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 work through A Nasty Boy—in 2017, Richard was named one of 40 Most Powerful Nigerians Under the Age of 40 in the 6th annual YNaija Powerlist, and later that year, he was nominated for The Future Award Africa’s esteemed, Prize for New Media Innovation Award.

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

Richard Akuson is an advocate for Asylum Rights and LGBTQ+ Rights in the U.S.


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