Categories
Community Talks

Criminalizing LGBTQ+ identity and expression up to 14 years imprisonment wasn’t enough for the Nigerian government. The New Bill.

Written by Adunni Tiwatope | 8:20pm

Umar Muda a member of the house of Representatives on the 5th of April, 2022, as reported by SAHARA REPORTERS –
introduced and read a bill to further criminalize cross-dressing In Nigeria with liable punishment of up to 6month imprisonment or a fine of five hundred thousand naira.

This bill seeks to further enforce the SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION ACTS “SSMPA 2014” and amend the extension to include cross-dressing as one of the offences under the act, as if cross-dressing in Nigeria ever seize being a crime. It is yet another day in the unsafe targeted lives of Queer/LGBTQ+ people by the Nigerian government while neglecting all systemic emerging odds of the state. The Nigerian government and its law enforcement agents would better criminalize the minority for living than fix the simplest potholes on the federal roads in Nigeria.


The proposed bill doesn’t just aim to further criminalize LGBTQ+ but also aims at oppressing and taking up our tiniest freedom of expression and visibility, constantly painting us as the most social problem that needs to be immediately eradicated before the system can function while sailing the nation close to the wind.

Ahead of the 2015 elections was the ANTI-GAY laws “SSMPA” and this year, 7 years after, ahead of the 2023 elections is a need for the expansion of the “SSMPA” waved criminalizing cross-dressing, the most understood term for “Transgender” in Nigeria up to 6month imprisonment or paying an exploitative fine of five hundred thousand nairas.
It’s no doubt that the Nigerian government take pleasure in the unhealthy political strategy of baiting LGBTQ+ minority lives to please the masses in exchange for their desirable biased thumbprint on their ballot papers.


This is because hypocrisy hides in the heart of imperial religious practices in Nigeria and homophobia/transphobia is a key to unlocking the masses – The idea of “SSMPA” happened as bait to catch the attention of Nigerian mass ignorant bigots in exchange for 8years trust. However, the proposed read bill is yet to be passed aimed target at Bobrisky(Okuneye Idris Olanrewaju ), Denrele(Adenrele Oluwafemi Edun), and James Brown(James Chukwueze Obialor) and other cross-dressers in Nigeria.

We hope that someday, Nigeria and her people would realize the great harm they have caused for a better inclusive and respectful change.

Below are a few reactions of Nigerians;

Read This Next!

Categories
Community Talks

Conceptualizing Sex and Sexuality, Gender and Gender relation.

by Adunni Tiwatope | April 1st, 2022 11:50 am

When we talk about sex, what comes to our mind?


The phrase that comes to our mind at first might be sexual intercourse activities but sex does not just mean intercourse, it is definitely beyond its typical meaning, it also refers to the categories to which people are typically assigned at birth based on physical characteristics (genitalia) by a gynaecologist.


Sex and Sexuality


Sex according to the construct of the social and political category is the perceived physiological identity difference between persons who are imposed, assigned males, females, and intersex… based on genitalia.
I believe this is insignificant not just because the discussion of sex “genitalia” should end at birth, but more because it’s a yardstick to further discrimination, enabling inequality and oppression in most societies.

Rather than for sex to be enjoyed mutually as intercourse to its best, it’s further otherwise used as a tool to subjugate, define and measure the individual capacity to function outside the bedroom.

Society often sees males and females as a biological binary. However, there are issues with this distinction. The chromosomal markers are not always clear-cut, some babies assigned “males” at birth are born with two or three X chromosomes, just as some babies assigned “females” are born with a Y chromosome and the base of it, we all carry the hormonal structure of both estrogen and testosterone at a uniquely different spectrum of overtime development. Also, some babies are born with genitalia ambiguous genitalia. Being intersex can mean a person has genitals or internal sex organs that fall outside of “ typical” binary categories. Or, a person might have a different combination of chromosomes. Some people do not know that they are intersex until they reach puberty. This explains that biology is complex and bodily development could be a spectrum of growth. Sexuality is not just about sex and certain body part that is associated with sexual activities.


