The impact of a single person can be amazing.
Last week, the Bisi Alimi Foundation released a report which found acceptance of homosexuality increased 9% in Nigeria since 2010, but lack of tolerance is still high (86%).
In an interview with GLAAD, Bisi Alimi, a Nigerian activist and founder of the the foundation, tells his story as a gay Nigerian.
GLAAD’s Claire Pires asked Alimi if a moment really stood out for him in his career: one that ‘kept him going’.
He said there was. ‘There was one particular one in January last year, I had just finished an interview on CNN. It was on my birthday actually.
‘I was so exhausted. This is not the way I wanted to celebrate my birthday.
‘I got back home, and I went on Facebook and Twitter because I wanted to see what was going on.
‘I’d got a message from a middle-aged woman, who said: “I just watched you on TV. Thank you so much for…’ Bisi then paused to stop himself from crying.
The woman’s message said she’d thrown her son out after catching him with another man.
But she testified she loved him and ‘wanted the best for him.’
Alimi called her and told her took for her son. His parents kicked him out after he came out, and he never got over it. He said: ‘They will never get the son they kicked out’; alluding to the irreparable damage rejection creates.
‘I will never forget that at a very confused time in my life, they kicked me out.’
The mother took his advice, and is now a very active member of his fan club on Facebook.
‘For me, there is one other man, one other man out there, and I need to get across to that person.’
Regarding the survey results, Alimi says: ‘I feel really proud of my country.’
There will be a Twitter chat today with the Bisi Alimi Foundation, as well as two other activist groups in Nigeria, at 12pm EST (4pm GMT).
Watch Alimi’s story below: