SHOCKING: Being Gay in Nigeria

If you are gay in Nigeria – it is not an easy life. The law, society, and often friends and family will discriminate against you. So BattaBox asked several gay men about the challenges they face being homosexual in Africa.

And they answers reveal a lot, not just about the men, but about society in Nigeria.

“My parents don’t know I am gay in Nigeria,” says one young man, who’s identity must remain anonymous. “They said to me, we don’t see you with any girls, always guys, guys, guys. And I asked myself – how can I do this?”

It is illegal to commit any “same-sex” act in Nigeria since 1901. If you are prosecuted of homosexuality and found guilty, then you can face up to 14 years in prison. It was a bill signed into law by the previous president Goodluck Jonathan despite serious external pressure from the West for the Same Sex Marriage, or the anti-gay, bill to be stopped. In the north of Nigeria, under Sharia law, anyone found guilty of committing homosexual sexual acts, can be stoned to death.

“I started to realise I was gay when I was nine years old,” says another man, who’s identity has also been kept anonymous. “I began to wear my mum’s shoes and head-wrap.”

Nigerian, and African, society is widely regarded as very religious and conservative. Homosexuality is widely regarded as a “Western import” that is “not” African. And so anyone who admits, even to their family, that they are gay in Nigeria, can face serious discrimination.

However, in recent years, especially as more people move to large cities such as Lagos and the rise of the internet and awareness to human rights, more Nigerians around the world campaign for equal gay rights in Nigeria. A gay church founded by pastor Jide Macaulay was even set up in Lagos, before police pressured the church to close.

“Even people who discriminate against gays in Nigeria – are one of us!” explains the young man. “I even have police that come to our gay parties, but they won’t say they’re police, but I know because they are my friends.”

In July, 2017, over men were arrested in Lagos state for performing homosexual acts, say police. But, according to the BBC, the event that the police raided was to raise awareness about HIV testing in Nigeria’s gay community.

The discrimination means homosexuals cannot easily access healthcare and education, and has helped the spread of HIV/AIDS in the gay community in Nigeria.

What do you think about being gay in Nigeria? Gist us in the comments below.

 

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  2. This was an honest interview. The health professionals wouldn’t have said it any better. Homosexuals should learn to be faithful to their partners 🙏

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  4. we need our gay right in nigeria, we are also humans and very dedicated to god religion as well, pls im beggin on this,the government should consider this. The only thing i suggest FG should imply is to stop gay marriage and relationship public but private at least that will do us good ease the problem we gay people are having now around the country. Thanks!

  5. Why Will You Want To Be Straight? Just Because They Are Not Into Pussies Doesn’t Mean They Should Be Treated Differently. We All Use Religion And Cultural Norms As An Excuse To Prejudicize And Show Hate.

  6. Most Homophobic People Say It Is A “White Man Culture” And The So Called “Religion” We Practice Did Not Originate From Nigeria And Was Not Part Of Our Culture.

    • Lol… if people in Nigeria are looking to scrap the “White man’s culture” from our daily lifestyle, then I’d say they’ve got their work cut out for them

  7. I think the government should at least consider the gym society at least they are also citizens of this great nation so they should be considered they should at least be given a little right so they don’t have to go through what they do everyday Haba how do we know if they are not also gayS or maybe their children to because from what I’ve heard it is the rich men children that practice it more so Pls we should at least give them a little chance to be free and also have a good life and have a voice as a citibbitnot discriminate against them

    That’s my own point of view shaaaa

  8. I don’t think being gay is a choice it’s just who they are,my friend was so sad when he asked me why God made him gay in a homophobic state. Pls all of you homophobes should try to be a little bit less judgemental,imagine if your child is gay and knows how homophobic you are do you think he will ever feel like you are his father or someone that will end his life when he tells you the truth that you’ve always asked him to tell you.let’s stop being ignorant of the real reason we don’t like gay people,its Hate for being different.

