On Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 my country, Nigeria, passed an anti-gay bill through the Senate that would criminalize same-sex marriages and civil unions, with penalties of 14 years jail for participants and 10 years jail for anyone who assists or witnesses a marriage or union. Currently, under Nigerian penal code, same sex sexual activity is illegal. In addition to being imprisoned, residents who live in any of the 12 Northern States that have adopted Shari’a law can be punished by flogging and death by stoning. #FAIL #INJUSTICE #HUMANRIGHTSVIOLATION
Homophobia is a reflection of the legacy of colonialism that continues to plague my country. Nigeria we are better than this. Embracing homophobia only serves to weaken our country. Our nation cannot “be bound in freedom, peace and unity” when we demonize, alienate, punish and KILL parts of ourselves. Nigeria we MUST do better. We must “defend our unity and uphold our honor and glory”!!!
In solidarity with my fellow queer Nigerian kin, I wrote a prayer as a remedy to heal all that has attempted to silence our powerful selves.
(((Centering myself, closing eyes, opening up heart as wide as possible, breathing deep)))
Blessings to every part of us!!!Every part that has walked with us since the beginning of creation. Every part that will birth our future bright. Blessings to our ancestors who have illuminated our paths with their love, blessings and wisdom.
May we always know love as our birthright and transformation as our mother tongue. May we endlessly and infinitely be in love with all that we are.
May we honor what lives within us, bear witness to our wounds, acknowledge the deep roots of colonialism, of post traumatic slave syndrome, of internalized racism, of trauma from our lives and the lives of our families and our ancestors. May we honor these sites with the deepest compassion and courageously walk in our healing.
May we know that our truths are sacred, vital to our living, healing to our world. May we always walk our truths, embody them fiercely and authentically, use them to break the fever of isolation, fear, depression, manipulation, deception, and oppression.
May we use pain and suffering as sites for deep and creative healing and transformation.
May our love always be held with compassionate hands and hearts, where all of who we are is seen, nurtured and celebrated.
May our haters recognize their hate as fear and ignorance waiting to come out the closet. May the closet become too claustrophobic and uncomfortable to stand in. May coming out be fast and contagious.
May we remain open, questioning, focused, honest, fearless, consistent, hopeful, courageously tender, loving, compassionate, playful, and delicious as we live through the many casings and seasons of truth-telling, movement building, and healing.
May we always know we are held and protected by loved ones, blood and chosen family, our ancestors, our children, the vitality of fire, the peace of air, the strength of earth, the freedom of wind and the vast ever expanding heart of the Universe.
May our communities hold the depths of all that we are with integrity and unconditional love. May we reciprocally honor this respect and reverence given to us. May the spaces we build be large enough to embrace us all.
ASEEEEE-OOOOO …..and it will be so
with all my love