Order your sizzling copy of Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African!

BookCoverImage new vistaAbout the book

Sexuality rights remain a controversial issue in many parts of Africa; it is not just a controversial issue but also a taboo subject. Many countries in Africa still criminalize homosexuality. Sodomy laws remain part of the criminal laws thereby making it legally possible to persecute sexual minorities. For example Zimbabwe, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ghana all have laws under which homosexuality can be prosecuted. In South Africa, where the constitution recognizes same-sex relationships, gays and lesbians are often attacked, molested and persecuted for their sexual orientation. Many African societies do not provide enabling environments to discuss sexual orientation issues. Homosexuality has been condemned by many African leaders as Immoral, Un-African and a ‘White man’s disease’. 

In Nigeria, lawmakers are resurrecting a version of a widely condemned anti-homosexuality bill. Nigerian Lawmakers in a bid to rally popular support needed a scapegoat and the LGBT community provides an easy target.  Poverty, corruption, unemployment, lack of security and the growing menace of terrorists groups like Boko Haram are some of the many problems bedeviling Nigeria. Rather than focus on these urgent problems, Nigerian lawmakers decided instead, to come in a ‘straight’ mass orgy of corruption to bully the gay minority; a cause always guaranteed to provide the otherwise unpopular lawmakers cheap, majority support. When will they stop discussing who is sleeping with whom and start making laws to move this underdeveloped, oil rich nation forward?

 In the book, Freedom To Love For All: Homosexuality is not Un-African, Yemisi Ilesanmi takes a critical look at Nigeria’s ‘Jail the Gays’ bill. In this interesting collection of her articles on Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition bill, she makes a brilliant case for LGBT Rights as Human Rights and effectively debunks the myths surrounding homosexuality in Africa. Yemisi Ilesanmi also raises concern on what she termed ‘The deafening silence of Nigerian Human rights activists on the homophobic bill’. She sheds light on homophobia in Nigeria and the forces driving the ‘Jail the Gays’ bill in Africa.

 Excerpts from Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African:2013-04-16 18.33.43

 “I wonder why it is not considered politically incorrect to ask if Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals or Transsexuals have equal rights as heterosexuals. If we are agreed that no one should be discriminated against, why are we still debating if Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals are entitled to Human Rights? Last time I checked LGBTs are people too! Well, debate is good because in some countries like Nigeria, many are yet to be convinced that Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals are actually human beings.”


“Sodomy law is a foreign import; it is a relic from the colonial era which former British colonies inherited. The law, like most old colonial British laws, had a very high religious influence, the name of the law itself points to its biblical origin. Britain has since repealed sodomy laws in its homeland. Unfortunately Nigeria and many other African countries still cling to this antiquated law antiquated law and many now think it is an original, home-grown, African law.”


“There are many things that could be said to be “Un-African”, for example, laws allowing women to inherit land or criminalizing female genital mutilation could be said to be Un-African. Also, giving women the right to vote or participate in public debates was considered Un-African in some African societies. We must also not forget that Christianity, Islam and their attendant festivals like Christmas, Easter and Ileya are all Un-African; these, not homosexuality, are the real western imports”


“Unfortunately, neo-colonialism and mental slavery continue in Africa through the heavy influence of evangelical missionaries who, having lost ground in their western countries to Equality Rights Acts, have now invaded African churches and are inciting members against homosexuals.  These evangelicals are also sponsoring bills against homosexuals in African countries; some of these churches are particularly from the USA.”

 Snapshot_20130302_4“It is sad that African leaders have created God in their own selfish, corrupt and bigoted image. Oh, wait a minute; Africans have actually lost the Gods they originally created. This new God Africans so reverently quote is actually the precious God of their colonial masters. Africans now revere and understand this imported God more than the original owner. Why are Nigerian religious leaders so backward? I suspect Ignorance and hypocrisy play a role in their primitive stance on equal rights for all. They purport to come in the name of love yet spew so much hate”


“The legacy of colonialism should no longer be confused with cultural authenticity or national freedom. As Africans, we should learn about our history beyond what was fed us in missionary schools”

 “I am an African, I am bisexual, I was bisexual before I ever met any white person or stepped foot on any European shore, does this make me a fake African?”

