Op-Ed

Emmanuel Sadi: A Q&A (with myself) about gay rights in Nigeria.

You read the title right, I am asking questions and answering them by myself. Ignore the question you are asking yourself about my mental state because the conversation is what’s important. We currently don’t have enough people asking questions and talking about gay rights in Nigeria so keep scrolling to read my desperate attempt at keeping the conversation going.

 

Why have you decided to interview yourself about Gay Rights in Nigeria?

There is a lot work currently being done to propel gay rights and LGBTQ acceptance/safety both locally and internationally but I don’t think it is enough. We need to have more conversations around these issues, we need to be talking about the injustice, the illiteracy, the suicides, the lynchings, the discrimination and we need to keep talking till change comes. Luckily I don’t need to be Barack Obama to speak out because The Rustin Times is a platform that is giving every voice a chance to be heard and I plan on using the opportunity to the fullest. I’d rather a few people read my thought in a desperate attempt at joining the conversation than a long wait for screen time that may never come.

Why are LGBT issues important to you?

The simple truth is this; I am afraid. I read stories of LGBTQ violence and my heart melts like butter because I know it could happen to me. I have seen the ugly hand of LGBTQ discrimination firsthand and I don’t want to sit around and wait for my turn. No one is safe, even straight people aren’t safe from being perceive and that is why everyone should be concerned about LGBT issues whether they are gay, straight or Trans. I repeat; these issues ultimately affect everyone and no one is truly safe from the repercussions of homophobia. So the better question is; Why isn’t this important to everyone? Even if you are safely locked away from these issues, why aren’t you concerned? Why do you think it is okay to persecute someone who hasn’t brought you any harm just because they love differently?

Are you afraid you will get hurt or ridiculed for speaking out?

I speak out of fear, I am already hurt, I am already ridiculed and there is nothing left to do but to speak. I recognize the fact that there is danger in speaking about LGBTQ issues in Nigeria but more importantly I recognize the danger in not speaking out. Thankfully, I haven’t been attacked and I honestly don’t know what I would do if that day comes but what I have to say needs to be said and that is all the motivation I need.

Why do you think there is so much animosity towards LGBTQ people in Nigeria?

I used to blame religion but now I personally think Nigerians are generally wicked people. I imagine a country without the religious import of Christianity and Islam but still I see people who use tribalistic differences to fight eachother, people who have no respect for nature and a clean environment, people with leaders that are ready to sell them off to slavery and steal from them, people who killed newborn twins because they considered them evil and many more. These are all things you can’t blame religion for and that is why I think we personally use religion to cover up our own wickedness. You don’t need the bible to explain what love is, you don’t need the qua ran to tell you it is wrong to kill or persecute someone because they are different. We live in a wicked world and it is a big shame that words from the bible/qua ran can be used to enhance wickedness, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is pure wickedness.

What do you want people to take away from this interview?

There is a serious conversation about gay rights and anyone who isn’t raising awareness is part of the problem because the only thing left for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Keep pushing the conversation anonymously or otherwise even if it looks like a lost battle. Keep talking, keep sharing, educate, advocate, volunteer, donate and eventually we will all be the collective voice against injustice. This is the motivation I hope everyone takes from this interview.


 

 

Emmanuel Sadi is a Lagos based writer, who considers himself to be one of the greatest writers and human rights activist (In the making). He wakes up thinking; Evil must not triumph and tries to make a difference.

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