Sunday, July 25, 2010

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight is a Nigerian born civil rights activist, and was the first gay Nigerian man to be interviewed on national TV in Nigeria.

Bisi Alimi was born in Nigeria in 1975, grew up and went on to attend the University of Lagos (Nigeria) pursuing a degree in Theater. While as a student in 2003, he was outed by the University's student newspaper during student government elections.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Nigeria, the conservative influences of the Muslim faith in the north and a large Christian presence in the south. It is punishable by death by stoning in all 12 states, or being sentenced up to 14 years of imprisonment. There is no legal protection against discrimination for LGBT Nigerians. Very few are out, and violence against those in the LGBT community is frequent. Legislation is pending to criminalize same-sex marriage throughout Nigeria.

Alimi was expelled from university in 2004, before he was able to receive his degree.

Later that year, he was selected to be the Nigerian face of homosexuality at the 4th National Conference on HIV/AIDS in Abuja. Also that year, he was brought onto Funmi Iyanda's New Dawn talk show on the Nigerian Television Authority and it was here that he publicly came out before the nation and asked for acceptance from the public.

Almost immediately, there were repercussions for both Alimi and the interviewer. Almini received both love letters and death threats, and lost his home and his job. The New Dawn talk show's Friday edition was canceled and further interviewees on the showere were screened by the NTA in a country where censorship against homosexuality is already tight.



Not deterred, in July 2005, Almini helped found the Independent Project for Equal Rights-Nigeria, serving as Executive Director of the organization's Nigerian LGBT Youth Group. He also worked as director of the Alliance Rights, Nigeria's youth programs.

In December 2007, he lost his partner to a chest infection, and which led to severe mental health issues dealing with his grief. His family and friends, came to his aide, supporting him and getting back on his feet and helping to take life one day at a time.

In 2008, Alimi was granted asylum by the United Kingdom, where he currently resides. He has become a spokesperson for African gay men in the UK working with several organizations in the LGTB community and help set up a project for newly arrived African gay immigrants. He was also elected a member of the IAS youth organizing member for the Mexico 2008 meeting and was a member of AMFAR review panel for the international grants for African MSM AIDS initiatives.

Almini also is a sexual health activist and works for Naz Project London which is provides sexual health and HIV prevention and support services to targeted Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in London. "NPL aims to educate and empower communities to face up to the challenges of sexual health and the AIDS pandemic, and to mobilize the support networks that exist for people living with HIV/AIDS."

At this time he working on his Masters Degree in Film Making with concentration on documentaries and is hoping to change views of Africans about homosexuality through movies and short films.

35 comments:

lol said...
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Special K said...

You know Jake has looked relaxed when he was at the farmers market with friends,and where the paps aren't.

Maybe it is the paps that are what the stresser is. We know that they were shooting pictures into his car back in May. And it seems like he is the only celebrity they seem to wait in the alley for behind the medical building.

Seem like they are trying to catch him. But catch what? We all know what. The scoop isn't with Austin, unless it is in a clinch. It's the kids.

There has to be harried times. They've got two now that are on the move, and probably going in opposite directions. And looking at their daddies, at least one is a babbling brook.

I do wonder if the dark glasses the beard, the hat, help cut down getting recognized as much or a quickly not with the paps, but the public, ie not that many tweets or mentions, and more ability to move around undetected.

Special K said...

JJ's poster for Austin

Austin's response

Thank you JJ for the awesome poster!!! You rock. Go @crowdrise!!!!
25 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Fishies? said...

There is still so much to do in the gulf. Please donate. www.crowdrise.com/austinnichols. Fishies, birds, dolphins need us. 20 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

the real m said...

I am always floored by how much courage people in the out spotlights display.

Good catch Jersey Tom. Those new pictures could have been taken anywhere, anytime. It wont be the first time pictures have surfaced with incorrect dates. Especially since paps seem to haunt LAX and always catch arriving celebs.

Finally a break in the weather here and it's a pleasant day. Its been so hot I was ready to melt.

Methodical Muser said...

"Fishies."

LOL. Aus10's been hanging around Baby Tiles too much lately. Either that or his pom pom girl, Soapie, is contaminating his vocabulary. Maybe we need to start a relief fun for Jake and Austin:

Free Toothy and Goose.org

Still it is kinda cute.

destiny said...

I'm always floored too by the courage of people who come out and become activists in countries like Nigeria, where it is still so dangerous to do so. But unless people come out, nothing changes. People like this put their well-being on the line so that hopefully others won't have to live in such fear and shame.