“I am proudly African and I am mystified whenever I am accused of “promoting and defending European sexual perversity” (whatever that means). In fact from various historical paintings on Ancient Africans walls, our ancestors enjoyed homosexual relationships, affection and love. This was one reason why colonial administrators immediately imported sodomy laws into our constitutions; they imported homophobia because they thought our free loving ancestors were barbarians who freely indulged in same-sex loving.”

“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.”

Snapshot_20130309_29 resized“‘Ungodly’ seems to be all we hear from ineffective African leaders. Obviously corruption, dictatorship, human rights violations and wars are not deemed ‘ungodly’ in Africa. Africa is indeed a ‘Godly” continent blessed with “Godly” leaders!”-Excerpts from ‘Freedom To Love For All: Homosexuality is not Un-African”


“Africans now defend the same holy books that were used to justify the slavery, exploitations and indignities suffered by their ancestors. Many religious Africans now use the ‘holy’ books to justify the oppression of members of their own society. Even when the original owners of the religion inform them that the book has been updated and some parts are no longer applicable, Africans still insist that it is must be applicable because it says so in the book they were given. How pathetic.”


“LGBT rights are human rights. Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals are humans and are therefore entitled to ALL Human Rights; let no politician, religious leader or any bigot tell us otherwise”


“For how long shall innocent lives be the victims of ignorance, hate and power? Policy makers, religious leaders and politicians seek to make laws and statements that discriminate against lesbians and gay and portray sexual minorities as less than human.”


“Western SDC16019 resizedcountries have ‘almost’ succeeded in separating sexuality and reproduction; where having sex is entirely separate from the decision to have a child but in most parts of Africa, fertility is intimately bound up with identity as a woman or man. You are not truly a man until you have fathered a child; and the fathering of children is a key expression of virility. Also, an African woman is not considered a ‘real woman’ until she has experienced childbirth. Therefore the idea of a sexual relationship de-linked from producing children is perceived as unnatural”


“With a dangerously growing 7 billion world population, how can legalization of same sex marriage suddenly wipe out all humans as claimed by Pastor Adeboye and some lawmakers? Sadly, this nation is held spellbound by political and religious leaders who are averse to education and scientific knowledge. To move forward, Nigerians must emancipate themselves from mental slavery.”

Customer Reviews of Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality Is Not Un-African!

 Brilliant piece!, March 21, 2013



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This review is from: Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is not Un-African (Paperback)

Ms.Yemisi Ilesanmi manages to put together a brilliant piece of artwork full of eloquence, deep analytical skills and detailed references.This book breaks down stereotypes, single stories and farces by confronting hypocrisy, bigotry and ignorance with dignity, enlightenment and love. The reader becomes educated, motivated, outraged and empowered. By far one of the best books that covers LGBT rights in Africa, with an African voice. Highly recommended to students and scholars interested in gender studies, queer studies, African studies or Human Rights in general. Also very accessible to general public, in particular to persons committed to social change and the fight against discrimination in all its forms.

 Excellent book, July 31, 2013


Kenny boy

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This review is from: Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is not Un-African (Paperback)

I found the book really very educative. You succeeded in dispeling a lot of the myths and incorrect information surrounding sexual diversity in Nigeria and the African continent while you made great recommendations on the way forward. That book will change the life of many. I loved the courageous way you analyzed the issues and unpacked the whole thing in simple English and in a reader-friendly manner which makes it readable by everyone irrespective of academic status. It was amazing reading it. I am glad I bought the book. Well done Yemisi Ilesanmi. You are a blessing to lots and lots of voiceless and persecuted minorities indeed. Thanks for speaking out.

 Moving In A Positive Direction For LGBT Rights, August 20, 2013


A Customer “Daddy’s Princess”

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This review is from: Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is not Un-African (Paperback)

I love that she dedicated this book to, in her own words, “all voiceless and persecuted minorities” because it shows that she thinks about other people besides Nigerians. I don’t agree with everything she says and who she quotes from but the fact that this book exists is proof that we are making progress in this area in Nigeria and this makes me happy. She also writes in a way that is easy to understand. In addition, she has some good quotations. I think she did some great research, and it must have taken courage to write this book. I recommend it.

Thank you, Yemisi Ilesanmi

 Freedom to Love For All, September 16, 2013

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 Educational, accurate and current book about GLBQ in Africa. We used this book to understand the need for Africans looking for asylum in other countries in the world.

