Miss Anambra’s Sex tape and the hypocrisy of Nigerians

As much as I try not to be so bothered with the ignorance displayed by fellow Nigerians daily, sometimes some things come up that one can’t in good conscience ignore because they are issues too important to ignore. The online assault on Miss Anambra by the homophobic, ignorant, religious extremist Nigerian mob is one of these issues. Now I must put my two cents in.

Since the alleged sex tape of Miss Chidinma Okeke, the winner of the 2015 Most Beautiful Girl in Anambra pageant competition, was leaked, there has been heated debate, fury, condemnation and all sorts of righteous silliness.

The sex tape showed Miss Anambra sexually pleasuring herself with a cucumber in the company of another lady, identified as her friend, Miss Adaobi Nzekwe, who was also a beauty queen,  third runner up of the face of democracy, Anambra, 2014.

The tape was released without the consent of Miss Chidinma Okeke. She initially came out to state that she was not the one in the video and that the sex tape was released as a revenge porn. It was also alleged that she was drugged and the video filmed under duress. If the video was filmed under duress and she was drugged, this must be totally condemned. Forcing women to make porn videos to use as a sort of hold or collateral against them is horrible.

In a message posted on her Facebook page Chidima Okeke wrote-

The moment I made public this intention to speak with journalists, I have been under threats by my blackmailers and traducers.

They are seriously threatening to shoot me at the press conference if I ever open my mouth to say the real truth about the ugly episode.

Ms. Okeke has since been dethroned because of the scandal. It is indeed sad that many have found jubilation in pulling the lady down, calling her Cucumber lady, all because she had ‘Lesbian sex’.

First, with all this nonsense talk about it being a lesbian sex, it is pertinent to state that the gender of the person we have sex with does not necessarily define our sexual orientation. The fact that two women were sexually pleasuring themselves does not make it lesbian sex. What is lesbian sex anyway? These two women could be bise264251_240895435929789_1041013_nxual or heterosexual women exploring their bodies and sexuality. No need to label sex based on the gender of the participants.

I am bisexual, I don’t have bisexual sex. Lesbian sex or heterosexual sex. I have sex.  I make love. I fall in love. Not a bisexual love, lesbian love or heterosexual love, just plain old love. Most people understand love and sexual desires. It isn’t any different because the people concerned are of same gender. Some people are Lesbians, Bisexual, Trans, and they have sexual desires, fall in love. Just get over it already.

Now, to the infamous cucumber. Why the outcry about Cucumber? The way Nigerians were shouting about the use of cucumber as a sex toy, one would think it never crossed their mind that such phallus shaped fruits and objects are often used by women around the world to give themselves sexual pleasure and Nigerian women are no exception. Cucumber, eggplants, candles etc are often used by women for sexual pleasure, especially by young curious women exploring their bodies. There is no harm in that and for goodness sake, it is their body. Their body, their choice.

Chidinma Okeke has now been dubbed the ‘Cucumber Lady’ by Nigerians. Don’t go hating on her and her cucumber just because you know your little willies or that big log you call a dick has never made a woman genuinely moan like the cucumber did. For all you know, your girlfriends or wives are busy using cucumber and other phallus shaped objects behind your back to satisfy the void you have not been able to fill. Maybe that cucumber is what is saving your marriage or relationship.

Instead of being so judgemental, why don’t you go learn a few sex tips? Maybe you could get your woman a nice shaped cucumber or get her a sex toy like a dildo or vibrator and use it together with her? For all you know, it might be the first time you experience your woman genuinely orgasm. What’s there to lose? Certainly, not your manhood, unless you are stuck in that patriarchal, sexist age that thinks only a dick should give a woman pleasure.

The condemnation Nigerians have poured on Miss Anambra since the release of the sex tape is nauseating.  Nigerians scream against the so called ‘Lesbian sex’, calling it “perverted” and “end of times signs”, yet the video has gone viral. It was officially reported as a top trending issue on Google search. That’s how much Nigerians love their ‘Lesbian/gay sex’, even though they want to stone the gays to death.

Considering that in 2014 Nigeria’s government enacted an anti-same sex relationship law which stipulates 14 years’ jail term for anyone who engages in same sex relationship and 10 years for anyone who advocates for LGBT rights, yet Nigeria rank has the third consumer of gay porn in the world. The hypocrisy of it all astounds.

The men who are busy wanking and jerking themselves to the sex video are the same who scream blue murder online, asking for Chidinma’s Okeke’s while envying the cucumber.

