I’m traveling in West Africa on my annual win-a-trip journey, a global reporting expedition on which I take a university student to highlight issues that deserve more attention.
My winner this year is Maddie Bender, a recent Yale graduate (the pandemic delayed our trip) — and with that, I’m handing the rest of the column over to her.
By Maddie Bender FREETOWN, Sierra Leone — When Abdul was a teenager and coming to terms with being gay, he was attacked by a group of men.
They mocked him with homophobic slurs and assaulted him with broken beer bottles, slicing his thumb open. He reported the incident to the police and was told that an arrest could be made — of him, for homosexuality.