Monday, 31 October 2011

Position Paper Of Nigerian LGBTI In Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws At The Public Hearing Of The Same Sex Marriage Bill Titled “An Act To Prohibit Marriage Between Persons Of Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith”

It is with deep concern that we stand before you today as Nigerian Lesbians, gays , bisexuals , Transsexuals and Intersex living in Diaspora to express our concerns about the bill before the house and bring to the attention of honourable senators how this bill affects us as Nigerian citizens. It is indeed sad that sexual orientation is not a topic of research taught in Nigerian schools; in fact sex education is hardly a comfortable topic in schools and a taboo topic in many Nigerian homes. Sexual orientation is something we are all born with, many researchers, doctors, psychologists and scientists have done enough research on the topic and have come to the conclusion backed by indisputable evidence that sexual orientation is not a choice, it is not a disease, it is not a disorder but just like skin colour, left handedness, eye colour, we are born with our sexual orientation.
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality. The current consensus among scholars is that sexual orientation is not a choice. Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the opposite sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex.
It is therefore important to note that this bill aims to punish people for what is essentially not their making. It is like punishing a black person for being black, punishing a left-handed child because he or she cannot write with the right hand or punishing a baby girl for being born a girl. This you will all agree with me is unfair and inhuman. 

Nigerian LGBTI in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws stands before you today to highlight how this bill affects us as citizens.
1-Criminalizing same sex relationships makes us refugees; it turns us into asylum seekers in other countries. This also affects our beloved country as emigration causes brain drain. Many talented Nigerians are living in diaspora openly as gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transsexuals. We contribute positively to the development of our country of residence but we are afraid to come live and contribute to the development of our motherland because of fear of victimization. We visit home with trepidation because at home we have to live a life full of lies and deny who we are for us to be accepted.  Why do we want to keep subjecting our citizens to such psychological and emotional torture?

2-Some Nigerian Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Intersex living in diaspora are married to same sex partners or planning to do so.  Section 1(3) of this bill states that a valid same sex marriage entered into abroad would not be valid in Nigeria. This is indeed unfair because consensual adult relationship should not be punished, love is tender, a beautiful thing that should be celebrated, not condemned or criminalized. 

3-We as Nigerian LGBTIs living in diaspora do not want to be isolated from our family members and childhood friends. Many of us grew up in Nigeria and are happy to call Nigeria our motherland. However, because of the misconception surrounding our sexual orientation, and the criminalization of thereof, we are estranged from our loved ones. Families have been broken, friendship links cut off, and hate fostered; all because of ignorance and misunderstanding. Let us love not hate.

4- Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, transsexuals and Intersex are normal people and are an integral part of any society. We are your family members, neighbors, community members, church members, mosques members, leaders of your religious affiliations and yes honorable members and senators of the national assembly. Be careful who you hate because it could be someone you love. 

5-Also Sexual repression breeds marital infidelity. Many lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexual and intersex live in the closets. They live double lives, pretending to be heterosexual at home and at work while slowly dying inside and meeting in the dark with same sex partners to have a minute of peace with their real self. Many have been forced to marry opposite sex partners to keep up appearances while engaging in same sex extra marital affairs. This double life is dangerous and unfair to all concerned and the society at large. Lesbians, gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Intersex needs to live their lives without fear of being stoned to death or portrayed as criminals. Why punish us for loving? Love is tender, harmless and knows no gender.

Newsrealease of Nigerian LGBTI in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws

Nigeria bids to criminalise same-sex marriage
New law violates Nigerian constitution and international human rights law
London, USA and Abuja - 18 October 2011

Following failed attempts in 2006 and 2008, Nigerian lawmakers are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality bill, now entitled: “An Act to Prohibit Marriage between Persons of Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith”.

Read the bill here:

“The new Nigerian bill aims to further criminalise same sex relationships and marriage,” said Nigerian Yemisi Ilesanmi, coordinator of the campaign: Nigerian LGBT in Diaspora Against Same Sex Laws.

“Lawmakers are fast tracking the bill. The bill has already passed its second reading. A public hearing is scheduled for Monday 31 October, 2011. However, there are concerns within the Nigerian LGBT community that the recent bomb blasts in the country would be used as a pretext to deny public access to the hearing.

