African Sexual Minorities & Gender Variant Resources
Homosexuality - Gay - Lesbian - Bisexual - Transgender - Transsexual - Same-Sex Sex
To: Map of Africa
NIGERIA - Nigeria's gay church is reborn amid a climate of fear (2011): House of Rainbow church offers underground prayer and preaching to Christians ostracised by rampant homophobia. - A Lesbian in Nigeria: Disowned By My Family. - Gay Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi shares his compelling story (2010): Bisi Alimi was born in Nigeria in 1975, grew up and went on to attend the University of Lagos (Nigeria) pursuing a degree in theater. While as a student in 2003, he was outed by the university's student newspaper during student government elections. - Gay Nigerian Footballer Deported from Austria Now in Hiding (2010): LGBT Asylum reports on the case of a Nigerian footballer who was deported to his home country by Austrian authorities and now lives in hiding in fear for his life. - Homosexuals Storm National Assembly (2009). - Nigeria's attack on human rights has no virtue: Gay people in Nigeria are having their human rights violated, and this will ultimately damage morality and national wellbeing (2009). - Men And Homosexuality (2010): Our society has gotten so infiltrated that we have suddenly accepted the things we used to see as madness in the western world... Whatever your defence is for getting involved in such a barbaric relationship, homosexuality, be it lesbianism or gay (as we call it for men), is foreign to the African culture. We shouldn’t let civilisation destroy us and our good moral heritage.
The constitutionality of criminalising homosexuality in Nigeria
(2010): The Director of Strategic Alliance for Minority Equality
Nigeria, Gbenga Asawaj, presents the argument that contrary to popular
opinion based on notions of morality, the Nigerian constitution did not
make any provision for “banning homosexuality”. - Gay and God Fearing in Nigeria (2009, Video). - Sexuality vs. Spirituality: Can Nigerian Gay Church Stand? (2008, Video). - Homosexual priest to 'marry' Nigerian male model
(2010): A homosexual Church of England priest has announced plans to
"marry" his Nigerian male model boyfriend, who is 40 years his junior.
- Anglican Primate Vows to Fight Homosexuality (2010). - Homosexuality is totally unacceptable -Clerics (2008).
Nigeria gay activists speak out
(2009): Nigerian gay rights activists have told the country's lawmakers
that a new bill to outlaw same sex marriage would lead to widespread
human rights abuses. - Gay Nigerian tells of death threats
(2008): Davis Mac-Iyalla is an Anglican from Nigeria - nothing unusual
about that - but he is also gay and the death threats he has received
since being open about his sexuality led him to seek asylum in the UK. - Deportation
of Nigerian woman temporarily deferred: But bisexual still facing
return to country where she says she was persecuted (2008).
Homosexuality And The Nigerian Society
(2009): Until sometimes in late 2003 right after my youth service in
Port Harcourt, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and
Transgender/Transsexual) or the so called alternative lifestyle is
something I only hear about in passing comments, whispers from the dark
closets of society. Until this new guy joined our company, I
forgot dude’s name but I remember he’s an Ekpeye guy from Rivers State.
I just couldn’t figure why this guy in my office walked, talked or
stare the way he does, until someone unintentionally ‘outed’ him to the
entire office one afternoon after lunch (I guess it was the okasi
soup!). I still remember how from that afternoon everything changed for
my Ekpeye guy; we all just thought he was weird before, now we all
mostly avoided him totally. In hindsight, I thought we could have been
more tolerant and accommodating, but in my defence I haven’t met a gay
person until then! The whole LGBT worldview was strange to me, not to
talk of very awkward. The mere thought of a man ramming it into another
man’s behind, I found (and still find) not only disgusting, but also
very outrageous! I ultimately spent 2 and half years in Port Harcourt
before relocating to Lagos, and as it turned out, it was during those
years that I came into the reality of homosexuality in Nigeria...The
test for the Nigerian society, as it is for every society is in how
well it engages those outside its mainstream. It is also in the
interest of those outside society’s mainstream to understand that,
right or wrong, societal cultural evolution takes time and not force
change. The homophobic mainstream can disapprove of homosexuality
without resorting to hate and verbal or physical attacks. The latest
bill as everyone knows, will not spell the end of homosexuality in
Nigeria, but it is our society’s way of saying, “we just are not
comfortable with this yet” .
