TEN YEARS AGO, BISI ALIMI CAME OUT ON NATIONAL TELEVISION IN NIGERIA. HE SAYS THE MOVE ALIENATED HIM FROM HIS FAMILY AND FORCED HIM OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we'd like to go back to a story that we've turned to a number of times on this program. We're talking about the move in many countries in Africa to toughen legal penalties and increase the stigma against homosexuality.
Now a lot of the focus has been on Uganda, but earlier this year, Nigeria also passed strict new laws increasing the penalties for same-sex conduct and against anybody who tries to assist people in gay relationships – be that a doctor, a landlord or even a family member.
For one man, the laws mark a milestone on a journey that began 10 years ago. In 2004, Bisi Alimi became the first person to come out on Nigerian national television. Here's a clip.
(SOUNDBITE OF INTERVIEW)
BISI ALIMI: Once or twice in my life, I've actually been forced – because of societal factors, been forced into going into relationship with girls. But really, I (unintelligible) it wasn't right. Why should I go all the way with the girl, and later on, she gets to know that actually the interest is not from my heart?