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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