Vincent a Nigerian man spoke to NoStrings about how he was denied a job offer in Nigeria, all because of his sexual orientation.
Vincent, a 23 years Nigerian man, lamented his experience to NoStrings about how broken and devastated he was, when he was told that he won’t be offered a job that he qualified for because of his perceived sexual orientation. He said: “Ever since I graduated from a professional catering school here in Nigeria, I have been struggling with getting a job, and when a friend recommended me to someone whom she thought needed my services, I was really happy but all to discover that I won’t be getting the job afterwards because the employer thought I was gay because of my small voice, and how I spoke softly”
Vincent said that all arrangements were already made for him to start working with his new employer, and even though he was uncomfortable with the condition of the job, he was ready to take it on because he desperately needed to do something especially as things were already getting really tough for him added to the hard economic situation of the country. He said: “My lady friend who made all the arrangements for me, told me that she had already spoken with the employer about my qualifications as a cook, and he was ready to hire me, but all I needed to do was to meet him. She gave me his phone numbers to call him which I did”
The employer followed up with a phone call to book an appointment with Vincent, and they both agreed to meet at an agreed location, but Vincent was about to experience what will become the greatest shock of his life. He said “I left my house by 5 o’clock in the evening to meet with the employer as agreed, only to get to the agreed destination and discovered that he was not there. I kept calling but he refused to answer, and when he did, he said to me: “This one that your voice is like this, I hope you are not a gay, because I do not want those kinds of human beings in my house”
Vincent said he was seriously shocked after hearing this, but thought the employer was only sounding a warning, and then he decided to wait a little longer. After waiting for close to two hours, he decided to call to remind the employer again but to the greatest shock of his life, the employer responded “Did you not hear me? Please I said I do not want gays in my house, and I cannot employ someone like you, don’t wait for me, you can leave that place and go”
Vincent said immediately after hearing this, he was emotionally thorn and then cried like a child for almost 30 minutes, walking away disappointed. He said: “I have never experienced this sort of wickedness and discrimination in my entire life before, after spending so much money for transport, somebody will just assume from the sound of my voice that I am gay and then refuse to offer me a job because they think that I am a homosexual, I mean is there something like a gay voice?”
This is not the only form of discrimination that people are subjected to in the country. There have been series of reported cases of sack from jobs, eviction from homes by house owners, and even health professionals refusing to medically attend to people all because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
All this is emanating from ignorance, religion and the general denial by society to see into the very reality that there are people in the minority who did not choose to belong there.