Adebisi Alimi, Gay Nigerian Man Who Came Out On TV, Looks Back 10 Years After His Historic Moment


The first Nigerian man to come out on television looked back on his groundbreaking journey in an interview with HuffPost Live this week.

Adebisi Alimi, who came out as a guest on the Nigerian program "New Dawn with Funmi" in 2004, compared his case to African-American civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks' historic refusal to give up her seat on the bus.

"I think, at a point in life, people have got to do what they've got to do," Alimi said. "I think I had my Rosa Parks moment … when I refused to be invisible and when I wanted to come out."

Alimi, who now resides in England, said he felt compelled to open up about his sexuality on TV because "somebody has got to put a face" on Nigeria's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

"It's not just about me; it's also about so many other people who are looking up to me," the activist recalled. "It happens to be me, it could have been someone else. But I think life has a way putting us in a position where overnight, we just become a pace-setter."

Earlier this year, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a bill which criminalizes same-sex marriage and relationships. Offenders are subject to prison terms of up to 14 years, according to Reuters.

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