In many African countries, being gay often means being subject to shunning, stigma and persecution. The XIX International AIDS Conference offered gay Africans an opportunity to celebrate their sexuality openly.
July 25, 2012 Teah Wright, 31, left, of Liberia and Michael Ighodaro, 25, of Nigeria, are gay rights activists who attended the XIX International AIDS Conference. With D.C. as the backdrop, the men got to experience an openness about their sexual orientation that they rarely get to experience, particularly with fellow gay Africans, who have faced shunning, stigma and persecution back home. Shortly after meeting Ighodaro and Usaam Mukwaya, a 28-year-old Ugandan, Wright declared, “Friends, these are the best days of our lives.” Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post Buy Photo