  9. someone wrote and i quote *let them feel free and do what makes them happy and having the sense of belonging to their society* now i have question for those in support of gay practice.if u have a child,and he cries for torn or scorpion;will u give to that ur child so that he or she would stop crying? If u do,then u are a very good example of a bad parent.let the child ask of something reasonable then u will see his or her parent delightfully giving him or her that which she requested for.children of these days left breat to request for stone,they left fish to requesting for serpent.but one thing i have to say here is,in all u do here on earth there is reward awaiting u.if u live a righteous life,good for u and if u live unrighteous life bad for u.heaven is real and hell is real.

    • Ask yourself this question. Why will someone want to be homosexual, when they know it will only get them killed or prosecuted? Homosexuality is not a choice. People just don’t wake up and say ” today I want another man or woman.”

  10. Seriously what is bad is bad.stop gay .y even doing it dont we ladies or even prostitue to f**k .ladies stop lebian..y isnt dat we copy foreign cultures

    • My guy, I don’t think you understand, It is not a choice… or would you choose to be ostracized, disowned, and even persecuted by your own people because they think they know what’s right and what isn’t?

  11. It is really a pity that homosexuals cannot access healthcare simply because of their sexual orientation. An orientation they did not choose, but were born with. It is really a big pity. Meanwhile pedophiles and murderers receive healthcare at will.

  12. “If being gay is a sin, its none of your business after all gays are not hitting on you” – to homophobes.
    People don’t choose to be gay. They just are. They’re born that way. And if its a sin do you think your unnecessary hate and discrimination will change who they are? No! You’re just hypocrites. You go out saying shit like “I’m a Christian. I love my neighbor as I love my self, I love my enemies” but yet you hear someone is gay and you start to throw stones, insult and beat the person. And you think you’re going to heaven
    Sin is sin. If being gay is a sin its no different from the lies you’ve told, the things you’ve stolen,the violence you’ve committed etc. When you die you’ll still be judge based on your sin and there are no categories of hell for levels of sinners so when you die, you’ll still meet gay people in hell if they’re sinners. – to all self righteous, religious, homophobic,assholes.

  13. Comment* IT IS A EVERY HARD THING THAT WILL EVER HAPPEN TO A MAN IN NIGERIA. BEC AS FOR ME BEING A GAY , IT HAVE BEEN SO HARD. HIDING, PRETENDING & SO ON. BUT TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH, AM JUST SICK & TIRED OF ALL THOSE THINGS , INFACT I TAKE AS GOD PONISHMENT TO ME& THATS IT

  14. I sincerely would have loved to see comments from more open-minded Nigerians (apparently they are very few). How have we allowed Religious and Cultural sentiments blind us so much that we no longer see the value in humanity.
    You know why the White man prospers more than we black men?! It is because they see themselves first as Humans beings before anything else. They concern themselves with what each individuals has to offer society regardless of your sexuality. Sexual orientation is personal, one’s sexuality has nothing to do with influencing what you have to offer. What you do in the privacy of your room is no mans business (as long as you are not hurting someone else).
    Why should you concern yourself about someones sexual orientation when you should concern yourself instead on how to make the society in which you live in a better place.
    Stop using religion and culture as an excuse to exercise hate, it is barbarian in nature and inhumane.
    See everybody as humans and stop with the name tags. My name is not “Gay”, it is “Femi”. When I see you, I dont call you straight or Hetero (because i see you as a fellow human being and not a stereotype). See me as Femi, address me as “Femi”.
    Apparently there are a lot the African man needs to know and understand about sexuality. Y’all think sexuality is something plain, something you choose. Just the way you didn’t choose to be straight, is the same way gays didn’t choose to be gay, it just happened that they were born so. But it’s unfortunate that we live in a society where minority interests are looked down upon, and everything that concerns them is tagged “abnormal”.
    Humans are built to feel, to love and to have emotions, these people possess all these traits as you, yet you see them as abnormal because they they are different?!
    If you see everyone as humans, you will realise that everyone deserves happiness as muchas the other, do not deprive anyone of their happiness because of crude thinking. Itis unfair and wicked.
    Why don’t you leave God to be the judge of his creations, rather than helping him do his job.
    This type of hate only boils down to lack of critical thinking among Africans, and the fear to embrace reality.
    FACT: 1 in every 10 guys is gay (it could be your brother, or even your best friend)
    Will you now love them less because of their sexuality, thereby overlooking past their personality?! Identify with them based on who they really are and not their sexuality.
    The greatest form of evil which you can do to a fellow human is making him feel threatened, making him feel insecure and repressing his freedom,..it is inhumane and such act doesn’t deserve God’s wrath.
    Judge me for who I am, and not by my sexuality. My sexuality has nothing to do with what I am. My actions, my doings and my personality is what makes me human and thay should be your criteria for judging and interactng with me.
    Say no to Hate, Say no to Jungle justice, Preach Love not hate, Love for humanity should be our major focus.
    I hope I’ve made little sense so far

