Diriye Osman: Why We Must Tell Our Own Stories

"I write for anyone who has an interest in the lives of others, which is all readers. But my primary interest is in representing the complex but universal experience of Somalis. I do this because the media representation of the global Somali community is one that is carved out of derivative clichés. My book "Fairytales for Lost Children" was important for me to write as an openly gay Somali man because I was telling an untold story. Not all my future books will focus strictly on the gay Somali experience. My second short story collection-in-progress, "The Shape of Purity", examines the lives of feisty, rebellious Somali women and girls - straight, lesbian, transgender - as they deal with challenges."

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Culture Stats & Facts

  • Black African MSM appear twice as likely to contract HIV as other ethnic groups

    (Sigma Research, 2011)

  • BAME MSM make up 0.1% of the total population in the UK, but 13% of MSM diagnosed with HIV.

    (Nastal-3, PHE, 2013)

  • Black MSM are also twice as likely to report homophobic attacks in their local area compared to the white population - 13% compared to 6% respectively

    (Stonewall, 2013)