As an African seeing James Baldwin’s “Price of the Ticket” fired a
life long interest in gender politics in me. Since then I have read
Baldwin’s “Go tell it to the Mountain,” “Giovanni’s Room” and “Fire
The Next Time” which explore issues of sexuality, race and
In “Go Tell It To The Mountain,” the unfortunate plight of Eddy, a
black gay man who committed suicide rather than live with his
sexuality within an intolerant community is a stark reminder of the
daily lives of transgender and intersex people whom today seem left
out to dry by the larger LGB community. How many deaths are necessary
before we understand than really, “together we stand divided we fall”
is not just another throw away remark.
At the time, I was so aware of the mutedness of any comparable black
lesbian writer (not to mention transgender or intersex writer) of the
same status in Nigeria at the time but Baldwin surpassed his gayness
as a writer that could reach everyone irrespective of their sex,
sexuality or gender identity.