She Called Me Woman by Azeenarh Mohammed“We put together this collection of thirty narratives to correct the invisibility, the confusion, the caricaturising and the writing out of queer women from history.”
This stirring and intimate collection brings together 30 captivating narratives to paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. Covering an array of experiences - the joy and excitement of first love, the agony of lost love and betrayal, the sometimes-fraught relationship between sexuality and spirituality, addiction and suicide, childhood games and laughter - She Called Me Woman sheds light on how Nigerian queer women, despite their differences, attempt to build a life together in a climate of fear.
Through first-hand accounts, She Called Me Woman challenges us to rethink what it means to be a Nigerian ‘woman’, negotiating relationships, money, sexuality and freedom, identifying outside the gender binary, and the difficulties of achieving hopes and dreams under the constraints of societal expectations and legal terrorism.
These beautifully told stories of resistance and resilience reveal the realities of a community that refuses to be invisible any longer.
She Called Me Woman
She Called Me Woman is a collection of first-hand accounts by a community telling their stories on their own terms. What does it means to be a queer Nigerian? While some tell of self-acceptance, others talk of friendship and building a home in the midst of the anti-same sex marriage law. The narrators range from those who knew they were gay from a very early age to those who discovered their attraction to the same sex later in life. Azeenarh Mohammed is a trained lawyer and a queer, feminist, holistic security trainer who spends her time training non-for-profit organisations on tools and tactics for digital and physical security and psycho-social well-being. Chitra Nagarajan is an activist, researcher and writer. She has spent the last 15 years working on human rights and peace building and is involved in feminist, anti-racist, anti-fundamentalist and queer movements.
A celebration of female writers and their work.
To commemorate the launch of this ground-breaking collection of first-hand narratives from a cross section of queer Nigerian Women, the publisher has organised a synchronised revealing of the book and its cover pictured across several platforms, including MsAfropolitan. The cover is great, strong and vulnerable at one. I am confident it will be a game-changer and an eye-opener. The time is right to change the game too. It just seems like a growing number of Nigerian women are speaking about topics that are traditionally taboo. Women from a wide range of class, religion and educational backgrounds take the reader on a sometimes celebratory, sometimes troubled but always insightful journey into their everyday life.
This stirring and intimate collection brings together 30 unique narratives to paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. She Called Me Woman is full of beautifully told stories of resistance and resilience, joy and laughter, heartbreaks and victories, collecting the realities of a community that will no longer be invisible. Date: 26th April Azeenarh Mohammed is a trained lawyer and a queer, feminist, holistic security trainer who spends her time training non-for-profit organisations on tools and tactics for digital and physical security and psycho-social well-being. Chitra Nagarajan is an activist, researcher and writer. She has spent the last 15 years working on human rights and peace building and is involved in feminist, anti-racist, anti-fundamentalist and queer movements.
Had I done anything wrong? This book was not only fascinating to read, it was eye-opening. There were 25 stories from queer women, put together by three editors who traveled around Nigeria to ask questions that a lot of us ask about homosexuality. I can relate to them, not because I am gay, but because I am a woman who lives in the same patriarchal society they live in. I understand what it means to be feminine and to face certain types of treatment and have people expect so and so from you just because of your gender. To attain puberty is to fall into shame about your body, to see yourself as a sexual being that is there solely for the pleasure of men.