Kito Diaries Gets A Mention In The Washington Post

Bisi AlimiBisi Alimi is an international figure, known largely for one of the most controversial issues in the world – sexual orientation. Throw in the fact that he’s from one of the world’s most homophobic nations, and basically, anything he does or has to say gains coverage, both positive and negative.

And so, when he kissed his boyfriend and posted the picture on Instagram as a celebration of his love, there was tidal wave of both appreciation and hate for him. And I do mean, HATE! Gosh! I was on that Instagram thread, and niggas be fuming all sorts of vitriol at the activist.

Anywho, in a post on The Washington Post, titled ‘After I Kissed My Boyfriend, 10 People Said They Wanted To Kill Me’, Bisi talks about that picture, the homophobia of Nigerians, Kito Diaries (Ok, twas just a linked mention, people) and lots of other issues.

Check on it below.

*

At my 40th birthday party last month, my boyfriend and I shared a kiss. Like any couple would, we posted a photo of the moment on Instagram.Screenshot - 2_12_2015 , 5_12_59 AM

In hours, the image had gone viral in Nigeria. It was republished on scores of Web sites and blogs, with headlines like ‘Nigerian Gay Activist Bisi Alimi French Kisses Boyfriend On His 40th Birthday’ and ‘Gay Bisi Alimi Shares Photo Of Himself & Boyfriend Deeply Kissing.’

By morning, I’d received more than 10 death threats on Facebook and dozens more hateful Tweets.

On Facebook, people posted messages like “D day u enter dis country, I’ll kill u myself … fool!!!” Someone else wrote that my “death warrant has been signed.”

I’m used to these threats. I’m a former actor, and I was the first Nigerian to come out publicly on national television in 2004. This admission hurt my show. And it made me the victim of three years of assault, arrest and joblessness.

The vitriol culminated in 2007, when an assailant broke into my house. He tied me up, beat me and tortured me for more than two hours. Two days later, I moved to London. Since then, I’ve never been home.

I know I’m lucky to be alive. And the climate in Nigeria has only worsened since I left. While gay sex has been illegal since British colonial rule, convictions were usually confined to the mostly Muslim north. But in January 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan signed a law that mandates up to 14 years in jail  for same-sex marriages, showing same-sex affection in public, and being part of or supporting gay clubs and organizations.

There were dozens of arrests in early 2014. Immediately after the signing of the law, 14 gay men were attacked in Abuja by a pastor who wanted to cleanse his community of “the evil of Sodom and Gomorrah.” A few weeks later, three men suspected of being gay were paraded naked on the street of Owerri, Nigeria. Some Nigerian civilians have even turned to mob justice to arrest gay people. Last year, a video of two gay men being forced to have sex by people who broke into their house went viral.

Even as I was grappling with the new threats in my flat in London, news broke of Sharia police in Northern Nigeria arresting 12 men on suspicion of homosexuality. The men were accused of planning a gay wedding. The police commander said their sexuality was confirmed by “the way they act and talk.” The police officers, like many others, think they can deduce a person’s sexuality based on their mannerisms. On January 21st, a popular Nigerian gay blog (which is run anonymously) ran a story about Nigerian police trying to track, trap, and arrest and extort money from suspected homosexuals.

Of course, Nigeria is not the only country where it is dangerous to be gay. Homosexuality is currently illegal in 38 out of 54 countries in Africa. Too often, death is the fate of visible African LGBT champions like me. Gay rights activist David Kato from Uganda was killed in January 2011. In June 2012, Thapelo Makutle, a South African transgender, gay man was killed. Nineteen months ago, Eric Ohena Lembembe, the leading Cameroonian LGBT activist, was tortured and killed.

Today, Nigeria is largely in the international news because of Boko Haram. But the ongoing, state-approved violence against LGBT people speaks to deeper social problems, including human rights violations and a rise in HIV infections among a closeted and fearful LGBT population.

