In a video posted by international media platform, TedX on behalf of TedX Parklands, Makena disclosed that it had taken years for her to accept and admit the fact to herself.
“I remember for the first time in my life after very many years, I looked at the mirror and said to myself ‘I am gay, I am unique and this is my truth’,” she said.
The former BBC journalist also referenced the first day when rumours about her orientation hit the interwebs, after a girl had vandalized her Mercedes Benz alleging that she had cheated on her.
“I remember that cold morning of July 2019 when I woke up and looked at my phone. I had over 1,000 messages and over 500 missed calls. My blood went cold. I knew something was wrong,” she said.
Family and friends who already knew about her orientation deserted her because they would be judged for associating with her, she relayed.
For the three months that followed, she was constantly battling depression with few people to turn to.
Ms Makena narrated that in her career as an actor, she had wanted to take up roles that would normally be reserved for men but often faced criticism.
The former Tahidi High star added that as a gay woman living in Kenya, she has received a lot of hateful comments online because of the choice to be bold and outspoken about her identity.
“I believe that gender identity is one’s personal experience and perception of self,” she explained.
After leaving BBC, Makena is now focused on building her organization Bold Network Africa where she is the CEO and founder.
She believes that by educating the society in Africa through storytelling, she can help to eradicate hate towards members of the LGBTQI+ community in Africa.