Porn, bullying, HIV – Qtalk helps LGBTQ+ Nigerians

LGBTIQ+ Nigerians benefit from the support provided by volunteer counselors via the Qtalk app. (Fourth in a series)


From the African Human Rights Media Network


By Mike Daemon

Qtalk users’ names have been changed in the following writeups, contributed by the counselors who provide advice via the Qtalk app:

Family finds out about HIV positive gay man, then rejects him

A 24-year-old Nigerian undergraduate student in Lagos state was in a mess after his family found about his HIV status.

“Help me, my family just found out that I am living with HIV. They have asked me to leave the house and will not sponsor my education anymore. My father has asked me to leave me the house and I have nowhere to go to,” he wrote.

The Qtalk counselor informed him that testing positive to HIV is not the end of the world. After several helpful counseling sessions, he was linked to an online support group, which has also helped him.

In fact, a member of the group agreed to meet with his parents for reconciliation and a possible family reunion. He is now sharing an apartment with a member of the community who agreed to accommodate him temporarily.

Gay teenager wants to be straight, worries about not being able to have children

A 17-year-old Nigerian, RS, was worried about his sexual orientation and wanted to change.

“I am just confused and worried about my gayness. I want to be like everyone else. I fear that I won’t have children because a man cannot get pregnant. My parents will be disappointed in me. Can I change?” RS wrote.

The counselor acknowledged that it was absolutely normal for most young people to worry about their sexuality, especially in a homophobic society such as Nigeria. The counselor advised RS that a person’s sexual orientation cannot be altered. He acknowledged that cis men cannot get pregnant; however, people can adopt children.

RS was also told that when he becomes an adult, he will be able to make his own decisions and not have to worry so much about his parent’s reaction. RS might end up dealing with the possibility of family rejection, but most parents grow to love and accept their children for who they are, the counselor stated.

Since then, RS has continued working with the counselor and seems to be coping just fine.

Porn video goes viral, depression creeps in

A gay youth was tricked into making porn by his friends who lied that they would sell it to someone abroad who would pay them handsomely. However, the video ended up on social media and he is now worried about his safety.

“I am so ashamed and scared right now. My 2 friends asked me to make a porn video with them that they were going to sell it to a white man abroad who will pay us good money, not knowing that it was all a lie. During the making of the video, they wore masks, but I did not wear it. Now they released it online and everyone seems to have seen it.  I am so scared of what will happen to me,” he wrote.

The counselor, who is a legal practitioner, told him that what his friends did was illegal and that they could be arrested for it. However, he did acknowledge that it was going to be challenging to pursue a case like that without exposing him to further humiliation, given the nature of the video. He was referred to a human rights organization in his state that is more experienced with handling LGBTIQ+ related cases.

Gay youth bullied at school plans to drop out

Gay teenager is planning on quitting school because of constant bullying from school mates due to his sexual orientation.

“What do I do to stop being a victim of bullying in my school? My school mates are always abusing me in school and calling me all sorts of names because I am gay. I just want to stop school. I think that will end everything,” he wrote.

The counselor helped him to understand that what his school mates were doing was wrong and should be reported to school authorities especially as the students do not have any evidence to prove that he is gay. He was also encouraged to report the issue to his family so they could notify the school. The young man told his parents and they have agreed to speak to the school board when school resumes.

Gay teenager does not want to be on ARV, thinks there’s a cure for HIV

A gay teenager who just tested positive for HIV is confused about whether or not to start an anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy he has just been introduced to.

“I tested positive for HIV last month. I was told at the testing center to start my medication right away but I refused. After much research on the internet, I found a cure that seems to work. Lots of great testimonies about the drug and I want to try it. Do you think that HIV has a cure?” he wrote.

The counselor responded that, at the moment, that there is no known cure for HIV/AIDS. He was also informed that cure peddlers are mostly scammers who are looking for people to rip off.

He was also told about the benefits of early detection and treatment. In the end, he agreed to start the ARV medication and has since remained in touch with the counselor.

To download the Qtalk mobile app, click HERE.

To support the Qtalk project financially, click HERE.

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