Sexuality includes sexual orientation, such as who a person is attracted to, sexual identity as well as sexual fantasies and attitudes and values related to sex. Sexual orientation refers to sexual and romantic feelings for people of the same gender, a different gender, or more than one gender. People who identify themselves as “straight” or “heterosexual” typically feel only attracted to people of the other heterosexual or straight orientation of a different gender than their own. People who identify as “lesbian” or “gay” typically feel attracted to people of the same gender as themselves. People who identify as “bisexual” typically feel attracted to both the opposite and
same gender as themselves. People who identify as “Pansexual” do not just feel attracted to more than one gender but they do not see the existence of gender in their romantic feelings and relationship. People who use the term “queer” may use it to mean other terms that describe their experiences beyond the societal matching binary. Sexuality is a spectrum of sexual attractions which may be subjected to evolving changes in sexual preferences.
Sexual orientation can change over time for some people. A person might be attracted only to people of the same gender as themselves, and then later be attracted to more than one gender. This means that sexual orientation is diverse for some people.


Gender and Gender relation


The World Health Organization WHO explains gender as “Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time”. Based on this definition, gender is seen as a socio-cultural construct where roles and behaviour are determined and distinguished by the society based on perceived characteristics of man/woman, boy or girl.
The above definition shows the binary idea of the societal class system leaving out other persons who do not fit into the binary norms, roles, behaviours, and characteristics as insignificant.
However, the concept of gender has enjoyed frequent usage but has been subjected to diverse definitions and interpretations.
Gender is widely agreed to be a social construct that arises out of culture and cuts across all parts of society. For so long in history, gender and sex have been defined in binary between male and female, man
and woman, boy and girl eradicating the existence of others that do not fit in or outside the binary based on gender relations provided as the standard of interrelationships and dynamics of power between binary gender in the society (man and woman) —

Gender relations define how people interact with others and how others relate to them, depending on their attributed gender, and they should be analyzed within the cultural context in which they develop——The Psychology of Gender and Health, 2017.


Gender relation across all societies is not just skewed as parasitic and exploitative of women, it
also erases other forms of gender existence and denies the ability to tap into the diversity of self,
basically making persons who do not exist according to the binary system dysfunctional and a problem. Understanding that gender and gender relation are distinctive and roles are spelt out according to the structure of the society and culture, there is hardly any society where the roles to describe masculinity and femininity enable equality.


Gender relations in Nigeria only recognize Man and Woman class system and this is enabled by the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian society —- a system based on distinctive sexual
physiological characteristics at binary level male and female, where persons who are assigned male at birth are societally ascribed as men and females as women. Patriarchy is the authoritative male centred system that is oppressive and discriminatory, it is enforced through an early socialization process that continues to instil discriminatory attitudes in children
that grow up to be adults. A “male” child is labelled as a “boy”, trained to grow up into a man expected to exude rigidity, authoritative in the society and not a simple form of softness and weakness as such traits are
perceived as feminine while the “female” child is labelled as a girl, socialised to be supportive to their husband and expected to be dependent, labour for free and never to show any form of bravery as such trait is commended masculine neglecting individual capacity while constructing
them into binary depleted by physiological sex organ.


However, persons who do not meet the standard of humanity as to the binary structure of society are targeted as deviant minorities, invalidated and violently eradicated. In no doubt, society has its expectations and individuals have roles to perform to meet the expectations for the functionality of the society in contexts that align with the societal values and norms.


Gender relations

Nigerian society does not just encourage marginalization and inequality, it also doesn’t give room for diversity of self.

Despite the gender binary documentation in the state, there is the gradual emerging “pity”
recognition of “third gender”, as persons who do not identify with the gender binary in very
fainted parts of Nigerian social institutions are represented under inclusion and diversity projects mostly incorporated by members of the sexual and gender diverse marginalised community.
However, understanding gender diversity is understanding that sex is not gender and it shouldn’t be a determinant factor for individual functionality. .“Someone who identifies with the sex that they were assigned at birth is called “cisgender.” “Someone who is not cisgender and does not identify within the gender binary of man or woman, boy or girl may identify as nonbinary, gender fluid, or genderqueer, among other identities. A person whose gender identity is not totally based on sex assigned at birth might identify as transgender which is a bigger umbrella term.


It’s clear that as much as gender is a societal construct mostly related to binary, gender is more and beyond what it may have seemed to be as explained. Gender is a spectrum of characteristics, traits, expressions, many other internal and external factors and none that holistically represents individuality, which may be related to masculinity, femininity, neither, both and none that is not exactly the socially constructed identity of the man
and woman binary. Gender is who you are and how you see yourself internally and externally as an individual. This means that there are more than two genders because a person may identify and express
their gender in the most suitable ways.
Gender expression is how a person chooses to present their gender to the outside and gender identity is how and what a person feels internal and resonates with. This means that a person may identify as a woman based on their reality and experiences but present as masculine to the outside world although what is considered masculine and feminine changes over culture and tradition. The terms sex, sexuality and gender remain concerned topic in the world of today and this is because of distinguishing human diversity agitating for equality and inclusion.
For so long, many societies have enforced the idea that a person is either a man or a woman based on their sex physiological characteristics and the idea doesn’t work for each other because sex and gender are two different things. Sex ends at birth, sex is a person’s physical bodily characteristics at birth, and gender is all and beyond a person’s identities, expressions, values and societal roles.