In the face of these everyday atrocities, there is silence from the international community. While a handful of countries have condemned the law, they have done little else. Unlike Uganda, which relies ​on foreign aid, Nigeria is self-sustaining. This makes Western influence on its increasing abuse of human rights tough. After the United States accused the Nigerian military of corruption and human rights abuses in its campaign against Boko Haram, for example, Nigeria began looking for military assistance elsewhere.

But these are not reasons enough for international inaction. The international community should be at the forefront of pressuring the government to respect the fundamental human rights of every Nigerian. Otherwise, thousands of innocent Nigerians will continue to face the fear of being accused of being homosexual and jailed … or being lynched.

63 thoughts on “Kito Diaries Gets A Mention In The Washington Post

  1. Everyday Bisi keeps inspiring me. One of my favourite people ever! This is a man with balls!!!

    Washington Post; ****doing cartwheels****

  2. Oh thank God he didn’t mention the name.. Trolls would’ve been hovering here like flies. Of course I’d make it my personal goal to destroy all of them. And pinky on the other hand will eviscerate their comments.. But its good we don’t have to go thru that stress. Anonimity is a key feature of KD.
    Yesterday my colleague was asking me – “all these gays and transgenders, what’s wrong with them sef”..
    I then gave him the look(I’ll slap the daylight out of you look) and told him to stop obsessing about gay people. And also made it clear to him that being gay and being trans are two diff things and he shouldn’t be using one in place of the other.

  3. Death threats? I bet these are the same ppl that go to church commanding witches to die and fasting to have poverty yokes to be broken. Nigerians make me sick tbh…atleast the vast majority of them.

  4. Wow! I seriously wonder where Bisi’s strength comes from coz if it were me, I’d have died aeons ago. That said, thank goodness we’re going international! But bigger thanks the name KD wasn’t mentioned. #KitoIsReal

  5. President Jonathan doesn’t deserve another tenure after trying to score cheap points by signing that bill.

    He could have at least been silent on the matter.

    We are too closeted to even have a say in political issues!Ideally,the gay community should their own and vote out an insensitive and homophobic government………..

    This is oppression!!!

  6. Something tells me this blog isn’t that hidden really. But rest assured, the hardest part is over with the decision to run it at all. I have no doubt you’ll be fine.

    On the Bisi piece though, I find his writing has matured over the years. I may not agree with him all the time but I fully endorse this. And yes, Bisi. If you’re reading this, I owe you one at Rupert’s.

  7. As much as I want to reserve my comments about this I have to say this for the records. I love Nigeria. I believe she will get to her dreams one day. I have little regards for people that thinks the west will come and salvage Nigeria for us. America was built by Americans so was Europe. All have to suffer one type of pain or make some sort of sacrifice to move Nigeria forward. It starts with simple participation in the political process. I wonder how many of us registered to vote or bothered to get our PVCs.Thats how I think we can begin to achieve the change we need, albeit , slowly. We are usually quick to refer to the west but we close our eyes to the process that they went through to get to where they are. I’m sure they didn’t achieve freedom through asylum seeking.Its through a concerted and sustained struggle. Voices are already rising from platforms like KD and other platforms.A lot can be achieved through them if we get our acts together, but we can’t go far if we don’t have faith in the country. On a final note, Bisi dear,you will assuage my curiosity if you give more details of the attack on you in your home by an assailant.

    • Gad let me refrain from saying all I really want to say out if respect for you.

      1. Are you by any means implying he made up the attack? Are you saying that gay people are not being attacked in their numbers all over this country?
      2. You want LGBT activits to stay here are keep fighting? In other words you want them dead? Pls watch “God loves Uganda” on YouTube .
      3. It pains me when gay people cast aspersions on bisi who has nearly sacrificed everything. I often hear things like; he did not need to come out the way he did. Worse still I hear this from gay men which I cannot understand.
      4. Our voices are being heard With platforms such as this? Seriously? This is an anonymous blog. Gad I dare you to write articles in defence of gay rights with your real name and send to me, let me publish on a mainstream blog.
      5. If you don’t like bisi dat is okay, but this man has balls more than most of us will ever have. Please denigrate him or the work he is doing. Like he said the other day

