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Sex video, parents, violence – Qtalk helps LGBTQ+ Nigerians

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

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By Mike Daemon

Qtalk users’ names have been changed in the following writeups, which were contributed by the counselors who provide advice to LGBTQ+ Nigerians via the free Qtalk app:

Trans woman is worried as her time is expiring at a safe house

Confidence, a Nigerian trans woman who is currently staying at an emergency safe house in Lagos, is worried about what comes next, since her allowed time there is almost done.

In her request for support she wrote:

“Can anyone help me? I am at a safe house [where] the time allowed for me to stay is 3 months. It is almost finished. What do I do and who can help me?”

In response, the counselor sympathized with her situation and acknowledged that it was indeed a difficult time for her. She was sent a link to access WHER’s Emergency Response Initiative and was urged to apply. She did, but so far has not received a response. The counselor said the woman is emotionally stable and remains in touch with the counselor.

Family makes life difficult for gay man after he was outed

Andrew, age 22, said that life became extremely difficult after he was outed by someone he was intimate with.

In his request for help, he wrote:

“I can’t describe how I feel and what I am going through right now. Since a neighbor I was intimate with told my sister about my sexual orientation and my family knew, they have been making things difficult for me, especially my dad. He said he won’t be paying my school fees again, and he won’t support me anymore. My mum is always on the subject. [When] I got really ill, she said that they must have used plank in my ass. It is just so painful how they treat me. This is just too much for a 22-year-old.”

His counselor reminded him that he does not deserve what the family has done to him because of his sexual orientation, which a natural part of him.

They discussed several options for Andrew, including getting a job so he could support himself and, if his family became violent, moving into a safe house. The counselor also taught Andrew some coping skills aimed about allowing him to maintain a healthy emotional balance.

Effeminate gay man hospitalized after being severely beaten by neighbors

Bright, a Nigerian gay man in Osun State, said he is currently hospitalized after a group of hoodlums attacked him in his house and accused him of being gay.

In his support for request, he wrote:

“I am writing to you from my hospital bed. I am in pain. I was attacked by 5 men in my area who accused me of homosexuality all because I am girly. They beat me and poured paint on me. Some got into my eyes and I fell to the ground. I feel really hurt. I do not deserve this”

In response, the counselor stated that what they did to him was not only wrong but also  a criminal offense. The counselor also stated that there was nothing wrong with being girly or different. Bright was also informed about legal options he could take if he wants to get justice for what was done to him.

Intersex trans man still depressed years after a failed football career

Benson, an intersex trans man who lost his chance of being a pro-footballer because of his unique nature, says he is still battling depression many years later.

He wrote:

“What do I do to feel normal again? It’s been several years now since I was kicked out from my football club for being intersex, but I can’t seem to get myself back on track since the whole thing. I lost a very huge opportunity and most of my mates then are ahead. I feel lost and left behind. I need help.”

In response, his counselor stated that trauma often lingers especially if one has never gotten professional help.

The counselor also helped Benson explore methods of recovering from the trauma, including exercise, the practice of mindfulness and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Those have proved helpful and Benson seems to be excited about each session, the counselor said.

Gay man nurturing suicidal thoughts after leak of sex video

Lucky, a young Nigerian gay man, is depressed and contemplating suicide after a video showing him and another guy having sex went viral.

He wrote:

“I made a sex video with a guy recently. It was meant for us only. He lied to me that he had deleted it. Instead, he started selling it on porn sites and making money. Then not too long ago, I saw that the video was posted on a blog and people started messaging me about it. I am going through hell right now. I just want to disappear. This is too much for me. I feel like just killing myself. How can anyone do this to me?”

In response, the counselor showed empathy and informed him that what his friend did was criminal — in fact, he could be arrested and made to face the law for what he did. However, the counselor acknowledged that, since this was a case related to homosexuality, things could backfire if not handled properly.

He referred Lucky to an LGBTQ+ human rights organization in Lagos that now is  following up on the issue. However, Benjamin has remained in counseling.

To download the Qtalk mobile app, click HERE.

To support the Qtalk project financially, click HERE.