‘It is scary’: Fashion writer Vincent Desmond on being queer, out and Nigerian
Nigerian fashion writer and editor Vincent Desmond has shared his experience living as an openly queer person in Nigeria.
By Mike Daemon
Nigeria isn’t an easy place for sexual minorities, given the homophobia, discriminatory laws, and ignorance of many Nigerians about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer [LGBTIQ] issues. However, many LGBTIQ Nigerians, especially younger ones, are gradually becoming more visible and changing society’s negative perception of homosexuality.
Desmond is one of those. In a short exclusive interview for the September edition of Hints Mag, a Lifestyle Nigerian magazine, the 20-year-old writer spoke about dealing with homophobia, femininity and finding his place in the fashion industry as a writer and editor.
Speaking about living openly as queer in Nigeria, he said:
“Being openly but most importantly visibly queer in Nigeria means being ready for homo/queerphobia in real life and online. It is scary. I constantly have Nigerians clogging up my notifications on Twitter telling me vile and homophobic things and most days I don’t care but somedays what they say strikes a nerve. Other days, they take it up the notch and make threats that leave me worried.”
Desmond, an accomplished writer, has become a person to reckon with. As a freelancer, he has written for various well established Nigerian platforms.
But that’s not all. Daringly, he publishes LGBTIQ-focused contents through ‘Dear Queers,’ an online platform for the LGBTIQ+ community. The platform is aimed at highlighting the experiences of LGBTIQ+ Nigerians through stories and essays.
“When I started Dear Queers, I wanted to create a publication that helped other queer people, especially younger queer people, navigate this predominantly cis and straight world — even if it’s just by putting them on a playlist of music by other queer people, or uplifting voices of other LGBTQ+ people or starting conversations. Our lives are hard enough, I want to make it easier, so I created Dear Queers,” he said.
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