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Nigeria: Gay youth trapped at home with homophobic dad

As the country’s lockdown continues and coronavirus cases increase, LGBTIQ+ Nigerians have become more vulnerable.

From the African Human Rights Media Network

Photo for illustrative purposes only. (Photo Source: Istockphoto.com)

By Mike Daemon

LGBTIQ+ Nigerians have expressed fears over increased vulnerability since the lockdown began. Unemployment, depression, loneliness, reduced access to HIV care and support, domestic violence and homelessness are growing problems for LGBTIQ+ community members.

For some, the problems begin at home.

Festus (name changed for safety), a gay youth in Lagos who reached out to NoStrings via chat, said the lockdown has left him hungry and afraid of what his homophobic father might do to him.

“I think I am going to run mad. My father has refused to provide food since he found out that I am gay a few days ago. He went through my phone after I slept off and read all my chats. Now he wants me to leave the house.”

Read also: How LGBTIQ+ Nigerians are coping with COVID-19 pandemic

Festus, who is currently in training for a career in fashion and designing, said  his father has made his life hell. He often has to sleep on an empty stomach.

“My father said I should be going out during the day, that he doesn’t want to see me, else he might be tempted to kill me. Now I go out and most times wander on the street before returning back home to sleep at night. He has also asked me to leave immediately after the lockdown.”

Festus said he is currently looking for a place to stay whilst still pursuing his dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

“I am looking for a place to live. I don’t want to commit suicide. It’s hard staying at home. My father hates me so much I can see it. I just want to finish my training and see how I can get my life together,” he said.