It’s day 11 of Pride Month and we have yet another LGBT Activist. Today, let’s talk about Alice Nkom, a lawyer from Cameroon who fought for LGBT rights around the world.
Alice Nkom was born on January 14th, 1945 in Poutkak, Cameroon in Africa. Nkom studied law at the University of Toulouse in France but came home to finish her studies and graduated from the Federal University of Cameroon in 1968. In 1969, Alice became the first black French-speaking woman to become an attorney in Cameroon. In 1976, she started working and was a stakeholder in Cameroon’s most prestigious law firms. Early in her career, Nkom worked hard to defend those who were of low income and vulnerable. She wanted to help the people who needed it most.
In 2003, Alice began to provide legal defense to LGBT+ people in Cameroon. Ya see, in Cameroon, homosexuality was against the law. Nkom really began to fight the legal system and protect LGBT people. She started the nonprofit Association for the Defense of Homosexuals, an organization working pro-bono in Cameroon and all over West Africa. Nkom’s work brought attention from all over the world.
Between 2003 and 2011, Alice was a part of 50 trails for LGBT+ people and helped free another 50 who were held without a trial. In 2011, the European Union granted the Association a grant of €300,000. The Cameroon government saw this money as a disregard for their laws and they threatened Alice with imprisonment, which never happened. That didn’t stop her.
She still is fighting for justice in her home country and in 2015, she spoke to people around the world, begging them to learn and grow.
Alice’s allyship is essential in all kinds of countries all over the world. Here is a map and list of counties around the world where being gay is criminalized. Homophobia is raging like a bonfire in Poland right now. Allies are needed around the world. What Alice has done has saved lives. She’s freed people who have been jailed and had their human rights violated. We need more Alice Nkoms in this world.
Thank you, Alice.
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