Does Drinking Baileys Make You Gay?

September 23, 2014

Despite the amount of Pride festivals around the world, like Stockholm Pride, and the acknowledgement in many countries of same-sex marriage, there are some places where homosexuality is not only seen as wrong, but is still classed as a crime. One man in Cameroon has found himself convicted of homosexuality… all because of his drink choice.

Mind your drink

Cameroon, a country in Africa, has a law meaning that homosexuality is illegal. “Sexual relations with a person of the same sex” could land you in jail, but the police in the area take a very broad interpretation of the law.

A man was convicted of homosexuality because he was drinking Baileys Irish Cream. That is all. There was nothing else he had done to suggest he was gay, but the police in Cameroon consider that particular drink to be feminine, and so condemned him.

Stereotypes are a huge part of the problem, and there was nothing the man could say or do to prevent his conviction.


If you work as a male hairdresser, or if you have HIV, you would also be in trouble. Because the prosecutors rely on the stereotypes about gay men, anything that could be seen as “gay” might lead to a conviction. It means that HIV related deaths are on the rise, as people are afraid to go to hospital and get treatment in case they are convicted.


It’s news like this that makes me thankful I live in Stockholm. Here I can go on dinner dates with as many of the Stockholm male escorts as I choose, without having to worry that someone may interpret it in the wrong way. If I tried doing the same in Cameroon, I’m certain I’d be in a lot of trouble!

Martin Ward
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