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Queer Liberation won’t Come Unless We Demand It

Diet Queer Feminism
Queer Liberation won’t Come Unless We Demand It
By Sotonye Ame • Issue #8 • View online

Throughout history, from slave rebellions to the Stonewall riots, oppressed groups have taken their freedom from their oppressors by showing up and demanding it. To achieve queer liberation globally, we must show up and demand it.
Victor Emmanuel is doing a wonderful thing by demanding our freedom from state-sanctioned violence from the Nigerian government. I think we should all be at his side.
When I first saw his tweets yesterday, I was taken aback. How could he do something so stupid yet so incredibly brave? I guess that’s what bravery is, standing up for what is right even if you stand alone, no matter what it may cost you. I am both proud of and scared for him.
Victor is calling for the repeal of the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) which was signed into law by (former) President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2014. The act purports to ban same-sex marriage, but in reality, it criminalizes being part of the LGBTQIA+ community or being allied to the community.
The act has made it so that even living with a platonic friend of the same sex can land a person in legal trouble. The act has made it so that when LGBTQIA+ people are murdered or robbed, they do not get justice.
The SSMPA is an oppressive law that violates the fundamental human rights of queer people and is at odds with the Nigerian Constitution which guarantees these rights. If you know anything about constitutional law, you’d know that any law which is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution is null and void, so the SSMPA is not a valid law.
We will not achieve Queer Liberation just by repealing the law, but it is a great first step, a step we should put our energies into taking. When it is no longer illegal to exist as queer people, we can work on changing the minds and hearts of the people.
If you aren’t already doing so, lend your voice to the movement by tweeting with the #RepealSSMPA tag.
With love and everything nice,
Did you enjoy this issue?
Sotonye Ame

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Lagos, Nigeria.