Already in Nigeria, LGBT people face an uphill battle because the content of queer stories is still foreign and unfamiliar to large swaths of the general public. The idea that queerness comes from a limitless range of people from different faiths, from different cultural backgrounds, from different regions of the country and people who come in all shapes and sizes needs to be developed.
I have been documenting queer people in Nigeria with the hopes of getting them to share their stories with the world. I believe deeply in the ability of photographs and art to tell stories, encourage dialogue and inspire social change. Historically, the LGBT communities have been portrayed negatively in media, however, the LGBT communities have taken an increasingly proactive stand in defining the culture to achieve affirmative visibility in the mainstream media. When more LGBTQ people are portrayed in the media, it means they are heard by society rather than being left unnoticed or invisible. When people can see something represented, they are better able to understand and grasp who those people are, resulting in a significant shift in social consciousness to include people from a variety of backgrounds. A society in which LGBTQ people are invisible, particularly through the lens of the media, can send the message that they don’t exist. Nigeria is a country with some of the strictest anti-gay views, with homosexual acts attracting up to 14 years imprisonment, public disgrace, family rejection, etc, with many members of the community having to seek exile overseas.