Homosexuality in many African countries is considered a Western import and an aberrant behavior. As a result of the homophobic climate in some of these countries, sexual minorities, especially men who have sex with men (MSM), migrate to countries such as Canada to live freely. However, some of them encounter difficulties in assimilating in diasporic communities as queer men and in queer communities as black men. Feminist ethnographic research that examined the way in which the men adapt, negotiate, and resist the limitations of their marginalization was conducted in Ottawa and Toronto.
Interviews with ten African MSM suggest that the men choose to compartmentalize their identities in order to exist in oppressive spaces. For some of the men, the ability to do so was productive. For others, it was oppressive.