Fear, people say we fear the things we don’t know or understand. I can tell you with all the courage in the world that statement is a lie. I live in constant fear of what will happen to me if people knew.
January 7, 2014, we will never forget the day. I was in high school and it was the day I knew things might never be right in my life if I don’t find a way to escape this country.
On January 7, 2014, Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill (SSMPA) into law. The notional purpose of the SSMPA is to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex. In reality, its scope is much wider. The law forbids any cohabitation between same-sex sexual partners and bans any “public show of same sex amorous relationship.” On January 7, 2014 I lost all hope of ever living a normal life in Nigeria.
Let me tell you something you do not know, Nigeria hates me. Nigeria hates each and every human being that is a fraction of the LGBTQ+ community. They want to silence us! Lock us up! Beat us up!
You might think I am being self-infatuated or centered but before you get your balls in a twist listen to me. I’m not writing this to try to give a voice to the LGBTQ+ community, rather to let you know what I face being a faceless, non existent and voiceless part of my own fucking community. According to the U. N’s universal declaration of human rights:
No. 30 : “No one can take away our human right”
NEWSFLASH PEOPLE! GAY PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE TOO AND WE DESERVE HUMAN RIGHTS AS WELL!
I am not free from discrimination, I do not have the right to get married in my country, I most definitely do not have the right to think and say what I want, the SSMPA goes to say that discrimination is bad, but
The Nigerian government perhaps in a bid to stand up against their former colonial masters are persistent
More often than not I ask myself; “they don’t want to give you your freedom Becky, what are you going to do to take it? Are you going to hide behind your laptop screen forever?” it breaks my heart as I am forced into anonymity because I fear for my safety, nonetheless Our fight continues.
In a place where children are legally being married off to older men “under the law” but I am not allowed to have consenting sex and be in love with another person because we are of THE SAME SEX. If you don’t see that it is an act of cruelty, then you should stop reading this now and get some help!
On the presumption that not everyone reading this is article is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, I understand how most people can easily turn a blind eye to the daily discrimination and oppression we face.
Everyone around me is homophobic, from my parents to my siblings to classmates, coworkers & some feeble friends.
I’ll tell you something you didn’t know when you started reading this article. Being gay does not change who you are, being gay is a sexual orientation not a personality disorder or as my mom would say “A mental illness.” On the journey of Queerness, I have lost all my family members because I failed to bring home a man and because they refused to see past the fact that I AM GAY.
Nigeria is hard enough without having to suffer through targeted hatred, people have lost job opportunities, lost their lives, lost everything to this cause and it saddens me all the more that lives have been sacrificed just so we can love freely. I promise you this we won’t be silenced; you can’t kill love with hatred.
“Stop trying to fight the homosexuality, fight the homophobia”
All my love goes out to everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. Let love lead you and never let the hate they want to give you sink in.
Love ~ Her