Facing the fire: The Brutal Reality of Homophobia in Nigeria.

Dearest Reader,

Few experiences match the feeling of being ostracised by an entire nation, but for the LGBTQI community in Nigeria, this sense of isolation is a daily reality. There’s hardly a day that passes without encountering hate, with queer content now ubiquitous across blogs, whether for engagement or as clickbait—motivations we can only speculate.

In recent times, we’ve experienced the dangers of homophobia in Nigeria, so raw, so fiery. And to imagine what sparked such a reaction, a video of people simply stating their sexual orientation. In the following days, they would see horrible tweets body-shaming them, threatening them, calling them names of all sorts, and urging on the police to arrest and prosecute them, calling them criminals.

Where does the hate stem from? myriad sources—misguided teachings, fear, ignorance, and religious dogma.

Religion plays a central role in fueling homophobia, as many steadfastly refuse to accept others on the grounds that homosexuality is deemed sinful. Yet, they turn a blind eye to other sins casually indulged in today, highlighting the double standards prevalent in society.

Ignorance perpetuates the cycle of hate. Too often, I hear people propagate baseless fears that the LGBTQI community will “infect” or “corrupt” children. 

But who told them that the LGBTQI community is synonymous with pedophilia? Such misconceptions breed homophobia, overshadowing the essence of love with baseless fears and stereotypes.

Too much time is being spent focusing on the erotic art when people should strive to understand love instead. 

You’ll bring up gay rights and an average man would say, “but why would a man want to be with another man?” And that thought, that imagery, instantly breeds homophobia. 

And no, this isn’t the queer community’s fault, they didn’t ask for that or to be seen that way. 

We ask, however, that when confronted by the reality that love is love for different consenting adults, you view it as the same way you love or have loved your own partner. Gentle, kind, and beautiful. Not sex, rape, and pedophilia.

However; Some people remain unteachable, unwilling to broaden their perspectives or embrace empathy. They staunchly resist progress, clinging to archaic beliefs that impede societal advancement.

While we battle these harsh realities, we fight for our lives. Consider the case of Onome, who publicly threatened to burn LGBTQI individuals alive after watching the aforementioned video. His menacing tweet serves as a chilling reminder of the barbaric practice of jungle justice in Nigeria and how far people can go to resist change and basic human rights of others.


In a time like this where we would assume the majority of the world is civilized, and where people have access to learn, the aforementioned video at the beginning of this article is what made Onome to tweet that he had marked their faces and he would carry out jungle justice. 

Jungle justice in Nigeria is a practice we have been trying to curb and ensure it stops, though reduced in number, it still goes on. I will describe this process to you, reader, hence, my trigger warning.

In Nigeria, jungle justice is carried out by first beating the person, then putting the tire of a motorcycle around them, parading them beaten and bloodied, and then pouring fuel on them and setting them on fire till they burn to death. A gruesome, terribly evil death that no one deserves. 

However, a random person wishes to enact and carry it out because he watched a video where people stated their different sexual orientation and identities. Where even by the laws of Nigeria, no crime was committed.

I wish to continue, dear reader, but then it may never end. I fear that homophobia plagues our society, and to be rid of it majorly, a lot of work has to be done. We will persist in our efforts to educate, advocate, and effect change. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with us to dismantle the systemic barriers that perpetuate hate and discrimination.

With resolve and resilience,

Gertrude Undie for Wher Nigeria.

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