LONDON — As a gay man living in Nigeria, my biggest challenge was choosing between my sexuality and my job.
In 2004, I was at the start of my acting career. I had just left university, and I was featured in “Roses and Thorns,” a prime-time soap opera on Galaxy Television, one of Nigeria’s most popular TV stations. I was playing the role of “Richard,” the only son of a rich family who was having an affair with the house maid.
Whispers were making the rounds about my private life, and I decided it was time to come out. So I agreed to go on Nigeria’s most-watched television talk show to discuss my sexuality.
Almost immediately, my character was eliminated. And when my job disappeared, so did my financial security. Like many gay men and lesbians in Africa, my choice was between economic freedom and mental imprisonment.
This year, Nigeria and Uganda put in place draconian anti-gay laws, sparking a worldwide debate about human rights. This debate has also started at the World Bank, whose president, Jim Yong Kim, recently declared that