#EndSARS Crisis: LGBT Nigerians suffer after nationwide protests

Many LGBT Nigerians are frustrated, depressed, and in economic hardship as a result of the nationwide EndSARS protests.

By Mike Daemon

Names in this article have been changed to protect the identities of the persons whose stories have been shared.

LGBT Nigerians from across various states in the country have spoken to NoStringsNG about how the incidents have affected them, and how they have been coping amidst the continuous raids, looting, and destruction of private and government-owned properties nationwide by angry youths.

As an already vulnerable group, dealing with the realities in the past few weeks since the protest has not been very easy for members of the community.

Kola, a 23-year old Lagos-based gay man said the situation has taken a toll on his mental health and triggered his depression especially as he lost his job.

“I was working with SPAR in Lagos, I know how hard it was for me to get that job, but now I have lost it. I am not even sure I will be paid. In fact, I am not even expecting it. My rent is due, how will I even sustain myself. My goodness, I am just depressed and I have been crying non-stop since the whole issue. My depression is back I don’t know what to do, life is so hard I wish I was not in Nigeria”

Janet, a lesbian who recently started a small retail store in Oyigbo Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said she might not survive from the shock after realizing that her store was looted.

“It was just like magic. I have lost everything. They looted my store and shot a man in front of it. I started selling there last month with a 150,000 naira loan I got from a microfinance bank. They will come for me I know and I may end up in jail. who will help me” she said.

Read also: #EndSARS Crisis: Here’s how to support LGBTIQ+ Nigerians

Confidence, a young trans woman living in Aba, Abia State, said the protest just shattered her dreams of becoming an independent fashion designer.

“This whole thing has affected me so badly. I just started my own fashion business, but my store was broken into. The looters carted away with my sewing machines. Those machines are so expensive; I might not be able to get them again. I need help; even to feed is now a real challenge for me these past few days, I just beg to survive now”

These are just a few of the reports that we have received in the past weeks since the protests.

We want to do more than just reporting about these issues. Our plan is to support as many as we can, but as a small group with limited resources, we might not be able to do it alone which is why we are seeking support from generous individuals or even groups who wish to help.

To enable us to do this, we have set up a fundraiser in collaboration with our longtime partner the Saint Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, a U.S-based charity.

The organization will serve as a fiscal host through which we will receive all donations. All funds donated to us will go into supporting members of our community who have been hit hard as a result of the crisis.

To make a donation, click the PayPal button below to proceed.

 

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