I am gay. A gay Nigerian. In a country like Nigeria writing – for me – is therapeutic in handling my sexuality.
I am single as of this time of writing. I chose to remain single. But that decision has slipped into irrelevance.
It has not been easy accepting my sexuality. I am effeminate. When I was sixteen I tried to “man-up” to become normal. I failed, miserably. It seemed my attempts at being manly made me less manly. A (figurative) slap from my mother brought me to my senses.
According to my mother I had become rude, mechanical and not the boy she raised. She wanted me to be myself, own myself and love myself. To think I was changing because of her; I heard her describe homosexuality as a sin from the pit of hell. I feared she would think of me as coming from the pit of hell. So I hid. I hid in a false sense of manliness.
Today I am 23. I feel grateful for being a poor actor, unable to hide myself. Because after the slap, life went back to being filled with lots of love, joy and laughter. And I still have this love, joy and laughter.
In Nigeria people don’t understand what it means to be gay. It’s hard to blame them though. Even as a gay man I don’t know what it is. All I know is that I find men sexually attractive. Seeing a hot man is like taking a cool bath on a warm day. I get all tingly inside. And sometimes, if the man is hot enough, I feel faint. I want to rip their clothes off and bask in the glow of their nakedness. A muscle chiselled man in just black spandex is one of the best sights to behold.
Girls are my sisters. I find the experience of sexual attraction (straight) men have towards women perplexing. I don’t understand it, much like I don’t understand why I am sexually attracted to men. All I know is that it’s the norm. I consider straight people lucky. They can love freely, kiss openly and have sex all they want without feeling there is something wrong about them.
I chose to be single because I needed to accept the premise that there is nothing wrong in being gay. It feels right to fall in love, be loved and love who I fall in love with. Open myself to fuck, be fucked and interpret it as making love.
I came out to my family in 2013. The day after I came out to them I felt like dying. It was an awful feeling. So raw. So open. So vulnerable. But they greeted me as though I had told them I was fair – people call me biracial because I am light-skinned: We laughed. We ate. We drank. And I lived another day. Up till today. To think my mother told me she doesn’t understand homosexuality but she’ll always love me and be there for me.
We don’t talk about it much now. Sex and boyfriend/girlfriend relationship isn’t an open topic in most homes in Nigeria, at least not in the part I come from.
As a human being I thrive. Thriving is the only option. It’s the reason I have begun this blog. There is something exciting about being anonymous, an anonymous writer. I can be reckless, free and unlimited. I feel that way as I write this.
Homosexuality in Nigeria ‘does not exist’. Gay people are in the shadows, in a place that fails to see a fundamental part of who they are. But I can’t complain. I am reaping the good fruits of their (for lack of a better term) ignorance. They are blind to that part of me. If I wear it like a crown they bow without knowing what they are bowing to. I choose to be anonymous because coming out to Nigerians is counterproductive and trivial (at this point in time). The important few know and accept me for who I am and I accept myself. That’s all that matters.