The promo video gives a glimpse into the sizzling contents of the book ‘Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African’. You can order the Paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon.


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  1. says

    This looks really good. I hope I can remember to get this book of yours along with Greta’s. My memory is not the best these days: extreme isolation brought on by trauma and oppression (coupled with Autism… …) combined with losing your immediate and extended family altogether can’t be good for the memory formation: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/253347.php

    However, if I can remember, I will try indeed to get my hands on your book as well as Greta’s new kinky book :+)

    I can already tell you’re going to be a force to be reckoned with. That’s good Yemmy, real good, because this movement desperately needs more amazingly shrewd, informative, and discerning voices like yours to be heard =~)

    • Yemisi Ilesanmi says

      Thanks a lot sleepingwytch. I do understand about the memory loss, happens to me too when stressed as i often am those days. I now keep a ‘To do ‘ diary. and carry along with me an appointment diary to remember dates, which I am getting awful at.

      I wish you all the best in your efforts to cope with the trauma of extreme isolation, it can’t be easy, especially when brought on by oppression and losing the support of your immediate family. Stay strong and virtual hugs.

      I hope you get the book, enjoy it and also leave a review! Thanks. 🙂

      • says

        Oh yeah it’s more like an extreme isolation the likes of which most old people have nothing on me. I go months at a time sometimes without any physical contact with another human (or animal, and this is key) whatsoever, until perhaps my hand bumps up against the cashier’s in the grocery store. That’s been the norm most winters, 2+ months, sometimes 3+ with no contact, 23 to 23 and a half hours in my room, for years now. Also, as far as as losing my immediate family, well, I most certainly lost them, and I actually kind of lost my extended family to due to the fact they’re bigots as well.

        I think such isolation can be extremely traumatic, it certainly has been for me, for years now; almost a decade and a half of varying degrees of extreme isolation, with the last two years being generally more traumatic than the rest (I left the cult 6 years ago. I transitioned 9/11/11 full time + name change + gender marker change, + hormones, like flipping a light switch. An experienced transwoman (she had been transitioned 7 years at that point) at a local clinic, who helps guide transwomen into transition was badly shocked and said so, because she saw me pre-transition. She’s since gotten used to the real me, but her reaction was mildly amusing. I had one suicide attempt when I was 18; I chickened out because I kept thinking about my mother. There’s a lot of trauma that’s best left dissociated for now.

        I have a to do list as well, I find this helps also. I have a clinical diagnosis of DESNOS (Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified) which is also known as Complex PTSD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_post-traumatic_stress_disorder#Adult_symptom_cluster

        It’s something many hostages get I think.

        I do hope I can read your book, I will write it and Greta’s down on my to do list.

        The world and people in my view, are darkly evil, far more than the fairy tale of original sin, and the universe is a demonic machine, unworthy of anything but contempt and disgust. Humans, being as disgustingly primitive as we are- prolonged low blood sugar, for example, is sure to bring out an entirely different nature most people don’t think they have- merit respect occasionally. But this is my worldview, and I most certainly don’t expect others to agree with it. We are the demons and angels we create in mythology, and indeed it is a projection of our own innate evil that we create such monstrous evils as gods, demons, and angels, in the first place.

        If this sounds overwhelmingly negative, dark, and cynical, don’t worry, it is! I don’t have faith in humanity, I have faith good policy.




        Thank you for the virtual hugs, they are quite welcome. ((hugs))

      • says

        Oh yes, as well I should clarify that the isolation is usually 1+ month at a time with no physical contact whatsoever with other humans or animals of any sort (again, no hugs, no handshakes, no petting animals, nothing) as well as the same amount of time spent in my room as in the winter. Sometimes I reach 3+ months in the summer, but it’s rarer; the most is usually 2+ months at the most, but 3 has been reached before. In the winter 3+ months typically happens once, but it has happened twice before.

        Some people say life is what you make it, I say life is what Fate makes it, and my job is to make fun of the cruel reality I inhabit, to mock and jest of it, as well to try to make people feel loved and valued in as much as my feeble efforts can make them feel such. Also, to destroy assholes is a general some such goal or another in there I suspect, but it’s generally the back burner these days. I must have some of my Rose incense burning whilst I type.

