Innanoshe Richard Akuson

Photography by Terna Iwar

Richard, now Innanoshe Richard Akuson, is a 26-year-old New York Times published writer, lawyer, and LGBTQ+ rights activist with a law degree from the prestigious Nigerian Law School, Lagos. (In December 2017, he was admitted to the Nigerian Bar as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.)


On February 19, 2017, Richard founded A Nasty Boy, Nigeria’s first fashion magazine that examines the beauty and radical existence of queer NigeriansThrough compelling visual and personal essays, A Nasty Boy seeks to affirm and validate the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ Nigerians. The platform pushes back on Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act—the federal law that criminalizes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people on the grounds of gender and sexual identity—by humanizing and normalizing LGBTQ+ Nigerians.


For his activism and disruptive work through A Nasty Boy, Richard was named a Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Change-maker in 2019. In January 2020, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians by Africa’s leading rating agency, Avance Media. In 2017, Richard was named one of the 40 Most Powerful Nigerians Under the Age of 40 in YNaija magazine, and later that year, he was nominated for the prestigious The Future Award Africa’s Prize for New Media Innovation.


Go here to read Richard’s New York Times essay, “This is Quite Gay.”