My dear friend, Olumide Makanjuola recently launched his first book, published by Cassava Republic and co-authored with the novelist, Jude Dibia.
‘Love Offers No Safety: Nigeria’s Queer Men Speak’ is a bold, blinding book about LGBTQ men of all ages. Going around the North, the South, the East-and the West of Nigeria; through villages and towns, Islam and Christianity, it share their unfiltered voices – married, single, student, millionaire, artist, banker, or on the edges of the culture.
The breadth of the stories they tell is breathtaking.
I invited Olumide, who has spent the last two decades fearlessly advocating and fighting for intersectional human rights, to tell me where the fearlessness comes from, what the roots of Nigeria’s hatred of queerness and discomfort with different area and why this book.
From the institutional fight on the Egbeda 57 case to his personal journey into becoming a father, Olumide’s life, and this conversation, stand as an unflinching enquiry: Why can’t we just let people be who they are?
Chude Jideonwo and Olumide Makanjuola discuss the societal concern over down low gay men who are married, reflecting on whether it is a natural outcome of a homophobic society. Olumide Makanjuola suggests examining the issue from a broader societal perspective, drawing parallels to debates around topics like abortion and indecent dressing. He emphasizes the need to critically assess societal norms and the tendency to police ourselves, drawing attention to the importance of considering various perspectives, particularly in the context of women’s rights issues in Nigeria.
The conversation delves into the complexities of societal attitudes and the challenges of defining and addressing issues in a diverse and often polarized environment.