“Under Nigeria’s criminal code and penal code, consensual same sex conduct between adults is already a criminal offence carrying up to 14 years imprisonment and in some parts of the country, the death penalty under Sharia law.

“The proposed bill violates fundamental human rights that are guaranteed under the Nigerian constitution and various human rights international agreements that Nigeria is a signatory to.

“This bill would lead to harassment of people for their actual or imputed sexual orientation. It would also stifle freedom of expression and association through the proposed ban on organizations that support lesbian and gay rights.

“The passing of the bill would give official validation to the harassment of sexual minorities and many homophobic persons would use it as a license to discriminate against lesbians and gays,” said Ms Ilesanmi.

The bill states -
1.–(1) Marriage Contract entered between persons of same Gender is hereby prohibited in Nigeria.
(3) Marriage Contract entered between persons of same gender by virtue a certificate issued by a foreign country shall be void in Nigeria, and any benefits accruing there from by virtue of the certificate shall not be enforced by any court of law in Nigeria.” It further states: “Same Gender Marriage” means the coming together of persons of the same sex with the purpose of leaving together as husband and wife or for other purposes of same sexual relationship.”
Nigerians and Allies Speak Out Against the Bill
 Some human rights organizations in Nigeria have condemned the bill, The Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights in its press statement said:  “We wish to remind the parliament that, Nigeria is a secular state. Therefore, implicating that laws of our land cannot and should not be drafted and/or enact on the basis of religious and cultural value. This value already differ as Nigeria is a heterogeneous society, hence our federal system of government.”

Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center argues that: ”the bill violates the fundamental rights guaranteed under Nigerian law and other regional and international human rights norms signed and adopted by Nigeria, people must have a right to be who they want to be ! There are other pressing issues that the government should focus on than a discriminatory law of this nature!”

International Center on Advocacy on Rights to Health (ICARH) stated: “LGBTI Rights are Human Rights. Let us stand up for Equal Rights.”

A petition was created by Yemisi Ilesanmi, Coordinator of the campaign Nigerian LGBT in Diaspora Against Same Sex Laws - Link to the petition:

Justice for Gay Africans, a UK-based collaborative of activists, artists, and academics wrote on the petition: “Please sign this all... it is essential to make sure we use the democratic access we have to affect how our communities are governed”

John Adewoye, a Nigerian in USA wrote: “I am gay, not a criminal”

Davis Mac-Iyalla a Nigeria born Gay/Human Rights Defender based in London said, “Homosexuality is currently illegal in Nigeria, this bill if passed will lead to increased arrests and abuse of anyone suspected to be gay. It’s my nature to be Gay so stop using the law to oppress me and my nature.”

Rowland Jide Macaulay, a Christian Theologian and Founder of House of Rainbow Fellowship an inclusive Christian organisation, wrote: “I am Gay, Proud Nigerian, my family love me and we love our nation. This bill will not only criminalise gays and lesbian, it will dehumanise and break up families.”

The Nigerian LGBT community, with international support, has been successful in quashing this bill twice, but now needs international support to throw out this bill once and for all.

In its latest international newsletter, the UK trade union, UNISON, wrote:
“The proposed bill violates fundamental human rights that are guaranteed under the Nigerian constitution and numerous human rights international agreements that Nigeria has ratified. The passing of the bill would legitimize the rampant incidences of homosexual-targeted hate crimes that occur in Nigeria.  It would also give official validation to the social and political harassment of sexual minorities.  UNISON denounces this attempt to curtail basic human rights within the LGBT community and their allies. We are asking members to please sign this petition urging the Nigerian government to decriminalize same sex relationships, stop the proposed bill and uphold the fundamental human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Nigeria.

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, wrote: “This proposed new law violates the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and other international human rights laws that Nigeria has signed and pledged to uphold.”

