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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

YOUR STORIES
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in NIGERIA...
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Adeola (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay readers on 15/01/2014 tagged with at the work place, hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, laws and leadership , sexual orientation, religion, marriage / civil unions +10
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I think Nigeria as a country needs some education, Needs to understand .Freedom to expression
.Freedom to life
.Freedom to choose
and above all Nigeria needs to understand that there is more than Muslim and Christian as a religion, so if I decide to worship Hindu as a religion there will be a bill passed that will jail me for practicing what I wish...Wake up Nigeria
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Nigeria is a country with over 170 million people and shares boarders with the Republic of Benin,Cameroon and Niger. Nigeria is largely shared between 2 major religions which are the muslims that largely dominate the northern part and the christians in the western part though there were other religions but these are the 2 major conservative. I grew up in a country where homosexuality is totally frowned upon by the society, the government and the religion. Growing up as a child actually was fun not until when I openly came out with my sexuality to my family and that made the beginning of my journey into neglection, punishment and denial of some basic rights just because of my sexuality. This led to me being taken to a deliverance house with the hope of me being a better person but after four years this changed nothing about me till date. Few years later I ran into the hands of the corrupt Nigerian government cohorts [police} where I suffered several attacks and threats of been killed or jail term. My gay life has not been an interesting one from the age of thirteen till now that I am 24 coupled with the fact that I am gay man living with HIV.
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Olatunji (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay readers in response to this story on 28/08/2013 tagged with sexual orientation +5
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Dear Ben,
I know what you think. I am Nigerian like you, and it is possible we both have similar cultural backgrounds....but I want you to realize that sexual orientation is not a sickness. Sexual orientation is an innate part of every human being. I am gay. I don't know why I am like that, but I cannot deny it as a part of me. I believe you are straight. I feel about men the same way you feel about women, and vice versa. It's not fun being part of a persecuted minority, and had I a choice in this matter, would probably not have made such a choice.
I have accepted my way of life and my sexuality. I don't understand heterosexual feelings, because I wonder what a man sees in a woman.... but I will not discriminate against anyone based on that. I will not see a heterosexual person as base or disgusting, I will see them as a person...and that is what matters most.
The ills of the society in which we live are many, Nigeria has a lot of endemic problems. We will be a greater nation, if we let aside such issues as divide us, and unite together to face our challenges head-on, regardless of ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender or religion.
I love you, Ben......just the way you are. Please, love me too, just the way I am!
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Olatunji (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay readers on 28/08/2013 tagged with sexual orientation +5
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I'm a man, but sexually attracted to other men. I have been this way since like forever, I can't remember things being different.
I grew up with a very strict Christian background, where the mention of erotic love, sex, and relationships was taboo, and viewed as the most mortal of sins.
But I could not help my feelings. As early as 8 years old, I had a crush on a lot of men in my daily lives, but had no ways of expressing it.
I was very good in academics, and excelled at the top of my class throughout Primary, Secondary and University days. I became a Medical Doctor.
My secondary school days were very melancholic, because I strove to fight the "strange" fire within me....It was a very trying time, denying my feelings for handsome young men around....Numerous sessions of fasting and prayers, and a few sessions of deliverance prayers in churches....all to no avail.
I practically wished I could be "normal", but all my efforts yielded no results. By the time I was in 300 level in Medical School, I just about gave up on myself, and came to the conclusion that it was impossible to change who I am. I decided to live with it, and be the best I could be in life...
I began to question a lot of church doctrine, and these all hinged on the thought that: If God really wanted me not to be this way, He shouldn't have made me this way...
I had a few men in my lives over time, but I was deep in the closet. I still am. I am currently practicing Medicine in Nigeria, in a Federal Tertiary Institution. I live a "normal" life.
I am still unmarried, despite a lot of pressures from family, and I am resolved that I will not be enslaved into marriage with a woman, as it will be a recipe for disaster.
I meet men on internet sites, usually chatting and talking about general things first. Then, I tend to meet selected people in person, if I feel that the persona is right for me.
In my experience, quite a number of young Nigerian men have same-sex sexual intercourse. A majority of them are involved in this only for money, and that is a large majority. I have met quite a lot of these people. They cannot be counted as LGBT. Most Nigerians that are truly LGBT are in the closet, because of the stigma associated with it in Nigeria here. It is still seen as a SIN by the majority of people here.
If you read the Nigerian dailies, you will see a lot of stories about people who are accused of having sex with someone of the same sex, and it is usually attributed to ritual purposes or demonic possession.
I live my life in the closet as much as possible. I don't flaunt my sexuality. I have stopped going to church, though, it just doesn't seem right to me, since my life is not accepted.
I am looking forward to a Nigeria where people tolerate the sexuality of others, and respect other people's lives.
