I want the world to know,” she wrote on Instagram, posting a picture with Brazilian model Layyons Valença. In the Le Parisien interview, she revealed that she hadn’t informed her family before sharing the post.

“Coming out is an opportunity to send a strong message,” she said, calling the anti-gay law, which predated her father’s presidency, “unfair” and expressing hope that her story would help change it.

Paul Biya, 91, has been Cameroon’s president since 1982, making him one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

Brenda Biya said she has been with the Brazilian model for eight months and had taken her to Cameroon three times without informing her family about their relationship. Living abroad, Brenda has received both support and criticism since her public revelation.

Despite her brother’s anger and her parents’ request to delete the post, Brenda remains committed to giving hope and “sending love” to those suffering “because of who they are.”

She recounted having her first crush on a girl at 16 but found it difficult to express her feelings due to Cameroon’s laws. Same-sex relations are illegal in Cameroon, punishable by up to five years in prison.

There has been no official comment from President Paul Biya or First Lady Chantal Biya. A government source told French broadcaster RFI that the matter is a private issue concerning an adult living outside Cameroon and does not concern the state or the head of state.

Rights groups have praised Brenda’s courage, though some question whether coming out is a privilege available only to a few. LGBT activist Bandy Kiki noted that anti-LGBT laws in Cameroon disproportionately target the poor, with wealth and connections providing a shield for some while others face severe consequences.


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