Kayode Gomez, a passionate Nigerian human rights activist has revealed reasons why he finds it very challenging defending LGBT persons in Nigeria.
Below are his words.
Defending others can be a fulfillment of purpose to save lives and promote human rights; recently it has become dangerous, risky, stigmatizing and discriminating….
Someone whom i thought should defend me even when the world turns against me said to me; I won’t be surprise if I find out tomorrow you are gay, because you are already beginning to act like it”. Only because I said whoever is not comfortable with the work I do should give me alternatives or shut up!
The statement came as shock, not because I have not heard worse or had worse experience more than just statements, but I was shocked because of whom it came from. And no alternatives can be better than serving humanity.
Without self exemption, so many human rights defenders have suffered and still suffering persecution, hate, stigma and discrimination just because we speak for vulnerable and marginalized groups, worst of all LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex). And I begin to wonder, what is so special about being LGBTI or defending LGBTI. One major reason why there are so much activism around this area is because there are actions and bad laws that violate people’s rights. The society use the opportunity to preach hate, blackmail, crucify, persecute and discriminate loving people only because of their sexual orientation. They use religion and culture as basis for argument. News flash! LGBT persons are not aliens; they live among us, they hold reputable positions in the world, they are politicians, celebrities, husbands, wives, parents, you celebrate them, some are even your role models, they preach and pray on pulpit, people fall under anointing when they speak and lead worship songs in church, they lead prayers in mosque, they represent family and friends you have. A saying says; “when throwing a stone in the market, be careful because you don’t know if it will hit one of yours”.
Coming back to defending others; I have had terrible experiences just because I’m an activist saving lives and promoting human rights. I have been arrested, I have lost friends and colleagues, I have heard things and answered strange questions. People will ask me; “if you are not one of them, why defending them?” Worst of all, my Mum once threaten to disown me if I continue to defend the rights of LGBT. They say; “God is not happy with me”…..Lol! the last time I checked, God has been my pillar and source.
There is no joy more than I’m fulfilled saving lives and promoting human rights. I don’t have to be gay to defend LGBT rights. No one ever asked me why I defend or address issues affecting other marginalized groups such as; PwD (People with Disability, SW (Sex Workers), PLwHIV (People Living with HIV/AIDS) and so on…. So why attach so much importance, hate and stigma to sexual minorities.
By the way; who is the sinner and who is committing crime? Is it the person who is passionate, happy and in love with his/her life or the person that save lives and promote human rights or you that preach hate, condemn, judge and crucify others.
Only hypocrites think some group of people are less human…..what makes you better?
Kayode Gomez is a Blogger, Film Maker, Media Personality, Human Rights Activist, Psychosocial Counselor, Paralegal, Public Health & Social worker.
Read up other interesting articles from him here: https://kayodegomes.blogspot.com.ng/