Homophobia in Nigeria

12 Aug, 2019
Do you know in some part of the world homosexuality is regarded as a demon, that can be casted out with fervent prayer and fasting.

I spent last month in Nigeria working for an NGO which helps and supports the LGBT community. It amazes me to see a beautiful country with such homophobic mindset

The country is homophobic, and according to statistics over 90% of Nigerians share resentment towards gay people. This is caused by different factors, ranging from cultural to religious. The country's constitution states that if you are caught having sex with a person of the same gender, you'll go to jail for 17years (scary right).

During my stay in Enugu the Eastern part of the country, I mingled with the natives and asked about their opinions about gay. Their homophobic replies shocked me .

Obinna (male) - why will a man want to have sex with another man? It is the devil that causes gay
(I went further to ask what he would do if his child opens up as gay.)
It is not even possible, but if it happens, I will kill that child.

Chinedu (male) - I have not seen any gay before, it is not even possible for a man to be gay, when there are many beautiful women out there.
(I told him there where actually gays in Nigeria and I have seen and spoken to some of them, he seemed shocked)

Cynthia (female) - gay people are possessed with a demon, my pastor have casted out the spirit of gay from many people
(lols, I obviously wanted to see the pastor maybe he would also cast out the demon from me).

I finally got a little relief from homophobia when I met Madam J who runs a brothel within the beautiful Nigerian city.

Madam J - everybody has the right to be what they want to be, if you are gay it is your own business.
( I asked her what would be her reaction if her child opens up as gay).
I don't pray any of my children will be gay (at this point I felt disappointed).

When I left Nigeria, I realized that a lot of work still needs to be done. While countries in Europe and America keep winning the battle against homophobia, countries in Africa remains stagnant.

The good news is, the few gays in Nigeria are willing to fight for their rights to love whoever they choose. "where there is a will, there is hope" .