Nigerian gay rights activist Bisi Alimi has organised the first-ever LGBT event in Nigeria.
The event tagged “Night of Diversity 2019” was organised by his foundation The Bisi Alimi Foundation. It held last night in Lagos, Tuesday 29th October.
Alimi expressed such an event could hold in Nigeria took to his Instagram story to say:
“I am so emotional this morning. Never thought that last night was going to be possible in Lagos and in Nigeria in my lifetime.
We organised a LGBT event and the crowd came out for it, both straight and LGBT, people came out”.
It was gathered that the event was made possible in partnership with Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Alimi gained notoriety in 2004 when he became the first Nigerian gay man to appear on Nigerian national television as a guest on Funmi Iyanda’s show New Dawn with Funmi, a talk show on the NTA. He was forced to flee Nigeria in 2007 following threats to his life. He was granted asylum in 2009 by the UK, where he has been resident since.
The Nigerian LGBT community has been a target for discrimination, hostility and rejection. This intensified with the criminalisation of sexual relationships between people of the same sex in January 2014.
The Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) was signed into law in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, it was enacted on the premise that the Nigerian culture is antithetical to homosexuality.