I am not asking for same sex unions or marriages, all I am asking for is that straight people should see gay people as people, not as less than animals...
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Micheal (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay readers on 22/12/2011 tagged with sexual orientation +4
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GAY life in Nigeria , i am a gay man and also HIV positive i have faced a lot of stigma because of my status as a gay man and also living with HIV , my family has disown me because they feel i have been coursed by god and am been punished by god, Avery day of my life i live in fear and pain because am not able to live the kind of life i will want to live , but one thing that brings me joy is the fact that even in the face of all this issues am able to change my community members lives (MSM)many of them now believe that HIV is real because they have seen some one who is infected,many who are infected now know the right things to do and get health care services they are now members of the support group which is for MSM alone , am also glad about the organization where i work because we provide services for MSM and also have a clinic specific for MSM alone where they get ARVs with out going out there to be stigmatized by health care workers . all this we have achieved in Nigeria even in face of all the stigma and laws against gay people in Nigeria
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ADEYINKA CARTWAK (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay lesbian bisexual readers on 05/05/2011 tagged with lgbt families, hate crime and violence prevention, human rights, laws and leadership , sexual orientation, illegality of male to male relationships +28
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On the 12th of jan 2011, a day before the PDP Primaries, PUNCH newspaper published an interview with the Gay Association of Nigeria {the interview was done on the 11th at a hotel in Abuja}. The interview in question, was done by some executive members of the Association but a whole lot of members turned up for support.... During the interview, Vikky labbele stated when he was asked who 'GAN' will support for primaries and said ALHAJI ATIKU. He said the association will support Atiku because he is father/businessman and an understanding person who they believe can make Nigeria better. He never said Atiku was gay. He further stated that GAN, like any other association has rights to declare support for who ever they want like its done in developed countries around the world. That said interview generated a lot of controversy and was believed to be cause of Atiku's downfall during the presidential primaries because he lost the primaries woefully. The issue at hand now is that Atiku loyalist have vowed to seek every member of GAN out dispose them....... As i write this report now, The SSS are on the tail of the members of GAN who are already on the run from Atiku's loyalist {the loyalist have murdered 2 members as at the 29th}. All the executive and most members of GAN are on the run for their lives.
The question now is that, How long will we keep running, What will happen to our jobs and houses since we are in no position to trust anybody? The said interview can be checked online on http://www.punchng.com/Archive.aspx?datex=01%2F12%2F2011 . This is an SOS call. On easter monday, three houses in three different locations belonging to some members was burnt down. How long do we have to endure this torture? Adeyinka is currently the project director for Gay Association of Nigeria and he is creator of 'Nigerian gay lesbian bisexual lovers and friends on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=154681804546033. Adeyinka can be reached on adeyinkacartwak@yahoo.com
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(user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for gay lesbian bisexual readers on 05/05/2011 tagged with human rights, sexual orientation, illegality of male to male relationships +20
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On the 12th of jan 2011, a day before the PDP Primaries, PUNCH newspaper published an interview with the Gay Association of Nigeria {the interview was done on the 11th at a hotel in Abuja}. The interview in question, was done by some executive members of the Association but a whole lot of members turned up for support.... During the interview, Vikky labbele stated when he was asked who 'GAN' will support for primaries and said ATIKU. He said the association will support Atiku because he is father/businessman and understanding person who they believe can make Nigeria better. He never said Atiku was gay. He further stated that GAN can like any other association has rights to declare support for who ever they want like its done in developed countries around the world. That said interview generated a lot of controversy and was believed to be cause of Atiku's downfall because he lost the primaries woefully. The issue at hand now is that Atiku loyalist have vowed to seek every member of GAN out dispose them....... As i write report now, The SSS are on the tail of the members who are already on the run from Atiku's loyalist {they have murdered 2 members as at the 29th}. All the executive and most members of GAN are on the run for their lives.
The question now is that, How long will we keep running, What will happen to our jobs and houses since we are in no position to trust anybody? The said interview can be checked online on http://www.punchng.com/Archive.aspx?datex=01%2F12%2F2011 . Thhis write up is written by Adeyinka Cartwak. Adeyinka is currently the project director for Gay Association of Nigeria and he is creator of 'Nigerian gay lesbian bisexual lovers and friends on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=154681804546033. Adeyinka can be reached on adeyinkacartwak@yahoo.com
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I was in Nigeria in Summer of 2009. I had a fantastic time there. The social life of lesbians was mostly visible in Abuja and Lagos. I was moving in circles of upper and middle class individuals so I cannot speak wider than this. The reactions I got from men were of a highly sexualized nature. Some of them found it arousing in the sense that they say lesbians as sexually adventurous and had high hopes for a threesome. This, I found offensive. Even more offensive was a discussion I had with a guy who told me of how he attended a party with many lesbians in Abuja. He was particularly hostile when he spoke of butch lesbians or girls who chose butch lesbians as sexual partners. He insinuated that he would support anyone who took the liberty of "correcting their sexual practices" i.e. rape or coerced sex.