What is it about a woman owning her body and pleasuring herself the way she wants to that turns some people into judgemental assholes? For goodness sake, it is her body, not yours.

Revenge porn is horrible, patriarchal and designed to further shame women. It asserts that women have no right to enjoy their bodies, or honour their desires. Revenge porn is vengeful. In this modern day, the only reason revenge porn still holds power to shame women is because we still live in a patriarchal, sexist society where women are taught to be ashamed of their own bodies and sexual desires.

It is sad that some people keep calling the act of two women engaging in sex with each other pervert. Sex is natural. Desires are natural. There is nothing unnatural or perverted about experiencing sexual desires with another consenting adult, regardless of the gender of the parties involved. It is high time we stopped being so hang up about gender. Biological sex is not a restriction to sexual attraction or love.

If the action of others does not cause you any harm, stop interfering in their personal business.

In a country where traditional rulers abduct young girls and forced them into marriage, a country where randy old men are happy to use their religion to justify why they marry children as young as 10 years old, it is the highest level of hypocrisy to call for the heads of two consenting same sex adults for daring to have sex. And Nigerians have been calling for their heads as these nasty, ignorant comments on Facebook shows-

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Those nincompoops need to grow a brain. They need to understand that Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transexuality is not Un-African or Unnatural. They need to accept that their religion is not the law. The world would be a much better place if they crawled back into their caves and never showed their homophobic, biphobic, transphobic faces in civilised society again. We should learn to Live and Let’s live.

Related link-

Debunking the myths: Is Homosexuality, Bisexuality or Transsexualism Un-African or Unnatural?

 

Celebrating My Uncelebrated Nigerian Award!

On Saturday Sep 24th, 2016, the Nigerian community in UK organised an award dinner ceremony to honour 56 uncelebrated Nigerians in five different categories as part of Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary.

I was proud to be nominated for the award and was really honoured to receive the Uncelebrated Nigerians Award for contribution to Legal, Security & Law enforcement.

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In my acceptance speech, i dedicated the award to Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Queers in Nigeria and diaspora. Every Nigerian deserves to be free from discrimination regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

As I have always maintained as coordinator of Nigerian LGBT in diaspora against Anti same sex law, and in my book- Freedom To Love For All: Homosexuality Is Not UnAfrican :

“Every Nigerian deserves the same right as every other Nigerian, irrespective of class, sex, race, gender identity or sexual orientation. Consensual adults do not deserve to have their love criminalized. Let us spread Love, not Hate.”

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The theme of the award was: Recognising and Honouring Nigerian Heroes who have excelled in numerous fields of endeavour

In his speech, Ayo Akinfe, Coordinator, organising committee, Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards said:

This event, the Uncelebrated Nigerians Awards, UK is not just another occasion as for the first time in our history, unheralded, honest toiling Nigerians in the UK are being recognised for the contribution to society. These unsung heroes, or silent stars if you like, work across all sectors of the economy including local government, the National Health Service, education, the civil service, entertainment, the media, etc, contributing immensely to Britain’s gross domestic product.

These 56 awardees who have distinguished themselves quietly nail the myth that everything about Nigeria is bad or that all we have to offer the world is violence, insecurity, fraud, dishonesty, 419ners, drug dealers and criminals.

No one sees these silent stars, no one recognises their toil and sacrifice but everyone sees the Boko Haram terrorist, the advanced fee fraud criminal and the Fulani herdsmen armed with AK47, Let the clarion call go out from here today, that we are an embodiment of honest, hardworking, good, toiling and decent people.

Very succinctly put, I must say.

Striking a pose on the red carpet with Ayo Akinfe, coordinator , UNA organising committee.

Striking a pose on the red carpet with Ayo Akinfe, Coordinator, UNA Organising Committee, UK

The award dinner ceremony was a night of good entertainment, yummy Nigerian food, good music, nice comedy and overall great atmosphere. It was a very well organised and successful event. Kudos to the Uncelebrated Nigerian Awards organising committee for their hard work and dedication in organising this successful event. Thank you for finding me worthy to receive the award.

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Flaunting my curves on the red carpet cos if life gives you curves, flaunt them.

Flaunting my curves on the red carpet cos if life gives you curves, flaunt them.

 

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Celebrate Bisexual Visibility Day; Be BiVisible and BiFabulous!

September 23rd is Bisexuality Day, also known as Bi Visibility Day.  It’s Bi Visibility day today, I guess it is that one time of the year where I have to stop being so magically invisible and show myself in all my Unicorn glory; as a Bisexual!