      ” I had leave so I can stay alive to keep fighting”

      • DM, I appreciate the respect you have for my person. I really do especially these days that anything goes. 1. I’m not implying that he made up the attack neither Am I attesting to its truthfulness. I only asked for more details. I’m aware of the attacks on gays though I have it on good authority that none takes place without the active connivance of other gays. 2.Its only a tree that hears that it will be cut down and still stays. In Bisi,s case, his safety and survival is @ risk. He did the needful. I know the audience I was addressing in my comments. The only light I will throw here is to say this; ” if any Nigerian feels like seeking greener pastures abroad,he should not hide under the guise of his sexuality and paint us black in the eyes of the world. I have handled one or two cases crimes against gays and I make bold to say that the authorities don’t support or encourage crimes against gays. We even got a conviction where one attacker was sentenced to 6yrs in prison. In the second case I have to give consent to get the case closed if not the idiot will still be sentenced. I must add here that the accused in the later case is a gay man like his victim. The major problem we have is ignorance and cowardice amongs us. 3. I understand your pain. I’m sure I’m not among the aspersion casting people you referred to. though I’m not sure I will act the way he did I have no issues with it because it’s his life not mine. My only problem is in the way we handle our freedom. Bisi, has become a sort of idol and encouragement to many young gays. That’s positive to me as far as he guides them aright. Not all who will do what he did will have the opportunities he had. So caution is needed in all we do for the love of the people behind us. 4. This an anonymous blog no doubt but the views expressed here,the family ties that exists here,the love+hate that we share here is the most lethal weapon any activist can pray to have in his asernal. For your information,Priests,undercover agents etc are aware of this blog. They read and they are getting informed. The committee that considered the SAME SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION BILL said then that there are no gays in Nigeria. From blogs like this they now know better. I don’t know how many people watched the latest interview by the monkey who sponsored that bill. His views are changing. Impact is being made. I will discuss with Pinky on an issue to buttress this and if it’s safe I will tell him to publish it here so we all make inputs. 5. Dennis, given the above, do I still need to give further clarifications that I have nothing against Bisi as a person? 6. Finally, I must commend you for being a very loyal body guard sorry friend of Bisi

      • Gad like I said I respect people and I believe in disagreeing with civility, so I will not descend so low as to spewing vitriol on you.

        Anyways;

        1. A lot of gay bashings are done with other gay people true, but countless more bashings are done by homophobic Nigerians. Which ever way it happens, it is because the system allows it and victims often want to mice ahead and put it behind them. I want to believe you are not saying that gay people are behind it so it doesn’t matter.
        2. Majority of Nigerians seek greener pastures abroad; true. However for majority of gay men it is an escape from a life of lies and not a career move. I get that you have a wife and kids and u get to play the “responsible Nigerian” but not everybody can play that script. If am not strong enough I may have to give up a career that is taking shape, my friends, my dogs and everything just to have sanity. Gad that is a choice forced on most people, it’s not about greener pastures, we that are here haven’t died of hunger.

        3. The authorities don’t encourage these crimes? Really? Police men now pose on badoo with nude pictures to trap people, plus who really wants to be in court to be charged for homosexuality? If the case is acquitted, good luck staying Alive.

        4. Cowardice you say? Well the fear of being outed is what is at play here. If you are outed in this country you can loose your job, your landlord will probably evict you, your friends (even the gay ones) will start avoiding you, you can’t do any business. Your life is as good as over and this is what the security agents exploit; knowing that you will want to conceal it at all costs. So don’t make this about cowardice please!!!

        5. You would have taken a different step if you were bisi? Maybe, but Bisi was going to be outed by a magazine anyway,so he took the narrative from them and told his story himself. He paid a huge price, even funmi had her show pulled because of that singular interview. So I am wondering how else you would have handled the situation.

        Bisi is my Man of theYear for 2014; for the singular reason that he dared to be himself and paid a huge price for it.

