Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor



AIDS: Talking 'Skin' with author Biodun Abudu
by John J. Accrocco

This article shared 3780 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Chicago author Biodun Abudu's debut novel, Tales of My Skin is a book about one man's journey from Africa to the United States. This book confronts issues of sexual orientation, HIV and identity of teens in two different cultures that have more in common than meets the eye.

John J. Accrocco: Who do you hope to reach with this novel?

Biodun Abudu: Mainly, I hope this book reaches the LGBT community and the parents of any LGBT children or anyone who has questions about the LGBT lifestyle. It's a book for anyone who is looking for love and finding it in the wrong places. It's a book of advice for people in these situations.

JA: Tell me about your life, what is your story?

BA: I was born in Rhode Island, but a few years later I was relocated to Nigeria. My parents had a bad separation in the '90s and my mom thought it was best to protect me by taking me back to Nigeria. She felt the schooling was better there. I returned to the United States to pursue my dreams of working in fashion, which is considered inappropriate there. In Nigeria, to do my drag shows and costume designing and even to write this book would have been impossible. I found a school in Chicago where I had some family living and it felt like a good idea. I attended the International Academy of Design & Technology and finished with a B.A. in Fashion Merchandising.

JA: What prompted you to write this novel?

BA: It's a story that I think people need to hear. When adults look into teens' eyes, so often they don't see that they have stories to tell, stories that would frighten them. In my country, being gay is against the law, but there's this huge underground LGBT scene and people don't even know to protect themselves, that five minutes of pleasure could cost them their lives.

JA: What was the writing and publishing process like for you?

BA: It took me about two years to actually finish the book: about a year and a half to write it and then another six months of editing and finding a publisher.

I found my publisher [ Lalibra Books ] on a Facebook ad, believe it or not. It was this new company in California and I emailed their editor and told them about myself and my novel. I'm actually the first author aside from the editor. She loved it, and from there we began the editing and discussing the contracts. Privacy was something we had to concern ourselves with since a lot of the book is based on a few people I know.

JA: What kind of books does Lalibra usually publish?

BA: Well, it's mostly self-publishing, as I said I'm one of the first authors. I went with them because their prices were pretty reasonable and because they got back to me so soon. I could have waited around for an Indie publisher, but rather than waiting for them to notice me, which can sometimes take years, I knew that I had to get my message out there and start saving lives right away.

JA: Do you plan on publishing any more novels?

BA: Definitely. I'm hoping to release a book of poems soon. My next novel I think is going to be about a family member dealing with drug addiction.

JA: What specific LGBT issues is your novel addressing?

BA: It talks about HIV and the online addiction and how the LGBT world struggles in the world of dating. It also is about rape victims and about parents who aren't always there for their kids. In Nigeria, people want to think that there is no LGBT scene and this book discusses it.

JA: What do you mean by the LGBT world struggling with dating and online addiction? What is the correlation?

BA: For example, if a person for certain reasons can't get a real "date", they'll start turning to websites like AdamforAdam and Grindr. It's so easy for people on this site to go from guy to guy, place to place in just one night. This poses a serious danger for people on these sites who are really looking for love and think that this is the only way to find it. There are also people on these sites who only make profiles to scam people and it's usually hard to detect until it's too late. Young men also fall prey to older men with bad intentions who use these sites. The scariest thing I think about is that everyone lists themselves as HIV-, which in reality is just not true.

JA: Is your novel your truth or someone else's?

BA: Some of it is me. It's mostly my friend's truth. I blended some of his life with mine and to protect him, I don't discuss which parts are him and which parts are not.

JA: What are your goals as a writer?

BA: I want to create avenues for youth to speak their truths. Adults want to shut us up because they don't always like the truth, but more young people should speak up to save lives. Without the right people giving you advice, it's really easy to go down the wrong paths and I've seen so many people in my life give up and stop pursuing their goals.

JA: How have sales been so far?

BA: Surprisingly good. I'm at about 200 sales, mostly through Amazon. I'm getting a lot of buyers in Nigeria, Zambia and even a few in London. The book has only been out since October, so I'm very hopeful. I've done a few readings, one at the Center on Halsted. So far no stores are carrying the book but I am talking to a few local bookstores.

Tales of My Skin is available on in a digital and paperback edition.

This story is part of the Local Reporting Initiative, supported in part by The Chicago Community Trust.

This article shared 3780 times since Wed Feb 8, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

World AIDS Day: GLAAD releases 2022 State of HIV Stigma Study
-- From a press release - (New York, NY - December 1, 2022) GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, is releasing its third annual State of HIV Stigma ...

Gay News

Bulls, Blackhawks lose; Lightfoot-Fire FC link
The Chicago Bulls (9-12) fell to the Phoenix Suns (15-6) 132-113 in Arizona on Nov. 30, dropping the Bulls to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Phoenix now leads the Western Conference. Devin Booker scored 51 for ...

Gay News

Book censorship focus of public comments at Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting
During the closed door portion of the regularly scheduled Lincolnwood Public Library Board of Trustees meeting Nov. 28 at Lincolnwood Village Hall, Library Defense members hosted a Freadom Book Swap outside of the building. Library Defense ...

Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week
"I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...

Gay News

VIEWPOINT What are the most banned books: take a guess
The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...

Gay News

Opinion: What are the most banned books? Take a guess.
The Latin word for book is liber. It is also the Latin word for "free," as in not a slave but a person who enjoys freedom (liberty). The word library means a home for books, a place of liberation, a sacred ...

Gay News

Lambda Legal challenges anti-HIV military policy
Lambda Legal filed a legal challenge to the U.S. military policy that prevents people living with HIV from enlisting in the U.S. Armed Forces, according to a press release. The current policy requires that applicants for ...

Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884;; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...

Gay News

National AIDS Memorial names 2022-2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship recipients
-- From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO, California, Nov. 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The National AIDS Memorial has announced its 2022/2023 Pedro Zamora Young Leaders scholars, its largest and most diverse class ever, providing ...

Gay News

Sheryl Lee Ralph producing HIV/AIDS documentary
Recent Emmy winner Sheryl Lee Ralph has signed on to produce Unexpected, a documentary short about women of color living with HIV in the South, Variety reported. Directed by Zeberiah Newman, the film will chronicle Masonia ...

Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more
—COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH bell hooks: A voice of love, activism and intersectionality
When bell hooks died on Dec. 15, 2021, it was a gut punch. There was no time when bell hooks' extraordinary writing and feminist and lesbian theorizing was not part of the queer community. There was ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ HISTORY MONTH Podcast sheds light on forgotten murders of gay men in Montreal
When people ask about or Google the murders of gay men in Montreal in the '90s, it all leads to the podcast "The Village: The Montreal Murders." LGBTQ+-rights advocates encouraged me to listen to the podcast. ...

Gay News

Former Chicago Ald. Helen Shiller hosts book launch and reception
Publishing house Haymarket Books presented a book-signing and interview session with longtime LGBTQ+ ally and former Chicago Ald. Helen Shiller on Oct. 17. Shiller was interviewed by noted Chicago Tribune ...

Gay News

BOOKS Lesbian co-author discusses 'No More Police: A Case for Abolition'
"We don't need all the answers to start down the road toward where we want to go: a world where everyone has safety, food, clean water, shelter, education, health, art, beauty, and rest."—No More Police: A ...


Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.