House of Rainbow

LGBT rights balanced on the pink line

Featured in

  • Published 20180205
  • ISBN: 9781925603293
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

TO GET TO House of Rainbow you turn off the Apata Road from Ibadan at the Moco petrol station and then make your way down a rutted track through a cluttered market. Ibadan is Yoruba heartland, the region’s commercial hub and the home of what was once Africa’s most illustrious university. The university has lost its sheen today, and now a few tawdry skyscrapers rise over the mounds of rusting zinc and bustling activity that characterise Nigeria’s third-largest city. Here, on Ibadan’s western fringes, shanty commerce rubs against gated residential compounds, and at the end of the track you enter one and find three buildings, in various stages of distress, around a car park.

You knock through the locked gate on the door of a ground-floor corner unit. When you are appraised through the keyhole, the gate will be unlocked and you will enter a living room with white plastic chairs set in makeshift pews around an altar, beneath a rainbow banner with the word peace painted on it. Pastor Jude Onwambor – a furniture salesman by day – will remind you that while you are to ‘comport yourselves decently’ on arrival in the compound, you are now free to take your feminine attire out of your bags and become your true selves, the ‘daughters’ or ‘darlings’ (dar-liiiiiiiiiiiings!) you really are.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

About the author

Mark Gevisser

Mark Gevisser is a South African author and journalist. His new book, The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), will...

More from this edition

Time to mention the war

Essay  The Queen? The Queen never been fuggin walk around here! Uncle Jimmy Pike, Walmajarri artist[i] IN 2002, BUNDJALUNG songman Archie Roach released ‘Move It On’, a...

Proud or shameful legacy

EssayIT IS TAKEN as a universally acknowledged truth in Western democracies that a strong rule-of-law tradition fosters stability and growth. Countless economic studies back...

Ties that (still) bind

IntroductionTWELVE YEARS AFTER William the Conqueror sailed across what is now known as the English Channel to invade England and claim the crown in...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.