In conclusion, The principle of equality may be forged from the gender binary class system, we can not agitate for equality when there is no room for diversity. Humanity is diverse and there may not be an exact balance of inequality if there is no room for affirmation of self in diversity. Our
experiences are totally not based on the outside but also include the inside.
Equality might unfairly constrain us to the subject of oppression and class. Clamouring for equality may not be as strong as the liberation of human nature of diversity just as the nature of the universe there in and out.

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young
Categories
Community Talks

IDAHOBIT 2021 Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing.

Olaide Kayode Timileyin | 3:02am

Queerness is still very illegal across many African countries, and this means that queer folks in these part of the world are constantly exposed to all forms of violations which includes targeted hate. During the First quarter of 2021, while the world is still busy battling with the covid-19 pandemic , arrest and violations of queer persons and organizations have been recorded in at least three West African countries, these includes, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

Across the globe, Queer folks acknowledge every May the 17th as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, where we educate, advocate and communicate unapologetically against hate against queer bodies. Between February 2021 and May 2021, about four transwomen have faced from eviction and harassments to the most recent one of imprisonment as in the case of Shakiro and Patricia in Cameroon.

This year, we at Queercity Media and production say we recognize how much battles we as a community of queer folks in Africa had fought, we have survived and still fight, that words from our head can’t describe. From the stories we have chosen to tell, we constantly see how far we still have to go as a community in fighting against hate and violations of queer folks, most especially in the creation of healing spaces for ourselves as a community. Everyday queer person is faced with compulsory resistance against the society as our very existence is still criminalized, and this year we are choosing to say as a community we would be Resisting, Supporting and Healing together.

https://dashboard.flutterwave.com/donate/m5c4ykqdjvrt

As LGBT persons in Sub Saharan Africa, we recognize we still have a long way to go with community supports, as often time we forget we are all we have as a community of criminalized person, and this year’s international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is indeed a clarion call that we all should answer to. While we all as individuals do our best in advocating for our existence, we should never ignore the fact that haven to fight for our existence is mentally and emotionally draining, and we need more healing spaces for ourselves as a community, paying attention to things like this promotes the quality of our activism and is prone to yield more effective results with the work with all do.

With Resistance, healing and supports we are moving a step at a time towards equality. Happy IDAHOBIT 2021 queer folks.

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young
Categories
Community Talks

Unending weaponization of faith against LGBT persons in West Africa

Olaide Kayode Timileyin | 1:58pm

Religion, or i say spirituality isn’t new to the people of West Africa pre-colonial era. A known fact is that the indigenous tribes like the Yorubas have oral traditions traceable to the “creation of man”, a well coordinated and systematic way of spirituality, established mainly in ancestral and Orisa worship.

The Yoruba spirituality from West Africa depicts some of it’s divine and gracious figures in a forms which would have been threaten with fourteen years imprisonment if they dare exist on the streets of Nigeria as of today, examples of which are Olokun, Oya , and Esu. In as much as Esu’s masculine energy is often perceived, Esu  “is at once both male and female. his masculinity is depicted as visually and graphically overwhelming, his equally expressive femininity renders his enormous sexuality ambiguous, contrary, and genderless.”

Colonialism and Slavery, didn’t just cart away the people, it introduced us to a new faith, that which we could believe in while on a ship to the lord’s land. “Impacts of slavery and colonialism as ventured on modern societies include: unequal social relations [like homophobia, Patriarchy, etc] and racial inferiority; neo-colonial dependency; distorted economies as well as massive poverty, particularly of the colonies, especially in Africa.”

