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One September evening in 2012 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Ighodaro’s ribs and hand were broken in what he believes was a homophobic attack.The following morning, a barrage of death threats filled his phone and email inboxes.
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NEW YORK — Michael Ighodaro slowly rose to his feet, his bloodshot eyes scanning the room for support.
When his third roommate was shot on the street in Brooklyn, Ighodaro was forced to move and find a place in the Bronx. He now lives in a government-subsidized apartment, where a stew of chicken, plantains and spicy herbs regularly simmers on the stove.
The heady aroma is a reminder of his nanny who taught him how to cook back in Nigeria.
Four men of similar backgrounds became his roommates and, in time, his family. Two left Nigeria; two others have moved from the home they shared.
“People who are leaving, it's increasing on a daily basis,” Ighodaro said.
“We want to get the world to know what’s going on in Nigeria,” he said.
“Make it more aware that it’s a serious issue and that they should do something about it.” In his native Nigeria, participation in such a protest would get the 27-year-old Ighodaro jailed for 10 years or possibly even killed.
C., and other cities in a global stand against homophobia.
The attacks he continues to hear about in Nigeria are a not-so-distant memory.
Fearing for his life, he left his homeland and sought asylum in the United States.