Limit(less) Project: LGBTQ African Friendship (Kim & Sizwe)

Limit(less) is a documentary photography project by Mikael Owunna exploring the visual aesthetics of LGBTQ African immigrants. 

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LGBTQ African Friendship

Kim: Trans Burundian (Canada) & Sizwe: Queer Burundian (Canada)

By: Mikael Owunna

This week on #LimitlessAfricans, we will be doing something a bit different and exploring photographically what LGBTQ African community means and the importance of having that support network. 

For me personally, I grew up feeling like I was totally alone and that I was the only LGBTQ African person out there. Now- after doing this work for 3 years now - that seems ridiculous, but as a teenage queer nigerian kid in Pittsburgh, PA- how was I to know better? And I didn’t know how much it hurt feeling like I was the only one until I saw how relieved I felt when I met other people like me and built that community (first virtually and then in person - s/o to @odera my first queer african friend <3). Meeting other LGBTQ Africans validated my identity as a queer African person in such a powerful way, in the face of a world that told me that I could not and should not exist. That I was “un-African,” deficient for not being white, femme and inherently invaluable as such and more.  

Finding and building that community of LGBTQ Africans is part of the reason that I started #LimitlessAfricans, and it’s been incredible - to say the least - going from knowing ZERO other LGBTQ Africans in my early teens to now knowing dozens. <3. And getting to share all of these amazing people’s stories on www.limitlessafricans.com so that other people who might feel like they’re the only ones (like I did) realize that we’re not alone

It was such a pleasure to photograph Sizwe - Queer Burundian Person- and Kim - Trans Burundian Woman - both separately and together this summer and explore what LGBTQ African Friendship and Community looks like and the impact it has on our lives. Will be sharing their group photos over the course of the week, and you can check out their full individual interviews below as well:  

Read Kim’s Full Interview: HERE 

Read Sizwe’s Full Interview: HERE