ISIWO, CATHOLIC CHURCH: HOMOSEXUALITY QueerCity

On this episode, deeper into the south west of Nigeria, To Meet Niyi, who would takes us through a journey that sees through the community of Isiwo, the Catholic Church and homosexuality, and leaves us with questions including “is homosexuality a no see, no hear, no say in the Catholic Church ? “ — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message

In most Africa countries like Nigeria and as recently shown in Ghana, the faith of the people can determine the fate of some people, most especially if the fate of these people would favour the powers that be politically. In 2014, one of the excuses for the enactment of the Same Sex marriage prohibition Act in Nigeria is that our culture and faiths do not give space for homosexuality. In 2021, Ghanaian former procurement minister, Hon. Adwoa Safo said “ The issue of LGBT is an issue that when mentioned, it creates some controversy but [On the issue of our cultural acceptance and norms, these practices are also frowned upon. So, for me, these are two distinct clarities on the matter and that is what I strongly stand for]”.

While there are indigenous and cultural traces of Queerness in West Africa, the faith of it’s modern people seem to either seek to furtherly erase or truncate the fabric of the existence of this “accepting” and not “tolerating” history. With continuous demonization of all that seem to affiliate itself with indigenous faith, which could be blamed on the exact demonization of black sexuality during slavery by colonial masters, West African post-colonial majorly practiced religions have continued to use their faiths to police the existence of people and the sanctity of these region. 

https://dashboard.flutterwave.com/donate/m5c4ykqdjvrt

In Northern Nigeria, the ‘Yan Daudu’ community is a group of persons belonging to the Hausa subculture, whose men act like women and engage in sexual relationships with other men. Sadly, the same Northern Nigeria is currently a home to Punishment by Death in states that operate under the laws of the Muslim faith called Sharia. Mauritania has the harshest anti-homosexuality laws and the subject remains hush hush or taboo, as it similarly does in Niger and Guinea, all of which is credited to the same Sharia law.

Christian Bishops across this regions actively activate and crusade the weaponization of their own faith against sexual minorities in this region, even when most countries in this region are bound by constitutions enacted by unending number of treaties signed by this same region. The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) in an official statement in 2021 said “We, the Catholic Bishops of Ghana, write to condemn all those who support the practice of homosexuality in Ghana,”.

Queer religious activists in the past have physically sought to create safe spaces for the discuss of queerness and faith, but they have been met with the waterloo of violence that comes with the weaponization of the same faith. Rev. Jide Macaulay of House of Rainbow in this article title “Towards Full acceptance” narrated “As a person of faith, my focus was always reconciliation, first with God and then with the people who mattered most to me. It took me several years to come out to my close family members, friends and colleagues. Each step bears its own mark of pain and anguish. I was psychotic at one point. It was difficult for me to trust anyone. I was ill-treated from one African Christian community to another whenever it was discovered that I was gay. 

https://dashboard.flutterwave.com/donate/m5c4ykqdjvrt

The back and forth on the subject of sexuality in West Africa continues to suffer the cringes of faith, and it leaves one lost if one questions the subject of “if certain humans are morally viable to debate the validity of the existence of others, by nothing else but by the yardstick of faith which the constitution recognizes as a choice.

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young
Categories
Community Talks

National Security Raids LGBT Ghanaians safe house

By OKTimileyin | 24.02.2021

The Ghanaian LGBT community in the past few weeks have been the victims of organized and targeted homophobia in the country, as each day comes by since the organization (LGBT rights Ghana) launched it’s safe space for Queer people in Accra, Ghana on the 31st of January 2021. It all started after pictures of the event was uploaded on the internet by LGBT Rights Ghana and the presence of the European Union, and Australian High commission was appreciated.

Homophobic lawyers like Moses Foh Amoaning keep crusading for the closure of the safe space, and it’s been a tough one for the queer community in Ghana. The country’s Catholic Church also express it distaste in the new community centre through it’s call for closure of the community centre.

According to LGBT Ghana’s most recent post on instagram, Ghana’s Traditional leaders visited the premises few day ago threatening to burn down the safe space, and sadly, the police won’t help save the space nor it’s queer inhabitants.

On Wednesday the 24th of February 2021, at around 11:13am , pictures and a video surfaced on LGBT rights Ghana twitter page with the caption

Yes! Our safe space has been raided by the police. We are all safe at the moment. It’s time to fight. #SayNoToDiscrimination#saynotohomophobia#Wewillgetthroughthis#TogetherWeBuild

images from twitter (@Lgbtrightsghana)

The above picture shows men who are from the national security inside the safe space, and the picture seem to taken from an higher altitude, looking like it’s taken from a roof level.

Another picture from LGBT Rights Ghana’s twitter also show Security vehicles on the street of the safe house, Queer Ghanaians are currently unsafe, and the international community still seem to be silent about it.