Confronting misconceptions about homosexuality in northern Nigeria
(2009): However, the “homosexuality” in northern Nigeria does not
square with contemporary Western conceptions of the term. Northern
Nigerian “homosexuality,” that is, the kind that is uncritically
celebrated as evidence of the presence of a “homosexual culture” among
the Hausa, is not the consequence of some inescapable, biochemically
predetermined homo-erotic predisposition, as Western homosexuals
describe their sexuality; it is mostly spiritual, even occultic, and is
undertaken, majoritarily, by people at the upper end of the social
scale because it is believed to bestow power, prosperity, symbolic
capital, and influence on people who partake in it. The lowly yan
daudus with whom the rich, big guys consummate homosexual liaisons,
often for a price, were and are not primarily male prostitutes; they
are, historically, merely male cross dressers and intercessors between
female prostitutes (karuwai) and their prospective clients. Studies
have documented that the yan daudu are first and foremost an
occupational category of transvestites who entertain(ed) people with
their weird and wildly funny ways (“wasa” or “iskanci”). In a
culturally conservative northern Nigeria, the yan daudu/bori subculture
provides a “safe space” for (nonthreatening) cultural transgression...
Again, because northern Nigerian “homosexuality” is NOT the product of
a homoerotic libidinal indulgence in the sense in which it is in the
West, most male “homosexuals” in northern Nigeria are not only often
married to more than one wife (Islam allows men to marry up to four
wives); most of them, in fact, have concubines. So men who engage in
same-sex liaisons in northern Nigeria can at best be described as
“bisexuals” or, more properly, ritualistic bisexuals... So
homosexuality is not a self-contained sexual identity in northern
Nigeria the way it is in the West, although homosexual lobby groups in
the West are aggressively encouraging some desperate Africans to lie
that they are exclusively homosexual.
Denying Rights in Nigeria (2007):
Homosexual acts between consenting adults are already illegal in
Nigeria under a penal code that dates to the colonial period. This new
legislation would impose five-year sentences on same-sex couples who
have wedding ceremonies — as well as on those who perform such services
and on all who attend. The bill’s vague and dangerous prohibition on
any public or private show of a “same sex amorous relationship” — which
could be construed to cover having dinner with someone of the same sex
— would open any known or suspected gay man or lesbian to the threat of
arrest at almost any time. The bill also criminalizes all political
organizing on behalf of gay rights... - Gay Nigeria Christian Leader Narrowly Escapes Death in Brutal Attack
(2008): A shocking story of mob violence has emerged which almost
culminated in the death of one of the leaders of the Changing Attitude
Nigeria (CAN) group in Port Harcourt..- Nigerian blogger tackles taboos (2005).
Nigeria's anti-gay bill causes protests
(2007): Human rights and gay activists until now have kept a low
profile regarding the attempt by Nigerian lawmakers to promote Africa's
most draconic bill limiting the rights of sexual minorities. They did
not want to give the promoters publicity. But now, as lawmakers are
getting serious on the bill, a wave of protests is reaching Nigeria. - Nigeria's anti-gay witch-hunt: This African country claims to be a democracy but its persecution of gay people is pure tyranny (2007). - Nigeria Bans Same Sex Relationships (2006). - Nigerian laws that have banned same-sex marriages and dictate five-year jail sentences for anyone who has a gay wedding (2006). - Homosexuality blamed for rising HIV rates (2006). - Many Nigerian Pastors Are Gay - Bishop Ighele (2010, Alternate Link). - The Constitutionality of Anti-Gay Laws in Nigeria (2010).
