Popular Nigerian celebrities’ styles and art forms are helping to dispel myths and taboos about sexual orientation and gender identity.
By NoStringsNG contributor
Queer-identifying people, especially in Africa, remain largely misunderstood and stigmatized, but that is slowly starting to change, especially with increased visibility and consistent advocacy.
In addition, several Nigerian celebrities have inspired a new generation of daring LGBTIQ+ people through their nontraditional expressions and sense of style. It doesn’t matter whether they themselves identify as queer; their conscious efforts to stay authentic are inspirational.
Here a rundown of four of those celebrities.
1. Denrele Edun
Denrele Edun is a Nigerian media personality and entertainer whose style and authenticity are like no other.
His fashion sense has always been eccentric and the specifics of his sexuality are intriguing to the public. In numerous interviews, he has said that he is a sexual outlaw.
He is a source of source of inspiration to many queer Nigerians. Because of his unique personality, many LGBTIQ+ people identify with him and see him as a role model.
Many will argue and wonder why Bobrisky is on this list. Still, the famous cross-dresser has inspired many within the LGBTIQ+ community, especially trans women.
Borbisky has been a source of inspiration for many queer people who do not want to conform to conservative Nigerian standards. Bobrisky has also been vocal about being true to themselves and has no regard whatsoever for naysayers.
Having seen how Bobrisky is well accepted and celebrated for who they are, many queer Nigerians are inspired by Bobrisky’s resilience.
3. Temmie Ovwasa
Temmie Ovwasa is a Nigerian singer who made it to prominence in 2015 being signed to YBNL. Temmie was known as the “YBNL Princess” until their departure from the label in 2020.
Temmie, who identifies as non-binary, was the first Nigerian singer to release an openly gay album in Nigeria.
The singer has always been vocal about their sexuality and has always agitated for the equal rights of queer people in Nigeria.
They are living authentically and using their music to expose the negative impact of LGBTIQ+-phobia. No wonder they are loved by many in the LGBTIQ+ community who see them as an inspiration.
4. Enioluwa Adeoluwa
Enioluwa Adeoluwa is a social media sensation and influencer widely known as the “lip gloss boy” or “beauty boy.”
Enioluwa is also known for his exceptional use of make-up and has won the hearts of many people, especially femme men who are motivated and inspired by most of his content.
Also, during Enioluwa’s interview with PaperMag, he talked about his advocacy and representation of femme men in Nigerian society.
He said, “I’ll be living in denial if I say I’m not femme. I am, and I’m proud of myself. I live on my femme side because she’s pretty, she’s smart, she’s intelligent, she’s powerful and nobody can talk to her. Again, representation is so important. When people saw femme boys in the country, they saw trouble. But femme boys have created such a huge platform that they are breaking doors for other people that look like them. I came in through that door and people knew me to be that boy on Instagram who uses makeup, but then that boy is also successful in school and this is something Nigerian parents like.”