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It was New Year’s Eve when James*, 29, agreed to meet up with a man he had connected with on the dating app Grindr.
They were beginning to get to know each other through the LGBTQ platform and they arranged a time and place. Rather than getting to know the man he thought he’d been talking to, he was lured to a secluded area where he was surrounded by a group of men who threatened him with violence and said they would expose his sexuality unless he paid up.
In part thanks to initiatives such as this, Ude says that queer Nigerians are taking greater precautions and that reckless meetings with people met on the internet are becoming less frequent.
“They told me I was smelling, that I had anal cancer and had to wear diapers,” says Uzor.
The men then forced him to record videos admitting he was gay and threatened to send them to his parents.
At the time, Uzor had not yet come out to his family who, like many in the country, are deeply religious.
The 2014 anti-gay bill, for example, criminalises some homosexual relations with up to 14 years in jail.
In 2018, police raided a hotel and arrested over 50 men accusing them of being homosexuals.
“Now, my parents are cool with my sexuality but then they weren’t,” says Uzor.