Cameroon’s president’s daughter wants to help reform anti-gay law

The daughter of Cameroon’s president said she hopes coming out as a lesbian will lead to a change in the country’s laws banning same-sex relations.

Brenda Villa told Le Parisien newspaper that there are many people in the same situation as her and she wants to inspire them.

She is 27 years old and Last week, he was spotted kissing another woman, sparking mixed reactions in Cameroon.

“I’m crazy about you and I want the whole world to know,” she posted on Instagram alongside a photo of her embracing Brazilian model Rayon Valenza.

In the interview Le Parisien in FranceShe said she had not informed any family members before publishing the post.

“Coming out is an opportunity to send a strong message,” she said.

She added that the anti-gay laws that existed before her father came to power “were unfair and I hope my story will change that.”

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

Biya said he had been dating the Brazilian model for eight months and had taken her out to Cameroon three times without telling her family that they were in a relationship.

The musician, who lives abroad, said that since posting about his relationship he has received many messages of support as well as negative reactions.

She added that she was happy to be able to reveal her condition and wanted to give hope and “send love” to people who are suffering because of who they are. [and] Help them feel less alone.”

She told Le Parisien that her brother was the first to call her after she posted it, angry that she had posted it without telling the family.

Her parents, the president and first lady Chantal Biya, later called and asked her to remove the post. “There has been silence ever since,” she said.

She said she first fell in love with a girl when she was 16, but the situation in her country made it difficult for her to express that love.

Gay sex is illegal in Cameroon and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

There has been no official comment from the president or first lady.

A government source told French broadcaster RFI that the case “concerns the private life of an adult living abroad and has nothing to do with Cameroon or its head of state.”

Rights groups that have criticized Cameroon’s anti-gay laws have hailed Biya’s coming out as an act of courage.

But it also raises questions about whether coming out is a privilege only enjoyed by a select few in the country.

“Cameroon’s anti-LGBT laws disproportionately target the poor, while some people’s wealth and connections provide a shield, while others face harsh consequences,” said LGBT activist Bandy Kiki. He previously said in a Facebook post.

On Tuesday, a group supporting the current law filed a complaint against Biya with the prosecutor’s office.

Philip Nsue of the DDHP movement said they were seeking justice, saying although Biya is the president’s daughter “no one is above the law”.

“A Cameroonian citizen or foreigner, [LGBT] “Given the situation in our country, we have to seek judicial relief,” he said.

Additional reporting by Paul N’Djie in Yaounde

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