Being Visible does come with its price, for example, I have to pay for things I bought in the stores today, cos well, I’m visible today. I have to bring out my oyster travel card and pay for bus, tubes and tram rides, like every other visible person cos I can’t ride for free today.  I get to be a visible B within the LGBT rainbow community today and I’d say, it’s worth it.

I know I am happy the LGBT community would at least recognise my existence today, it isn’t fun being that invisible B within the LGBT rainbow family all year long!

It sure does hurt when your own family fails to recognise you exist.  For example, a few days after marching and partying it up at the London Pride in Soho, I was at a swanky Sexual health clinic in Soho for my annual Sexual health check.  The place came highly recommended by an impressed friend I met at London Pride who was going on about how nice, easy and smooth the Sexual Health clinic in Soho was, so I decided to do my annual check there.

Well, we all know Soho is the gay headquarter of London, as a member of the LGBT family, the LGBT flag conspicuously on display makes one feel at home in Soho. I was feeling pretty much at home as I completed my questionnaire on the nice computer screen, and listened in awe as the computer generated voice gave me instructions on how to provide my test samples. I watched in fascination as the tube sucked in and beamed my samples to destination test laboratory. Hmm, Nice technology, I thought.

After filling my details on the computer screen and giving my samples to a tube sucking device, then came the dealing with human being part. However, it was not long before the humans burst my bubble. I was ushered in to see a health adviser, he was a young, friendly enough chap who wanted to ask me a few routine questions. I was feeling at home.  He asked if I was gay and I said No. Then he immediately proceeded to say to me-

“What we normally tell heterosexual people who visit this clinic is…”

WTf! When did I say I was heterosexual? Why this assumption?  At that point I had to cut him short.

“I am not heterosexual”,  I said.

But you said you are not gay.”,  he asked, somewhat confused.

“Yes, I am not Gay, but that does not make me heterosexual. I am bisexual.”  I explained as calmly as I could, even though it was all I could do to stop myself spitting unicorn fire at him for daring to assume my sexuality and erasing bisexuality in a Sexual Health clinic operating in Soho.

Even with the welcoming rainbow flag in the heart of the LGBT community in London, I still have to remind a sexual health practitioner that Bisexuals exist. I had to let him know that not identifying as gay does not automatically mean I am heterosexual. It hurts.

This invisibility hurts. This non acknowledgement of my existence within my own community hurts. Just a few days ago before sitting in that office across this health practitioner, I was marching in the London Pride Parade on these same streets and partying it up all night with my rainbow family on this same street that this Sexual Health Clinic that flies the LGBT Rainbow flag, operates from. However, I had to remind this sexual health adviser that everyone who visits this sexual health clinic in the very heart of Soho is not either gay or straight. There is that B, you know, the silenced B. That Big B in the LGBT Family. The B actually stands for something. It does not stand for Bitch or Bullshit or Badass (Maybe it does stand for Badass sometimes), but it surely does stand for Bisexual.  Yes, Bisexuals! We exist. We surely can’t be so invisible that we have to explain that we exist all the time even in LGBT Soho?

Yes, that minor incident irritated me because it was a reminder that as a bisexual I am still invisible and not recognised within the LGBT community.

Anyway, remember fellow bisexuals, let’s keep educating our LGBT community. Let’s try not just to blend in with a label that isn’t ours just because it is the one that’s visible. The LGBTQI family and its facilities are ours to use and feel comfortable in too. Challenge the status quo. Be Visible.

I am 100% Bisexual; No Filter. My sexuality does not change with the gender of my partner or lack of partner. Forever Bisexual. Happy Bisexuality Day to all my fellow Bisexuals. Be out. Be Proud. Be Visible.

Again, don’t forget to pay for the things you buy in stores today, this is one day of the year you are visible, even if it means paying for stuff, Celebrate Bisexual visibility day. Remain Bifabulous and BiVisible cos you are worth it!

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Light It Up: UK Black Pride 2016

Enjoy the sights and sounds of UK Black Pride, 2016 , through my lens and dance steps!

This police officer was really digging it at UK Black Pride, 2016. Transforming our community…for the better.

UK Black Pride 2016-Transforming our community with so much fun and positive vibrations.

UK Black Pride, 2016: Transforming Our Community.
Working it has never been so much fun! Work, work, work , work….

Related post- 

UK Black Pride 2016: Transforming Our Community 

UK Black Pride 2016: Transforming Our Community

UK Black Pride was held on Sunday 26, June 2016 at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, London, with the theme “Transforming Our Community”. It was a blast with positive vibrations, diversity and thousands of vibrant people.

