#EndSARS: The Inclusion of Queer Lives In The Protest Continues To Be Debated

#EndSARS: The Inclusion of Queer Lives In The Protest Continues To Be Debated

It’s been reported that on Wednesday October 14, queer Nigerians who came out to be part of the protest in Abuja were attacked, their placards and the pride flag they stepped out with torn and seized. This unleashed both outrage and commendation on social media, prompting the trending of the hashtag #QueerNigerianLivesMatter as Nigerians debated the validity of giving room for the visibility of queer Nigerians to be specific about their struggles with SARS oppression.

In the days since then, there have both been a push and pushback over the recognition of queer lives in the protest, with those against this using their arguments that it’d be tantamount to hijacking the movement to mask their homophobia, and those arguing in favour of this insisting that it is all the same fight.

The Feminist Coalition yesterday put out a statement on Twitter to show their solidarity with the inclusion of LGBTQ community in the protest, saying that “our communal fight to #EndSARS is inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community who are also harassed, assaulted and killed by police. They deserve the same justice we seek and even more so, as they are also a target of the law.”

This expectedly didn’t sit well with Nigerians, and Segun Awosanya aka Segalink (the man who would like to be recognized as the sole champion of the #EndSARS movement, he who once implied during the arrests of the Egbeda partygoers that LGBT people have some sort of power over the police, he who is more possessed by his sense of self importance than by any other thing) took to Twitter to call them out.

“Kindly call this what it is,” he tweeted. “This is NOT #EndSARS Movement but an LGBTQ+ and Feminist Movement. Stop impersonating and exploiting the vulnerability of Nigerians, who genuinely wants to end impunity. This agenda is dead on arrival. There is no place for insurrection in Nigeria!”

His comments have since been hailed by both fans and homophobes, and even prompted such a backlash that the Feminist Coalition had to take down their initial statement and released another more tailored to what is considered acceptable by the general public.

They said: “We are committed to the elimination of violence against all Nigerians, and our demand for accountability from the government is simple: that all Nigerians across this nation live and thrive. Every Nigerian has the right to protest freely against police brutality. We ask that we all remain focused on our SINGLE goal at this time, which is to #EndSARS and #EndPoliceBrutality. Thank you for your support.”

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2 Comments

  1. Black Dynasty
    October 19, 10:11 Reply

    Sighs i was disappointed but not surprised at the response to the feminist co’s tweet. I refused to read anymore of the homophobic comments.

    I was very much pro the rainbow flag being flown along the protests and i fully stanned for our folks who went out with pro-queer placards.

    But alas, yesterday’s fiasco showed Nigeria as a whole is not even close to being in the mindset of discussing our oppression and our support for the end sars movement. See how quickly those trying to sow confusion and hatred within the movement jumped on queer lives matter as hijacking the movement when of course this is BS. It would only be a matter of time before the government jumps on that bandwagon too

    Our time will come when we would have majority support, but for now rather than let the cowards use us as ammunition to destroy a unity that even our grandparents have never seen, i think we should step back for a minute and show a united front with the youth of Nigeria on the end sars movement.

    It sucks but sometimes reality is a bitch, the war for our freedoms is not yet lost; this was just one battle. Our stories, lives and rights are just as valid.

    Just my 2 cents…

  2. Morgan
    October 19, 17:12 Reply

    2 cents?….. more like 10. Lol.
    I completely get your point

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