The styles and art forms of popular Nigerian celebrities are helping to dispel myths and taboos around sexual orientation and gender identity.

From the African Human Rights Media Network
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From left: Temmie Ovwasa, Enioluwa Adeoluwa, Denrele Edun
From left: Temmie Ovwasa, Enioluwa Adeoluwa, Denrele Edun

By NoStringsNG contributor

Queer-identifying people, especially in Africa, remain largely misunderstood and stigmatized, but this is slowly beginning to change, especially with increased visibility and ongoing advocacy.

In addition, some Nigerian celebrities have inspired a new generation of courageous LGBTIQ+ people through their non-traditional expressions and sense of style. It doesn’t matter if they self-identify as queer; their conscious efforts to remain authentic are inspiring.

Here’s a rundown of four of those celebrities.

1. Denrele Edun

Denrele Edun is a Nigerian media and entertainment personality whose style and originality is like no other.

His fashion sense has always been eccentric and the specifics of his sexuality are intriguing to the public. In numerous interviews, he has said that he is a sexual outlaw.

He is a source of inspiration to many queer Nigerians. Because of his unique personality, many LGBTIQ+ people identify with him and see him as a role model.

2. Bobrisky

Bobrisky (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

Many will argue and wonder why Bobrisky is on this list. Still, the famous crossover has inspired many within the LGBTIQ+ community, especially trans women.

Borbisky has been a source of inspiration for many queer people who do not want to conform to conservative Nigerian standards. Bobrisky has also been vocal about being honest with himself and doesn’t pay any attention to opponents.

Seeing how Bobrisky is well accepted and praised for who they are, many queer Nigerians have been inspired by Bobrisky’s resilience.

3. Temmie Ovwasa

Temmie Ovwasa is a Nigerian singer who rose to fame in 2015 by being signed to YBNL. Temmie was known as the “YBNL Princess” until their departure from the label in 2020.

Temmie, who identifies as non-binary, was the first Nigerian singer to release an openly gay album in Nigeria.

The singer has always been vocal about their sexuality and has always campaigned for equal rights for queer people in Nigeria.

They are living authentically and using their music to expose the negative impact of LGBTIQ+ phobia. No wonder they are loved by many in the LGBTIQ+ community who see them as an inspiration.

4. Enioluwa Adeoluwa

Enioluwa Adeoluwa is a social media sensation and influencer popularly known as ‘lip gloss boy’ or ‘beauty boy’.

Enioluwa is also known for his extraordinary use of make-up and has won the hearts of many, especially women who are motivated and inspired by most of his content.

Also, during Enioluwa’s interview with PaperMag, he spoke about his advocacy and the representation of female males in Nigerian society.

He said, “I’ll be living in denial if I say I’m not a woman. I am, and I am proud of myself. I live in my feminine side because she is beautiful, smart, intelligent, powerful and no one can talk to her. Again, representation is so important. When people saw female boys in the country, they saw trouble. But ladyboys have created such a huge platform that they’re breaking down doors for other people who look like them. I walked in that door and people knew me as that guy on Instagram who wears make-up, but that guy is also successful in school and that’s something Nigerian parents like.”

Source: Human Rights Media Network African member NoStringsNG.

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