Homophobia is Un-African: Critical Discussions on the Legacy of Imported Homophobia in Nigeria




Esin, Joseph

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The criminalization of homosexuality in Nigeria has led to a hostile climate for queer Nigerians exposing them to all sorts of discrimination and human right abuses. Nigeria, through its country leaders, state actors and scholars has expressed its homophobic stances from a cultural and moral standpoint, arguing that homosexuality is culturally foreign to its communal moral and religious beliefs. These persons have argued the call for the acceptance of homosexuality is a Western propaganda which will result in the erosion of their beliefs and the ultimate destruction of society. In this regard, I assess the exclusive heterosexual culture claims made by Nigerian homophobes to determine whether the claims arise from a precolonial understanding of culture as Africans or a postcolonial construction of culture as a result of influences. I conclude by arguing that based on the existence of non-heterosexual practices and institutions, the claim of Africans being exclusively heterosexual is a post colonial conception derived from the independent and collaborative colonial influences on African culture. Based on my findings, I make recommendations, if implemented would contribute to a climate of tolerance for sexual differences and diversity in Nigeria.



Homosexuality is UnAfrican, woman marriage, Same-sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act, gender and sex based violence, Gay rights