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  • Writer's pictureFrank Malaba

In Thinking About Worth vs Church and Legislation

Image by Frank Malaba

If it hadn’t been for its weight in pricelessness, My gay soul would be in a garbage heap,

Scattered among the scraps and rottenness, Left to rot and decay, buried deep.

Governments cast it back and forth, Like a worn pair of die used to bargain for a win of food and other resources at the expense of my gay soul and those of my LGBTQIA+ siblings.

But my soul is precious, worth more than gold, A priceless gem that shines with every thought, A gift to cherish, to hold and behold, A wonder to be seen, a soul that can’t be bought.

I think of my siblings in Camp Kakuma, Seeking shelter among people who treat them with disdain because there’s no law that protects their gay existence. Where are the upstanding men in government who vow to serve and protect when humans are tortured by others for merely existing as LGBTQIA+?

For too long, I lived in fear and shame, Hiding in the shadows, afraid to be seen, But now I walk in the light of my name, Embracing my truth, living life to the extreme.

Miss me with the bullshit of quoting scripture when it suits you, The audacity to say God loves us all while you call for our deaths and destruction from Your parliaments and churches.

I am gay, proud and free, No longer chained by society’s norms, I stand tall, knowing that nothing can defeat me, For I have found my joy, my love, my form.

See me. Look me in the eye and tell me how it is that from a hairstyle, my gait, my clothes and manner of speech You can tell who I love or fuck and where you get the authority to decide my fate in this life?

So if it hadn’t been for the pricelessness of my soul, I may have ended up in a garbage heap, But now I rise above, shining bright and whole, A testament to the power of being true to me.


Frank Malaba is a Zimbabwean writer, poet, and LGBTQIA+ activist. He is known for his works on queer identity, African masculinity, and mental health. Malaba's writing often addresses the experiences of being a gay man in Africa and the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the region. He has been published in several literary journals and anthologies, and has performed his poetry at various events and festivals. Additionally, Malaba is an advocate for mental health awareness and often speaks about his own struggles with depression and anxiety. He currently has two touring productions: Stories of My Bones and The Chaos of Belonging. In 2014 Frank was recognized by Mail & Guardian’s 200 Young South Africans as an Achiever in the category of Arts & Culture. View all posts by Frank Malaba: Social media: Malaba Prosetry

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