        Thank you for your time


  2. says

    “Africans now defend the same holy books that were used to justify the slavery, exploitations and indignities suffered by their ancestors. Many religious Africans now use the ‘holy’ books to justify the oppression of members of their own society. Even when the original owners of the religion inform them that the book has been updated and some parts are no longer applicable, Africans still insist that it is must be applicable because it says so in the book they were given. How pathetic.”

    It’s so insidious how this works isn’t it!? People in China say “Homosexuality, that is round eye debauchery” People in Africa say “Homosexuality is a foreign import, a white people first world issue, not ours” People in Iran say “Homosexuality is an offense to Allah and has no place in our society as an import of the Great Satan” People in Bellorusia say “Homosexuality is a bourgeouis capitalist import of no concern to us”, People in India say “Homosexuality is something for decadent foreigners, not for us!”, yet anti-homosexuality and anti-transgender sentiments are very much so imports!! Imports of the British Empire, Imports of the British Crown! Imports of the New World Order of the 19th Century due to the expanding British Empire! They were reenforced very much so when we took over after WWII, that anti-homosexuality, anti-transgender, anti-gq, anti-third gender evil white man’s culture.

    I can scarcely think of a more evil crock of nonsense throughout history that has infected humanity other than religion itself! /me is all fired up and goes to eat some pound cake slices and drink cheap decaff strawberry tea she purchased three pounds of on Amazon ^.^

    • Yemisi Ilesanmi says

      Yeah, those who want to find a reason to object to homosexuality and eager to hang homosexuals often finds that Religion provides a convenient, non questioning noose.

      • says

        My dad sure found a convenient, non questioning noose for me as a small transgirl. I won’t ever see my parents again, but if I could have told my dad something, as he beat me hundreds of times, ruthlessly, viciously, and systematically, before I left training diapers, for being obviously trans, I would have said “Three year olds don’t make lifestyle choices”. I seriously would have transitioned at three years old if my folks would have let me, and in fact I was asking too: simply stating I was a little girl, belonged with other little girls, didn’t understand why daddy was cracking me viciously every time I cried or limped my wrist (not that those categories are specific to little girls, of course). I suspect now that my father was influenced by either a physician or a priest ( I come from a Roman Catholic background, including Traditionalist Catholic…) associated with what was known back then as the Feminine Boy Project (look it up if you are curious). It’s common knowledge now that children’s brains are very fragile the younger they are, and that, when you beat a child like my father did to me, you are reframing that child’s view of other humans and the world, fundamentally, robbing it of quality of life for the rest of it’s life. It’s sad, I think, to live in a society that allows this to happen. Who knows if this was a transgirl (probably but no one will ever know), but it easily could have been me: http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7588056

        It’s too bad my mom interfered with my father, it really is. I have nothing to add to this world that is unique in the slightest or extraordinary given any statistical plot, extreme or not. There is nothing my existence adds one iota that could not have merely been done by someone else. In fact, if I had to look back on my life I would most certainly say it’s most definitely not been worth living. By the time I was five years old I was constantly suicidal somedays, and would have a recurring dream that came to me 20 times, of me jumping off the Misssissippi bridge (the Baton Rouge one), only to awaken on the mattress as I hit the water.

        Life in my experience is merely extreme suffering, and the universe is darkly evil. Darkly, and humans too. Sometimes when I look at people I see creatures made out of effervescent lava, constantly burning, with sharp claws and sharp tails, and intention to harm in whatever way possible. I see myself as that too sometimes, helplessly so. Oftentimes Atheists say the problem with Christians is that they say we are intrinsically evil when we should be just intrinsically neutral or something (maybe even basically good). I say the problem with Christians is they put way too much faith in the goodness of humanity through original sin ;even had their never been a redeemer, their fairy tale story of original sin is ridiculously ludicrous and naive.

        I ramble. I must light some more incense, and sniff some of my Camphor and Clove (Toque nasal snuff). I have cinnamon and blueberry and lavendar too ^.^

        /lays down soon hopefully

        The universe is a bad joke to me, overrated garbage. Human life and all other life arose not because it was ‘miraculously just so’ but, more than likely anyway, merely because any life arising under any parameters would likely have thought it ‘miraculously just so’ due to primitive perception of things. The universe, is a demonic accident that never should have happened, and inflicts profound and extreme suffering (and therefore evil) on all lifeforms, efficiently killing off most organisms before they ever even get started.