You can lend a voice to this inhuman treatment the Ghanaian Queer community is experiencing by speaking about this violation of their fundamental human rights on your social media, write to your local government official challenging them to lend a voice to this injustice, donate to LGBT rights Ghana GoFund me.

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young
Categories
Community Talks

Queer-excluding-Feminists, Media, and Government up against LGBT Ghanians

written by O.K.Timileyin

On the 31st of January 2021, a popular On-Air-Personality with the name Oheneyere Gifty had her show (The StandPoint- Listen to the feminine side) discussed “my struggle with homosexuality”, inviting two other persons who claimed to be “ex and struggling” gay person and a former Lesbian. Coincidentally, that was also the day for LGBT+ rights Ghana ( A youth led LGBT movement in Ghana) Fundraiser and safe space launch.

Over the years, the African big and small media houses had thrived on emotions, biases, and unprofessionalism when it comes to LGBT narratives, with each giving their audience what they perceive it takes to retain them. With histories of controversies and misinformation being the focal point of these media houses on queer matters, they drive conversations that fuels more hate toward LGBT persons. A major driver of such conversation in media is Ghana is Gifty Anti, who according to LGBT rights Ghana is ” A well known journalist/broadcaster and a gender activist” who “this is not her first time encouraging damaging stereotypes about LGBT persons in Ghana. In 2019, in the heat of the CSE debate, she compared homosexuality to skin bleaching”.

While the LGBT+ rights Ghana led by Alex Kofi Donkor had their fundraiser and safe space opening day, Gift Anti had her discussion. The Safe space opening event was graced by representatives from the European Union Ghana, Australian High commission Ghana amidst others, and this “posed” a threat to the Ghanaian goverment, and media. Writing on their webiste, Modern Ghana said “some people in Ghana have the audacity and effrontery to build LGBT office in Ghana, Tesano to be precise. They held an occasion to officially open their office and called for interested persons to come and join. The most worrying aspect of whole thing is, top officials came to grace the occasion including representatives from African Union, European Union and other top officials from USA, UK and others were present. Their head made it clear that “*they have come to stay.*”

Speaking at the Parliament’s Appointments Committee for vetting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 , Ghana’s Minister-designate of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Sarah Adwoa Safo spewed “Mr Chair, the issue of LGBT is an issue that when mentioned, it creates some controversy but what I want to say is that our laws are clear on such practice. It makes it criminal. Section 104 of the Criminal Code prohibits one from having unnatural carnal knowledge with another person. So, on the issue of its criminality, it is non-negotiable. On the issue of our cultural acceptance and norms, these practices are also frowned upon. So, for me, these are two distinct clarities on the matter and that is what I strongly stand for,”. Ghana’s Homophobic lawyers Moses Foh-Amoaning and others are working actively to get the Safe Space closed.

Clearing the air on February 11, 2021 as regards the words on the street of Ghana, which had been that the Europeans sponsored the space to “propagate homosexuality” LGBT Rights Ghana posted an official communique stating that the event or office space wasn’t sponsored by the Australian High commision, which was only a guest just like others.

Joyce Opoku Boateng a human rights lawyer in Ghana said that calls for the office of LGBT right Ghana that was recently opened in Accra to be shut down are against the laws of the country. According to Wikipedia “Same-sex sexual acts between males are illegal in Ghana, and LGBT rights are heavily suppressed. The majority of Ghana’s population hold anti-LGBT sentiments. Physical and violent homophobic attacks against LGBT people are common, and are often encouraged by the media and religious and political leaders. At times, government officials, such as police, engage in such acts of violence. Reports of young gay people being kicked out of their homes are also common, as well as reports of conversion therapy occurring across Ghana.

Despite the Constitution guaranteeing a right to freedom of speech, expression and assembly to Ghanaian citizens, these fundamental rights are actively denied to LGBT people. Pro-LGBT activism exists in Ghana, but such efforts are often thwarted by the Ghanaian government.”

While the struggle continues, the media seem continuously acting to misinform the people , “Weaponizing LGBTQ (hating words) by some Ghanaian politicians to discredit, insult & dehumanize LGBTQ Ghanaians. Playing the populist rhetoric & appealing to people’s worst prejudices”.

Lend your voice to the Ghanaian Queer community today by taking a stance against the closure of their safe space. You can write to your Government to lend a voice, Follow LGBT rights Ghana on socials, donate to their course, create infographics, or share this !

