FCDC Pride Month Special Month with Adedoyin Afolabi

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Episode Summary

Happy Pride Month! 🏳️‍🌈

 

Throughout this month, the FCDC is excited to shine a spotlight on our incredible queer members, as we delve into their inspiring journeys of self-acceptance.

 

To kick off the series, we are featuring creative and graphic designer here at the FCDC, Adedoyin Afolabi.

Join us as we honor their stories and embrace the beauty of diversity and inclusivity.

 

**Huge thank you to the awesome folks at Top of the Funnel for sponsoring this episode and making the FCDC pride month specials possible!**

 

Join Top Of The Funnel for FREE and get actionable tips, strategies, and opportunities from world-class content marketers!

 

Guest Profile

Adedoyin Afolabi

 

✍🏾Name: Adedoyin Afolabi

👩🏾‍🦱 Pronouns: she/her

✍🏾What She Does: Senior Creative & Graphic designer

✍🏾Company: The Freelance Coalition for Developing Countries

✍🏾Noteworthy: She has experience in branding, print and packaging design, graphic design, editorial design, and marketing design, complemented by a previous background in human resources, and physiology, working across various industries. 

 

Key Insights

💡Lack of LGBTQ+ inclusion in Nigerian companies.

Doyin highlights the lack of LGBTQ+ inclusion in Nigerian companies, especially in traditional and corporate settings. She mentions that discussions on diversity and inclusion often exclude the LGBTQ+ community and disabled people, focusing primarily on gender diversity.

 

💡The importance of community support for queer people.

Doyin discusses the significance of community support for queer individuals and the lack of organized communities or safe spaces for queer people in Nigeria.

 

Chima agrees and adds that having a community would provide support and validation for individuals who are questioning their sexuality or coming to terms with their queer identity. 

 

However, they also acknowledge the challenges of creating such communities in a country where being queer is dangerous, as it may attract extremists who could endanger queer individuals.

 

💡 Assessing the safety and support system before coming out.

 

Both Doyin and Chima stress the significance of assessing one’s safety and support system before coming out in conservative countries. 

 

They acknowledge the potential risks, such as being kicked out of the house or facing financial difficulties if dependent on family. Chima advises individuals to ensure they have finished school or have a job that can sustain them if they face rejection or are cut off by their families.

 

They caution against rushing the process and recommend establishing financial independence and stability before coming out to avoid homelessness.

 

Episode Highlights

 

Her Journey Towards Self-Acceptance

Doyin shares that she always knew she was attracted to females, but growing up in a Christian home made it difficult for her to accept her identity. It was a series of events, including watching shows like “The L Word,” that helped her come to terms with being a lesbian.

 

Personal experiences of facing microaggressions due to her appearance

 

Doyin shares a personal experience of being ridiculed by a university Lecturer because of her dressing style, particularly when she started growing her dreads. The lecturer asked if she was a musician and made the whole class laugh, causing embarrassment for her.

 

She explains that people often made assumptions about her based on her appearance without knowing her as a person. Despite feeling isolated at times, Doyin emphasizes that it’s important to remember that people’s views and impressions of you are not your responsibility. 

 

She had supportive friends who accepted her for who she was, and she believes that people should judge others based on their character rather than their appearance.

 

Transitioning from studying physiology to becoming a graphic designer.

 

Doyin explains that her interest in graphic design began during computer lessons in secondary school. She enjoyed drawing and saw design as a form of drawing on a computer screen. 

 

Despite studying physiology, she pursued her passion for design and implemented the transition by building her skills and eventually working as a graphic designer.

 

Connect with Doyin

Linkedin

Twitter

 

Episode Transcriptions

Chima Mmeje 0:06

Hi Doyin thank you so much for joining us for this special episode of pride modes. This is the first time I do something like this, because I think it’s very important for us to highlight members who are part of the LGBTQ i A plus after that. Yeah. Okay.

 

Plus community. I just want to ask you some questions to kind of like dig into who is we’re doing is doing the graphic designer. Is that cool? Yeah, that’s all good. All right. So in order not to give you any, any labels. What did you identify us and what are your preferred pronouns?

 

Doyin Afolabi 0:51

My pronouns are she, her, I identify as a lesbian. Okay.

