Gender and LGBT Issues


Today is Nigeria’s Independence Day, but I can’t focus on my country’s progress. It’s challenging to remain optimistic in the face of landlords telling you they won’t rent to you because “you’re a single woman who could potentially use the apartment for prostitution.” Until “Nigeria” addresses its treatment of women and LGBT people… oh shoot, I just moved back home, didn’t I? Guess I best get back to dealing with the country as it is.

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If my detest for words and definitions stems from anything at all it’s the “allies” I’ve experienced in both my personal life and my work as an activist. I’ve met hundreds of “white allies,” for instance, many of who profess their “consciousness” via some digital channel (e.g. an overly serious twitter bio or utopia-inspired vision statement) or, in person, via some self-congratulatory speech masquerading as a relevant anecdote… especially when surrounded by women of color.

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When I woke up to International Women’s Day celebrations today, the first thing on my mind wasn’t politics, but the personal connections I didn’t know I would forfeit the minute I stopped wearing skirts, traded in my long hair for a frohawk, and fell in love with a woman. In light of international women’s day, I can’t help but note how often my masculinity is used to exclude me from accessing the same sisterhood that nurtured my unwavery dedication to every woman’s empowerment.

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