Richard Akuson

Photography by Terna Iwar

Richard Akuson, Esq., is a 25-year-old Nigerian trained attorney with degrees in Law from NSU, Keffi, and Nigerian Law School, Lagos. Richard was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in December of 2017, as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

In February of 2017, partly inspired by his undergraduate research thesis titled ‘Human Rights and The Anti-Gay Laws of The Federal Republic of Nigeria’— and his personal lived experience growing up gay in Nigeria, Richard founded A Nasty Boy.

Through powerful visuals and moving personal essays, A Nasty Boy sought to affirm and validate LGBTQ+ Nigerians. The publication pushed 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 the lives and experiences of LGBTQ+ Nigerians.

For his disruptive advocacy and activism through A Nasty Boy—in 2017, Richard was nominated for The Future Award Africa’s esteemed, New Media Innovation Award. In the same year, he was named one of ’40 Most Powerful Nigerians Under the Age of 40′ in the 6th annual Ynaija Powerlist.

In July of 2018, Richard arrived in the US after fleeing Nigeria upon a life-threatening homophobic attack in his hometown, Akwanga. Richard is currently seeking asylum in the US on the basis of his political opinion and sexual orientation.

Richard Akuson is a committed advocate for Refugee Rights, and dedicated LGBTQ+ Rights activist in the U.S.

 

Click here to read my Op-Ed article for CNN.