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PHOTO: Nigeria first crossdresser called Area Scatter

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The first crossdresser in Nigeria was Uzoma Odimara, also known as Area Scatter. Area Scatter was a musician who played the thumb piano and sang in a smooth voice in Aba, Eastern Nigeria.

Area Scatter was widely accepted in Nigeria during the 1970s, even after the civil war. He was known for wearing women’s clothing and blurring the line between masculinity and femininity.

Uzoma Odimara was active in the 1970s, before the 2014 Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act (SSMPA) was enacted in Nigeria.

At that time, there were no laws specifically criminalizing crossdressing or LGBTQ+ identity. While social attitudes towards gender nonconformity and sexuality were still complex and often conservative, Area Scatter was able to perform and express himself without facing the same level of legal persecution that LGBTQ+ individuals face today.

It’s important to note that social attitudes and cultural norms around gender and sexuality have evolved over time, and Area Scatter’s acceptance in the 1970s was likely influenced by a combination of factors.

The factors that contributed to Area Scatter’s acceptance in the 1970s include:

1. Cultural context: Nigeria had recently gained independence from British colonial rule, and there was a resurgence of interest in traditional culture and arts. Area Scatter’s music and performance style drew on traditional Igbo music and culture, which resonated with audiences.

2. Artistic talent: Area Scatter was a skilled musician and performer, and his talent and charisma helped to win over audiences and gain acceptance.

3. Social norms: While social attitudes towards gender nonconformity and sexuality were still conservative, there was a degree of tolerance and acceptance of gender fluidity in some traditional Nigerian cultures.

4. Urbanization and modernization: The 1970s were a time of rapid urbanization and modernization in Nigeria, and Area Scatter’s performances in cities like Lagos and Enugu helped to introduce new ideas and cultural expressions.

5. Political climate: The 1970s were a period of relative political stability and cultural renaissance in Nigeria, which created a space for artistic expression and experimentation.

These factors combined to create a unique cultural moment that allowed Area Scatter to gain acceptance and popularity as a crossdressing performer.

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