Written by James Patricks, Sona Circle
Edafe Okporo is a Nigerian refugee living in the United States. He came to the USA in 2013 having previously lived fairly comfortably in a Nigerian gay community. However vigilante violence broke out against LGBTQI people in Nigeria and he was beaten in the streets. Edafe decided he could no longer stay in Nigeria and fled to the US.
He says that he had always had the view that America is a great place so was surprised when he was arrested when claiming asylum. He says that when he was sent to an immigration detention centre where he was forced to live with people from countries where being gay as still considered a criminal act and thus he faced discrimination there as well.
Despite his setbacks Edafe has gone on to found Refugee America, an organisation set out to support refugees, especially of those who are LGBTQI+.
Edafe says that when his devoutly religious grandma became sick he returned to Nigeria to visit her in her dying days. He says that he’d always looked up to his grandmother and couldn’t bear to let her die without knowing who he truly was. He says that he told his grandmother he was gay and his grandmother embraced him telling him she loves him.
Edafe’s activism and tenacity are truly inspirational and his book, Asylum, a Memoir and Manifesto comes out later this year.
Written by James Patricks