Aside from that, I could not hold hands with my girlfriend in public or even dare to sneak a kiss but in the elitist clubs it was all well and good and no one batted an eyelid.
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Akudo O. (user currently living in NIGERIA) posted for lesbian readers on 21/08/2010 tagged with at the work place, hate crime and violence prevention, sexual orientation, illegality of female to female relationships +28
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I started work with my present organization in February 2007, i was their first employee and was placed on a very little salary because at that point the company had not started generating money. When we got our first contract, i worked weekends alone with the Managing Director, sometimes, when i close, i get called out again to work at night.

Later that Year, two tech guys that were so nice to me till date and a lady was employed under me, and then another two ladies, till we became 20 in the office. We worked amicably until the Managers started being intimate with the female employees. I didn't care because i always wear my engagement ring from my partner which they all guessed must be a man.

At a point, they started rumoring that my friends on Facebook are mostly girls and that i chat with only girls, i did not bother. When they talk about their boyfriends, i move away because i dont want anybody to want to hear my story.

The MD called me one evening after close of work that he wanted to visit my house. I lied that i was living with my sister, and there he promised to give me rent to move out of my sisters house so that he will be coming to eat our native soup in my house.

I kept hiding from him, until he shocked me with questions about my sexuality. I lied, (because of the rate of discrimination and stigmatization in my country)yet he demoted me and always make reference of me in meetings although without mentioning my name, yet everyone knows who he is always referring to.

Right now, i have been given a dress code, for only me and also warned that i should never be in contact with any female agent working under me and the most painful part is that the people i employed are now my bosses.

I have learnt a lot my self and i have vowed to embrace being an activist to make sure nobody ever experiences what i have. I working towards making my name while still here so that they will know that the stone that was rejected can become the chief corner stone.
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Enoch Akhaine posted for readers on 22/04/2010 tagged with sexual orientation +10
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i am writing with deep fear and am psychologically disturbed for reasons that i will be persecuted in some sort such as to be subjected
to being openly punished and humiliated by my family relatives and feared that my cultural clan in Edo,Nigeria will make me insane because i am a bisexual. Since March, 2009 i have been a bisexual and i told a close relative about my current sexual position but he has accused me strongly on the phone and vowed with other family relatives in line with our culture that it is a taboo and i shall be subjected to curses and threatened i will be put to be insane for being a bisexual. Currently i fear returning home after i last visited in 2008 Christmas. I am a Masters student(writing my final thesis on gender representation)temporarily residing in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. I am Psychologically imbalanced and am on the verge of terminating my MA studies and fear that my residency here expires in September,2010.I am grip with fear to return home.I fear to be insane especially.
North Cyprus is politically an unrecognized country and not part of the EU competent countries where i may find refuge.I dont want to be a destitute here after my studies but I am scared and dread returning home. I am an Orphan and the only child of my Late parents. the end of me implies the end of my father's generation to come. I dont want to change my sexual position however.
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