LGBT Studies • Sexuality Studies • African Studies • Human Rights • Religion • Diversity
2014. Directors Shaun Kadlec & Deb Tullmann.
55 Minutes. In French with English Subtitles.


BORN THIS WAY is an intimate portrait of the underground gay and lesbian community in Cameroon— where more people are sent to prison for homosexuality than any other country in the world. This award-winning documentary follows several LGBT youth both inside and outside the walls of The Access Center, a safe haven for LGBT Cameroonians, located in an unmarked building on Doualaʼs busiest street. As the locus of gay rights advocacy in Cameroon, the Center functions as a site of hope, culture, and celebration for those living with the constant fear of losing their job, home, and family. Without stereotyping the African gay experience, BORN THIS WAY tells the unique stories of LGBT Cameroonians with candor and dignity. The film elucidates an African country at the crossroads of tradition and modernity, while also highlighting the struggle for universal human rights, the desire for companionship, and the necessity of community.



Risking everything gays and lesbians in Cameroon
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Reviews & Quotes

Reviewed by David Gibbs, Library of Congress

"Recommended for any collection concerned with LGBT issues, African studies, or human rights."

Educational Media Reviews Online

Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray (Christopher Newport University)

"While there are quite a few documentaries on human rights in African nations, this particular examination of homosexuality in Cameroon is an essential part of understanding how many African nations view being gay. It is one of the few to recently come out depicting being gay in Africa. In this film, the character portraits show real people dealing with serious issues in their country. At the end, the viewer sees that they must make a choice or perish."

Video Librarian

Aud: C, P. (P. Hall)

"Homophobia is not unique to Cameroon, of course--the African continent at large is notorious for its visceral hostility to the LGBT world—but this country holds the ugly distinction of sending more people to prison for being gay or lesbian. Offering a disturbing and harrowing look at institutionalized intolerance, this is highly recommended."

Huffington Post

Reviewed by Jill Robinson

"Born This Way lifts documentary into art. There are few documentaries which draw you in so deeply.”

Carleton College

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Sociology and Anthropology

"It does a great job portraying the role of community based organizations and of the heroic lawyer, Alice Nkom."

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