Sex Education’s’ gay teen Eric takes a risky trip to Nigeria. How realistic is it?

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10/15/2021

In season 3 of the popular Netflix series Sex Education, the character named Eric Effiong goes to Nigeria. It is a risky trip. Eric is a gay teenager in this series about a high school in the United Kingdom where sex is very much on everyone’s mind. Eric is out and proud. His parents know he is gay and have come to accept his sexuality. But a trip to Nigeria for a family wedding makes his mom nervous — and for a good reason. The country’s legal code criminalizes sex between men and sex between women. In the north of the country where sharia law holds, penalties can include public flogging or stoning to death (although that penalty has not been used). In addition, members of the LGBTQ community have been beaten up in public. Did the show offer a realistic depiction of its gay-in-Nigeria storyline? We asked Bisi Alimi, an actor who came out on a national TV talk show in Nigeria in the early 2000s and says he had to leave the country as a result. He’s the founder of the Bisi Alimi Foundation, which advocates for the rights of LGBTQ people in Nigeria. Now 46, Alimi lives in London with his husband of 5 years and has just started an executive coaching business. [See article for interview.]

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