 

Chima Mmeje 0:56

Awesome. Awesome. So now, let’s dig into the real questions. Was there a moment when you realise that you were queer? And if yes, can you describe what that moment was?

 

 Like? If no, was it a series of events? And what was the process of acceptance? Like?

 

Doyin Afolabi 1:17

I think I always knew that. Like, for me, it was mostly a series of events because I grew up in like a Christian home I grew up my grandma and she’s an Anglican. 

 

So obviously, I wasn’t going to just will accept the fact that I was key that did not make any sense at all, but like, thinking about it now like I was always like, attracted to females were like, no that does that does not make sense.

 

 

I will always force myself like when can’t use find this like Guy attractive. I just get a boyfriend or some books. But after uni, NYC. Yeah, that was when I knew gay gay. There’s nothing you can do when that was when I started.

 

Chima Mmeje 1:56

 

That made you get to that point. That’s a guy you are gay. What happened?

 

Doyin Afolabi 2:01

 

At that point, I started watching a lot of shoes like that was when I found your Ward. Ward was like that was how I was definitely a lesbian what I would do is shaped my way.

 

Was I haven’t found your show by surprise. So I was the officer and my peepee. My two boys talking that she went to download. Why should she know even though there was this? Well, since I just deleted it. I just have this memorised name of the show means I went to look for it. 

 

Maybe this is what’s going to let me know what I’ve been like backing with and what I’ve been trying to uncover. For the most part, I’m just praying already. I can’t be gay.

 

No, that doesn’t make any sense. That’s not it just doesn’t even the sensible thing to be. But after that, so I used the NYC to just come into the fullness of who I was as equipped to that was like first step. That was I had to accept myself, right. So when I accepted myself, I needed stuffing going out a whole lot of other things. Should we go into that as well? Yes, please. Definitely. Yeah. Okay. So like my family. Now.

 

My family is very conservative. Members, even my president, my parents feel like just a fashion choice. So I just like new clothes. Like I’ve always liked it since I was a little girl. I always like trousers and joggers and pants. And because I’m very active in sports, like, it’s just part of my personality. That’s why I’m so they don’t agree that I’m gay. I’m new to helping them to not agree. I don’t bother myself to like, tell them my brother. He knows I’m gay.

 

I came out to him like further down the line. I came up to my friends first or one of my closest friends who combined last year. She was one of the few people that came out first. And then I had another friend I met at camp. She schooled in America so she was really cool. Actually just like oh, yeah, get us the video.

 

 Now. She’s just like, even when I had no it accepted, where she was already talking to me about them. You’re being who you are.

So those two people they’ve been cool. And you know, just accepting. It was like, Okay, this is not really a big deal. And this is like, this is really cool. Like, because I was very terrified, right of telling my close friends that I was gay. 

 

Right? And then my brother, eventually my brother got to know because I told him about my girlfriend. So that was after I had gotten a girlfriend.

 

Like, I mean, the girl is your screensaver. Obviously I put two and two together. So that was that was also not a hard conversation by causing possibly not on board with my parents.

 

 Yeah, and those are no input. Now, I’m really not even dealing with them. Because right now, at this point in my life, I feel like everyone that matters and should know already know. And that was important to me find that.

 

 

Chima Mmeje 5:16

 

That’s very likely say it’s a very Nigerian team. And it’s a cultural thing. So like, I understand that understand. Okay, so as in Nigeria now, how difficult was it to come out?

 

 Were people in your working and learning environments? Who style? Did you have any support during this time apart from this? Three people that you’ve told?

 

Doyin Afolabi 5:40

 

Oh, man, that coming out was crazy. Um, I always don’t do that I’m not out for like, the whole time I was in Nigeria. I was I was well,

 

Chima Mmeje 5:51

because you are very active, like I wasn’t in those places.

 

Doyin Afolabi 5:57

is crazy. Because every time people see my social media presence, they always think, Oh, she’s our that. And I’m not because it’s just my social media. My social media people that know that I mean, and that was even down to like, at first, like coming out. I had like, a lot of people from my unit on my social media, on Instagram, and on Twitter, they were following me.

 

So there was no way I could go and be tweeting about being gay and stuff. And then on my workplace, and I said, my two posters were talk with and they were mostly older than me, because it was my PPE. 

