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“I was shocked to see other queer Nigerian men enjoy freedom outside the country.” —Arinze Ifeakandu

“I was shocked to see other queer Nigerian men enjoy freedom outside the country.” —Arinze Ifeakandu

Jun 15, 2023

I’ve been thinking we actually live in a don’t ask don’t tell kind of reality and around the time I was writing a lot of these stories I had a different reality at least a different social economic reality. For me, my main focus was at least because I was writing from my experience and the experiences of the people with whom I went to school and other people I called my friend. I remember being in Atlanta recently before I came back home, and was feeling this sort of rage. So, a friend of mine took me to a club and I saw a lot of queer Nigerian men in their 40s and I was like “where were you people when they were kidnapping us.” I was like you were here living your life and there are people like I of course, it’s not my place to sort of ask anybody to make anything. But I just felt this sense of betrayal because Queer Nigerians actually live here and I do not know. I just felt there’s this kind of remove across class. So, that feeling of disappointment was there. Coming back this year, I see quite a number of families where the parents know and they’re like okay cool, but there’s an understanding that you’re going to marry a woman. This is going to be a hush hush thing where you do whatever you do with your boy in the privacy of life and then I’m like you people want your children to be depressed okay no problem. But yes we all operate in the sense of don’t ask, don’t tell  and it’s everywhere. I like to tell people that you’re insulting your brother or your uncle without knowing and your best friend too.

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