Bisi Alimi Organizes His First LGBT Pride Event in Lagos

Nigeria’s first openly gay man, Bisi Alimi has organized the first-ever LGBT pride event in Lagos after his return to Nigeria.

The excited UK based activist went to his official twitter account to show his appreciation. He wrote “WE DID IT!!! Last night we organise an LGBT pride event in #Lagos. I am all emotional now as I never thought such would happen in my lifetime. The celebs cane out. Great crowd and loads of rainbow awesomeness. Thanks to @ejaf and @Mprendergast. See you at Lagos Pride 2020″.

” Thank you to everyone that made last night amazing. The event will be back next year, bigger, bolder and better. -“Bisi Alimi

Bisi Alimi attended the Night of Diversity 2019 organized by the Bisi Alimi Foundation, the first-ever LGBT pride event which held in Lagos on Tuesday, October 29.

” Our official honeymoon dinner in pop art with @ajd_3030 thanks to the staff of @ubudvalleyresort for a wonderful evening.”- @Bisialimi

Bisi left Nigeria 15 years ago and relocated to the United Kingdom after coming out openly on a live TV during Funmi Iyanya’s NTA program.

Some of the sponsors of the event include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, Martin Prendergast, Stephen Fry, and Paul Gambaccini. The British Deputy High Commission also provided the venue for the event. The Night of Diversity 2019 saw 9 members of the LGBT community take the stage to show off their talents and capabilities.

Gay People Are Not The Cause Of Nigeria’s Problems | By Ijabla Raymond

I read with disbelief the arrest of 40 gay men in Lagos recently. Gay people are not the problem with Nigeria. The people destroying this country are walking free. We know who they are – thieving politicians, conniving clergy, unscrupulous businessmen, paedophiles, rapists, corporate tax evaders, multinationals that pollute the ecosystem and collude with regulatory bodies to avoid paying compensations to the communities they are destroying – but no one is arresting them. Gay people are low hanging fruits. It is easy to arrest them and distract the public.

Homosexuality is as old as human history and it occurs in all human societies, cultures and races. It is mentioned in both Christian and Islamic scriptures, which indicates it is not a new phenomenon or something that white people are trying to sneak into Africa. The irony is that pre-colonial African societies were tolerant of homosexuality and it is homophobia that is a relatively new phenomenon in Africa. Homophobia was imported into Africa by Islam and Christianity. The British colonial government introduced a ban on homosexuality in 1901 and the Jonathan administration outlawed gay marriage in 2013. Human rights organisations report that this law has emboldened homophobes to attack and lynch gay people.

Homophobia is an irrational fear. Gay people are not wanting our money, spouses, houses or other possessions. They just want to be left alone to be who they are. Homosexuality is not the reason our country is plagued by all sorts of problems such as high crime rates, youth unemployment, poor infrastructures, high infant and maternal mortality rates. Human extinction would have occurred a long time ago if homosexuality could cause extinction. Gay people make up a small percentage of the human population and are not a threat to human survival.

Overpopulation and climate change are a more immediate threat to humans (especially in poverty stricken parts of Africa) than homosexuality could ever be. And it is obvious that sexual orientation is something we are born with and not something we choose. When people say that homosexuality is a choice, I always ask them: At what point did you choose your sexual orientation – at preconception, in your mother’s womb, at birth or when you were a toddler? What factors did you consider before making that choice?

The only cause of homophobia I know of is religion. Religious morality is arbitrary and it is not decided by reason, evidence, empathy, or consideration of harm to others. For instance, slavery, rape and paedophilia are not regarded as immoral in Christian and Islamic scriptures but homosexuality is. In the Old Testament, you could violate and rape a woman and go unpunished as long as you marry her. But if you had sex with another consenting adult (without hurting a third party) you got stoned to death.

I feel sad to observe Nigerian Christians and Muslims all jubilant about the arrest and unfair treatment of people who have caused them no harm. Yet, these are the same people who say their religions teach tolerance and love. I could never get my head around that. This country is so religious yet it sits at the top of the list of the most corrupt nations in the world.

Considering that practically every Nigerian is a devout Christian or Muslim, who are these people giving and receiving bribes? Who are the people looting government funds and making it impossible for us to build hospitals, schools, roads etc? It seems to me that religion does not make a society moral.

Let us be honest – gay people’s only offence is being different. Their sexual orientation and sex life are not hurting anybody. But being different is not a good reason to discriminate against a group of people. And just because something is lawful doesn’t mean it is just. Human history is filled with examples of stupid and unjust laws. There used to be a time when women and black people were denied the right to vote in America.

Apartheid was once lawful in South Africa. Black people used to be slaves with zero human rights. Arresting and humiliating gay people for no other reason than being gay is not a good way for the society to treat difference. It diminishes us. We must give up this idle preoccupation with the sex lives of other people.

Ijabla is a humanist. He writes from the U.K.
Email: ijabijay@me.com

Nigeria Police Arrest 42 Gay Men in Lagos State

More than 40 men were arrested over the weekend for homosexual acts in Nigeria, police say.

Punch newspaper reports that the police raided a hotel in Lagos State on Saturday.

Same-sex acts are punishable by up to 14 years in jail in Nigeria, while gay marriage and displays of same-sex affection are also banned.

Nigeria has an influential Christian evangelical movement as well as strong support for Islamic law, both of which oppose homosexuality, reports the BBC.

Nigeria has had a ban on gay relationships since 1901.

According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, same-sex relations are explicitly banned in 72 countries although the number of nations that criminalize such relations has been decreasing each year.

“My heart bleeds for Nigeria”–Bisi Alimi Slams Nigerians following Richard Quest’s “Hero’s Welcome”

London-based Nigeria’s Gay rights activist Bisi Alimi, in a post on Instagram called Nigerians hypocrites for giving CNN‘s Richard Quest who is in Nigeria “for a week of filming and doing Quest Means Business” a “hero’s welcome” even though he’s also openly gay.

bisialimi
BISI ALIMI and Lover ANTHONY photo credit: Bisi alimi IG

He shared the photo below with the caption:

So I heard Richard Quest is in Nigeria and as usual, my people are drooling over him. These are the same Nigerians that will not allow an openly gay person on their screen, or even give one a job. What is different about Richard Quest that makes his homosexuality harmless but my homosexuality as a Nigeria scary and threatening? Is it that my people think my homosexuality is in some way earth destroying but that is Richard comforting or as a people we just lack pure emotional intelligence to appreciate our own? My heart bleeds for Nigeria, it does make me cry for my LGBT brothers and sisters.