 

So I was like, the only 20 Something they all of them are like in their 30s, and their 40s, married with kids, and all that kind of typical workplace. So that was a definitely no, no. In 2020, that was when I became very loud and active more on social media as a queer person.

 

Prior to then I was just very lucky, you just think I’m just supporting the LGBTQ community and me myself, there was no part two, I was just like, you know, supporting them from afar. 

 

 

So I actually don’t really know when the change happened. But when I saw that, I had found a lot of people that were queer like me, and they were out on their social media, they were just living their life. And we’re not bothered about what other people will see.

 

 I wasn’t I just like, you know, my Twitter and my Instagram, we definitely queer spaces. But in real life, you have to know me personally, to know that our square in my workspace,

 

I don’t talk about my personal life that doesn’t come up, which is after I left, right, I got a new job done as a working as a graphic designer. So that was my first job after DPP, egregious as a graphic designer was only one of the designers I was kind of close to, then you square, and then my manager, eventually down the line. She got it out. 

 

So and she was cool. So that was tough for most people there. I’m not I don’t like to bring my queerness to my workspace, or talk about it, because anybody comment? So you talking about the support? There wasn’t really much of that. In my first few workplaces, there wasn’t a lot of that.

 

 

Chima Mmeje 8:11

Okay, so now, let’s move generally to the LGBTQ community, Nigeria. How would you how would you describe acceptance, acceptance of the community, Nigeria, for example, if someone were to go for an interview, and the company found out that we were, you think that they would have a chance of getting the job?

 

Doyin Afolabi 8:30

Most companies I would say no, no, even if you were highly qualified, very fact that they found out that you a quit. That’s chance of getting that job just went from like 80% to like 30%, because companies just don’t like to associate them. So with with decware comes like even just the right. There was this conversation I was having on WhatsApp.

 

 

They were having a knowledge sharing session. We’re talking about inclusion and diversity. You’re talking about inclusion and diversity. We’re not mentioning the LGBTQ. I mean, of course, when you see inclusion and diversity of Nigeria’s on his women in workplaces, they don’t talk about queer people who talk about disabled people not like don’t just remain in pain in power, that’s all so it’s still like a very long journey for Nigerian companies to accept quite people, especially in the corporate workspace.

 

 

I mean, take now more FinTech companies, younger ones, I’m not accepting but like traditional companies, as to far off in the acceptance of of the community and of queer people. Okay,

 

Chima Mmeje 9:37

so let’s dig into this further. You obviously masculine presenting, which means that so people might have a good guess about your sexuality at first glance. How do you navigate heterosexual spaces as it visibly queer woman?

 

Doyin Afolabi 9:53

Well, at first, right when people see me and they’re like, oh, they think I’m gay. And I’m like, why would you just say Come give because I’m dressed like this. I used to be very defensive.

 

Chima Mmeje 10:06

You flip the script on them.

 

Doyin Afolabi 10:08

I would ask I’m a very changes for people kind of person. Like, if my mom, maybe maybe in the wrong group, but where she’s coming from she’s coming from a very low point of view. I will change you back on. Like the script. I use it for me. I’ll flip Bob like, why would you assume something like that’s just a stereotype?

 

This is a fashion choice. I’m very active in sports. This is what I feel comfortable in. Vietnam, I’ll speak plenty English, you’d have used a video apologising to me, right. So then it was a very, this is this is a fashion choices hour long dress, and this is how profitable but now he has a mammogram like so was wrong, being quick, doesn’t I beat you like, Did I kill your father, I don’t understand.

 

As a queer person in Nigeria, you have to always be on the alert, you have to always be on the defence because someone would just come out to you don’t know just come at you randomly and be talking some kind of design, you just, you have to give it to them immediately. So that they don’t take it for granted. Because this is about Nigeria, as most people see that they can ride you.

 

And they can just take you for a ride. Don’t take you as far as they can. So once they want to start, you have to quickly put a stop to it. So if I go out, and people are looking at me with a smile, like I’m fine. Look on my face. I’m fucking gorgeous. You want to see my face? 

 

And then I have my it’s not always comfortable. It’s not always I try to avoid it as much as I can. I mean, if it’s like a social gathering, I’m not going to be casual with intersexual people what I mean, I joined together, but it’s like an official gathering and I have to be there. Of course I would I would attend. I don’t have a choice.

