Sierra Leone: Take a look inside the House of Kings and Queens, a LGBTI refuge in Sierra Leone

There is a house in Sierra Leone that has no electricity, no running water, but it is filled with kings and queens. This inconspicuous home in Freetown belongs to a transgender woman, who we will call Queen Nicki to protect her identity.

Most of all it is a refuge to the city’s LGBTI community. The people who have been kicked out, forced to flee from persecution, have a safety net.  And in the House of Kings and Queens, as they call it, they are free to be who they are.

While the location and its inhabitants are kept secret for their safety, they have given a window into their unique lives of struggle and striving for peace and happiness. International documentary photographer Lee Price, commissioned by Hull, has created a collection to show what it means to be a LGBTI person in Sierra Leone.

The punishment for being gay in the West African country is forced penal servitude – for life. But even if they are not arrested, LGBTIs still face harassment, ridicule, eviction and violence.

‘There is so much homophobia in Sierra Leone’

‘There is so much homophobia in my country,’ Queen Nicki told Gay Star News. ‘When people come to the house, they are lost. They have been beaten, they have been attacked, they have been raped.  Read more via Gay Star News