Photos: LGBTQ Africans express identity in ‘(Limit)less’ ways

“I think the world tends to place African and LGBTQ identities in opposition with each other,” Odera, a queer Nigerian-American, said to photographer Mikael Owunna. “I am lucky because, I have built a home and inner fire within myself that simply does not accept the binary. And it certainly doesn’t accept others defining my identity. It simply isn’t in my nature.” Photo by Mikael Owunna

LGBTQ African immigrants are the heart of “Limit(less),” a photography documentary project that illuminates the lives of first and second-generation LGBTQ Africans in the diaspora.

Photographer Mikael Owunna‘s childhood as a queer Nigerian-American informed his work and the creation of the project, he said. Owunna said he wanted to document the “limitless” ways in which LGBTQ Africans live multifaceted lives while navigating a society that views their multiple identities as mutually exclusive.

“It’s always been a struggle for me trying to resolve these two aspects of my identity,” Owunna said. “Because this rhetoric that LGBTQ Africans are ‘un-African’ has been weaponized against me, I’ve dealt with so much stuff from my own family in terms of homophobia. So that’s been always on my mind, struggling with these two parts of my identity.”