Words: Matthew Blaise
Last night was a very sad day for us (18th October 2020). I’m still trying to digest that queer Nigerians were mobbed by fellow protesters both online and offline for advocating for a better system that is favourable to queer Nigerians.
Many of our friends and allies who we never thought would turn against us, turned because of backlash they received for supporting us. It is quite understandable.
Many of us have not learnt to take up so much heat, but queer people in Nigeria have been burning since they realised their queerness in the world’s most homophobic country.
Queer Nigerians are fighting a common enemy, which is the Nigerian government and you, I mean you, the CisHeterosexual protesters that wants us burnt on a stake too. As if we are armed robbers or your corrupt politicians.
We see you. We know what you did yesterday. How you made Feminist Coalition delete their solidarity tweet. How you bullied queer Nigerians to chew their sufferings to the tiniest and hide them behind their teeth. We see you, and posterity will remember you for the evil you are.
Queer Nigerians are one of the primary targets of SARS. It is selfish to say we shouldn’t talk about it as it relates to us.
It is selfish to say this is not our time. When then is our time? When we are totally erased by the system? Tell me if you even care for the right time? You don’t! And there’s no right time to fight for our lives. We are not just anything that should be discarded until we’re in need of usage again. We no be memory card.
We see all you’re trying to do. You’re erasing our contribution to this protest. It happened with the #BLM movement. But what you don’t know is ‘people are like cities, and no amount of legislation can completely wipe them away’. We are queer Nigerians. We are here. We’ve been here and we are not going anywhere for you! Period!
Blaise is a Nigerian LGBTQ+ rights activist and coordinator of SAFE HQUSE, a collective providing two days temporary safe housing to queer #EndSARS protesters in Nigeria.
Slides designed by Adaeze Feyisayo.