Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Instagram/boluokupe
The son of a homophobic Nigerian politician has come out as gay in a dazzlingly defiant social media post.
Bolu Okupe, who is based in Paris, France, shared a shirtless picture of himself holding a rainbow for the occasion, with the 27-year-old simply adding: "Yes I’m Gay AF."
Well, this is about as direct as it gets. We can't decide whose coming out is more fabulous, his or YouTuber JoJo Siwa's... perhaps it's a tie.
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Bolu followed up last Friday's post with another today from the same photoshoot, once again in rainbow shorts.
Where can we get a pair?
Speaking to Attitude today about the response, Bolu said: "I’ve had mixed reactions, many negative, as you can imagine, but also a whole deal of positive.
"I think it’s shined a light to issues that we have been avoiding in Nigeria. There are gay men there who exist and they deserve the same respect and treatment as everyone else."
"I have been aware of this his new orientation for a while"
Bolu is the son of Dr Doyin Okupe, a career politician and physician who has served as Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Olusegun Obasanjo and Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Dr Doyin - also the former National Publicity Secretary of National Republican Convention - promptly addressed Bolu's coming out in a series of tweets - but unfortunately the response left a lot to be desired.
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"I have been aware of this his new orientation for a while now," he said.
I have been aware of this his new orientation for a while now.— Doyin (@doyinokupe) January 21, 2021
He knows that as a Christian and a witness for Christ ( an evangelist) I am vehemently opposed to homosexuality as it runs contrary to the avowed precepts of my Christian faith.
For me I look beyond the surface or the physical. Here I see a major spiritual challenge ahead but I know as my God liveth, this whole saga will end up in Praise to the Almighty Jehova who i serve day and night.— Doyin (@doyinokupe) January 21, 2021
“He knows that as a Christian and a witness for Christ (an evangelist) I am vehemently opposed to homosexuality as it runs contrary to the avowed precepts of my Christian faith.
“For me, I look beyond the surface or the physical. Here I see a major spiritual challenge ahead but I know as my God liveth, this whole saga will end up in Praise to the Almighty Jehova who I serve day and night."
"70% of Nigerians live in poverty"
Asked what people can do to support LGBTQs in Nigeria, Bolu told us: "There a many things that people can do to help LGBTQ individuals in Nigeria but mostly it will revolve around finances: 70% of Nigerians live in poverty and this usually makes younger kids or adults have to depend on their families or parents for sustenance.
"This is why a lot of Nigerians find it hard to come out, because there is a risk of being ostracized and abandoned by their families. This is why I have decided to create and start working on some kind of charity or foundation that can offer financial aid or even relocation aid for young queer people living in Nigeria and hopefully all over Africa."
The Attitude 101 February issue featuring 101 LGBTQ trailblazers is out now.