Nigeria’s Queer Population is Facing an Impossible Decision


Two years ago, during the Endsars peaceful protests in Nigeria, the younger generation did something that shocked the whole country and Nigerians everywhere. They walked and worked in unity and in peace, demanding an end to police brutality and bad governance. Even the youths involved were surprised to see that they were achieving the impossible. For two weeks, armed with social media as a conduit to the rest of the world, they generated resources and ran something similar to an independent government on the streets of different cities across the country. They provided food and drinks for refreshment on protest grounds, DJs and sound systems were available for entertainment, stand-by ambulances for medical needs, and private security for protection. Nigerian youths spoke with one voice and one mind. And each day, when the protest was over, they left the streets cleaner than they found it, like they were never there. No one in Nigeria had seen anything like it before then. The differences in religion and ethnicity these youths had been raised to view as great demarcating walls suddenly crumbled to dust. From Lagos to Port Harcourt and down to Enugu, it did not matter if you believed in the Christian God, Allah, the gods of your ancestors, or nothing. It did not matter what ethnicity you were. The only thing that mattered was that you were tired of the targeted brutality of young people by the police force.

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