Every day during the month of June, we will be spotlighting our 2021 Logo30. This powerful series profiles ordinary and extraordinary people who show pride in unique and provocative ways. Visit the Logo30 homepage to view current and past honorees.
For Edafe Okporo, Pride is everything.
Born in Warri, Nigeria, Okporo migrated to the United States in 2016 as a refugee seeking asylum from anti-gay persecution. He’s since made a name for himself as an author, educator, and activist for global LGBTQ+ equality. Okporo is also the founder of The Pont, a diversity and inclusion consulting company, and the former executive director of New York’s RDJ Refugee Shelter, which helps homeless refugees and asylum-seekers transition into life in America.
To migrate to America and be honored alongside these change-makers, activists, and artists makes me feel a sense of survivor guilt. I know there are hundreds of people fighting each day to make the world a better place. In spite, I'm honored to add a drop to the ocean. #pride https://t.co/dLmuspzrE4
— Edafe Okporo, He/him (@EdafeOkporo) June 1, 2021
“I came from Nigeria, and in my country, I can’t celebrate Pride,” Okporo tells Logo. “So when I arrived in America, I was too afraid to go to Pride the first year. The next year, I decided to join a float of immigrants in Pride.”
While marching in that fateful first parade, Okporo remembers seeing people flock to the barricades on the sidelines. “I went to the side of parade, and I just painted peoples’ faces with rainbows,” he shares. “And it reminded me of the struggle that got me here: the want to be free in America. That was the most memorable Pride moment for me, knowing that I am part of a community.”
Learn more about Okporo, including his Pride anthem for 2021, in the video below.