In 2004 Bisi Alimi, a recent university graduate and activist came out on the national TV talk show “New Dawn” in Nigeria. He had been outed in the university by a magazine and this made the rest of his stay in school difficult and led to some difficulty in getting his certificate on account of “moral issues” even though he had completed all the coursework required. However coming out on live national television at a time when many people still thought gay men and women only existed outside the country pushed the issue to the fore-front and led to him being ostracized by friends and family but especially by other gay men who didn’t want to be seen with him for fear that others may suspect that they were gay too. Also he began to receive death threats and finally an attempt was made on his life after which he left Nigeria in 2007 and moved to the United Kingdom where he now lives and works. Read the rest of this entry »
Category Archives: Gay Heroes
While writing about the anti-gay law in Nigeria, I considered advocating that Africans who can needed to come out especially now that anti-gay sentiments are at an all time high in many African countries. People still see LGBTs as “them” and we need more people to see gay men and women as “part of us” so to speak. However I say ‘considered’ because I didn’t – it’s hard for me to push for something that I am not yet ready to do myself. So it was a welcome surprise when Binyanvanga Wainainia, the Kenyan writer and recipient of the 2002 Caine prize wrote this article as a “lost chapter” of his memoir in which he discusses his homosexuality. It has generated quite the buzz in gay and heterosexual circles especially since he isn’t the stereotypical gay male. While some doubt that this one article will make a dent in the anti-gay movement,I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Lawrence Kaala and Jimmy Sserwadda, two Ugandan gentlemen got married last month in Sweden. They had been dating in Uganda until Sserwadda was outed then verbally and physically assaulted by government forces after which he sought asylum in Sweden. There he met up with his former lover Kaala who was in Sweden at the time, the two rekindled their relationship and the rest is history. They have been billed as the first Ugandan gay couple to be legally wed and have been making headlines worldwide. However Sserwadda’s mother has been verbally harassed by Ugandans who claim the two have brought “shame” on their people. Sserwadda also has a son in the university and he has been the victim of verbal assault from colleagues and other members of the community. Read the rest of this entry »
I’d never heard of this guy until today. It’s long but worth the effort.
Being disabled in some African societies carries a special stigma and accompanying pity. What they go through can show you a whole other side to bullying for the ones that make it to school age – children are still abandoned everyday based on some birth defect. Schools for disabled kids while available are few, lack good teaching aids and funding. When it comes to the workplace, very few companies are keen to hire people with a disabilities, and getting disability checks is a hassle. Now add being gay and HIV positive and you begin to understand what life is like for John Meletse. Read the rest of this entry »
I just spent my morning reading posts and articles about LGBT victims of unspeakable assaults and murders (many of which have gone unsolved), teenage suicides, laws restricting rights of gays/lesbians and even more laws that are being enacted to strengthen pre-existing discriminatory laws. So many young people whose lives have been cut short or forever harmed by injustice.
I wonder if majority of the straight community (homophobes and fence-sitters alike) realise how hard it is to be gay. Read the rest of this entry »