Long Walk to Tolerance

ONE NGO IS WORKING TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO MEDICAL SERVICES, STOP DISCRIMINATION AND PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF SEXUAL MINORITIES IN NIGERIA. 

Nigeria has one of the toughest anti-gay laws in the world, with 14 years imprisonment pinned as punishment against same sex marriages and relationships in the country. Twelve states in the Muslim North of Nigerian punish homosexuals with death penalty. Knowing that Nigerians are generally homophobic, there is little to no legal protection for gay people in the country. Platforms like NoStringsNG are out catering to LGBTIQ rights and affairs through advocacy and education. In the same vein a Nigerian based NGO, The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs) is working to protect and promote the human rights of sexual minorities in Nigeria and West Africa. Through Education and advocacy, TIERs is pushing against discrimination and harm on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Nigeria.

Photo via nationalgeographic

Photo via nationalgeographic

In collaboration with Asurf films limited they have released a short film titled “Hell or High Water”, the short film was produced by Asurf Oluseyi. The short film tackles the reality of sexuality and spirituality in a religious Nigeria.

Founded in 2015, TIERs through campaigns, active advocacy, human rights protection, education and capacity building is moving to change the way Nigerians treat LGBTIQ in Nigeria. Though the walk towards tolerance for gay people in Nigeria looks long and far, there might be possible hope. Following a recent opinion poll by BBC’s Will Ross, only 87% of people in the country currently support the legal ban on homosexual relationships, while five years ago the same law was supported by 96% of Nigerians.

See below the short film produced by Asurf Oluseyi in collaboration with TIERs.