  15. Comment* You scream Love don’t judge…pity how we call truth judgement. It is true how most folks jump right in and start casting stones. But…in all things we look to God for direction, Romans chapter 1 tells us that even simple nature tells us of the invisible laws of God. How many homosexual animals have you ever seen, for me I have NEVER in all my years seen a single one. That simply means that God didn’t make any, so…except you know someone else who creates living things you’re gonna have to xplain what y’all mean by “that’s how I was made” Sooooo weak…that’s right, of course you’ll blame the one guy who won’t defend himself (yet). If you want to know the abilities of an appliance, you usually read the manual in the carton, I recommend the manual for humans; READ YOUR BIBLE AND KNOW GOD’S WORD FOR YOU. I am not only spiritually inclined “religious ” as some will call it, but also subscribe to common sense, reading your bible will save you a whole lot of confusion and mistake. If you can’t say anything better than excusing yourself, your problem goes far beyond your sexuality…I’ll leave it here for now.

  16. Comment* Thanks to everyone that shared their views right here, wish I could meet you all in person. First off, it is unacceptable and inexcusable to judge or cast off a person based on their sexuality, character or what you “believe” they have done wrong. We each see a different world based on our experiences and beliefs so don’t judge.
    Secondly, and the reason we are all here is the fact that you don’t have to be gay if you don’t want to. Most of the people here and in most other places who are gay state the matter like it is a cross they have been given to carry, someone here even went as far to say that it is God’s punishment upon him.
    This is for all who do not want to be gay. The Lord your God is a merciful and loving father who gives the living bread to His children that they may live forever. Your earthly parents do not love you half as much as He does yet no parent will ever wish this for their child especially if the child is averse to it. God loves you too much to make you in a manner that you feel ashamed of your person, has God ever made the mistake of putting say a lion into a fish’s body-never. Much more you who is His perfect creature, He doesn’t make mistakes.
    I’m here to tell you of a Lord who says “come to me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest” and “whosoever shall call upon me shall find help in their time of need and be saved” You can be saved- but, only if you want to. The basic difference between one who is saved and one who is not is not that saved people are intrinsically better but that they have turned their lives over to the only one who can make it better and that is JESUS.
    You don’t have to live this life if you don’t want it anymore, I tell you this because I have been here along with so many others who have seen worse. God will never turn His back on you no matter what you do, He knows all you are capable of so come to Him cause He keeps calling you to Himself. In case you do not know, this is He calling you again. Please believe my words and you will be set free. Jesus died for you so that you can have the best life there is. This will not appeal to logic but it is not supposed to- just ask God to take over and don’t go brainstorming this it will not work.
    JESUS DIED ON A CROSS FOR YOUR SINS AND ROSE FOR YOUR REDEMPTION HE HAS PAID IT ALL, WHY DO YOU HAVE TO PAY AGAIN. COME TO HIM TODAY AND YOU’LL NEVER REGRET IT. THANKS A LOT.

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