In Nigeria, homosexuality of any kind, especially in marriage is outlawed by the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2016.
Son of a Tutu
However, a Nigerian cross dresser (or more popularly, a drag queen), born Olajide Salami in East London, England, the only boy and first child of Nigerian parents, from Lagos, Nigeria wants to perform at gay pride in Nigeria.
According to his September 9, 2018 interview with BBC Africa, her Dad was Muslim — till he passed in 2017 — and his Mum is what he calls, “an ultra-fundamentalist Christian.”
He was born in the late 60s according to his column for Qx Magazine. He lived in Nigeria from the mid 70’s — from age 8 — to the end of the 80’s — when he was 21 — and grew up idolising David Bowie, Dick Emery, Danny LaRue and Boy George.
In the early 90’s, moved to America after completing his NYSC, before settling back in London in 2003. He provided for his family by working in American Finance.
In 2011, he won the drag idol. His alter ego is called Tutu whose character is that of a middle-aged Nigerian woman that draws energy from the sun.
Tutu considers herself a woman — a good Christian woman who likes knocking on Jehovah’s Witness doors to ‘scare the bejesus’ out of them.
Who is a drag queen or cross dresser?
A man who dresses like a woman. Usually, those attributes also means a man who acts and conducts himself in ways that hide his original gender.
A popular drag queen in Nigeria is internet sensation, .
Salami is a key figure in the multicultural London drag scene.
Her early beginnings
She told The BBC that she started ‘dragging’ at the 7 or 8 after waiting for her parents to go to work before raiding her mother’s closet — it made his mates laugh.
When her father found out that she was dragging, he tried to beat her so she wouldn’t become “one of those…,” but she was saved by an aunt.
She didn’t understand it then, but she states that you cannot beat dragging out of anybody.
Despite making decent living, working on a six-figure salary, living in one of the best buildings in New York, she claimed she hated her life — the infamy of 9/11 offered her an out.
She was meant to be at the Twin Towers that day. Knowing that she hadn’t lived, she gave up her job and moved to London.
Her opinion on Nigeria’s anti-LGBTQ+ attitude
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In her September 9, 2018 interview with The BBC, she thinks being a Nigerian drag queen is unique because there aren’t much like her.
She however acknowledges that, “it also can be fraught with danger because some Nigerians still feel that being gay or a drag queen is alien to their culture.”
She continues, “(They feel) that it’s something some of their ‘children have picked up from their proximity to western culture — it’s a lie! We are as gay as any other country.”
In January 2014, reacting to Nigeria’s prohibition of same-sex association, Tutu told Qx Magazine that, “firstly, I feel a deep sadness as it is horrific yet significant leap forward for hate.”
She continues, “We could be on the cusp of a Salem-type-witch-hunts of LGBTI people and second, (I feel) an overwhelming sense of helplessness. Now I have the fire in my belly and want to do all I can to help.”
She also feels that Nigeria’s anti-LGBTQ attitude is a result of finding a way to tolerate tribal proliferation and each other, but finding a common ground to channel the hate toward.
On her family’s attitude
She says, they have learned to deal with it since he can live without family, but not without himself.
Despite being the first child and only boy, which means responsibility in Nigeria, she feels it is patriarchal and only wants to be a drag queen.
Tutu feels she was meant to be who she currently is.