 

Chima Mmeje 11:43

 

That’s fine. I’m just I just want to just thinking about how exhausting it must be to always be on. Yeah. Always be wary of environments always having to like, look and see. Okay, who’s coming at me who’s coming up because he doesn’t think people are old people.

 

 People want to break down what they don’t understand. You have to be willing to like fight for your rights to exist. So you must have been exhausting must have been

 

Doyin Afolabi 12:09

 

Yeah, it’s always it’s always a fight like your existence as a queer person. Nigeria is a fight. You’re fighting for space, you’re fighting for your right to be here. Quite people online. I always like as much as Nigerian as you. 

 

Like you’re trying to make me feel less of a Nigerian because I’m queer. It doesn’t make you’re always constantly fighting. Let’s never talk about the fact that you are illegal to be queen, Nigeria. So that’s just insane.

 

Chima Mmeje 12:38

Alright, let’s move away from that and go back to your, your degree choice. You studied physiology. In the same class, as my sister, you work as a graphic designer? I don’t I don’t. There’s no, there’s no correlation between the two of them. So what will you change from physiology to graphic designer? And how did you implement the transition? Like? How did you even go from physiology to graphic design?

Doyin Afolabi 13:09

I always get this question a lot, especially in interviews. That is the correlation work for me, right, there was a correlation because when I was in secondary school, my dad always made us go to computer lessons. For every long break, we have just really long break, especially long break, you have to go to computer school, so incompetent school, they’ll teach you Microsoft. But then they’ll also teach you the basics of design Corojo, and things.

So I really took an interest in that because I loved drawing. And then I was like, oh designs just like drawing on your computer on a, like a competent computer screen. So that really fascinated me. But like, I noticed something that we didn’t really have a lot of designers in college. So medical students stay on a different campus from other students in Finland. And then I saw multiple students that were designing, so I befriended them, I started getting close to them.

 

And I saw that oh two, they could pull us there was some study mates not even official study medicine. And they were still doing design. So we had this gap where we didn’t have a lot of designers in college, and they will have to be sending our jobs to permanent site, which was the main campus for other students. So like, why do we have to be sent in our job plans when we can have designers here too, and we’ll be making the money. So that was how the idea came to me you already have basic knowledge of Colorado. So I started teaching myself Photoshop those friends I made that will also stop them like they were doing design already.

 

I went to them they’ll give me videos to watch the ocean views on courses that they took free courses are more than just courses to they have jobs they will just call me and tell me that I should just do I should do one of them like doing flyers to correct D that’s me to like people that ask them to do it. And then just like that, the same friend that I said that I was terrified of coming to. She carried. She carried you Literally my design carry out on like, anybody who has a gift for design I can do I can do she doesn’t want to know if I can do it or not. Should I do or do I can’t do it. And then that was how people knew that doing good design, right. So I was just like taking little courses, some of those experiences.

 

And as we hold master class for like, one week, you know, we’ll attend after lectures during the day you can attend, they’ll give us the assignments, we’ll do that. So I was pretty much studying design, as I was studying physiology as well. And then I so I will close on my PPE and then I’ll go home in the night I’ll be designing of watching videos are big, like taking courses with me like collect fridges from people just designed for them and like build a portfolio.

 

And then there was this guy who saw my portfolio with like, two portfolio building a lot of work and I want to train you. So what I what he did was, it was like I should come to this place every weekend. And I would just watch him design because then his breaks know each other. So that was how Rex told me for like a month, two months. And then I got my first job as a graphic designer. So like, when I do my graphic design story, I owe a lot of it to Rex because he saw me I was like, does he want that in Dental? Like I’m willing to do any job just like keep designing right? Yeah, so he was raising

Chima Mmeje 16:20

hands down, we’ll figure out a way to still make it work. So that’s alright, it’s now you screwed in Laurie, and Ilan, like most of Nigeria is very conservative. betta boys love is very conservative. So did you ever have any difficult, awkward lectures because of the way you dress? Did you ever feel? Did you feel isolated? Or any microaggressions with people your day to day interactions?

