A Nigerian author and brand expert has taken to Facebook to publicly come out as gay.
Kenny Brandmuse, who was married for six years, had also recently disclosed that he is HIV positive.
In two separate posts, Brandmuse addressed both his sexuality and his HIV status saying he would continue to write for those who are misunderstood and discriminated against.
‘One day, very soon, it will no longer be news that some of us are gay because the next generation will regard all mankind with dignity, irrespective of sexuality,’ he said.
‘One day, very very soon, HIV and other such diseases will no longer be a thing to be ashamed of as those affected will live a much healthier life due to scientific breakthroughs and zero stigmatization.’
He added it was important for parents in Nigeria to affirm their children’s sexuality early on so they would not get into ‘high sexual risk’ situations.
‘When we live in culture of silence, we push people to the down low.’
‘When people engage in sexual activities in the down low, they are highly at risk for HIV and other STIs.
‘Speaking about my journey as a black gay man, I knew I got engaged in high sexual risks while in college because I was running away from myself.’
He also thanked his followers for their support and their kind words urging more Nigerians to recognize diversity.
‘Affirm people whose sexual orientation differs from yours as long as they are not coercing anyone into it- stop comparing gay folks to pedophiles and people sleeping with animals. That’s not a consensual love between two people. It happens with heterosexuals too.’
Surprisingly, a large majority of his fans were supportive.
‘Kenny please continue to speak out. Homosexuality cannot be promoted, its not an infectious disease. We just want to stop hiding,’ one said.
And another added: ‘My brother, my love, my soul, I stand with you now and forever. I have wept, laughed and I celebrate your bravery and say thank you.’
But they weren’t all so positive, with some alleging that Brandmuse had been ‘turned’ gay.
You are gay, good for you but keep it to yourself but I will advice you respect the law of nature and the laws of the land bcause this miserable lifestyle of yours is against an offense in nigeria. Just get ready to face the music when the DJ starts playing it or start planning your relocation.
‘I hate it when gays try to force straights to be gay,’ one said. ‘If u wanna be gay, its ur life its between u and ur maker. Dnt drag others into it.’
Homosexuality is illegal in Nigeria and can result in a 14-year prison sentence. Public displays of affection by gay men and lesbians are also criminalized.