Nigeria- Integrated MSM HIV Prevention Program (IMHIPP) (2009): Heartland
Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights launched the Integrated MSM
(men who have sex with men) HIV Prevention Program (IMHIPP) in Nigeria
in November 2009, a five-year, USAID-funded initiative to reduce the
impact of HIV/AIDS among MSM and their sexual partners... To date, many
MSM HIV efforts in Africa have worked through, rather than with
grassroots MSM organizations, using these organizations to access MSM
networks, but rarely investing in the capacity of those organizations
to design, manage and evaluate HIV programs. IMHIPP will mobilize MSM
in Nigeria at the grassroots, investing in local capacity (individual
and organizational) to develop a meaningful and sustainable response to
HIV among MSM. IMHIPP is both a service delivery and multiple-level
capacity development program, simultaneously responding to unmet needs
for prevention, care and support programming for MSM in Nigeria and
developing grassroots and policy-level change to create an enabling
environment for sustainable MSM HIV programming. - Promoting HIV/Aids Intervention Programs for The MSM Community in Nigeria (2008). - MSM and the Internet in Nigeria (2010). - HIV prevalence and risk behaviours among men having sex with men in Nigeria (2011).
(Produced by Eric Beauchemin): As in many countries homosexuality
remains an enormous taboo in Nigeria. Many gay men face intense social
and family pressure. Homosexuality is regarded as a Western import but
activists point out that it has always been an integral part of the
culture. There are no laws regarding same sex relations between women,
but lesbians have also suffered persecution. Producer Eric Beauchemin
reports on the perils of being gay in Africa's most populous nation. -
Listen to Nigerian Closet. - Challenges for the sexual health and social acceptance of men who have sex with men in Nigeria (2007):
Little research exists regarding men who have sex with men and sexual
risk in Nigeria... Five focus groups were conducted with a total of 58
men... Same-sex community networks were hidden, with social activities
taking place in non-commercial, private venues. Socially ostracized by
culture, religion, and political will, the risks embodied within
same-sex activity are high...
18 gay Nigerians remanded (2007):
A Sharia judge in Nigeria’s north-eastern state of Bauchi, Malam
Tanimu, ordered the remand in prison of 18 suspected gay Nigerians. The
men will be stoned to death if they are found guilty by the Shariah
courts. The men reportedly hailed from a neighbouring state. Dressed
like women, they stormed Bauchi to celebrate a gay wedding. The State
Prosecutor, Tadius Boboi, said the men acted against Sharia, a system
governing Bauchi and other Muslim-dominated northern Nigerian states.
Since the introduction of Sharia in Nigeria seven years back, a dozen
of Muslims have been sentenced to death by stoning for committing
adultery or sodomy. However, no single person was stoned to death... - Gay Anglican accuses Africans of slave language (2007):
The homosexual Bishop Robinson of the Episcopal Church of the US says
his African critics use language used in his country to justify
slavery. Nigerian archishop Akinola reportedly refers to homosexuals as
worse than animals.
Death sentence for homosexual act in Nigeria (2005): A Shari'a court in northern Nigeria has handed down a death by stoning sentence for a man admitting to have engaged in homosexual acts. The middle-aged man has been on death row for several months, awaiting his execution. A human rights spokesman of the UN today urged Nigerian courts to give the man a milder sentence... - Homosexual - 18 Accused Persons Escape Death (2007). - New law and old prejudices threaten Nigeria's gay community (2006): In the Muslim north of Nigeria, Bisi Alimi could be stoned to death for having gay sex. In the south, he could face three years in prison. Now, a proposed law would make it illegal just to share a meal at a cafe with gay friends... - Anglican Church in Nigeria Welcomes Ban on Homosexuality. - Nigeria's anti-gay witch-hunt: This African country claims to be a democracy but its persecution of gay people is pure tyranny. - Nigeria gay law 'risks democracy'. - Members Of Congress Protest Nigeria Gay Death Sentences (2005): Twenty-two Democratic members of Congress have protested death sentences handed out to men convicted of "sodomy" in Nigeria.
Historic first meeting for gay Nigerian Christians (2005): The first general meeting of a new network of lesbian and gay Christians took place in Nigeria this past weekend - defying harassment from the authorities and condemnation from church leaders like the outspoken Nigerian Anglican primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola. Around a thousand delegates were due to attend the gathering at the National Art Council in Abuja including 100 lesbian and 900 gay members of Anglican churches from every part of Nigeria. The meeting from 25-27 November 2005 constituted the largest gathering of lesbian and gay people ever held in Nigeria and the first gathering of gay Anglicans. - Homosexuality Does Exist in Nigeria (2003): My name is Rowland Jide Macaulay. I was born to Nigerian parents. I have a good understanding of our culture and traditional values -- the expectation of an African child and the African family. Tolerance remained at an angle to cultural expectations, and homosexuality is not one that is accepted in Africa, especially in Nigeria. I spent my teenage years in Nigeria, where I first experienced my sexuality, although in great fear: the fear of being caught, the fear of sin, of commitment of an abomination. I grew up with a lot of guilt in my heart, I often prayed for forgiveness, sanctification and purification..
Anti-lesbian rapes in Nigeria (1997, Alternate Link). - Gay Nigerian Sentenced to Death by Stoning (2001). - The Nigerian Closet. (2002, Alternate Link, Alternate Link) - Natural gestures: How women get together in Nigeria. A personal view by Buchi (1989): Young girls growing up in Nigeria easily engage in forms of physical contact that might be labelled ‘lesbian’ in the West. Yet African society is deeply hostile to homosexuality, says Buchi Emecheta. She gives a personal view." - Gay murder in Jigawa (2002). - Nigerian Anglicans denounce gay bishop (2003). - La Iglesia Anglicana de Nigeria ataca a sus compañeros del Sur de África (2003, Translation). - Nigeria leads anti-gay protest (2007): A proposed Nigerian law banning same-sex marriages is a threat to democracy, says Human Rights Watch..
In Africa, homophobia goes beyond church (2004): (Alternate Link) "I think homosexuality is becoming more rampant here," said Bisi Tugbobo, deputy country director of Pathfinder International in Lagos, a non-governmental organization working to combat HIV/AIDS. "You hear about it. You read about it in the papers. But people don't want to talk about it. Not in the churches. Not in the mosques. Even some NGOs are reluctant to discuss homosexuality." There is little outward evidence of Nigeria's gay community. Not on crowded city streets, or in public schools, where memories linger of the 2002 killing of a gay university student in northern Jigawa state. Alliance Rights Nigeria, a fledgling gay rights group, advertises no office address. Efforts to reach members by phone proved impossible. Those giving rare interviews to the media use pseudonyms. Gays are certainly not welcome in Nigeria's 17-million-member Anglican church, the world's largest Anglican "province." Nigeria's Anglican primate, Archbishop Peter Akinola, has condemned Robinson's consecration as a "satanic attack on the church of God." ...In the north, where a dozen states have adopted Islamic Sharia law, Sharia council head Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said accepting homosexuality "will lead to a further erosion of our accepted principles of morality." ... Out of sight, African homosexuals are unable to shed new light on the virus -- as did their counterparts in the West. "By pushing these people underground, African countries lose the chance to learn from homosexuals," Kahramanoglu, of the international gay association said. "And in the case of AIDS, ignorance equals death.""
Persecuted gay community cautiously seeks voice (2004): "Homosexuality is a criminal offence in Nigeria, but gay rights groups made their first ever appearance at the country's fourth national AIDS conference in the capital Abuja this week. They called on their fellow countrymen to recognise and protect Nigeria's gay community, pointing out that it has been hit hard by the AIDS pandemic. In Nigeria, homosexual practice can carry a 14-year jail sentence under federal law. In 12 northern states that have adopted Islamic Shari'ah law, adults who are found to have engaged in homosexual intercourse can be stoned to death. However, most of the time, people deny the existence of "MSM's" - men who have sex with men - as male homosexuals are generally known in Nigeria..." - UN cautiously seeks a voice for gays in Nigeria (2004). - Nigeria: Persecuted Gay Community Cautiously Seeks a Voice (2004).
