A Nigerian lady based in the U.K, Yemisi Ilesanmi, who is an atheist and has been clamouring for the rights of gays in Nigeria, recently in an interview with TELL magazine opened up on her sexuality as a bis3xual and also talked about homos3xuality and its perception here in Nigeria.
Excerpt from the interview,
“Whether Nigerians accept it or not, LGBT rights are recognised human rights. Unless, you can prove that Lesbians, gays, bis3xuals and transs3xuals are not human beings, well, you have no reason to deny them their fundamental human rights.
Unfortunately many Nigerians believe in the concept of sin. First, we must understand that sin is a religious concept. Not every Nigerian is religious. Your religion is also a personal matter, why drag other people into your personal relationship with Jesus, Mohammed or Obatala?
When I am told that homos3xuality is a sin, I just tell them their religion is not my law. The Bible or Quran is not my constitution, so why is that even coming up?
The very first thing we need to understand is that homos3xuality, bis3xuality, as3xuality are all as natural as heteros3xuality. Our s3xual orientation differs; we are born with an innate ability to be emotionally or s3xually attracted or not be s3xually or emotionally attracted to same s3x or opposite s3x.
Unfortunately, many African societies do not provide enabling environments to discuss s3xual orientation. S3xual orientation does not harm anyone. A person who is attracted to opposite s3x does not harm anyone so far it is a consensual adult relationship.
It is absurd when Christian gay bashers gleefully quote Leviticus 18:22 to justify why they want to jail and stone gays. Anyone who wants to quote from Leviticus should at least read the book to make sure they are not guilty of any of the things condemned in the book.
Leviticus also says you should not shave, you should not interact with a woman in her menstrual cycle, thou shall not eat shrimps or shell fish, Lev. 11:10, 11:6-8 thou shall not touch the skin of a dead pig (therefore touching football without wearing gloves makes you unclean!) So, when Christians throw Leviticus at me, I simply throw Leviticus right back in their face.
My immediate family knows my s3xual orientation, my father is late, and my mother is accepting of whom I am and has shown me love and support. To continue to be an important part of my life, you cannot be homophobic, biphobic or transphobic.
My atheism has nothing to do with my bis3xuality. Atheism is simply a non-belief in God. My bis3xuality is my s3xual orientation, no connection. However, I must say, my atheism has helped me to stand up against religious bullies, who use the Bible and the Quran to justify their hate for gays, lesbians, transs3xual and bis3xuals.
Religion carries a lot of unwarranted weight in Nigeria and Africa generally. This should not be so. In fact, this is one reason the African continent is still very backward. When religion carried so much weight in Europe during middle Ages, it was wrought with wars, jihads, killings and ethnic cleansing.
Many religious Africans now use the ‘holy’ books to justify the oppression of members of their own society. Even when the original owners of the religion inform them that the book has been updated and some parts are no longer applicable, Africans still insist that it must be applicable because it says so in the book they were given. How pathetic
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