It was such a joy to be at UK Black Pride, 2016. It was fun in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere with lots of foods and drinks to share, great music, great dance steps, lots of twerking and yeah, sexy, lovely people! LGBT BMEs do know how to party!

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Did someone say Why Black Pride?” [Read more…]

5 Reasons Why We Still Celebrate Pride: London Pride 2016.

It was London pride 2016 on Saturday 25, June 2016. As usual, the annual LGBT Pride celebration 20160625_165734meant the streets of central London felt the colourful presence of LGBT Londoners and their allies.  Marching from Baker street, Regent street, Oxford street and well, Cockspurs street, all the way to Trafalgar square, the colourful parade brightened up the streets of London. Rainbow flags, beautiful floats, creative costumes, the energetic marchers and the large appreciative supporters who turned out en masse to cheer the parade along, all made for one very beautiful London Pride, 2016. And of course what would London Pride be without the very creative and beautiful drag queens? They were fabulous as always! They slayed in their beautiful costumes and creative makeups. The crowd were eager to take pictures with those divas.  And oh, there was even a sweet moment when a police man in the parade went on his knees to propose to his boyfriend!

This year’s Pride theme was NO FILTER. It encourages LGBTs to live life without filters. Just be you. There was a huge turnout. According to London Pride, an estimated 1 million people took part in the Pride and about 40,000 people marched in the parade, the largest so far in London Pride history.

The homophobic killings in Orlando was a rude and appalling reminder that homophobia is still very much alive [Read more…]

Homophobic/Biphobic attack claims another life in Nigeria; Councilman on the run for his life

EDITED (16/03/2016)- Latest reports coming in are pointing to the fact that the pictures accompanying this story, which were taken from comments left on the alleged victim’s Facebook wall and news-reports, are not that of the alleged victim. Investigations are ongoing to authenticate the story. 

Trigger warning- Graphic pictures: Blood and violence.  

For some time now, for the sake of my mental health, I have shied away from reporting any news or write about anything from my home country, Nigeria. There is only so much sadness I can handle and that country has left me heartbroken one time too many. However, when I saw this horrible news of tragic homophobia on my timeline, I knew I had to say something about this. If anything could jolt me out of my silence on Nigeria and its nefarious issues, it is certainly another tragic homophobia, biphobia and transphobia case.

From news filtering in, the victim, Akinnifesi Olumide Olubunmi, was accused of homosexual activities, he was beaten up by youths in the community on 17th February 2016 and later died on 18th February 2016 from the injuries sustained. [Read more…]

On the ban of UKIP LGBT from London Pride

London Pride is an event I eagerly look forward to since I started residing in UK. For me, it represents freedom, a 10270791_910936968932361_6130231271874203855_nsafe place to make a loud political statement and have fun with LGBT families and allies.

Therefore, it was a shock when I checked the London Parade list for 27 June, 2015 and saw UKIP LGBT staring right back at me.  The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is widely known for its homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia and blatant racism.  I was aghast that UKIP LGBT is going to be in that ‘safe and fun’ pride parade.

Considering how vocal UKIP leaders and members have been about condemning LGBT rights and [Read more…]

Free and Equal Naija campaign should be without a BUT.

To mark this year’s international human rights day,  a group of Nigerian individuals and organisations came together to adopt the Free and Equal Naija campaign todownload promote inclusiveness of LGBT rights as human rights.

I am a firm believer in equal rights; therefore, the Free and equal Naija hashtag appealed to the human rights activist in me. However, when I got the memo and guideline that came with the concept note, I was once again, disappointed. The memo came with the guideline-

Important Notice:

The #FreeAndEqualNaija Campaign is not a marriage equality campaign. All advocacy outputs should be directed toward inclusiveness and accountability in the promotion and protection of human rights of all Nigerian citizens.

Once again, marriage equality is being treated as the taboo words that must not be uttered if we are to win the support of Nigerian human rights activists and organisations.

There is this growing stigma attached to marriage equality campaign especially amongst African LGBT activists. Although i appreciate the effort to speak up for LGBT rights in a country where it is a crime to do so, but as a staunch supporter of Marriage Equality, I could not fully get behind the Free and Equal Naija campaign because i did not wish to be part of anything that stigmatises marriage equality campaign. [Read more…]

Culture is not an excuse to perpetrate injustice; LGBT Rights are about Human Rights not Culture.