        Ahhhh, I am enjoying your posts, I should focus on the positive! =)

        • Yemisi Ilesanmi says

          The universe is not by itself a bad joke; it is the script its inhabitants, particularly humans, write for it that makes it worth living in or not. Whatever life serves us, I say never stop writing your own script.

          I have learned long ago never to let my happiness or sense of worth depend on others. So while circumstances beyond my control might serve me lousy scripts, I take a look at it and try to see how best I could rewrite it to my own satisfaction.

          Some humans are malevolent, that does not mean all humans are malevolent and it certainly does not mean I have to be malevolent. And as far as I believe in myself, i can never lose hope in humanity. And so far, this script of mine helps me navigate all life’s lemons. Stay positive and proactive. Hugs! 🙂

          • says

            I would say that humans are malevolent to a degree that is extreme and gets repressed, coming out in flowing mythologies about gods, angels, and demons. Once one unrepresses this understanding of human nature, a very dark world view takes shape, which is why I’m not seeking any converts 😉

            For what it’s worth (which is a lot), I don’t consider you any more malevolent than the average person would. In the conventional, normal view, it’s quite obvious you are kind and caring quite a bit =~) I was referring to a deeper understanding of human nature that goes well outside of societal conventions. In that understanding, we are all malevolent because the universe is as well.

            We have media where we glorify violence. If we were not malevolent, none of our media would contain violence…you see what I’m getting at? It’s just a weird understanding of malevolence, as perfectly nice and loving people (in the conventional view) view violent movies or TV shows everyday. That does not, in the conventional view, make them malevolent. In my empirical view, our brain takes pleasure from those violent scenes, so while it’s true we are not violent for viewing them, saying we are not malevolent for viewing them is an unfortunate cultural artifact that simply isn’t true in my view of things. But again, much of this malevolence cannot be helped, you see: the universe forced us to be violent and enjoy it and viewing acts of violence, in order to become the dominant species and survive. Innate malevolent human nature in my view has little to do with intentions or violence and everything to do with how our brain enjoys processing the world and viewing other people, dehumanizing them innately.

            For instance, I’ve read studies that show that white people consistently have non-empathic responses to people of color. This in my view is a form of malevolence, because cruelty is not just what people do, it’s also negligence. But would anyone claim that individual white people or even groups, could not be caring and compassionate people? Of course not.

            It’s very complicated I think you see, and, as I said, I am not seeking to convert. I just was trained very heavily in monastic techniques: to pay attention to what my mind is thinking, and feeling, and processing, and how it’s experiencing the world. That plus the abuse I’ve been through has led to a pretty deranged worldview. I most certainly wouldn’t advocate others understand (not believe) as I do, as they would be sure to jump off the cliff quickly. Indeed this may be why angels and demons and gods exist for religious people, and overly optimistic secular ideology about human nature exists for atheists/humanists/freethinkers: to keep people from becoming so overly depressed they jump off a bridge or something.

            But my mind wants the most accurate and precise understanding of a thing, the best analysis, I am a slave to it you see: it is very difficult for me to deceive myself the better I get a grasp on aspects of things as I perceive them to be.

            It can be quite a miserable experience due to this worldview.

            Thank you so much for the hugs. ((hugs)) back <3


            (my legal name is Alice but I am really Sally, Molly, Sarah, Lisa, Alice, and Violette, and have been since I was a small child, as they all occupy my body and mind), so sometimes I may sign with that or other names. Maybe I could just use my screenname, will see.

  3. Dr.Cheeselove says

    Yeah, even the native Britsh were more egalitarian as far as sex and gender *before* the Romans showed up. Funny how backwards things can get when people go colonising in pursuit of “progress.”

  4. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    “Colonising” -Pursuit of personal and state progress at the expense of the colonized.

  5. says

    “Yes “Acoff” was convicted of spraying mace at a man on an RTA bus, but it didn’t matter to authorities that she was using it to defend an 8-year-old girl who’d been accosted by a male passenger, and who she tried to help said cousin Nicole Cantie.

