MY RIGHTS, HIS RIGHTS

MY RIGHTS, HIS RIGHTS

I’ve read a lot of Kito stories on this blog to know that some human beings are scum. The last Kito story particularly gave me chills, and I contacted a friend to discuss it, because I couldn’t fathom how that was possible. Your own ‘Kind’ actually being the architect of your misfortune? It seemed hard to accept. My friend said a lot of things, including the one that stuck: “Human beings are scum.”

I like to think he is wrong but deep down I know he is right. We are scum, because we choose to be. We are scum because we fail to treat each other right. We are scum because we don’t see where our right ends and the other begins. The comments section of that last Kito story however gave me hope; hope that there is a way, maybe just a little keyhole of a way, but a way nonetheless.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! It’s simple and hard at the same time. First of all, here are your BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS as stipulated by the United Nations:

  • We are all free and equal
  • Don’t discriminate
  • The right to life
  • No slavery – past and present
  • No torture
  • We all have the same right to use the law
  • We are all protected by the law
  • Fair treatment by fair courts
  • No unfair detainment
  • The right to trail
  • Innocent until proven guilty
  • The right to privacy
  • Freedom to move
  • The right to asylum
  • The right to a nationality
  • Marriage and family
  • Your own things
  • Freedom of thought
  • Free to say what you want
  • Meet where you like
  • The right to democracy
  • The right to social security
  • Workers right
  • The right to play
  • A bed and some food
  • The right to education
  • Right to culture and copyright protection
  • A free and fair world
  • A duty to other people, protecting their rights and freedoms
  • Nobody can take away these rights and freedoms from us.

Those are our rights, so easy to read but so hard to establish. They might be called a declaration and not a treaty, but most nations generate their rights and laws based on those rights above, Nigeria inclusive. Granted, there are already many forces working against us in having all those rights but it does not hurt to know your rights as a Nigerian and when to use them, when to demand for them and have them implemented in your personal dealings.

You were locked up on the accusation that you slept with a man? How was that information obtained? Was your privacy invaded? These are questions to ask and it greatly helps if your lawyer bats for the same team, then at least you’re sure of unbiased representation.

In a country like Nigeria, there really is no easy way to survive as a gay man just by knowing your basic human rights, but being smart greatly enhances your chances of survival. Because straight Bose called you a sinner does not mean all straight people are myopic bible-thumping bigots and vice versa. Learn to also treat people right, the right and dignified way. Do you hear that Kito spirit calling out to you? Extinguish it now, trample on it quickly. Remember that man you want to wear Kito has a lot of rights you should be working on protecting.

It is because we don’t know or understand our rights that we can’t understand how one can be Christian and Gay, how one can even be bisexual, how one can be viewed as ugly but gay. Somehow those equations don’t add up, we find it a conundrum, so we attack.

Learn your rights as a Nigerian, Ugandan, American, Syrian or your local palm wine drinking clan. Apply it to yourself. Use it to for your protection when you’ve been pushed to the wall. Try to learn about the anti gay law and how to navigate around it. Be smart. Educate yourself. Be disciplined. Shelve your unjust acrimony. And above all, celebrate the World Human Rights Day by knowing that the rights you celebrate belong to both you and him.

Written by Colossus

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14 Comments

  1. king
    December 10, 07:04 Reply

    Easier in theory,harder in reality

  2. simba
    December 10, 07:24 Reply

    Make friends with people tht can protect u.. it works in Nigeria, unfortunately some of us don’t have tht privilege or too shy, widen ur social circle, both gays and straights.. develop urself, be a recognised personality in ur niche.. carry urself with some certain respect.. package urself well.. have good ascent, speak good grammar and read.. police fear some certain cliché of people, ur neighbours can’t do shit, if u respect urself.. my bf almost lives in my apartment, I host biz meetings and likes, my colleagues keeps a blind eye to it, because it’s not their biz, don’t probe and nobody probes u, my neighbours don’t know me, cus thts how it should be, this is 21 century, not village ish.. in other words package urself.. I wasn’t born in Jupiter either, but thru hard work and packaging I know people..yes people.. in Naija nobody tramples on u, if u can imbibe those simple rules

  3. chestnut
    December 10, 08:19 Reply

    Really nice write-up,Colossus, but in reality, after knowing these rights and laws,not many ppl in Nigeria would want d stigma attached to a court-case accusing u of homosexuality; a lot of us would rather hav d issue disappear as quietly as possible,without being cast in a “lime light”. It’s wrong to be so cowardly,yes, and theoritically,if we all get over our fears of such publicly exposed cases, we would get closer to defeating the Kito-bandits. But in reality, how many gay nigerians want to sit and face a full court-room to say that d culprits should be punished for “invading his privacy” by peeping thru his bedroom window,while he was fucking a man?

  4. Legalkoboko
    December 10, 09:52 Reply

    The true test of this wonderful article will come when you are seated in that bus full of bigots somewhere in Nigeria, and a debate, no scratch that, a denunciation of gay people starts.

    Will you be courageous enough to speak up so openly in defence of gay people? Will you dare to challenge the status quo? Will you go against the tide?
    Will you not prefer to maintain a “respectable ” silence, or even shush down the bros or sis who shows a hint of support to gay rights in his/her argument in that bus?

    We all know that when the chips are down, we would all like to speak the correct language to The policeman in the station.

    This is why knowing your rights as a gay man is best employed in those 10 kobo moments. Those moments you think doesn’t matter.
    If ALL or at least 40% of naija gay guys start engaging in the simple act of speaking up within smaller circles, I guarantee you there will soon be a gay rights movement in our hands.

  5. Peak
    December 10, 10:47 Reply

    Nice piece I must say! But like previous comments ve echoed, its easier said than done. In a country where the citizenry has close to zero faith in its judiciary, moving forward with the stated idea is like fighting an uphill battle from a poor advantage angle

  6. Ace
    December 10, 14:32 Reply

    I think many Nigerian gay men are satisfied with the level of anonymity they enjoy. To them, don’t fix it when it isn’t broken. So, when all this talk about gay rights and all comes up, everybody will just be saying what they wished was the case. It is just a case of the mice agreeing that putting a bell on the cat is a good idea, but the question is “who will bell the cat?”

    • Max
      December 10, 16:37 Reply

      Errrm honey, many things are broken… We don’t enjoy anonimity anymore.. Infact what we use to think was enjoyment is actually wrong… No one knows who you’re dating, no one knows who you love.. If that’s what you like or how you like to live your life, well, I don’t … I’m not really a fan of PDA, but I shouldn’t be deprived of it if I feel like doing it..its just like banning garri.. Not everyone eats garri, but making it a crime to eat it is downright wrong…

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