Visa denial: Where justice reigns, homophobia must have consequences

What happens when a homophobic Nigerian gets denied a visa to an inclusive developed nation for their harmful view on homosexuality?

It is no secret that the Nigerian dream for many working-class Nigerians is to Japa (immigrate) to developed nations where they hope to flourish in ways Nigeria will not allow them.

The irony – and Nigeria is a society of missed ironies, is that many of these dream countries Nigerians hope to immigrate to, have inclusivity as part of the cornerstones of their cultures. This means that citizens of these nations regardless of creed, ethnic affiliation, or sexual orientation enjoy the legal protection of their human dignity – something a majority of Nigerians gleefully deny anyone that doesn’t belong in their ‘perfect’ in-groups.

Twitter user @DrPenKing, took to the microblogging site to share the story of his Doctor friend who he claims got denied visa to Australia for a scholarship she worked so hard on for 3 years. The reason? Her tweet history. 

@Drpenking claims his friend tweeted what he thinks is, “not even hateful,” she was simply “outlining the dangers of homosexuality and warning people against it.” Her visa application was denied for her homophobia.

The fact that @DrPenking, in his attempt to defend his friend’s tweet was himself being homophobic aside, a tweet outlining the dangers of homosexuality and warning people against it is absurd and most certainly homophobic. This has been pointed out to the OP by the over 3000 Twitter users that engaged the tweet.

Because of how intricately homophobia – which has its root in misogyny, is ingrained in Nigeria’s rabidly patriarchal culture, it is highly likely that neither the friend nor the purveyor of her story learnt a thing about the harm they cause with their ‘2 cents’ to the lives of homosexual Nigerians. 

A thread feeding into a culture that is already fatally against Nigeria’s sexual and gender minorities is indeed hateful and deserves consequences. That many Nigerians are averse to the idea of accountability is no business of whatever country they apply to travel to.

To put it in a context that the reality of Nigeria can better allow the majority of Nigerians to grasp, consider a tweet about the dangers of dwarfism that comes with a warning on avoiding dwarfism. A tweet of that nature will do two things:

1.    Feed people the false information that a dwarf (homosexual) is something one can choose to be, giving credence to the harmful practice of ‘othering’ of dwarves (conversion therapy of homosexuals.)

2.    Put a target on the back of dwarfs (homosexuals – who already have a target on their back with targeted laws and societal scorn), further endangering an already endangered group.

As long as Nigeria’s population continues to malign their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and other sexual and gender minority (LGBT+) fellow citizens, it makes every sense that they sit tight in their homophobic utopia to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

It is the only right thing to do.

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