Full link to the petition:

 Quotes from Nigerian Law-makers supporting the Bill
 The sponsor of the bill, Senator Domingo Obende, in his lead debate observed: “Even the Muslim religion forbids it, Christianity forbids it and the African traditional religion forbids it.” He argued that “The legalization of same sex marriage in our country will make the next generation never to recover from the law of committed God fearing family. Same sex marriage is spreading and spreading round the whole world just like pornography and terrorism which has become the order of the day if not arrested on time.”

Senator Victor Lar in his argument stated:  “The essence of marriage is for procreation and if we allow same sex there will be no procreation and continuity and we may become the last set of senators and no others to take over from us. I want to say that anybody who is brought up as a proper African and who believes in the existence of a supreme being should condemn this same sex marriage and pass this bill expeditiously.”

George Thompson Sekibo argued that. “The purpose of marriage according to the Bible is to replenish the earth, to procreate. If we permit marriage to be carried out between man and man or between woman and woman, the essence of that Biblical injunctions will not be in existence again, instead of replenishing the earth, instead of bringing up people that will serve the biblical injunctions, which is the main purpose of our creation, we will be reducing the earth. In the book of Leviticus, it says that if a man lays with a beast he should be stoned to death and if a man lays with a man he should also be stoned to death, that means that it is a very strong law. So, I stand to support this bill that our country should not be allowed to practice it at all even if to mention it in a public because it is a taboo.”

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha argued that “Going by the legacies bequeathed this nation by our fore fathers, there would have not been any need to be standing here and debating this bill but developments in the other parts of the world have made it necessary for issues like this. From all indications, both the Christian and Muslim religions abhor same sex marriage. It is simply a desecration of our cultural and traditional values. We are found of copying values from the West in the name of modernity. It is really unthinkable to see a man say this is my wife when he is talking about a fellow man. We must quickly speak out because this culture is quickly creeping into our tradition. These are things we never thought of before but because of the changing times we must stand firm against them. So, I stand in support of this bill that we must stand firm against the same sex marriage.”

Senator Oluremi Tinubu in her support of the bill stated “As earlier said, the family is the bedrock of every society and if we allow same sex marriage there will be so much confusion not only to our children but the society at large. Same sex is wrong morally, it is wrong religiously but at the same time we have a lot to offer our children. One is to make sure that we live as good examples to them, we show them the joy of marriage. I wholeheartedly support this bill but at the same time every member of this society has to do something for this generation and if we look at it medically at old age it turns to mental problems for those of them that engage in this act. Same sex marriage is totally wrong and it is confusing our children.”

Senator Robert Ajayi Borofice observed “I want to make a new argument and this is biological. One of the things required in marriage is cultivation where the male sex cell and female sex cell come together to generate a new individual and in the process a lot of biological changes take place to define what comes out and that is what gives us a better new generation. So, anything that encourages marriage of same sex will not only terminate the process of producing better and more sociable, intellectual generation to face the challenges of our environment. People who are involved in either homo-sexuality or lesbianism have argued that it is their gene that introduces them to this social deviant behaviour, but we also know that alcoholism also has some genetic contents and that criminality also has some genetic inputs, society has not gone to legalise either alcoholism or criminality. So, on the basis of this I am supporting the bill that marriage of same sex should be prohibited.”


The Nigeria LGBT in Diaspora against Anti Same Sex Laws is an independent campaign body comprising of Nigerian LGBT individuals and organisations in diaspora to protest criminalization of same sex relationship in Nigeria.

More information:
Coordinator - Nigerian LGBT in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws

 Davis Mac Iyalla
John Adewoye

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Should women have equal rights as men? Should blacks have equal rights as whites? Are Israelites and Palestinians equal? Some of these questions have been settled through wars, protests and various human rights treaties, in fact it is considered politically incorrect to ask such questions! I wonder why it is not considered politically incorrect to ask if  Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals or Transsexuals have equal rights as heterosexuals?  If we are agreed that no one should be discriminated against, why are we still debating if LGBT rights are Human Rights? Well, debate is good because in some countries like Nigeria, many are yet to be convinced that LGBTs are actually human beings!

