Nigerian feminists are speaking out against homophobia among feminists and elsewhere – as it should be

Feminists

It’s almost as if the world is just learning about the existence of LGBTQ people.

Recently, a 9-year-old boy in America took his life after coming out to his mum as gay and faced bullying in school.

Heartbreaking as it is, it has globally sparked conversations on bullying, suicide, mental health and homophobia.

READ MORE: Is all this health advice on social media safe for real life?

In Nigeria, social media had a similar upheaval, arising from the exploitative rounding up of gay suspects from a party in Lagos over the weekend.

The famed anti-SARS activist Segun ‘Segalink’ Awosanya, ostensibly representing the voice of the large homophobic majority, took to Twitter pontificating about his stance to abide by the law, a law that breaches the rights of LGBTQ Nigerians.

Disastrously, he compared homosexuality to paedophilia and ultimately undermined the LGBTQ rights movement.

My piece calling out his hypocrisy and harmful obfuscation is still echoing through the corridors of social media, unsurprisingly met with the usual public vitriol.

That said, feminist Twitter has been one resilient community over the years, unified by a common patriarchy-dismantling goal. But I have never seen feminists speak out against homophobia as they did yesterday, which was supremely beautiful and caustic.

Even though it should be common sense for feminists to be pro-LGBTQ, given that women and queer people still actively suffer under patriarchy, it’s not exactly strange to find women whose feminist praxis isn’t intersectional.

Lately, LGBTQ rights have been in mainstream conversations: episodes of the web chat show On The Couch have enjoyed viral popularity by quizzing presidential aspirants about homosexuality, and if they would do something about the anti-gay law.

READ MORE: Ghana has convinced 400 gay people to enter a conversion camp

 

Presidential aspirant Donald Duke was the show’s last guest, and his comments on the subject were packed full of anti-LGBTQ dog whistles.

Feminists calling out other feminists on their homophobia and elsewhere shouldn’t be a one-off thing. Most interestingly, it’s not a coincidence that Nigeria has resisted the Gender Equality Bill and still won’t repeal its anti-gay law.

But time will tell if the country is ready to legislate laws that will favour both women and LGBTQ people.

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