A Nigerian woman was attending Canadian Association for HIV/AIDS Research conference in Winnipeg when she discovered that her girlfriend has been arrested and jailed in Nigeria, and that police was looking for her too. Their crime? They are lesbians.
The outreach worker for a Nigerian non-governmental organization also discovered that her employer now knows she is a Lesbian
Terrified of what will happen to her when she returns to Nigeria, she went to the bathroom to cry, while there, another woman attending the conference saw her and offered to help.
She was due to travel back to Nigeria after the conference on May 28, but she stayed back and asked for asylum in Canada’s protection. Her case will be presented before the Immigration and Refugee Board in August.
In an interview, the woman who is in her 30s, and prefers to be referred to as U.O for security reasons, said she will be lynched if she is forced to return to Nigeria. Her only hope now is to be granted asylum in Canada.
She said she has been a lesbian since she was a teenager, her parents took her to a Pastor who ended up raping her, for deliverance.
She continued having relationships with women secretly until her parents forced her to marry a man.
U.O said her husband reported her to the police and to her employer after he found messages and photos she had exchanged with her girlfriend.
She is now receiving help from Rainbow Resource Centre and hopes to be granted asylum so she can bring her girlfriend to Canada.