Nigeria has deteriorated economically and socially over many decades. This deterioration has gone hand in hand with imperialist sabotage such as the establishment of colonialism, the structural adjustment program and other neo-liberalization efforts that have cut jobs, left us with huge infrastructural deficits and with no safety net.
Queer Nigerians are in even more danger of these types of structural violence because of how rampant queerphobia is in our communities. These might be in form of lack of access to gender-affirming, queer-positive healthcare, lack of access to healthcare as a whole, lack of access to education, to housing, to employment, and to social life, due to violence from the state, the church and our own families.
No one will take care of us, if not us. And this is why the first of QUEST9ja’s principle pillars is the organization of mutual aid to build community structures that counteract this violence while supporting those who are in emergencies that need immediate support. This includes but is not limited to fundraising to fund and support safe housing for vulnerable queer people, education, trans-affirming healthcare, as well as support for queer activists protesting state violence.
QUEST9ja is committed to community building in Nigeria. This is an extension of our principle pillar of mutual aid. We are committed to creating dual power for the queer community. That is, laying structures through which we meet our own needs in the immediate, even as we continue fighting for a society where this isn’t a necessity.
This will include support for queer youth who are ostracized by family, as well as support for those targeted for being visibly queer. We believe in being proactive, in building a community where queer people know they have a community to fall back on. It will include creating safe spaces where queer people can have social interaction with other queer people. It will also include fighting transphobia and cisnormativity within the Nigerian queer community as these are all obstacles to queer liberation.
The third principle pillar is ideological education. We are all products of our society. We are not exempt from the socialization that Nigeria embeds in all its children.
All avenues of socialization — the family, schools, religious institutions, mainstream media, etc — are infested with the rot of capitalist aspiration, transphobia, misogyny, classism, ableism, and cisheteronormativity. As revolutionaries, we are committed to political education as a counter to this type of socialization. It is important to contribute to deprogramming the community from such violent views that are negatively impacting our friendships, intimate relationships, political struggle, and our quality of life in general. We believe it is necessary to facilitate a process of ideological growth as part of community development. This growth will be based on personal autonomy, mutual respect and solidarity, anti-imperialism, anti-capitalism and other principles of queer liberation which are opposed to cisheteropatriarchy and committed to dismantling it.
We are a Pan-Africanist organization invested in the overthrow of queerphobia on the African continent, and the liberation of African people all over the globe. We understand that colonialism, imperialism and the atomization of Africa into secluded states disjoints us from our cultures and promotes capitalist oppression, and as a consequence, queerphobia. While the oppression of Nigerian queer people is distinct and tailored to the material conditions in Nigeria, it is not unique. It is within the context of a global struggle to win our freedoms and autonomy and dismantle cisheteropatriarchy. Our work is in solidarity with all our other African queer siblings and organizations fighting towards liberating this continent from capitalism, imperialism, and queerphobia. And our goal is an independent free Africa united scientific socialism and free from cisheteropatriarchal violence.
Support Our Cause