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Nigerian Author and Marketing Exec Kehinde Bademosi Comes Out As Gay

Screenshot 2015-01-09 07.54.37

Kehinde Bademosi, founder of Nigerian marketing school Orange Academy, has come out as gay in a public posting on Facebook. In a similar move Bademosi publically disclosed his HIV-positive status last December on World AIDS Day. Bademosi’s latest announcement coincides with the one-year anniversary of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act being signed into law by president Goodluck Jonathan. Similar to bills passed in Uganda and Kenya, Nigeria’s anti-gay bill threatens gay couples attempting to marry with up to 14 years in prison.

In his Facebook post Bademosi describes his previous marriage to a woman (with whom he has a child) who could not accept his homosexuality:

“It will be exactly a year today, when Nigeria instituted a law to jail people like me. What’s our offense? Because we are simply wired differently.

There are only about 5 to 10% of homosexuals in every population as cited by popular findings and documents. Why is a 90% dominant population afraid of its 10%? Shouldn’t you care about us? Don’t you think it’s a lot easier to be seen as part of the 90%?”

Since dissolving his marriage in civil court, Bademosi has been a vocal advocate for Nigerian LGBT rights and made a point of dispelling some of the common misconceptions surrounding HIV. In particular Bademosi has focused on spreading information about being HIV positive and parenting children.

In a follow-up post earlier today, Bademosi wrote: 

 

Nigerian Expatriate Turned LGBT Activist Sees Anti-Homosexuality Laws As An Opportunity for Change

Alimi

In 2004 in an appearance on "New Dawn with Funmi," a morning talk show program on Nigeria’s largest television network, Adebisi Alimi announced to the world that he was gay. The 29 year-old was an aspiring stage performer studying acting at the University of Lagos and, facing blackmail, he made the decision to come out.

The fallout following his announcement nearly ruined his life. Shunned by friends and family, Alimi was repeatedly harassed by law enforcement and left the country after an attempt on his life. In spite of the hardship that he’s faced, however, he sees his time in Nigeria as having been invaluable.

"My story is not a story of a victim,” he told the BBC in 2007. “It's a human story."  

Since then Alimi’s become a vocal LGBT-rights activist and HIV educator based out of the United Kingdom. In an interview with NPR's Goats & Soda Alimi explained his complex relationship to his home country particularly in light of a version of the draconian anti-homosexuality bill currently working its way through many African countries’ legislative systems. In Alimi’s opinion Nigeria’s anti-homosexuality bill will be, in the long term, a boom to the fight for LGBT equality.

“I see the law as a catalyst for change for good in Nigeria,” he explained. “You don't understand what it is like to fight a beast that you cannot see.”

Nigeria“Before the signing of that law, between 95 and 98 percent of Nigerians were in support of it. The latest poll says 88 percent of Nigerians now support the law.

That's a 10 percent drop. Some people who are not LGBT are now saying, ‘Did we just support a law that criminalizes people ... for falling in love?. [When] you see that your uncle or cousin is gay, it kind of changes the conversation.”

Check out the fulll interview here

And watch Adebisi Alimi’s TEDxBerlin talk about the next steps in fighting the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa AFTER THE JUMP...

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Nigerian Court Dismisses Challenge to Powerful Anti-Gay Law

Nigeria

On Wednesday, Nigeria's federal court dismissed a challenge to the nation's powerful anti-gay law, the Anti-Same Sex Marriage act, signed into law January 2014 by President Goodluck Jonathan.

As David Mixner wrote earlier this year, "Not only does the law ban marriage equality but also any LGBT relationship. If discovered, gay couples will be sentenced to fourteen years in jail. That is bad enough. However, it also provides for ten years in jail for forming any LGBT organization or supporting the formation of one. The law criminalizes even meetings between homosexuals."

AlimiThe court tossed the case out because they said the person who brought the case could not prove he was effected by it — the man in question does not live in Nigeria and is married to a woman with wife and children. His name is Teriah Joseph Ebah, 42, and he's lived the last 14 years in the UK. Said Ebah to Buzzfeed News: “I decided I wasn’t going to accept a Nigeria that was discriminatory.” His official complaint cites a violation of human rights protections of Nigerian Law.

