When we were coming up with a plan on how to commemorate this year’s International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Biphobia, we had 2 guard words; provision and check-in. Our aim was to give to gay and queer Nigerians as much as we could, and also provide them with a safe space for outlet.
And we want to proudly say that we did just that by incorporating 3 separate events into one big day.
We started the day by having therapy sessions with pre-registered participants and therapists. We believe that mental health is important, and the absence of it can be disastrous. We wanted queer Nigerians who are dealing with a lot to have an opportunity to speak with a professional and get advice on how to deal better with trauma.
While this was ongoing, our guests had the option of painting and transferring their many emotions to canvas. Undoubtedly, a lot goes through our mind, and we can be unaware of how much all that affects. Aside from therapy, painting is also a form of outlet that can help you release and give you a fresh perspective on life/how to navigate a situation. We wanted our guests to have that.
For the third phase, we felt that the history of IDAHOTB also tells us to give kindness to not just ourselves but also our queer/gay brothers and sisters. And we wanted to accomplish this with the sub-event we tagged “Sisters giving Sisters.” We put out a call for community members who had reusable items such as clothes, household materials etc to give. The turnout was massive and we supported their efforts by including food essentials to the bargain.
Lastly, we had a bonfire night. Quite ironic because we started with therapy and ended with it. The bonfire night was an exhilarating way to letting go of the old and rebirthing the new. Under the guidance of our therapist, we burnt away our fear and limitations and washed our new spirit with water to signify cleansing.