Nollywood demonises queer people

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08/16/2020

In 2014, the former president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan passed into law a Bill that became the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. The passage of the law gave way to heightened attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people by mobs who said they were working for the president. Over the past six years, the law has led to varying levels of state-sanctioned violence such as the arrest of 47 gay men and their subsequent trials, and the continued harassment and arrests of queer people. They’ve had to hide in spaces that were considered safe — bars and clubs that catered for queer people as well as the homes of activists, until they came under regular attacks and heightened scrutiny. Despite being stifled under this homophobic legislation, queer people’s effect on popular culture is still evident. An example is Bobrisky, a media personality and openly trans woman who has called herself “the most talked-about”, and with good reason.

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