For years, pride month has been a celebration of LGBTQIA+ people all over the world, our history, our struggles and how far we’ve come in our fight.
For countries where homosexuality is legal, Pride is a big and colorful celebration where every queer person celebrates themselves and their community.
Here in Nigeria pride has mostly been a silent celebration and for a long time, we have satisfied ourselves with texting each other “happy pride month 🏳️🌈”messages and changing the avis to our anonymous queer accounts to the rainbow flag. When we go out in public and we meet our fellow queers, we give silent, knowing nods, acknowledging ourselves and our pride but not daring to be loud about it.
Last year’s #EndSARS protest brought about a shift in our normal as queer people came out, putting asides concerns for their personal safety and their anonymity, to protest against police brutality and profiling by the police that has led to the harassment, assault and deaths of LGBTQIA+ people in Nigeria. They protested against oppressive institutions, oppressive systems, homophobic co-protesters and the homophobic online backlash that followed.
Pride in Nigeria this year, has taken a different turn as more queer Nigerians are celebrating their identities, themselves, and members of their community openly, there’s been a totally different attitude to pride this year as more queer Nigerians are openly celebrating themselves and their community in different ways.
To celebrate the growth and progress we asked six Queer Nigerians what pride means to them and the things they are doing to celebrate and affirm themselves and their community this month.
Otaku, Bisexual 19 (He/Him)
I don’t really know a lot about pride because I recently came out, but personally I feel like pride is a time where queer people get to be proud of our sexuality, not that we’re not proud of it all year round but it’s our special month designated for us to celebrate ourselves.
It’s like our birthday but it lasts a whole month.
its a really affirming time for me because I get to hear other people’s coming out stories, see other Nigerian queer couples celebrating their love.
There’s also a lot of queer content available and I enjoy that.
For pride month this year I’m trying to make more queer friends and that’s been going well.
I’m also reading more LGBTQIA+ books because I realize there’s a lot I need to learn.
Ebun , Lesbian 33 (She/Her)
Pride feels like self care for me, like a self celebration of some sort.
It’s a whole month to just bask in my sexuality and I feel like queer people don’t get to be selfish very often so I love that for us.
This is the first pride I’m really “celebrating “ and it’s extra special because I get to celebrate it with my partner.
For pride this year I’m buying my partner a lot of gifts. I’m also having a small party with my friends where we’ll binge awesome queer movies, Eat really good food and drink a lot of wine. It’s a new tradition I’ve decided to start and I hope I can continue it every year.
Tari, Non binary Trans. 26 ( they/them).
Pride for me is visibility, struggle, political consciousness.
It’s an appreciation For those who came before us and the fight for equality and liberation.
It’s also a reminder of how little protections LGBTQIA+ people have and how there’s no
“Out and proud” in Nigeria in the complete sense of it.
Pride means keeping the fight while celebrating our collective existence and tapping into the heart of community that shares a common oppression.
I’ve celebrated pride before and it was quite nervy but also very empowering.
The actual pride event was quite disappointing but it was the first time I wore a dress in public and it was such a satisfying feeling to be able to exist that way in public.
I don’t think the moment really coalesced into a proper social transition for me but I’m taking baby steps.
I asked my girlfriend what we’re doing for pride and they said a picnic so I guess we’re doing that.
Michael, Gay 25 (He/Him)
Pride is a season when I remember why I resist.
Why I resist the hate and the pain that comes with being under the the rainbow.
It’s like a celebration that reminds me that In a world ruled by black and white I am a different shade and I am valid.
Pride means that my validation is in living my truth.
My favorite thing about pride month is the solidarity that comes with the celebrations around the world.
It’s a reminder that I will never walk alone.
I’m not particularly doing anything to celebrate pride this year so I guess it’s just vibes this year.
Biobele, pansexual 26 (they/them)
Pride feels like the safest time of the year to embrace my queerness in public.
Everyone already expects to see queer people and it’s sort of encouraging knowing I don’t have to hide or worry so much about being different.
I’ve never celebrated pride, I’ve observed at least and wished people but I’ve never really celebrated.
I’m not very sociable but I’d like to see a pride parade With my partner, maybe hang a pride flag and a pan flag in my room and just share in everyone’s happiness.
Tomiwa, Asexual 22 ( She/Her)
Pride for me is a celebration of community.
The LGBTQIA+ community is such an amazing force and the way we always show up and show out ourselves is something to celebrate.
One of the things that made me comfortable enough to come out was the members of the community I had around me.
They were very supportive and that felt really good.
For pride month this year I’m organizing a mini health drive for queer people in my school at the end of the month.
I’m also planning a small pride party with my friends and I hope that goes well.