  8. Wow Bisi, madt respect bro! Fuck you homphobes!

    I have always seen homophobic people as creepy, why does it bother you so much about who i sleep with, i don’t get it seriously, like its a life and death thing for them…all that time and energy you have spent hating me just because of who i sleep with or who I am attracted to, you could have used to do something productive.

    Seriously homophobes, get a life. Devoting all that time to hating me with passion, hmmm I am looking at all of you with side eye…

  9. I think the reason why the international community seems to be quiet recently is that there just too much going on in the world to focus on gay issues. The wars in Syria, Ukraine etc has diverted public attention to these issues rather than the gays who are persecuted on a daily basis.

    On the other hand, intervening in homophobic African countries is a bit dicey, to say the least. This is because most people have this misconception that homosexuality is a western thing and that the west is trying to shove it down our throats. Everything in Africa just screams homophobia and ignorance. Even in south Africa, which is arguably the most liberal African country, the blacks are still starkly ignorant and hateful towards gays. It would seem homophobia is in our African culture

  10. Good morning guys… Yes I read this blog everyday and believe me it is one of my guilty pleasure…. I wont lie and I come here all the time to get inspired and motivated by all. I take the praise with great humility and the rebuke with an ability to learn. As a man, I am fallible and I know that and I am trying to know the limit. Life is a learning process. Please permit me to address some issues
    1- On if I am making up the attack; I have asked my ex bf to state his own side of the story. Unfortunately he cant, he is still in Nigeria and for the fact that we date he has the unfortunate burden of being outed and I have told him one day he needs to tell his own side of the story. What happened that night and how that affected him.

    2- I made it very clear to Washington post that I wont have KD shown in the article. I was as scared as you guys as I know this is a sacred place I will be the last person to deface it. I know how much it means to all of us.

    3- I am making it a point of duty this year to raise money for KD. Every year I pick 4 charities I raise money for and I think KD needs it. I dont know what it will be used for and thats none of my business but for the fact that KD is bold enough to exist is something that should be commended. Also I promise to try and silently raise the status of this blog globally in a way it wont harm the platform or people using it.

    4- I want to unofficially announce the start of Bisi Alimi Foundation. It is a project committed to combating homophobia in Nigeria while at the same time empowering the LGBT community. As part of this, I am setting up an educational trust fund to give out scholarship to LGBT people in Nigeria. Also I am using the charity to set up a well equip Gender and Sexuality library in Lagos that will focus main on history of same sex relationship of black people and Africans with the hope that we can defeat the saying “homosexuality is unafrican”

    5- Finally there will be a detailed media training and retraining, monitoring and polling of social acceptance in Nigeria.

    Guys why am I saying this? I have never shared this widely anywhere before and I want charity to begin at home as I need your support. I need you to make us of this opportunity, recommend people and even make use of it. Please keep it a secret until it is announce.

    Education is power but the reality is, someone has got to provide it….

    Finally, Kris you know I will take you up on Rupert street right? Are you in town? DM can we talk please?

  11. Bisi … strong brave guy! I admire him a lot! I v often wonderes what it would be like if perhaps Linda Ikeji got wind of this blog and posted about it on her own blog … the traffic here would probably overwhelm the servers, and then the hate and vitriol they’d pour on us … but guess what? I’ll be right here with my pink handled sword in one hand and a glittering battle axe in the other hand hacking and slashing 2x as viciously as any of them can …

  12. I never thought I’d say this: but i just have to!! Gad!!! Where can i kiss you for this? Yes our culture is homophobic but many of us are gay, and this is why am advocating fleeing cos you honestly cant hope to change a people’s culture without severe consequences for yourself … its better to leave what/where you cannot accept or change, yes?

  13. This blog just might be more known in NaIJA than we think….just saying.

    Thanx Bisi for the help hmmm the implications tho!

  14. Well said Bisi. You inspire me, am glad to have met you when you were here even tho it was in a room full of people you sure was outstanding..

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