Doyin Afolabi 16:49

Or oh, yeah, like those this one later? That you saw me right, that was gonna add started growing up my dreads. So the rest you kind of showed. So he soon was like, Are you a musician? Why are you dressed like this to make? And then the whole class just burst out laughing. Like it was so embarrassing. Like, what do you mean up? Because I was waiting? I do. I think I want to change that. I think I just want to watch him. And what do I like, the way I was dressed? Why do you dress like I think I don’t think that was popular.

There are a lot of white dress like family some something that you position, can you a lot of the times people knew your comp was like, I didn’t have to know them because of that guy that was like, boy, that was how they described me that if before they ever knew my name, or even got to know anything about where I was, like as a person they already have, like, no doubt me in my head.

But like, I had really like awesome friends and awesome friends. Like this same person as I was terrified of coming out to show like, what am I closer, she did not care. I was like, doing like a tonne. But that wasn’t her business. Her business was what who I am as a person, my personality when I was dressing and when trouser or not, was not wasn’t part of the highlights of always having conversation. Of course you will feel isolated sometimes.

But you have to remind yourself like people’s views of you. And the impression they have of you in their head is not really your responsibility. Because you have to get to know me as a person to know. You know, if you want to actually friends with me or not. I want to say you like me or not the fact that you don’t know me and you already don’t like me. That’s a new problem. It’s not it’s not a problem. It’s not my problem. And then I was really cool.

 

Chima Mmeje 18:34

Yeah, my dad’s. Okay, now, let’s talk about the Nigerian workspace. What is something that you think that you’re uncovering? I know that for a fact that many tech companies are becoming more I want to say quit assets. And I think that’s because most of our founders are young, young people. And they are crucial. So their mindset symbol, the wider Nigerian coffee space, most of them are run by older people, people in their 30s 40s. What do you think that they can do to support queer people at their organisations?

 

Doyin Afolabi 19:07

I feel like this problem is a very multi layered one because the first of all, the problem is Nigeria itself. There are laws against quite people. So even if you as a company want to align yourself with quiet people, you would want to be wary of the fact that Oh, investor they are so using that money to support the LGBTQ Do you this kind of thing kind of come up.

So people are always trying to be wary of that. But I feel like at the foundation of it, you don’t have to outwardly come and say we are supporting white people you can just be like, like no matter your gender orientation or your mother your sexual just where they put or we don’t discriminate, no matter your gender. No matter your religion, no matter your race or colour.

You can just add that as well. No matter your sexual orientation. We’re not going to discriminate against you just on that basis. Like if you are applying for jobs and then you find out like the question you asked before that they find that the person is quiet. I don’t think that should stop them from hiring that person because your quietness has been on your ability to do a job well, it has no bearing on your on you being able to perform and deliver your KPIs, then there’s no correlation at all. I’m quick, okay.

But I’m a great designer. So how does me be impressed from hiring me as a great designer for your company? So I feel like, and we also need more people that are quick to hire or acquire people. Because it’s projects. So even companies in Nigeria, now I feel like they should, there should be no open interest, just accept people because they are qualified. irrespective of their sexuality, it doesn’t have any bearing on their being able to do the job, just hire them for God’s sake.

Chima Mmeje 20:53

So what are the resources or initiatives because I know that this is something that you I struggled with when I was when I was like trying to find myself as a queer person. What are the resources that you wish were available, when you were coming out that you think would have supported you and helped make the journey easier?

Doyin Afolabi 21:12

First of all, like queer media, there wasn’t a lot of there was no representation for Nigerians been quiet. Like, that was why I was pretty much like, it did not make sense. Where did you see a lesbian person and you don’t just don’t find the lesbian person? Are you still Oh, straight people every single day?

So that representation was not there. I mean, now we have like, what one or two queer movies in the whole of Nigeria will not stop. It doesn’t, that’s not enough. So we need a lot of representation for you to be able to go online and see yourself as a black Nigerian person and see that, oh, there’s another black queer person.

And the person is doing just fine. You know, like, the heaven didn’t come down because the person found that way. Because the way that they represented queer people in who in only Nollywood movies, just, that’s one of the reasons why you don’t want to be quit.