And I can't help it, every time I read about someone like this, I get angry all over again at stars who beard and lie and push straight at all costs/only acceptable way to live. I'm looking at you Jake (and to a lesser extent Austin, who at least has no problem tweeting about hot Brazilians and gay marriage).

prairiegirl said...

I would agree that at the Farmers Mkt, he looks unbothered.

There is a distinct difference between how he looks now coming out of a Whole Foods and 3 years ago. But he better get used to it. Things aren't going to change. This is it - how it's going to be.

And true, the beard, glasses, hats, etc. do help to disguise. Of course, people wear sunglasses year round just to keep sunlight out of their eyes. And alot of guys wear ballcaps all the time.

And there can be explanations for some things. Austin stops wearing his ring because 1) he's told to and 2) it kind of combats the bearding effect. Jake could have stopped wearing his chain/ring because it conflicts as well. But how many people would know that? And Austin didn't stop wearing his while Jake was bearding, did he?

If special note is made when both guys are wearing their new rings, then it seems only fair that the same notation should be made when they're suddenly not. And all of a sudden, neither guy is wearing their metal.


Now, on the other hand, there are other signs that the guys are still connected. #1, being the gym pics. Done as soon as Jake was officially done promoting PoP and back from the east coast, his suitcase barely unpacked before he was being seen with Austin. This ended the big speculation that the guys no longer were in touch or never saw each other.

Another important note needs to be made about that gym pic set, too, (Lousy as it was, lol). When you allegedly don't keep in touch with a friend anymore, when you only see each other once every 12-13 months, why is it that the first and one time you finally meet up with this long-lost, never see anymore buddy, do you choose to do it at a gym?

Why not over a nice dinner? Why not have this friend over to the house for dinner so you can yak yak yak from the table to the living room over coffee & pie? lol, wait a minute. These are 29-30 yr old guys. 'Scuse me. Over beers.

You don't try to "catch up" while your butt is in his face during a yoga position in a hot & sweaty gym. And you certainly wouldn't have the beard/fake gf around, even though she's a shared friend. You havent' seen this guy for 12-13 months? You once did coffee's, dinners, breakfasts', movie premieres, bikeriding, and Laker games together? And you're going to meet up at a gym? Then, it's sayanara, see you in another year? Huh uh. Please.


#2, Jake really, really doesn't seem to be having any other relationship with any other guy. He's not being seen with any other guys. There was RobLookAlikeGuy. He's the "I have straight buds" sporting events stand-in guy. There was Adam Levine - there wasn't anything going on there. There is Chris. That's not anything new and there doesn't seem to be alot of meeting up going on there and certainly no googly eyes.

A guy as hot as Jake? And he's not caught with some other guy who he's making eyes with like he was with Austin? The last one was Heath during BBM promotions.

I don't buy this either. If there was another guy in Jake's life, there would be something. In 4 years? If people are going to say there's nothing connecting Jake with Austin because there are hardly any pics, well the same argument has to be made that there are no signs that Jake is carrying on steadily with another guy.

So Jake is solo mio for the past 4 years. That doesn't cut it either.

prairiegirl said...
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what am I missing? said...

well the same argument has to be made that there are no signs that Jake is carrying on steadily with another guy.

Who made the argument that Jake is carrying on steadily with another guy?

Special K said...

Austin tweeting about Comic Con

Is comic con becoming kinda ridiculous? Was the cast of the jersey shore there too???
about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Pass the angelina jolie please!! #salt about 2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Remember how Jake want to go and just blend in with everyone at Comic Con's sister show Wonder Con. And how he described it as Sunday morning at the Gyllenhaals.

Funny the similarities in things they talk about.

Special K said...

^add that to the list with the Dali Lama, Lance Armstrong, Tour De France and the World Cup.

just wondering said...

Do you have friends with similar interests, Special? Or are you in constant disagreement with your friends?

Stubborn TB said...

So, they're suddenly close enough friends again to have so many similar interests and opinions?

Gah, I can't keep up with this ever-changing relationship status of Jake and Austin. No friends; best friends; back to casual friends; now not friends anymore; now good friends; no, casual friends again; wait, not friends anymore.

Methodical Muser said...

Remember how Jake want to go and just blend in with everyone at Comic Con's sister show Wonder Con. And how he described it as Sunday morning at the Gyllenhaals.
Funny the similarities in things they talk about.


