Activists in Nigeria Inspired by India’s Ruling

India’s recent decision to legalize same-sex partnerships and intercourse by overturning section 377 has inspired LGBTQ activists in Nigeria, who face many challenges.

Journalist Frankie Edozien spoke with The Times of India about how the recent decision is inspiring queer resistance in Nigeria.

“India is a commonwealth country with the same history, and legal network that we have and what we have seen in India makes us feel that maybe one day we can get to where [India is],” said Edozien.

“Many African countries are losing their human capital wherein skilled, educated gay people are leaving because they don’t want to lead a false life. We are losing some of the best people not because of poverty or economic reasons but because of homophobia.”

No Strings Nigeria is a Nigerian LGBTQ media network that reports on the activism and violation of rights of queer people in the country.

On the website, one can find stories of queer people facing police brutality, gang rape, imprisonment, torture, humiliation, eviction, conversion therapy, and blackmail.

One article on the website cites a study from Nigeria-based human rights organization The Initiative for Equal Rights, which found that 286 LGBTQ people faced human rights violations in Nigeria in 2018.

Among all the devastating attacks, queer Nigerians have found the strength to organize and create lasting change. In 2018, activists succeeded with the launch of the African Human Rights Media Network by delivering food to malnourished gay prisoners and by supporting reporting on human rights violations.

“Due to international reporting and access to the internet, young people are realizing that things are different in other countries,” said Edozein. “They are pushing back in their own way by not believing all that is said, and they are going to do things differently.”