Chima Mmeje 22:08

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I agree. I agree. Visibility is one thing, I something I wish that the that would have helped me personally would have been community. If there was some sort of organised community, I was searching, I was desperately searching for any sort of community, something to validate me someone I could speak to, because you don’t have anybody to talk to, you’re going to think that is huge, alone. You have constantly invalidating yourself validating yourself invalidating yourself, it’s this toxic cycle, or you’re alone this toxic cycle, because you don’t even know who is a safe space to go to. Now, they have forgotten this organisation in Nigeria, that is doing a great job.

But if it’s, if there was some sort of organisation that had like community meetings, and then new queer people, or people who are questioning their sexuality would feel safe enough to go there for meetings. But I also see the danger in that because you would have straight people who are extremists, Christians, and Muslims, if you treated those kind of places, and putting those people at risk, so how do you organise community in a country where it is dangerous to be yourself?

It’s just, it’s just seems like a hopeless situation. But I feel like that would have helped me. Even if it was online. Yes, it would have been something that online and online community were because they already had the internet back then. And unlike companies where you could like, where you could have someone to answer your questions, that would have been incredible. I wish we had that. And I don’t think we wouldn’t have that up to now.

 

We have we have some queer nonprofits in Nigeria, but they don’t actually say that they are for queer people, the way that they express themselves as a nation, they are human rights that these boards, although you wouldn’t know is a kind of, you know, you know, kind of thing because you can openly press as a group organisation in Nigeria. So even as adults, new people who don’t know anything, we missed the opportunity of connecting with this community. So it I wish we had that I wish we had a sort of entry community where your questions could be answered, and where you could feel validated seeing other people that are Nigerian living in Nigeria, just like here, that would have been really helpful,

Doyin Afolabi 24:24

I think. Yeah, like you said, like, NGOs don’t come out as sexual. Yes. Productive nodes and advanced mobile. I think that multiplayer is building something now. That actually positions themselves as a correlate community. For Nigeria, it’s relatively new. So obviously, there’s a lot of room for growth, but I I wish we had more of that. More of actual, you know, you come together, you gotta I think quesiton media is also doing that, but it’s not It’s not very, like you said, you can’t just say those, find it on your first you have to really, really say so it’s very hard.

Like, if you were like me now that was questioning and trying to figure it out, like, I wouldn’t have sat down find it, it has to it’s going to be if you know, you know, kind of thing. So it’s, it’s really hard because finding community in Nigeria as a queer person is something that really needs to be worked on. Because right now it’s not. It’s not so encouraging. But I mean, that’s why it’s good as someone has started to work. So we just need more people to advance it and, you know, push the work. So that’s, that’s something that is also great. We’re hopeful for the future.

Chima Mmeje 25:45

Okay. All right. Final question. What advice would you give to people who are still in the closet? And they are contemplating coming out in conservative countries like Kenya, India and the rest?

Doyin Afolabi 26:02

My dear? Isn’t this question you just asked me Chima used to cause fights on Twitter, see, on Twitter that it causes spider coin, and you do that every two days, there’s the faction that feel you should come out, right. And then there’s a faction that few you shouldn’t come out. So like, now, the faction that finish should come out, they’re not taken into consideration that you may be dependent on your parents, you may be a student, just in a unit, your parents are paying your scripters I want to come out. So if they kick you out of the house, where are you going to go?

Who is going to house who’s going to pay for your school fees, who’s going to feed you? So that’s where the the people that are saying don’t come out yet. That’s what they’re coming from, then you are saying come out. They’re like, Nigeria is a deeply impoverished country? So are you saying, because the person is poor, and the person as we always put, the person should not come out and live their full career lives? So it’s always it’s always a serious Brexit? I mean, I get where both sides are coming from?

Well, I personally, you see, I told that I didn’t come as my parents, my breasts you do not agree. I’m not ever like depending on them for anything. Right? But like, I just, I feel like you know what, you know, your family, you know, they coming to you. If he can tell you when he was one person or two people that you feel like they’ll be accepting of you. You can tell them who you need to be sure you can. Like, you can just have a conversation like I saw this lady won’t do. She said she was gay. What do you think? Just ask casual conversation, you don’t need to

Chima Mmeje 27:35

reach out to you. Now speaking, pg. Sorry, that.

Doyin Afolabi 27:42

I was watching on fameux. And I saw that in the film, the person is gay. Did you see that? What do you think?

