PRIDE 2021

For us, by us

A commemoration of the Stonewall Riots, a week-long protest incited by the intolerant police raid targeting queer attendees of the Stonewall Inn, every year since that chilling June 28, 1969 day in New York, the month has been the designated to celebrating queer identities. Raising our voices even higher in support of queer rights, Pride is also a month, for many, to reflect on the persisting subjugation, police brutality, micro-aggressions and insecurity queer people face. On our continent, where LGBTQ+ people are specifically targeted by the law in 34 countries, Nigeria included.

Through Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, queer identities are criminalised and violently victimised by homophobic laws, and their homophobic upholders. Here, police target and abuse queer civilians, professional industries discriminate against prospective employees based on their health status, their voice or their gait, and in the media, queerness is heavily censored, with only negative representations or cautionary portrayals are visible.

As one of the leading voices in contemporary Nigerian media, this month, The NATIVE embarked upon a 30-day long campaign in celebration of Pride. Including submissions from our audience, a film screening of Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim’s lesbian romance short, Ife, followed by a Pride party to remember, NATIVE’s Pride 2021 festivities now culminate in our third ever digital cover, starring Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim, Blessing Ewona, Bright Michael, Tobean Omotoso, and Adebayo Oke-Lawal. 

Fulfilling our mission of championing the voices of our community, inclusively and wholesomely – in spite of the regulations set by the authoritarian regimes that have governed Nigeria over the years – NATIVE share the stories of five queer Nigerians, thriving in Nigeria, despite the numerous obstacles inherent in their various industries.

As well as a cast of queer cover stars, the crew who put together the pioneering project were made up of predominantly queer women, shot by world-renowned storytelling photographer, Stephen Tayo known for his empowerment of marginalised groups through thought-provoking conversational photography. You can check out our Pride Digital Covers here, as well as other stories shared throughout the month. 

Image Credits: Stephen Tayo for NATIVE