"As a young girl, I struggled a lot with my sexuality. I didn’t know how to describe my relationship to women, I didn’t even know the word lesbian. Unfortunately I got caught out by my parents and it escalated into so much struggle and stress that I have been carrying around and holding ever since. I was punished and beaten – they tried to circumcise me. I would say that they tried to do exorcism on me. I kept everything bottled up and was very careful the whole time I was with them. They brought in scriptures to say it’s wrong, you are not allowed to do it, to try and make me believe that way. It is not allowed in the family, it is not allowed as a child of God. It’s such a pity because through travelling I have realised that God is not partial and he loves us no matter what and who we are. As a lesbian, I have grown to understand that I am happy when I accept who I am.

I have a lot of messages to share: it is a pity that people are still struggling in my country, Nigeria. I have seen videos and pictures of people being maimed and murdered because of their sexuality. The same things that happened to me. It triggers so many emotions for me. If there is any way that I can help women from my country who are lesbians, I will do it."

I was/ I am/ I will be

Raolat's photos:

This project was in collaboration with Autograph and Fast Forward: Woman in Photography. We are so grateful for their support in making this happen! Find out more about the project and how to purchase the book, Putting Ourselves in the Picture, here.

Check out more Rainbow Sisters photography here!

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