“Poverty level of LGBTs in Nigeria is a big issue” – Gay rights activist, Micheal Ighodaro
Micheal Ighodaro is an Assisant Professor in Global LGBTI Studies at The New School University in New York. He is among activists fighting for laws and attitudes affecting LGBT people in countries across the world. In 2015, Ighodaro was named a White House Honoree and a World Refugee Champion of Change for his work with the New York-based Aids Vaccine Advocacy Coaltion (AVAC) and the Housing Works organisation which helps people coping with HIV/Aids and homelessness. He more recently became a board member for Outright International, which fights for LGBT rights worldwide.
In a recent interview with INDEPENDENT UK, when asked the issues facing LGBT people in Nigeria, Ighodaro said, “Being punished with 14 years in prison is a big issue but also the continuous attack on LGBT people. About the 50 gay men were arrested at a birthday party recently but those things happen often in Nigeria. It’s not just about changing a law but about changing mind sets. We need to show that LGBT people are just like every other human in the street. The second issue is the poverty of LGBT people that we don’t talk about so much. A lot of us are made to leave school and can’t get jobs. People are living in very hostile environments that aren’t fit for humans. We talk about HIV and laws, which is great, but these issues are killing gay people more than the law. They can’t even afford to eat and that is a real issue.”
Photo Credit: Micheal Ighodaro/Facebook