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Born This Way

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There are more arrests for homosexuality in Cameroon than in any other country in the world. With intimate access to the lives of four young gay Cameroonians, Born This Way steps outside the genre of activist filmmaking and offers a vivid and poetic portrait of day-to-day life in modern Africa. This is a story of what is possible in the global fight for equality.

Cameroon prosecutes people for consensual same-sex conduct more aggressively than almost any country in the world. Most cases are marked by grave human rights violations, including torture, forced confessions, denial of access to legal counsel, and discriminatory treatment by law enforcement and judicial officials. The March 2013 Human Rights Watch report Guilt by Association found that most people charged with homosexuality in Cameroon are convicted based on little or no evidence. Dozens of Cameroonians do jail time solely because they are suspected of being gay or lesbian. LGBT Cameroonians are also at risk of violence: in July 2013, gay activist Eric Ohena Lembembe, a frequent collaborator with Human Rights Watch, was brutally murdered.