There's probably another connection that would cause Jake and Austin to have a leisurely conversation in bed on Sunday morning. Their brother-in-law:

'Green Lantern' Panel at Comic-Con 2010: Ryan Reynolds, Peter Sarsgaard, Blake Lively - July 24, 2010

Jersey Tom said...

Bisi is indeed a very very brave man. I actually think everyone who comes out is brave and a hero in their own way. Sad for those who don't these days. It is tough but it is the right thing to do for urself and others.

Special K said...

Austin with fans on set, Friday.

Twitpic karalopoyda

OT said...

I was flipping thru the channels on TV and there's a Texas Rangers/LA Angels game on (they're playing in Texas) and I couldn't believe my eyes. Special and Prairie Girl you would appreciate this: it's Dog Night at the Texas stadium. Dog Night. WTF?! The announcer said there's over 4000 dogs brought by their owners at the game tonight. LoL I've never heard of this before! I found a few pics

destiny said...

That is so cool about the dogs at the game. Never heard of that.

Austin's comment about Comic Con is not exactly positive.

I also do not see why Jake couldn't have wandered around WonderbCon if he really wanted to. Don't know about WC, but at Comic Con it is just too crowded, too many other things to look at, etc. Don't see why hea' d' be bothered any more than anywhere else.

Special K said...

Love the dogs at the ballgame. It would be noisy but how much fun is that.

Duncan was mentioned in something I saw about Comic Con. Totally a Duncan kind of place, and there would be lots a Moon fans. And Source Code would totally fit into Comic Con fan following too. That's one thing that made me think he might have wanted to slip into it.

in plain sight said...

IIRC either at Comic Con or another thing like it, last year Johnny Depp wore a huge furry chipmunk (pretty sure it was a chipmunk) costume, head and all. He got to walk around incognito. The reason why people found out was he kept his necklace badge turned around but it accidentally flipped over and people saw it. He left soon after but he had been there for hours anyway. There's a pic somewhere of him in the costume on ONTD. I wonder what costume Jake would wear if he wore one. A big furry turkey?!

fetch said...

Do the dogs run after all the foul balls in the stands??! Do they fight over them like how the grown men do?!

double take said...

Description on one of the dog ballgame pics: "..a labrador retriever belonging to Jason Howell, left, and Evan Burke of Roanoke.." How often do two straight guys own a dog together?!

prairiegirl said...

LOLLLLL!! Wouldn't that be great to have gone to that dog game? What an awesome idea. I hope it wasn't too warm for them, though. But how hilarious. I wouldn't even be watching the game, I would be too busy being out on the concourse petting all the dogs and dogwatching. That boxer is cute. And aren't retrievers just the cutest dogs ever? See the Yorkie? That's rotten little Jingles to a tee. And that first one - the wiener. He looks embarrassed, doesn't he? lol.

Those are great. Thanks for posting those.

Got an excellent connection here. Last night I lost it for awhile - it comes and goes as I'm piggybacking off of someone's and it's not the strongest signal in the world.

prairiegirl said...

I am now all the way across on the other side of the metro area in the big town of Shawnee. Home of Chloe & Maicie. Maicie is a waimaruner, or something like that. She's young (between 2 and 3) and she's a little rambunctious at times but she went to boot camp when they got her. So she's well behaved. It's just that she's big and she's young, so dogs like that just don't know their strength.

Maicie is called Maicie because she's a rescue dog and when they got her, she was going to be put down the very next day. Jane said her bones were sticking out everywhere, you could even see her hip bones and all her ribs. She had every parasite & worm except for heartworm; that's about the only thing she didn't have.

But now you should see her. She's gorgeous and beautiful. I'll take a picture of her so you guys can see her. My goal tonight is to get Curley and crew on my blogger page.

I have to go. Gotta get ready!

Signed, the vagabond at the dog kennel

ted said...

Dear Ted:
Do you like One Tree Hill? What's up with the cast? Haven't heard about them in a long time.
—Nikki

Dear Over the Hill:
That's 'cause the cast isn't really doing anything all that thrilling (not unlike the show's fangirl replacement, Gossip Girl). But we've got some scoop on One Tree Hill alums Robbie Jones and Joe Manganiello (mmm!) over here, love.

Bitch Back

Methodical Muser said...

Austin's comment about Comic Con is not exactly positive.

