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Bisi Alimi is a Global Voice
If Adebisi ‘Bisi’ Alimi had his way, he would have been known for his acting performances rather than being the first person ever to come out as gay on Nigerian television. It was 2004 and he was 29-years-old and just diagnosed as HIV positive. And unlike celebrities who come out as gay in the United States, there was no national acceptance.
The backlash for Bisi was intense. He had his Nigerian home vandalized and an attempt was made on his life.
And just in 2014, Nigeria, passed a law prohibiting gay relationships, membership and other involvement in gay societies and organizations and gay marriages.
Bisi now age 40, was eventually granted political asylum in the United Kingdom, where he currently resides.
“There actually used to be a time i miss Nigeria so much. I think I have in a way outgrown that and I am more settled in the UK. I also love the fact that I am free citizen of the world and I get to travel around the world a lot. That said, Nigeria is where the soul of my being is. I miss it but not like I did say 6 years ago. I miss it now as a place I used to know but not as a place I know, and I am not sure if it will be a place I want to know again.”
Today, Bisi Alimi shares his story when he speaks out for the rights of gay black and African men. He founded Bisi Consultancy, an organization that develops social policy recommendations based on HIV/AIDS research on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
“My consultation was set up to provide a platform to support people who wants to work on LGBT rights in Africa and give them an idea on how to do it better and with result, according to Bisi.”
The global advocate says his longterm goal is to be a full time academic professor, and he wants to set up a trust to do developmental work in Nigeria.
Walker Tisdale will have a second installment of this conversation with Bisi Alimi, stay tuned.