Nation's Homosexuals (2002, Alternate Link): "Homosexuals who used to hide their faces, have of late, become more brazen in their acts. Their influence pervades the public and private sectors in Nigeria... The recent trend is that homosexuality, which used to be a carefully guarded secret by the practitioner, is graduating into an open level. Gays abound in the armed forces, in the bureaucracy, among politicians and the private sector... Homosexuality also abounds in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano and other cities in the country... Low class gay brothels can be found along Abedi, Freetown, and Sani streets, all inside Sabon Gari... The high-class gays, incorporating Nigerians and some of their Lebanese friends do their own at guesthouses where they keep their lovers. Such guesthouses are along Sultan Road, Nassarawa, G.R.A, Kundila Estate and Maiduguri Road. They are also found at Hausawa quarters and Sabongari. Among the top gays in Kano is the Galadima Kano, Alhaji Tijanni Ashim. Although, he has several wives, at the same time he has sexual peccadillo for his gender. Ibrahim Dan Kabo, who died last week, was also reputed for being a bi-sexual... Meanwhile, just as environmentalists and human rights activists have their own pressure groups, so also are Nigerian homosexuals. They now have an NGO known as "Alliance Rights" to fight for gays and lesbians in Nigeria..." - Nigeria: Gays of Nation Unite! (2002).
Nigeria Country Report (2004, PDF Download): "Homosexuals: Nigerian law prohibits male homosexual conduct, and homosexuals can be subject to prosecution. The penalty for convicted homosexual behaviour varies from 3 months to 14 years imprisonment or a fine and/or corporal punishment. [82a] 6.118 Homosexual males in Nigeria are likely to face discrimination and occasional violence if they are overt about their sexual orientation, but not on an organised or systematic scale. Society is not openly hostile but homosexuals can be subject to ridicule. There are some areas in Nigeria where it is possible to live openly as a homosexual - such as in a large city like Lagos. There have been instances of homosexuals being subjected to violence, but they usually keep themselves to themselves and are usually left alone. [82b] 6.119 In February 2002, the Shari'a code in Gusau, Zamfara State, was used to sentence a man to one hundred strokes of the cane and one year imprisonment for sodomy. The Shari'a code, as applied in some Nigerian states, has specifically proscribed homosexuality, both male and female. It is possible that these laws will be strictly applied, as other laws governing personal conduct are being enforced in states with a Shari'a code. "
Preliminary Survey of Homosexuality in Nigeria (2000, PDF Download, PDF Download): Informal presentation at “Obstacles to Organizing for Sexual Rights” panel at the Commission of the Status of Women March 7, 2000. Given by Cesnabmihilo Dorothy Aken 'Ova. "Some people -- including some government officials -- argue that homosexuality was brought into Nigeria through colonialism. But this idea is easily challenged. As one of my respondents said, the fact that there is a name for it in various languages in Nigeria indicates that the practice existed well before colonialism... The environment is very homophobic or at least appears to be. There is an outward expression of homophobia in the dominant culture, although among the general population, there is greater tolerance and understanding that the practices exist. It is difficult for gays and lesbians to come out and admit to others that they are gay or lesbian or bisexual. They are therefore forced into heterosexual relationships. They marry to give a semblance of belonging to the widely accepted sexual orientation - heterosexuality - while they continue to meet their same-sex partners secretly." - A Primer on Homosexuality in Nigeria (1999).
Natural gestures (1989): Young girls growing up in Nigeria easily engage in forms of physical contact that might be labelled ‘lesbian’ in the West. Yet African society is deeply hostile to homosexuality, says Buchi Emecheta. She gives a personal view. "Most of us remained sexually virgins but we knew how to play with each other as young girls. To us it was nothing. To us it was one human being comforting another. For instance in my culture, we do not kiss, but we do hug each other, we hold hands openly, all natural gestures for us. Nobody ever made it into a ‘problem’ - lesbianism - as you do in the West." - The Emerging Lesbian Voice in Nigerian Feminist Literature (2002).
Friends Unite Nigeria: For the rights of Young gay Nigerians: "FUN is a gay organisation set up by the Nigeria young Gay community with the sole aim of fighting HIV/AIDS, Discrimination. Criminalisation of Gays in Nigeria. FUN tends to create this awareness through the use of fun and education with entainment, this will include lectures, seminars, workshops, and even party and social engagement like beauty pagaent etc. Fun desires to work vigorously to eradicate the stigma attached to gay person in Nigeria through education of the masses most espcially our parents and friends who are straight and also members of our immediate society like friends in school, at home and even in the club. FUN also sets to encourage open living where it is possibly as this will boost the morale of young gays in Nigeria. Presently FUN has a membership base of 150 young gay men in Lagos and works with organisation like Alliance Rights Nigeria the foremost gay rights organisation in Nigeria. - Changing Attitude Nigeria holds successful first General Meeting (2005).
