In a collaborative effort, a number of LGBT young Nigerians came together to lend their voices to a campaign engineered to provide visibility to the Nigerian LGBT community.
They are young professionals. They are people in relationships. They are individuals with struggles. They love. They live.
And every day of their lives, they resist.
They resist the prevarication that they are living a lifestyle or that they are demon-possessed or in need of spiritual guidance. They resist the unjust laws that seek to shut them in as prisoners or shut them out in the shadows. They resist the fellow countrymen and women who seek to invalidate them. They resist the lies that they do not matter.
They resist by daring to live authentically and love without fear.
They resist from a place of shadows, but they resist all the same. In their everyday lives, they tell you: “I am here.”
Over the next several days, there’ll be photo updates put up that marks the #HowIResist campaign, a campaign which is a response to prejudice, a determination of survival, and a statement of the fact that there are people among us who just want to live and let live.
I resist by focusing on the one thing that gives me joy: writing.
It is (I suspect) how I survived secondary school: no matter how cruel the homophobic insults from my mates got, no matter that I had just one friend whose love I could really count on. Knowing that I had my imagination (my very own thing that no one could take away from me) comforted me; and I knew, even back then, that all the loneliness, all the stress, will one day be over. – Absalom
In 2011, I told my mother I liked boys. She was petrified. But that didn’t stop her from giving me the best in education, the care, the love…
I was faced with challenges back then. But I resist, with the support of my family. If my family accepts me, I’m sure the world should accept me as well. – Alex.
My story is a complex one, with a scary heterosexual engagement, a painful breakup, and finding love.
I started my journey of truth a few months ago, and it’s been one hell of a journey. But I do not regret any bit of it. I am a queer Nigerian woman and owning my truth has been the best part of my life. – Asa
All my life, I have learnt to own my story, share my experience and let my narrative balance the bias associated with queerness in Africa.
No matter how much criticism I have received, yet I Resist through rolling out more campaigns and statements that can change and promote sexual diversity because I am HUMAN First. – Awele
A wig, a stroke of lipstick, a gorgeous dress… They never fell under the category of “feminine” for me. To me, these were all things I felt good in, that I wanted to put on. I don’t identify as trans, and even though I don’t do labels, for the sake of identity, this is me: effeminate, gender fluid, gay – born into this heavily anti-diverse clime, where total self expression is not easy. So each day for me is a battle, a battle to live my life and wear my skin without fear.
Each day, I resist. I resist by owning my effeminacy as completely as I can. By radiating so much self love. By dripping my colours as messily as I can. Society would tell you that if you want to be accepted, portray yourself using a level of normalcy familiar to the world. I resist that. I resist every day by living far beyond any level of normalcy. I create my own path. – Ayanna