Nigerians: Gays, as long as they’re not our gays, are okay. – Africa is a Country – I would like to see this as a win in the fight against homophobia. It could be interpreted as a huge step forward that Nigerians interacted with an openly gay person without contracting “gayism” – one of my personal favorites in the informal homophobia dictionary. Nigerians breathed the same air as Quest, an openly gay man and no one died.
Sadly, this sudden “friendliness” of a largely homophobic society has raised several questions. Nigerian-born LGBTI activist Bisi Alimi, who lives in United Kingdom, suggests there is more at play. In a Facebook post, Alimi wrote, “Richard Quest is in Nigeria and getting a hero’s welcome. Lest we forget, he is a man living openly as gay, but what we do to our LGBT? Either kill them or imprison them. Shame on you hypocrites!”
Loaded in this are questions: would Nigerians still have welcomed him if they knew he was gay? Would they still have shone their teeth into the cameras for selfies? Quest’s visit to Nigeria perhaps may actually be pointing a finger at the double standards in Nigeria, especially for the LGBT bashers aware of his sexuality.
As many Nigerians who have been open about their homosexuality in Nigeria can attest, once you are out, the doors to opportunity start shutting.