    “They just assumed she was wrong because of the way she was dressed,” Cantie said. Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge Stuart A. Friedman added extra punishment to his 100 day jail sentence by ordering Dove to stay off RTA buses.

    The “dangerous drugs” she was convicted of possessing without a prescription were synthetic female hormones. They are used by transitioning male-to-female transsexual’s to increase breasts size, soften skin, redistribute body fat, reduce facial hair and shrink the penis.”

    No need for a theocracy when the police have no accountability in this country and can affect the same sorts of arrests religous police do in other countries for official reasons. The thing people coming from the third world just don’ t get about the USA is that, cops can just randomly invent total bullshit reasons to arrest you, and, if they do so for religious reasons, as long as people look the other way due to the culture hating you and those like you, and as long as they don’t state their religious or ideological convictions for doing so, there is not a goddamn thing you or anyone else can do to stopt it, because here, in America, Police almost always operate with impunity, and they have a ridiculous multitude of farcical and petty laws to impale you with if they don’t like you for any reason whatsoever.

    Here she was arrested for defending a little girl on the bus, simply because the cops didn’t like the fact she was trans, and for no other reason. What good is crowing about theocracies and how incredibad they are when the same thing gets effected in the first world as long as no one does so for explicitly religious reasons? I was called faggot hundreds of times before I got to the fifth grade, and by that I mean faggot as in “you’re a dirty gay boy”. Nevermind the fact I wasn’t attracted to boys at all….I was trans, so people thought I simply MUST be a gay boy. The bullies on the bus who kept calling me that slapped me, hit me, spit on me, and constantly fucked with me, just because they didn’t like me for my perceived sexual orientation, when the reality was what they were perceiving were elements of my transness that were very difficult for me to hide from them. The busdriver looked the other way. Why? Because they simply hated me. In this culture, as long as no explicitly religious or ideological reason is publicly or privately stated, if you are in a hated minority, you will oftentimes find yourself being attacked with impunity, with no legal recourse possible whatsoever.

    Now, I was called a faggot too hundreds of times to connotate ‘jerk’ or ‘obnoxious’ or w/e, but this was not the case with these two bullies: as they would use the term to connotate something quite specific, and then follow that up with slapping, punching, spitting, kicking, and other forms of verbal harassment. That’s why this society is a huge joke to me: because it claims to be a secular ‘1st world country’ but stuff like this happens so often and nothing is done to stop it, at all in fact. The reality is it’s a nominally secular police and prison state where peoples’ religious bigotry is very much enforced on everyone else, so long as legitiginous boundaries are carefully tip toed around by the bigots. And the bigots learn how to tiptoe from a young age too, very well in fact. By the time they turn into adults, they are veritable tap dance artists, learning to take pride in a bullshit Republic that allows them to inflict their bigotry on others with impunity so long as they avoid certain types of phrases or behaviors prior to viciously inflicting said bigotry.

    IOW, this society is a huge joke.

  6. Maddie says

    Yemisi, I will definitely buy your book, because I love reading your blog. (Way better than those Christian blogs, I tell you what.)

    Sally, more hugs to you! I also have a variety of pseudonyms. (No multiple personality; I have bipolar disorder and am a writer.) I wished you lived near me, so I could visit you during your isolation.

    Anyway, trans-men and trans-women are great, because they have so much courage they are willing to be themselves and dress thusly in a world where people are often assholes for the smallest of reasons (like how someone dresses). One of my favorite people is a trans-woman.

    I have a message of hope for you! All you have to do is put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ (okay, that last part was a joke). Anyway, I was bitter and angry, because I went through some inhumane shit for a large portion of my early life. I thought of the universe as a terrible place that specifically hated me. I hated myself for being hated by the universe.

    Then I became a mother. I had to put my negativity on hold. I gave birth to a hilarious son, and became a comedy writer somewhat as a result of this. I was still bitter and angry, but I got good at hiding it. I was bitter and angry until recently.

    The craziest thing happened: I was on Yahoo Answers by accident giving advice to suicidal teenagers. Since I’m not a complete jerk, the message was: don’t do it! I found the Mom part of my personality that’s really nice and has a positive message for life. Also, I had years of experience for what worked and what didn’t from having once been a suicidal teenager, myself.