Words By Bisi ,LGBT activist. Alliance Rights Nigeria (2003): " The gay issue in Nigerian, I will be very frank with you. No matter what you had heard about the Nigerian situation I think it is more horrible than what people think ---- some people try to illustrate a very sweet story but in real life the fact is that the nigerian gay experience is for those who care to have the courage to survive. In 2003 a student of the university of Lagos was set up to be beaten and almost killed by fellow student for being gay -he managed to break away and had to run away from school. His friend staying in the same room with him was beaten up and greatly molested, the case got to the school authority and and the school constituted a panel to look into the case but despite the innonce of the two gay boys, the school withold justice on the ground that the gay guys are immoral and so the school can not prosecute the violent students. In early january, a young boy of 20 was locked up by his parents in a police cell in Lagos for being gay and he was kept behind bars for 4 days without food or water and was constantly beaten up to confess that hes gay so they can prosecute him, he was so emanciated when he was brought to me and was almost losing his head and was in a state of great depression because of the fact that he was ripped off his rights as a citizen of his country. 3 weeks ago a group of boys in a bid to "cleaned" their environment almost set ablaze a house that accommodate a gay boy .The boy was eventually picked up and locked up and beaten up by the police for being gay. I have also had problems for being gay and on sereval occasion the parents of the gay boys have thretened my life for protetcting their children and giving them support both morally and financially when they have been sent out of their house for being gay..."
'Sagba's organise in Nigeria Alliance Rights N/A (2004): "Nigeria is a gay welfarist association and was formally launched on the 2nd of July, 1999 in Lagos, Nigeria. Since inception last year, ARN have been engaged in organising seminars and lectures in various high schools within the Lagos metropolitan area which is their present base of operations. Their lectures focus mainly on AIDS, STD's and safer sex. They also encourage LGBT pride as a means of achieving freedom within their society."
Lifestyles Foundation of Nigeria (2000, ALFON):
Nigerians Organize and Vocalize. (By Joe Murnan, Co-Chair, Lesbigay SIG):
"Under the fear of imprisonment and legal persecution, gays and lesbians
in Nigeria have been prevented from seeking equality. With the installation
of a civilian government this past spring, gay and lesbian activists have
formed ALFON to push for recognition and equality for gays and lesbians.
ALFON's mission is to organize gays and lesbians into a formidable pressure
group; to engage in activities that would enhance, promote, protect, advance
the interest and integrity of its members to expand membership to include
the continent of Africa; and to break the social taboo associated with
being gay or lesbian...."
Azuah, Unoma (2011). Extortion and Blackmail of Nigerian Lesbians and Bisexual Women. In: Ryan Thoreson & Sam Cook, Eds.. Nowhere to Turn: Blackmail and Extortion of LGBT People in Sub-Saharan Africa, pp. 46-59. Brooklyn, NY: International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. PDF Download. Download Page. PDF Download.
Resources: - Behind the Mask - A Web Site on Gay and Lesbian Affairs in Africa. - Africa by Country: Nigeria Information. Nigeria Archive. - African Veil: Countries Covered: Nigeria. - Queer afrol. - Afrol News; Gay/Lesbian Archives. - theGully.com news & Articles: Africa. - Gay Nigeria.
Global Gayz: Africa: Nigeria News Reports from 2002 to the Present. - ILGA: Africa: Nigeria. - LGBT rights in Nigeria. - Sodomy Laws.- Friends Unite Nigeria: For the rights of Young gay Nigerians. - Human Rights Watch: Use Search Function. - Amnesty International: Use Search Function. - Pink News: Europe's Largest Gay News Service: Africa. - AsylumLaw.Org: Sexual Minorities & HIV Status: Documents / Reports / Website Links / Organizations. Nigeria Individual Documents since 2004. - Links to News Sources for GLBT World.
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