Bisi Alimi had to flee his home country after coming out as gay on live TV in Nigeria twelve years ago. Now, with our help, his powerful story can be made into a film.
Bisi Alimi grew up in Mushin, one of the poorest slums of Lagos, Nigeria, and he says he “was gay by the time I first cried as a baby.”
It isn’t easy being gay in Nigeria, though. Quite the opposite. In Nigeria homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years in prison and, in some states, even death. The country does not recognise LGBT rights, it does not offer legal protection against discrimination and in 2004 the president claimed there were “no gays in Nigeria”.
Following that statement Bisi Alimi appeared on a popular Nigerian talkshow, outing himself as gay, and the reaction was instant. The show was pulled off air, Bisi’s statements were discussed in Parliament and he was subjected to abuse for years.
His TV message challenging the president’s words was a brave move but it was a declaration that ultimately saw him exiled from Nigeria and after years of death threat and abuse he decided to fled to the UK.
Since then he has since continued to fight for LGBT rights. Now, twelve years since that TV appearance and eight years since arriving in the UK, filmmaker Joe Cohen is producing a documentary about his story, including his first trip back to Nigeria.
The trailer, below, gives you an insight into what that trip was like.
Does this sound like a film you would want to watch? Then make sure you support it by spreading the word and, if possible, helping to fund it. There is a Kickstarter campaign for The Boy From Mushin here.