As part of the celebration marking Black History/LGBT Month, I was interviewed by  Tundun Adeyemo, presenter of the program ‘Outspoken’ BookCoverImage new vistaon www.africaukradio.com. Below is a text of the interview, also available on her blog.

October is Black History/Lesbian Gays Bisexual Transsexual Month. In parts of London, people have been marking this in various ways. To help us give that some perspective is author Yemisi Ilesanmi who joins us from London to talk about her book and why homosexuality is not just an European concept.

Hello Yemisi, Many thanks for joining us.

 1- You have written this book ‘Homosexuality is not unAfrican.’ Why did you write this book?

Thanks. I wrote this book to counter the erroneous impression that homosexuality is Un-African. This is a rhetoric that many African politicians keep sprouting in their bid to defend the discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and Transsexuals. With the upsurge of anti-gay bills springing up in many African countries, it became imperative to provide necessary information and create awareness on the issues of sexual orientation especially homosexuality and bisexuality. Information is power and education is key to human development.

In this digital age, where information is easily accessible, it is sad to know that many people especially Africans still fall for the homophobic, biphobic and transphobiic rhetoric that sexual orientation is a matter of choice. In the book Freedom to Love For All; Homosexuality is not Un-African, I put together a collection of my essays debunking the myths that Homosexuality is Un-African.

First, I started by clarifying the meaning of sexual orientation and providing accepted definition of the different kinds of sexual orientation and gender identity that we [Read more…]

Closets Are For Clothes; I Am More Than My Clothes: I Am Coming Out!

Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day! According to Wikipedia

 National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an internationally observed civil awareness day celebrating individuals who publicly identify as a gender identity or sexuality minority. The day is observed annually by members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies on October 11

Whether you are Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian, Gay, or even Atheist, coming out of the closet is always often a difficult experience for many. Most Logo_ncod_lgtimes, it is a decision that subjects us to a lifetime of discrimination, isolation, ostracism, and judgements not just from the society but unfortunately, also from those we care most about i.e. our family members and friends.

For me personally, all the isolation, judgemental remarks, ostracism, discrimination or jail terms in the world are not enough deterrents to keep me in the closet about my sexual orientation or non-belief.

The Freedom to be me, Freedom to love, Freedom to express my love and shout it from on top mountains, Freedom to assert my sexual and gender identity, Freedom to proclaim my non-belief in religious nonsense etc. are things I will not trade for the safety of the closets.

I cannot and must not let my Freedom to be me be curtailed by people who rejoice in wallowing in ignorance and hate.

Closets are for clothes; I am more than my clothes. [Read more…]

Sensationalising the Plight of African LGBTs

I am often approached at LGBT events especially at protests rallies by filmmakers and journalists who want to write a piece or make a 04338_yemisi_ilesanmidocumentary on the ‘horrible’ situation of African Lesbians and gays (they hardly take cognizance of bisexuals and Trans).

There is no doubt that African LGBTs who reside in countries where their sexual orientation is criminalised face a daunting task. Living a closeted life or choosing to face the consequences of being out and proud in a society where one’s sexual orientation is criminalised is frightening and dehumanising. I have been there, I am still there, and I know how horrible the threats can be. So yes, I understand why the filmmakers and writers are fascinated with telling this horror story.

However, a recurring theme makes me cringe every time I am approached by filmmakers or journalists demanding that I tell the horror stories or at least provide them some graphic pictures of violence suffered by African LGBTs. There is this fascination with the horror stories and abused bodies of African LGBTs that I am beginning to wonder if it is a voyage into morbid porn and/or just another way to portray Africans as victims.

When I inform these filmmakers and journalists that I do not have pictures of abused African LGBTS to share with them, they are immediately crestfallen. It is my opinion that most of them haunt African LGBT activists protest grounds not because they are interested in the fight for African LGBT Rights but because they see the plight of African LGBTs as a way of furthering their career in Journalism or film industry.

A heart-wrenching, graphic documentary on the abuses suffers by African LGBTs and why African LGBTS need white saviours could turn a [Read more…]

LGBT Rights in Africa: Why we need international solidarity- Interview on SkyNews

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals from countries where their sexual orientation and/or gender identity is criminalised need international solidarity. What we do not need is seeing international leaders who claim to support our fight for LGBT rights wine and dine our oppressors.

When we watch international leaders who are supposedly LGBT allies frolicking with our oppressors, the message we get is that we do not matter. In the long run, it is all about their politics, not their words. International leaders should please WALK THEIR TALK.

Below is a video of my interview on SkyNews on the topic LGBT Rights in Africa and why we need international solidarity. [Read more…]