On gay rights, young Africans share the intolerance of their elders

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Gay Africans demanding equality face a violent backlash

When gay Nigerians took to the streets to join massive protests against police brutality last year, it was not just the police who attacked them. Fellow protesters also hurled insults at them, ripped up their rainbow flags and tore placards from their hands. “I felt like a lot of people just wanted me dead,” says Matthew Blaise, a 21-year-old student.

In many parts of the world the young are far more tolerant than their elders of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) people. But with a few exceptions, such as in Botswana, which decriminalised homosexuality in 2019, young Africans seem to be almost as homophobic as their grandparents.

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