Following failed attempts in 2006 and 2008, Nigerian lawmakers are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality bill, now entitled: “An Act to Prohibit Marriage between Persons of Same Gender, Solemnization Of Same And For Other Matters Related Therewith"  

Nigerian Lawmakers in a bid to rally popular support needed a scapegoat, and the LGBT community provides an easy target! The lawmakers decided once again to come in a "Straight" mass orgy of corruption to bully the gay minority, a cause always guaranteed to provide the lawmakers cheap, majority support! When will they stop discussing who is sleeping with whom and start making laws that would actually move the underdeveloped, oil rich nation forward?

The bill aims to further criminalize same sex relationship and marriage. Under Nigeria’s criminal code and penal code, consensual same sex conduct between adults is a criminal offence. Homosexuality carries a sentence of fourteen years imprisonment under the criminal code while Sharia law, widely practised in Northern Nigeria prescribed death penalty for homosexual conducts. 

Some of the Nigerian S(inators) argument against same sex relationship are outright ridiculous if not pathetic! I still can't believe a polygamous, wrinkled, Senator who imported the daughter of his Egyptian gardener, a 14 year old girl to marry in Nigeria is actually sitting in the Senate, to consider whether CONSENTING SAME SEX ADULTS have a right to marry or even be in a relationship! 

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Domingo Obende, argued that “ Same sex marriage is spreading and spreading round the whole world just like pornography and terrorism which has become the order of the day if not arrested on time.” Senator Victor Lar in his argument stated:  “The essence of marriage is for procreation and if we allow same sex there will be no procreation and continuity and we may become the last set of senators and no others to take over from us.”  Even with 7 billion world population?

 Against African culture?  Sodomy law is a foreign imposition!  It is a colonial legacy, a relic from British Empire colonization of Nigeria!  Britain has repealed the law in its constitution, but many of its ex colonies still clings to it and use it to persecute LGBTs.  Well, Britain would have to clean up its mess and accept more LGBT refugees without whining! 

The Commonwealth Heads of Governments meeting (CHOGM) takes place in Perth, Australia from 28-30 October.  This is an opportunity for Britain to put Sodomy laws on the agenda!
The Nigerian LGBT community with international support, has been successful in quashing this bill twice, but now needs international support to throw out this bill once and for all. TUC and UNISON has strongly condemned the bill. Nigerian LGBT in Diaspora Against Anti Same Sex Laws is campaigning against it. LGBT Rights are human rights and workers rights. International solidarity knows no borders. Equal Rights are not equal until everyone has equal rights!


The million dollar question! I really get peeved when asked this question especially when it comes with that disbelieving look and exclamation     " You mean you really don't believe there is a god? You insane or something? Not forgetting that very annoying question "what happened to make you not believe in god? Why do people always assume something terrible must have happened for one to have lost "faith" or not have faith at all?


Well, the good news is, there was no big bang that left me gasping for faith. It just happened that I am not convinced there is a "God" designing our planets, dishing out destinies, taking care of our needs, waiting for us to ask so s/he/it shall give, busy keeping scores on our good and bad deeds. I don't believe there is an omnipotent, omniscience, all knowing being watching from high above and why not from down below anyway? I guess we don't like the idea of stepping on god! Well, high above sounds better, after all heaven or rather space looked so impenetrable but with space shuttles, not anymore!

Anyway, it is my humble opinion that man not only created God but did so in his own image! There are as many gods as there are people, communities and religions. People tend to create god that suits them and their particular situation consciously or unconsciously. No big deal about exercising our imaginations but it becomes a big deal when you judge others base on your own particular god beliefs or tried forcing your imagination down the throat of others. It is unfortunate that many believers influence state policies based on personal religious beliefs, that is a big no no. That is indeed a great injustice to those who do not share these religious beliefs either because they believe in another "God" and have different set of doctrines or simply because they have no "God" delusion. 


 I don’t walk straight
 Not even for the bait
 I am merry yet not gay
 I am bi and I can bay
 But greed
Is not my seal
Yet you all snigger
Calling me a player
Our goal is acceptance
Where is the tolerance?