On the bright side, Buzzfeed reports, this may not be such a setback for Nigerian LGBT activists as you might expect. They say Ebah brought the case independent of them without consulting them. Buzzfeed quotes Nigerian activist Bisi Alimi (pictured), who says the dismissal “opens a better door for us to challenge the law."

[photo via Facebook]


LGBT Immigrants Hold Reform Rally in Front of White House: VIDEO

PROTEST

A group of LGBT immigrants rallied in D.C. Tuesday to protest the federal government's immigration policies in light of news that President Obama will not make a move on immigration reform until after Election Day, The Washington Blade reports.

Protestors wore red shirts that read "Immigration is an LGBTQ Issue," encouraging people to consider the intersections between these two political issues. 

A 28-year-old gay man, "Oliver" (pseudonym), shared his story of fleeing Nigeria to escape homophobia. In light of recent laws in Nigeria, he cannot return to his country, so "Oliver" spoke on the importance of maintaining America's asylum system.

Two pseudonymous speakers shared horror stories of being placed in America's detention centers, a man "Jose" and a transwoman "Fernanda."

"Jose" originally fled El Salvador for being sexually abused an harassed based on his sexuality. Of the detention center, he said:

I felt scared...One of the detainees openly said that he was gay, and he was literally insulated from everyone. No one wanted to talk to him; no one wanted to be with him. That made me feel threatened. That made me feel scared of saying something. Day by day, being in that horrible place, in that detention center, I was living my nightmare again.

"Fernanda" is 36, and fled violence she faced in her home country of Honduras. At the protest, she described her experience in a detention center, where she was placed with mentally ill people.

It is time for this country to turn our attention to understand the stories of trans woman in detention who are mistreated psychologically, verbally, who are repeatedly assaulted and attacked for being who they are.

Check out video of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP...

(Photo via Twitter)

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Barack Obama Must Raise LGBT Discrimination At U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: READ

Human and gay rights activists are urging Barack Obama to discuss anti-gay discrimination at next week’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit with 50 African leaders, reports ABC News.

2_obamaThe Human Rights Campaign and Human Rights First issued a statement saying that the summit, with the theme “Investing in the Next Generation,” is a "once-in-a-generation moment" to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans.

According to the two advocacy groups, 37 African countries have laws criminalizing LGBT relationships. Leaders of 32 of those countries - including Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, who signed harsh anti-gay laws earlier this year - have been invited to the summit.

In response to anti-gay laws, the U.S.government last month announced sanctions against Uganda including loss of funding and a ban on Ugandan citizens involved in human rights abuses entering the United States.

Shawn Gaylord, Human Rights First's advocacy counsel for LGBT rights said:

"We believe the U.S. can do more in both Nigeria and Uganda to ensure that U.S. funding is not being given to any institution or group that is abusing human rights, including actively discriminating against the LGBT community. We recognize that this is a difficult process with competing interests, made more difficult by the rhetoric espoused by some leaders that the movement for the rights of LGBT people is something invented in the West and being imposed upon African societies. "

Indicating that gay rights will be raised at the summit, Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council, said:

"The Obama Administration has long spoken out — including with our African partners — in support of universal human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. We expect the summit will provide an opportunity to continue these conversations."

Read Human Rights Campaign's report The State Of Human Rights For LGBT People In Africa, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Nigerian Asylum Seeker Has Two Weeks To Prove She's A Lesbian Or Face Death: VIDEO

Apate_aderonke

Aderonke Apata (pictured above at right with her current fiancée) fled Nigeria 10 years ago when her family and girlfriend were murdered. Apata was sentenced to death for being gay. In fact, she has scars upon her head and back from where she’s been beaten and stabbed by boys in her community disgusted at her being a lesbian.

After having her pleas for asylum rejected twice by the United Kingdom, she now has just two weeks to convince the UK Home Office that she will be killed if sent back to Nigeria. In part, she has to prove that she’s actually a lesbian by enduring extensive, intrusive interviews about her sexual behavior (we’re talking questions about penetration, positions and what she does and does not enjoy in bed).

Apata says that some asylum seekers even go to the degrading extent of recording themselves having sex just to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are in fact gay.

On March 28th of this year, Home Secretary Teresa May announced that the UK asylum system will be reviewed and reformed so that questions focus on sexual orientation rather than behavior. But while that reform may help people in the future, there’s a petition asking the UK Home Office to grant her asylum now.

Watch the video AFTER THE JUMP...

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