This project is to remind us of who we are as queer Nigerians and to provide comfort at this most dangerous and volatile time in our history when we are being hunted and dehumanized, our bodies broken, our history denied. This book of Queer Nigerian love poems is our response. We will not be cowed. We are here. We have always been here. We are human. We love. We live. We will survive. This book is our love chant to ward off evil. This project is a ray of sunlight and positivity to brighten up the lives of people being persecuted for who and how they love.
We are putting together some of the best new LGBT-themed Nigerian poetry for publication in the first print anthology of its kind. An Anthology of poems of Nigerian queer love, queer identity, and queer struggle: poems that validate us, poems that show we exist in our fullness and in our love in English and/or Pidgin English on any theme relevant to LGBT life and rights in Nigeria or the Nigerian Diaspora.
The suppression of the community will not succeed if we keep asserting our presence. In addition to organizing and lobbying, we have to write our invisibility into visibility. We have to write our own stories.
As Chinua Achebe said, “until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
In the face of all the hate around us, we must celebrate the reality and beauty of our lives, which are hinged on love. Nigeria boasts Africa’s largest and most vibrant literary scene, but until now our LGBT writers have largely been intimidated and silenced. It is time to begin making our voices heard.
We need your help to complete this project:
1) $1,500 for publication
2) $2,500 at $100 each for 25 contributors.
3) $1,000 Media/Publicity
4) $200 for the artwork for the cover
Unoma Azuah is an LGBT activist and an award winning writer and professor of writing.
Michelle Omas is a queer Nigerian in self-imposed exile. An avid reader with a passion for poetry and queer African literature.