I am not gay enough
To be wholly enfolded
Not sufficiently lesbian
To be totally embraced
Do I even talk Trans
I can’t brace the rants!
You preach diversity
As community necessity
But are quick to sneer
Whenever  I am near

Yes, in the mall
I want it all
With the dick
I play and lick
And the boobs
Makes me swoon
The big breasted
Leaves me besotted
With the intersex
I am a smitten Aphrodite

With the pussy
I get all fussy
The shaven sight
To suckle all night
Bouncy bums
I love to bump
Smooth balls
I like to smooch
With the Pecs
I need no specs

I am bisexual, not a player
So don’t make me a slayer
I am bisexual not confused
Like you I choose my companion
It is a natural attraction
Not just a mere selection
With love I embrace my lover
It matters not the gender
All I want is tenderness
For my love is genderless.
 By (c) Yemisi Ilesanmi 


I find it difficult to comprehend why many want to control the lives of others which of course include telling them who to love or not love. Do we ever stop to wonder why we assume that heterosexual love is the only right love? What does it matter who we love or decide to have sex with so far it is a consensual adult relationship? How much are we conditioned by society, family, religious beliefs, media etc when choosing a partner? How much of our relationship preferences are learned behaviour?

I am bisexual, I am physically and emotionally attracted to a man, a woman or any other self identified gender type. Why is it so difficult to have a relationship not premeditated on gender roles? Even when in a same sex relationship, I am often asked the annoying question “who is the husband or wife?” Must relationship be based on husband/wife dichotomy which often means gender stereotypes?  Methinks not.

I want to be myself in any relationship and expect my partner to be himself or herself, I do not want roles , I just want to be me. I do not want to be a husband or a wife; I just want to be a loving partner. My ex hated that word "partner", she felt it was too businesslike, but well, I want an emotional / physical partnership, and for a partnership you sure need a partner.

It is so difficult sometimes to get this message across. The society has already conditioned us to believe in gender roles. A man believes he is the head of the family and his relationships, he takes it for granted that his female lover is at his service. Unless the woman asserts herself by discussing and redefining the “normal” rules, the default rules prevail.  It is indeed annoying how some self identified “progressive men” act as if they deserved a pat on the back for conceding that women have equal rights in a relationship. That shouldn’t be extraordinary; it is supposed to be the default mode!

Same sex relationships aren’t spared from this problem. I am always disappointed when a prospective date started by asking if I am the man in a relationship or the woman, translation: what is your gender role in a relationship? Grrrr…I do not need a gender role!

 I do look forward to having a great relationship with someone who is not constrained by gender roles. Yes, I want a genderless love or at least a genderless relationship, is that too much to ask?


Starting a blog and actually posting has been on my 'to do list' for a long time, finally I am posting in my own blog, thumbs up for me!

Why do I crave to join the already saturated blog sphere?
I am indeed amazed at the tremendous opportunity provided by free blogs and other social networks that make communication and sharing opinions just a click away, right at our fingertips! I have come across some amazing blogs, I have shared and learnt from bloggers' experiences, the release, the rants, the frustrations, the compassion, the need to reach out, build bridges and of course the opportunity to be very opinionated!

What is this blog all about?
I intend to open up and share a significant part of my life on this blog, comment on general issues and happenings in the society. 

I am a Feminist, Bisexual and Atheist. These are not things I do part time, or caps I take off when  things gets hot, it is simply my life, I live it every minute, every second with no regrets. So, there will be some feminist talks and thoughts.

Also, I will be discussing sexual diversity, I belong to the "queer" group and identify as a bisexual. I am from an ultra homophobic environment and hope to use my blog to create awareness on sexual orientation and also break the deafening silence on so called “taboo” subjects. There will be discussions on sexual diversity, which of course could also include discussions on sex, so watch out!

I will be talking religion or my lack of belief in religion; I am an atheist, so that figures. Talking of “Figures”, I am a plus size model, I will share my interest in plus size modelling and my campaign for better representation of plus size women in the beauty and fashion industry, with some pics of me on the runway! Also watch out for my exclusive modelling blog, coming to your runway soon!

I love writing poems and I will be sharing some of my poems and my videos with you, all copyrighted!

Do enjoy my blog, keep in touch, your constructive comments and suggestions are welcomed. I appreciate diverse views but hate comments will definitely be deleted. Thank you.