It’s been years in the making and, finally, it will be published this time next month (26th April) by Cassava Republic Press.
Here is some information about the book:
“We decided to put together this collection of narratives to correct the invisibility, the confusion, the caricaturising and the writing out of history.”
This stirring and intimate collection brings together 25 unique 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.
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.
Azeenarh, Rafeeat and I spent years of our lives interviewing narrators, working with them to develop their narratives, analysing themes and finalising this book and I am so happy that it will be out in the world very soon.
You can read an overview of a Twitter chat that the three of us had with Y Naija about the erasure of queer women in Nigerian society here. It talks about how the book came to be, the origin of its title and memorable experiences putting the book together as well as how queer people are treated in Nigeria, Western influence on discussions around sexuality, the historical existence of queer people in Nigeria, what it means to be out and ways the book explores the Nigerian female experience.
We also have our first review! Brittle Paper’s Cisi Eze said that She Called Me Woman: Nigeria’s Queer Women Speak ‘transcends beautiful. This history-making opus will shake the tables our collective homophobia – internalised and externalised – sits on. Its daringness will embolden us to take off the heavy, dark, velvety silence that has draped talks of Other sexualities.’ You can read the whole review here.
After so many years, I can’t believe that our book will be out and shared with the world in just one month’s time. You can pre-order it here and keep updated by following
#SheCalledMeWoman on Twitter.