OUT. PROUD. FREE
My name is Daniel Oluyomi Asaya aka Dan Yomi. Born and raised in ‘Naija’…and studied MSc Information Technology at Bournemouth University in the U.K where I got elected to represent over 18,000 students as the first Black President of the Student’s Union for two years.
I’d describe myself as a people person; I play three musical instruments (Violin, Flute, Keyboard). I’m also passionate about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.
I came out as a gay man to my family and the world in October, 2018 and if you’re wondering what happened, your guess may be as good as mine.
Coming out can be a difficult experience for Queer People of Colour and this can be down to many factors – one being the lack of representation/visibility in the mainstream of everything (from media, to politics and other facets of life).
Growing up as a Queer African, societal rhetoric led me to believe that being gay was a “white thing” that it wasn’t African and you know what they say – “you can’t be what you can’t see”. However, one of the positive outcomes for me has been that I have connected with so many people. Most especially self-identifying African Queer individuals…many who are still on their journey to self-discovery and acceptance? During the same month I came out, I also lost my very close friend. My friend struggled with their mental health prior to their death. We both were very passionate about raising awareness on ‘Black Mental Health’ - a topic that’s not normally talked about especially within the Black community.
All these reasons and more have seen the birth of “Living Free with Dan” – an online platform aimed at spotlighting the issues as well as creating a safe space and opportunity to connect with people like myself and/or my friend. I want to use my story and experience as well as the stories of others to dispel the myths around African Queerness and African Mental Health as I strongly believe this will go a long way in inspiring others to believe in themselves, accept who they are, not feel ashamed to talk about their mental health and know it’s OKAY to not be OKAY.
Please join me on this journey and together, we can be the change we want to see.
Solidary and Love,