There are coming out stories and there is ‘For Akin’, written by Funmi Iyanda at the request of her friend Akin.
A narrative that starts with the death of one friend and weaves through decades with another, coloured by cancer and HIV, spanning continents and boroughs, a story that is as grand as it is personal.
Funmi Iyanda humanizes Akin, his struggles, his idiosyncracies, his life through a lens of a dedicated and often awestruck friend. When she reaches her last paragraph, telling us after we’re all enthralled that yes, her friend Akin is gay and has always been, asking us to see him through the lens of that single detail, but also to see that detail as just one of many that defines him as a person, she makes one of the strongest, least preachy pleas for us as Nigerians to set aside our snap judgements and hypocrisy and let people live.
There are great articles that will be written about ‘For Akin’ and people like Funmi Iyanda who stand in the gap for Nigeria’s LGBT people but this isn’t one of them. This is just a simple request for you to take a few minutes out of your day, find a quiet place and read this spectacular story of one man’s interesting life.
– In case you missed it, please read here: Funmi Iyanda: For Akin