“If You Want Change, You Have To Challenge The Status Quo.” – Interview with Bisi Alimi

The following is the English version of Bisi Alimi’s recent interview with Huffpost Germany, which is part of his TEDx Berlin talk tomorrow, Saturday, a talk about HIV among gay men in Nigeria.

This article was written by Steffen Wüller, and first appeared on the German Impatient Optimists, a blog of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read below.

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celebs 43Bisi Alimi must be a brave man. In 2004, he came out as gay on a nationwide television show and almost got killed for standing up. He had to flee to the United Kingdom where he has become one of the most important activists for HIV and LGBT rights. On September 6th, he speaks at TEDx Berlin. In the interview, he talks about his coming out in public and explains why he strongly believes in the power of social media.

Impatient Optimists: Bisi, your coming out on TV is now ten years ago! You had to leave Nigeria and start a new life in London. If you look back now: Would you take the same decision? Continue reading

Bisi Alimi Debuts On The World Pride Power List 2014

This year’s World Pride Power List – which celebrates influential lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people – includes Russian and African activists, trans politicians, and CEOs of global companies. And Nigeria’s very own Bisi Alimi. This is the gay activist’s first appearance on the list, and he debuts at Number 77. Here’s an excerpt of the list (originally published on The Guardian), the few recognizable names I decided to put up in today’s post.

12. Jane Lynch, actor

Lynch, who plays Sue Sylvester in the TV show Glee, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year.

24. Jodie Foster, actorJodie FosterFoster won best actress at the Golden Globes in 2012 for Carnage and, the next year, won the Cecil B DeMille award for outstanding contribution to entertainment. She has since directed episodes in the Netflix series, Orange is the New Black.

28. Anderson Cooper, broadcast journalist

Cooper is a journalist, author, anchor of CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360° and Vanderbilt. Last year, he received the Vito Russo award from GLAAD for his significant work promoting equality for the LGBT community. Continue reading

WHEN THE LAW IS STILL THERE

deep-thoughts“After the law was passed…”

Recently, we read THIS STORY about one of us who almost got into trouble with a policeman pretending to be gay. What struck me: the story not only bore sadness and fear, but ended in resignation and hope for good against evil.

I know it’s a defence mechanism: glossing over pain while moving on to brighter ground to talk about nicer things – like porn, Phyno’s lickable tattoos, Bunkside Frenzy, Jay Z and Bey–lange…

But does this help? Paracetamol may take care of the headache brought on by malaria, but without actual malaria treatment, you’ve only attacked a symptom not the illness itself.

I don’t know about the personal lives of everyone reading this, so I’m just working with a content analysis (posts and comments) of stuff we’ve had here so far. Thou shall not be offended, promise?

After the law was passed – according to the post – the writer was depressed, and while waiting for time to pass, he deleted shirtless pics of guys on his phone, binned his porn, deactivated his dating-site accounts… And then in the comments section, somebody tied himself to a chair, another one’s smooth skin transformed into gooseflesh, and yet somebody else advised that everyone rein in their libidos.

These are good pieces of advice, legitimate reactions – for self and for others… Again, is this the solution? Continue reading

My 10 Years Of Living With HIV

Bisi Alimi talks about his journey with HIV in this very compelling story published earlier on HuffingtonPost.com. Read.

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Bisi Alimi 03The morning I was diagnosed with HIV was like most others. I had just left my hotel and was heading for the International convention center to attend the Fourth National AIDS conference in Nigeria. It was May 2004, 10 years ago this month.

The day before, I had just given a presentation on HIV and men who have sex with men (MSM is the term to describe men who have sex with other men but do not identify as gay). I was sharing the stories of the friends I had lost to HIV. The most memorable was my best friend, Ibrahim. Continue reading

Say Hello To The Bravest Man In Nigeria

Hello, guys, so the response to the advent of this blog has been very mixed. Some folks expressing enthusiasm, and others being wary. Some even have been downright doubtful as to the necessity of this venture. And these reactions have been taken into consideration, the pleasant ones appreciated and the negative ones understandable. After all, na Naija we dey. 14 years is very real (lol). But hopefully, we have providence on our side, and in the same way we pray for life and shelter and provisions and a good man and good sex (:) ), let us pray for the success of this venture.

So, in other news, unless you were kidnapped by Boko Haram’s ancestors and stuck under a rock in faraway Sokoto for many, many years, then, you just must have heard about gay rights activist, Bisi Alimi, the first man to publicly declare his sexuality on Nigerian National Television back in 2004. When I think of that feat, especially in a country such as ours where the hostility toward homosexuals has always been there pre-anti-gay law, I get goose bumps.

13591354923_11303e73a7_b-1Recently, Alimi was in Washington, D.C., where, as an Aspen New Voices Fellow, he had been asked to talk to the World Bank about how they should be handling Nigeria. He also spoke to the Washington Post about his own remarkable circumstances, the realities of LGBT rights in Nigeria, and what, if anything, the international community should do to help.

Read excerpts of the interview below: Continue reading