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young
Categories
Community Talks

Transwomen reality in a 2021 Nigeria

By OKTimileyin

The conversation around sexuality and identity steadily seem to be gaining momentum in Nigeria, where visibility is no longer the focus of community conversations and discuss, but how to properly, and positively utilize the visibility the community has horned, to propagate more social acceptance of Queer folx in Nigeria. Haven properly learnt to harness social media platforms to raise the bar for visibility, more representation and diversity ( being basis of inclusion ) is experienced. We are now our story tellers, our very own pilots of our narratives. More voices are being raised across different forms of human existence on Queerness in Nigeria. The world witnessed the loud ones like the #Endsars Movement, the #EndHomophobiaInNigeria which seem to have shone in a very centrifugal light on the Nigeria Queer community, with its resulting community visibility being the strongest at it’s emerging identity.

With the anonymous ability of the birdie app, the Nigerian queer community has continued to grow in a beautiful, strong , and powerful way, with numeric strength driving more conversation and giving representation in conversations found safe. One of such community conversations which found it way to twitter is that from the trans community. A tweep tweeted

culled from @bitchcraft2121

The twitter thread did not just throw a lot of questions into the air and leave us to wonder if answers can be gotten, it brings to the table answers waiting to be heard, struggle wailing to be seen, stories hoping to be told, One of which is “What’s the Nigerian Transwoman Experience” ?

The Nigerian Trans Experience isn’t specifically different from the everyday trans woman who is from a space where legal protection doesn’t exist for queer people, it is the same story of constant confusion, emotional imbalance, physical and mental insecurity, body dysmorphia, paranoia and loneliness. Trans women in Nigeria are getting to learn on their own what transition should be like, forming little sisterhoods to share the pain, trauma, lessons, and laughter from existing on the street of Nigeria.

Across the world, The news of violation and killing of Transwomen are no longer new in the news, and this does not exclude Nigeria. In 2018 a website called 76 crimes published the death of a Trans activist in Abuja with the name Rabina Bamanga who was killed in her own house. By 2020, the Guardian published the story of a Trans woman who escaped death by suicide after being exposed to conversion therapy which included incisions.

In a country like Nigeria, where transphobia is an appreciated feat and TERFs won’t stop making excuses for their own transphobia. Transwomen see each day through “what it takes to see the next day” and not living as they should, walking the streets of Nigeria with high hopes of “passing”, without anyone at the bus-stop having to ask if they are a man or a woman.

This tweep in her thread lined out what it takes to survives the streets of Nigeria as a Trans Woman living in Nigeria or West Africa.

With the twitter thread having up to 10 things to keep themselves (transwomen) safe in Nigeria or West Africa, one is forced to ask how best do anyone who is queer stay safe in Nigeria ? This is the reality of underprivileged queer folx in Nigeria, who don’t have the resources to live in spaces where they can exist without exposure to harm.

Transwomen GoFund me from twitter you might want to support !!!

Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude QueerCity

"Defiance comes with consequences and I am comfortable with it". He speaks about gay rights in the Nigerian churches, at conferences and anywhere. On this episode of the Queercity podcast, we would be experiencing what the reality of speaking for LGBT+ rights in Nigeria is for Nigeria's own Chude Jideonwo. Chude is known for his active amplification of minorities issues with his big show #WithChude, where he has also created space to help bring Queer persons' narratives safely to the mainstream media.  Chude speaks of how empathy could be an approach to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and to furtherly engaging violently oppressive systems. Behind the scenes packing and Bisi Alimi's appearance on “The Dawn” in 2004,  and the interview with Faraphina magazine Timeless Queer Defiance and its consequences in Nigeria with @chude Jideonwo Join the community by conversation via #Queercitypodcast #7yearsLaterSSMPA #LGBTNigerianLivesMatter #LGBTpodcast #Queerlivesmatter  Credit Executive Producer: Queercity Media and Productions @Queercitymediaandproductions  Hosted and Produced by: Olaide Kayode Timileyin(QueerNerd) @OKTIMILEYIN  Guest: Chude Jideonwo Website: Queercitypodcast.com Upcoming event: bit.ly/PrideInLagos — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/queercity/message
  1. Timeless Queer Defiance and it's consequences in Nigeria With Chude
  2. Nigeria's Road To LGBTI+ Decriminalization with Azeenarh Mohammed
  3. Who killed 19 years old John in Lagos ?
  4. Getting Justice for Cameroonian Transwomen Shakira and Patricia amidst death threats with Hamlet.
  5. HIV stigmatization amongst Nigerian Gay men with Raldie Young