    The voice in my head used to be really mean to me. That was what was making me the most unhappy, despite living through some stuff that would give most people terrible nightmares. But after getting onto Yahoo Answers, I found myself talking to myself like I talked to those teenagers, in a nice way. I had to go ahead and forgive myself for being so mean to me, because holding a grudge wouldn’t help. Then I had to go ahead and forgive all these really bad people for putting me through so much hell, because holding grudges was putting me through more hell. Then I told myself to let go of all of that nonsense and took a deep breath, several times.

    Anyway, despite holding the #1 Most Likely To Commit Suicide spot in the Who’s Who of my classmates, I’m totally fine now. Last week, I earned a livable working wage doing what I love best… Comedy writing. It is (sigh) an unfortunate must that I must be alive until they invent robots that house our consciousnesses, and then explore space until being unwittingly sphaghettified into a black hole. I married an inventor and we’re learning robotics, bwahahahahaha, and we’re both kind of neuroscience nerds.

    You should break up the isolation by going out regularly. I am literally forced out of the house on a daily basis, because my kid’s gotta go to school and I have to have coffee. (Otherwise, I would have been a hermit by now, with a coffee bean farm.) People in the real world give me hugs, like this nice trans-woman who is one of my favorite people. My suggestion is Meet-Up Groups, on the internet. They’re localized. It’s a great way to meet people. Good luck to you! You seem really nice. My husband would probably add that you should play videogames, because you get to explore other worlds, yada yada, he could go on for hours about the beneficial effects videogames have on depression. (I think books are better than videogames, but that’s just my preference.)

    Anyway, Yemisi, I’m going to buy your book right after I wake up from this upcoming nap.

  7. Meggamat says

    It is a pity that when the history of mankind is discussed, the continent of Africa and its multifarious nations are often neglected. What book of military tactics references Shaka, lord of the Zulu? What manuel of civil engineering mentions the irrigation systems of Egypt? Why are stories of piracy focused soley upon the dashing exploits of Blackbeard (Edward Teach) and Henry Avery, rather than the pirates of Morrocco and Somalia? This book seems to be one amongst few.

  8. Francisco Bacopa says

    I’m glad the book is getting such good reviews. Africa is such a large place with such a long history and great cultural diversity there simply have to be a lot of different ways those cultures thought about gender and sexuality.

    I may be totally off here, but isn’t the idea that something is “African” really legacy of colonialism? Diversity and history seems to have been replaced by a simplified myth of unity. I mean most people in Africa didn’t think of themselves as being African unless someone from outside there told them they were in pre-colonial times.

    You see the same thing in the Americas. I have a small amount of Native American ancestry on both sides of my family. Not enough to claim membership in any group, though I might under Mexican law. I don’t know much about that, and my Mexican roots are a German guy who showed up in central Texas with his indigina wife after he fought at Celaya.

    I know there’s not really such a thing as Native American culture. Surely there can’t be such a thing as “African” culture except when you look at it from a colonial “outside” viewpoint.

    Maybe the book deals with this and I should read it. Or maybe I am just screwing up here. In that case I should also read the book.

  9. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Maddie Thanks for sharing your experience and offering solutions. Buy my book, enjoy it and do not hesitate to leave a review. 🙂

  10. Yemisi Ilesanmi says


    This book seems to be one amongst few

    Yes, it is.

    It is also great that an authentic African voice is talking about Homosexuality in Africa. I am so tired of hearing Africans call homosexuality a western agenda.

  11. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @Francisco Bacopa : Very true observation. Below is a quote from the first chapters that resonates in the book

    I say “African societies” with a consciousness that Africa is not a monolithic society as it consists of many diverse ethnicities and cultures and therefore can lay no claim to a single, monolithic, African culture

    And yes, you should read the book. 🙂

  12. Meggamat says

    Glad you released this on Kindle. I think E-books are the way to go. I am still a bit peeved that amazon kindle does not offer Atlas shrugged.

  13. Yemisi Ilesanmi says

    @ CrownReawake- This is not a space to proudly advertise your ignorance or give out your pin number. Your comments violate my comment policy, it reeks too much of ignorance, homophobia and Ableism. You and your comments are now consigned to the trash can. Good riddance to bad rubbish. 🙂


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