Bisi Alimi on LGBT rights in Nigeria: ‘It may take 60 years, but we have to start now’

After he came out live on Nigerian TV, Bisi Alimi was disowned by his family and arrested. He is now a British citizen, campaigning for change in his homeland

Being gay in London, says Bisi Alimi, is boring. “You get in the queue in front of G-A-Y or Heaven. You go in, party, and leave. Where’s the excitement?”

Being out in Lagos and going to underground parties, he says, is far more thrilling. It’s how Alimi, a LGBT rights and HIV activist, imagines the scene would have been in the UK in the 1960s and 70s. “We had this party that got broken into and many people got beaten up and soaked in blood. But the next week we were all back for the party, because life has got to go on.”

Given the potential dangers of being openly gay in Nigeria, is there a neighbourhood similar to London’s Soho – well-known for its LGBT nightlife – in his former home of Lagos? “I wish,” he laughs. “You would meet people through friends or at parties. When I left Nigeria, [the website] Gaydar was quite popular but it was very underground – people would go to an internet cafe and minimise the window if someone walked past.”

Read the full article: Bisi Alimi on LGBT rights in Nigeria: ‘It may take 60 years, but we have to start now’

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