Comic Con started in 1970 and I know many folks who use to attend, in the 1970s and 80s, who are pretty disgusted with how the Hollywood Execs and Movie/TV Hucksters have taken over the event. Austin's tweet,"Is comic con becoming kinda ridiculous? Was the cast of the jersey shore there too???" I would suspect reflects the overcommercialism and mediocrity of what has become a pop culture must for the Hollywood Industry to sell their wares.

It's interesting that Peter was there this past weekend to promote GREEN LATERN and then, of course, there's SOURCE CODE so I can see him having conversations with a certain someone who had attended the Northern California version (WonderCon) back in early April.

Jake at WonderCon

Comic Con Nostalgia

Methodical Muser said...

Just thought I would point out the interesting description of Jake in December 2008 from the WonderCon article linked above.

"The Jake Gyllenhaal who appeared at Saturday's WonderCon in San Francisco was in a markedly better mood than the Oscar nominated actor this journalist met on the set of "Prince of Persia." Visiting the London production in December of 2008, Gyllenhaal was incredibly serious and almost dazed when sitting down to discuss the movie adaptation of the popular video game with HitFix. On this afternoon, however, Gyllenhaal was the smiling, self-deprecating, friendly and genuine actor the press and industry is used to working with (basically the polar opposite of his sister Maggie)."

oth said...

stephaniepwebb: Watching @AUS10NICHOLS and Jackson film a scene!
35 minutes ago

sam_lafferty: watching @AUS10NICHOLS & Jackson film a scene!! #OTH
about 1 hour ago

shifting_sand: Watching filming at the batting cages. They're setting up. Jackson is here. @AUS10NICHOLS too I think.
about 1 hour ago

prairiegirl said...

Who in the heck is Jackson? He must be a regular.

Can we pleeeeeease just go ahead and apply the finishing coat on OTH? Apply the sealer? Put in the closer? Take a knee? Finish the last 1-2 min. in the microwave? Send in the Clowns? Laminate it? Stitch it up? Tally it up? Turn off the engine? Have a nightcap? Give the benediction? Turn out the lights? Lock the doors? Turn in the scorecard? Notarize it? Post it? File it? Take the final lap?


lol.

prairiegirl said...

lol, stitch it up. I kinda killed myself on that one. OH! I forgot a good one.



Book 'em, Dan-o!!


LOLLLLLL

prairiegirl said...

OTH - OUT!





LOLLLL

prairiegirl said...

Sigh. Kind of heartless, I guess. The town of Wilmington will miss the income and tax money, I'm sure.

Boy, it's been a very busy, fast morning. I was going to go out for lunch but there was too much to do and it got too late. I forgot that there was a point I wanted to make yesterday and my internet connection where I'm at is pretty weak so it comes and goes. I didn't get to finish my line of thoughts yesterday. But I wanted to say that for me, one big convincer that the 2 guys are still okay comes from that picture in People magazine in February.

And that picture was the one called Maggie's Men, where Jake has his arm around the back seat of the person he's sitting next to. Plus, I tell ya what. If his head had been ducked down just a little bit, he could've been a prime exemplifier of Sophin's Kodak MO. Because he's got that person's body tucked under his armpit, although it's straining because that person's shoulder is taller than his.

He is smashed up against the person he's sitting next to; pressed up against, tucked into, however you want to put it. And that person I am thinking has to be Austin.

That's it - just the final argument. OH there's another one!!


Give the final argument!

lol

destiny said...

I overslept this morning and was running late for work. *cough*

And guess who I just "ran" into on my way to work leaving ABC's studios (where Regis and Kelly film)this morning--Bomer!!!

I got his autograph and took a photo with him.

He was sooo nice. And he is even more beautiful up close in person. He'd changed into black jeans and a black t-shirt. He is also a lot smaller than I'd expected. I've seen comments that IMDB Pro lists him at almost 6 feet. I'm not the best judge of these things, but my guess is he is closer to 5'9, maybe even shorter. Not that I care, I've never cared about whether someone is tall or short. And he has an incredibly slender build.

There were only about a dozen people waiting outside. Probably only 3 of us were fans, the others seemed to be professional autograph hounds, but he was nice enough to sign for them too, limiting them to 2 signatures each
(they had glossy photos, I had my EW magazine with the wet t-shirt photo). There was also one old guy who apparently comes everyday and gets signatures from any guest who'll sign, and boy was he a walking encylopedia of who has been in what.

prairiegirl said...

Cool, Destiny!

The best thing I can come across on my way to work is nothing but green lights.

lol.

Alright, well, better get back. Everyone have a good afternoon.