In presenting the material which follows on male and female homosexuality among the Swahili Muslims of Mombasa, I have two aims.1 Firstly, the interplay between heterosexual gender roles and homosexuality, in a society with marked sexual segregation in most contexts, illuminates the local meaning of sexuality and gender. Most of the paper is concerned with this. However, the conclusions reached are instructive, I hope, for a sharper theoretical understanding of male and female homosexuality in other societies.