Chima Mmeje 27:48

Yes, that’s a good one. That’s a good, that’s

Doyin Afolabi 27:50

a good one. Right? You will, that’s how you will know what the person stands in. And if the person is safe enough space for you to come out. But don’t just come out. If you’re not sure. You need to, you need to make sure that you are safe. Need to make sure that you would financially you will not be left in danger, and your physical safety as well.

So it’s very important doesn’t have to even be your family member. But even if it’s your friend, that that is also valid. Doesn’t have to be your family member. I didn’t come out to my family first came out to my friends first. And then when I saw that, okay, my cousin, my brother will also sit in our spaces. Then I told them, I didn’t tell them they just got on board.

I only told my brother, my cousin just got on board when there’s some eco friendly like, okay, cool. So, like you would know where you’re coming from, you would know the kinds of family you have. Of course, my cause is not the watch a lot of movies. So I have seen their reaction to when gay people on screen.

I’ve seen what they said and I knew that okay, this, they don’t see it as a big deal. But if they lost their sheets, obviously I will not allow them into my life to know that I was a queer person. So that’s that’s my advice to people makes you have to be sure that you are safe. First of all, your safety is very important. Then you can make the decision whether or not you want to come like me, I’m in a glass closet. The people they’re not they’re no good. I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s fine. I don’t need any

Chima Mmeje 29:11

excuses from the school and honestly because I follow you on Twitter. She’s always watching the opera and everywhere. shocked when I’m here that I’m Justin God,

Doyin Afolabi 29:32

a very massive blast, man very much.

Chima Mmeje 29:36

I get that I get I think personally I would advise someone who’s who is trying to come out and they’re not sure. Make sure I’m not dependent on your parents or anybody financially. That is the main thing you have to make sure that you have finished school. And if you are still in school, you can pay your way through school.

This is not a may be situation. You need to make sure that you have a job and you are now independent completely when I say complete See that is if they cut you off, you will be fine.

Doyin Afolabi 30:05

You just said, the function of theta will come for you. They’re waiting.

Chima Mmeje 30:09

No problem. No problem. I just believe that you can you have to be level headed in a country like Nigeria. I’ve seen many people who are homeless. And see homelessness is terrible. Homelessness is one of the worst things that can happen to a person.

I’m just saying this now. So whether you are safe, and you are you were you I don’t want to say hate yourself what you will you. Please hide yourself until at least you are finished school. Once you get a job, do what you need to do to survive. That is what I will say

Doyin Afolabi 30:44

exactly. Exactly what I did. Yeah. I did hide myself has not

Chima Mmeje 30:54

asked me back then. Because it was asked me back then. Or you quit. I don’t know how then because I was very scared. I was just like myself, I’ll always deny it. It was not making money. And this is money that I’m talking glue money that made me comfortable. Like I’m talking the kind of money that if anybody cut me off, I can just tell you be gone.

Goodbye. I don’t need you in my life. That was when I felt safe enough to have that anyway doing. Thank you so much for doing this. I’m glad that you are in a safe enough place. Yeah, even be able to do this kind of

Doyin Afolabi 31:29

Nigeria. There’s no way I’m doing this.

Chima Mmeje 31:32

To do this, so I’m glad that you feel safe. You know, I was I was out to Nigeria. Actually. I was out Nigeria to everybody, my neighbours my workplace. And this has been working in a government job where I was the youngest person, why do you care? I was out in Nigeria. I was a crazy person.

And yeah, I was I was born, I realised that not many people have that privilege. Because even my older work colleagues, they were very understanding actually my boss, who was like in his 60s, all of my colleagues, older people, all the other brother, workplace, I never had any difficulty in the workplace.

I even had friends who knew, like close friends in my workplace. Who knew. So I’ve been very blessed in that regard. But I know that that’s not going to be the story for everyone. So I’m glad that you’re left Algeria now. And you are in a country now, where you feel safe enough to have conversations about when they asked me to go into private mode. So thank you so much.

Doyin Afolabi 32:28

Thanks so much for having this. It’s really it’s really important work that they’re doing and I’m really glad to be a part of it.

Chima Mmeje 32:36

Yeah. All right. Thank you and bye bye. Everybody’s watching

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Jadesola Kareem

Passionate about content and diversity, Jadesola is a content writer. In her free time, with a cup of coffee in hand, she binges on reality shows.

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