Life

Who should be LGBTQ Nation’s ‘Newsmaker of the Year’?

BISI ALIMI
523242_10150780334861320_1873301350_n-1Nigerian gay rights activist and HIV/AIDS advocate Bisi Alimi made history as the first gay person to come out of the closet on television in the notoriously homophobic country.

“It was the beginning of the end for me,” he said.

In consequence, he was almost murdered by young men who broke into his house and stripped him and whipped him. He lost his job, his character on a TV soap was offed, he was disowned by his family, thrown out of his home–all the while inundated with death threats.

“There is no law in the modern world like this law, not even in the Arab world,” the 40-year-old actor and university lecturer told The Associated Press, pointing to a clause making it a crime not to report a “perceived” homosexual. “How do we find out whether this perceived homosexual is indeed homosexual or just a victim of hatred?” he asked.

Now living in London, Alimi has continued to advocate for LGBT rights among African migrants while working with several notable HIV/AIDS organizations to stop the spread of the disease in his native country.

This year, Alimi addressed a panel at the British Parliament in London, which includes at least five legislators born in Nigeria or of Nigerian parentage, appealing for Nigeria‘s former colonizer to use its influence.

“It’s not about them dictating to Nigeria but letting (Nigerian policy makers) understand why it’s important economically, politically and socially to not have such laws,” he said.

Continue reading: Jackie Biskupski

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