This is one of the last photos my ex-girlfriend took of me. She is closeted, so I will not name her.

One of my neighbours drives the same type of car as my ex-girlfriend. It is a car that makes a distinctive sound, three beeps in rapid succession, every time it is locked. In our year together, I learned to associate this sound with her. Three beeps in rapid succession outside my window, and my heart rate would rise.

At first, the spike was my excited anticipation of her spontaneous laughter whenever I rushed to hug her; the unique, incredible scent that lingered in my bedroom long after she was gone; the way she would crinkle her smiling eyes at me…


Once upon a time, there was a little boy named ****. Or there could have been a little boy named ****, but his mothers didn’t know how to hold each other.

This little boy’s mothers loved each other very much, from a part of the heart so deep inside that neither of them even knew it was there. This part of their hearts hid itself away when they were little girls learning that they should be afraid of the world and how it turns people into weapons. It was the part of their hearts that didn’t know what to do…


I guess now we know!

If you’re invested in dictionary definitions, the gender binary and a social order regulated by violence, this isn’t for you.

Last weekend, a very famous author posted a tweet in support of a woman who’d lost a court case in which she attempted to get legal backing for her transmisogyny. It created a firestorm of debate about who ‘gets to be’ a woman, and what that definition might mean for people who are generally able to consider themselves women without much impediment.

I contributed to the conversation with a few heartfelt threads about the need for solidarity across cis and…


The Correspondent’s Othering Correspondent, OluTimehin Adegbeye. Photo: Lise Straatsma/The Correspondent

Our new Othering correspondent explains why she’s joining The Correspondent

I’ve long dreaded the question: “What do you do?”

My career path so far has been an unpredictable trek through uncleared forest, with nothing but strong opinions and even stronger convictions as my guide.

I came to my convictions via motherhood; the opinions have been a permanent feature since I could first form words. For the past few years I have worked as a writer, public speaker and general disturber-of-the-status-quo, operating from the position that things are not as they should be, but that stories have the power to change this.

In introducing myself to my new colleagues at The…


I was on Twitter this morning when I stumbled on this video made by the Government of Ontario about the need for bystander intervention in instances of sexual violation. It made my heart stop. It almost made me cry. (It didn’t. Maybe that’s because I’m very, very tired of crying.)

Earlier this year I felt forced to go public about the fact that Andre Blaze Henshaw sexually assaulted me. This was because the BBC had put both of us on a broadcast about #MeToo and toxic masculinity in Nigeria without my foreknowledge, then refused to edit or take down…


2009

In my first year of university, I was generally naked or close to it in my dorm room, even though the windows didn’t have any curtains. My building was on a slight rise so no one outside could see in, and my roommates were almost always away. Mostly, I spent my solitude on the phone, lying about my state of undress to a man who justified his inappropriate lusts by repeatedly remarking how mature I was for my age. But sometimes I had company.

I don’t remember how the thing with her started; all I know is that one day…


So.

In the fight to reclaim my body

To redraw boundaries blithely bounded over

(a body is a body, but a body can be burgled,

broken

and entered

by men who pass by mirrors and have no reflection

men who piss on the world and call it rain

men who think — if they are able —

that the world is theirs to piss on, in the initial instance);

In that fight, in this fight,

this naming of intruders into the body I live in,

this claiming of ownership of the body I live in,

this clamouring for protection for…


Otodo Gbame Demolition, 17 March 2017 (image credit: JEI)

Tina Houngbo is a pleasant, mild-mannered mother of five children. Laughing self-consciously, she says she isn’t quite sure how old she is because none of her mother’s children were registered at birth or went to school. She asserts that she always knew she wanted better opportunities for her own children and for her, part of that was securing their birth certificates.

Most of Tina’s children were born in the sparsely staffed and/or equipped but functional government-funded clinics near the fishing community where she grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Thus, it was relatively easy for her to register their birth with…


I wrote this piece around this time two years ago. I come back to it — usually unintentionally — about twice a year, and it always feels like a long hug from me to me. I hope it feels at least a little bit like that for you too. The original is on my former blogspot site, along with 3 years’ worth of writing from #babyfem Timehin haha. Happy Women’s Month!

Darling, everything feels like the end of the world when you’re fifteen. By the time you’re twenty-one, you will have learnt that nothing really is. You’re such a sharp…


“I‘m really just a good girl flirting with the dark side.

I like how you shock me, how the undertones in your voice stir me, how laughing at what you say feels like I’m letting you touch me in ways that would first worry, then thrill me…

I like how you say exactly what you want — how I can never quite figure it out on my own— because it makes you so much more exciting. …

OluTimehin Adegbeye

Writer. Queer. Feminist. Yoruba. Mama of one precocious child. ohtimehin.com

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