For 24 hours, Twitter has been abuzz with #EndHomophobiaInNigeria – a reaction to a gay man murdered in Imo which paints a dark side of queer hook up culture. Trigger warning, but his killers have confessed to the murder in a grainy clip that has gone viral, and LGBTQ Nigerians and allies have come together in a united front to condemn this vicious act of violence and advocate against homophobia.
Those two men may have killed that boy but a whole lot of you enabled them. Your silence and your passive aggression all enabled them.
A human life was snatched and you want to talk about the politics of the law?
Okay. Keep that energy ó! #EndHomophobiaInNigeria
— Baba Ayo (@OlufisayoManuel) March 11, 2020
Your brothers and sisters are begging you to lend your voice . You don’t gain anything from homophobia. But they lose everything.#EndHomophobiaInNigeria
— Kiki Mordi (@kikimordi) March 10, 2020
There is no reason—literally NO REASON—to justify killing someone just because they are gay. This is not okay. #EndHomophobiaInNigeria🏳️🌈
— Mary Ekaete 🧠⚡️🌱 (@cerebralistic) March 11, 2020
This isn’t the first time an online advocacy for LGBTQ people to exist without harm and violence has happened. And, sadly, it won’t be the last. LGBTQ people, especially in Nigeria, face so much abuse, microagressions and existential danger as Nigeria continues to remain one of worst places in the world to live as a queer person. You might have seen the hashtag as a straight person, and scrolled on because you aren’t homophobic. Granted, homophobes are nasty human beings who irrationally spew hate virtually or physically, and wear their bigotry with pride. But standing on the margins while homophobes continue to enact violence on the vulnerable LGBTQ community makes you complicit.
It speaks to your privilege, your structural placement in the hierarchy of oppression that leaves LGBTQ people disenfranchised and oppressed. What are you doing about your heterosexual privilege? Are you talking to other straight people about their homophobia? Are you even engaging with the hashtag? You can do better.