Nigerian LGBTQ+ Community Defies Danger with Joyful Celebration at Fola Francis Ball

Celebration at Fola Francis Ball

Despite the risks and dangers faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria, over 500 people gathered in secret for the Fola Francis Ball, a celebration of queer joy and self-expression.

The event, named after a transgender woman who was a prominent figure in the underground ballroom scene, was a testament to the resilience and determination of the community. Attendees came from all over the country to compete in categories such as voguing, body, and best dressed, and to pay their respects to Fola Francis.

Celebration at Fola Francis Ball

Organizers Ayo Lawson and Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim were inspired by their own experiences attending a similar event and wanted to create a space for self-expression and celebration. “We wanted to create a space where people could be themselves without fear of judgment or persecution,” said Lawson.

The event was kept secret until a few hours before it began, due to the illegal status of same-sex relationships and public displays of affection in Nigeria. Despite the risks, attendees were determined to celebrate their identities and community.

The Fola Francis Ball is a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ+ community in Nigeria, showing that even in the face of adversity, queer joy and self-expression can thrive.

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