By ADELEYE ABIGAIL

Before being Nigerians, we are human and we need to be treated as such! It makes no sense for me to be driven out of my home country and to be bullied and harassed because I choose to accept myself for who I am.

Gender is about cultural practices. In Nigeria, the law stipulates nothing about the transsexual citizens, it doesn’t even recognise them. A transsexual person is one who seeks medical aid to change their biological sex to correspond with the sex they identify with. I will bring to your knowledge three famous transsexual Nigerians.

Miss SaHHara, a model, a well-known transgender rights activist, a philanthropist, a singer and the creator of the awareness campaign ‘TransValid’ {its aim is to destroy transphobia and make transgender people feel safe} Noni Salma, a filmmaker, writer, director and producer.

Rizi Xavier Timane, a minister, writer, singer, actor, entertainer and activist who supports the transsexual society financially and spiritually.

According to Amnesty International, the transsexual society is 1.6 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and physically abused and they are 1.4 times more likely to experience hate violence in Nigeria. The three examples above and other unmentioned members of the transsexual society have gone through many forms of physical and emotional abuse and they have been victims of hate violence.

The people they thought could be of help turned against them, in the case of Rizi Xavier, when “He” was a “She”, she went to the church for guidance and instead of helping her through what she was going through, they attempted to “cure” her as if there was something wrong with her.

Even now when we claim to be open minded, you find people still calling them ‘it’, these are men and women not objects!

Those who attack and hate them when asked, have no legitimate reason to do so, these are just people hiding their fear behind violence.

What is being done to them not only in Nigeria, but in other parts of the world is worse than what the Nigerians faced during Xenophobia, although nothing is worse than loosing lives of our innocent brothers and sisters, and yet the government came to their rescue but for the transsexual few, not many come to their rescue, their complaints and dilemma fall on deaf ears.

In conclusion, I believe that God loves all of us, including them. But it is what is inside their hearts that counts, not sexual orientation. They have decided to be transsexual and so who are we to hate them base on their sexual preference? On those whom God loves so much, He gave his only Son to liberate them.

Obviously, it can’t happen overnight, but we Nigerians as human beings, should try to be more open minded. And the government on its part should enact laws that would protect the members of the transsexual society in the country.

Adeleye Abigail writes from the Department of Mass Communication, Babcock University, Ogun State

 

Categories: Opinion

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