The (recycled) theme for June is ‘Pride’

The theme for the stories to be shared in June is ‘Pride’. It was a theme covered by OutTales last July, and featured a broad range of stories (which you can check out here).

This morning, one of the headlines in the Huffington Post caught my attention – Pride Parades are they good or bad for the LGBT community and it got me thinking about Pride all over again and reflecting on the fact that the season is about to begin; and whether we like it or not, it is indeed part of ‘gay culture’.

I am sure that in the countries where it is illegal to be gay/lesbian or not culturally acceptable, those who identify as LGBTI would welcome an opportunity to have a day where they can come out and celebrate their sexuality with Pride. And yet, somehow for us living in countries where the law does not prevent us from celebrating our sexuality, Pride can often be seen as a relic from old days or simply another opportunity for escapism from the wounds that we are too ashamed to acknowledge. More

My Sexuality is a Human Right

The removal of fuel subsidy is the latest news gripping the citizens of Nigeria. So for now, that homophobic piece of legislation – The Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill – appears to be the last thing on the mind of everyday Nigerians (as it should be!).

Nonetheless, it is important for us as same gender loving people to remain vigilant and not be distracted. We must continue to remind our family, friends, neighbours and the Legislators, that our Sexuality is a Human Right, and we will not be distracted from standing up for our fundamental right.

Fellow blogger, Adaku Utah at  SouLar Bliss, recently shared a prayer ‘in solidarity with fellow queer Nigerian kin…… as a remedy to heal all that has attempted to silence our powerful selves’. With her kind permission, I share the prayer with you: More

My Sexuality is a Human Right

I attended seven weddings in 2011. The people who got married were my friends, and many of us gathered to celebrate their joy at finding a partner for the journey of life.

I watched them take their vows, looking lovingly into each other’s eyes: “to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others till death do us part”. Those are strong words and for each man and woman who took those vows before me, I believe they were telling the truth. More

Take out the Old, Bring in the New

It’s the end of the first year of OutTales around the Fire and what a year it has been. The themes covered since the launch in June 2011 have included – First Time, Family, Pride, Relationships, Holding on & Letting go  and Religion & Spirituality.

I have certainly enjoyed writing stories for each of those themes, it has been releasing, healing and allowed me to finally embrace the multi-layed dimensions of myself. I have also enjoyed reading the submissions from the various contributors and have been moved by the honesty, authenticity and openness shown in each sharing.

I have received such lovely and wonderful emails from people across the globe who have talked about the delight they get from the stories shared. Some of the comments received were: More

Reflections on identity and otherness

A couple of months ago, I was in a training session where we were exploring diversity and difference in the context of the ‘oppressor’ and ‘oppressed’.

In one of the exercises, we were asked by the facilitator to join one of the designated groups that we had collectively generated; the idea was for us to explore the potential issues faced by that oppressed group.

The groups included – Women, Jewish, Working class, LGBTI, Black and a couple of others that I forget.  We had to join a group that we self-identified with. As people moved around to join their chosen group, a guy from one of the other groups waved at me and said ‘come on, we are over here’. From the corner of my eye, I noticed that he was inviting me to join the Black group. ‘It’s okay, I’ll stay over here’, I said – ‘over here’, being the LGBTI group. The exchange lasted only a couple of seconds and yet it had a profound impact on me. More

My Sexuality is a Human Right

Yesterday, I read yet another story from the land of my ancestors about how ‘gays were a Western phenomenon’.

Today, I saw yet another comment on a blog, from a concerned Nigerian saying that ‘gays were an abomination, and should keep their business behind closed doors’.

I have visions of a tomorrow where the stories from the land of my ancestors celebrate the lives of everyone, regardless of them being gay or lesbian.

I have visions of a tomorrow, where parents, uncles, aunties and neighbors stand and speak up against any form of homophobia that is uttered in their presence. More

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