I know it’s been a while, I actually don’t even have any worthwhile excuse, I’m done with my masters though 💃. Today’s post is something I’ve always wanted to write about but didn’t for fear of the responses but mans grown now and can take the comments so be sure to leave some 😊.
Life is fun when you can be you. Life is great when you can be free. Freedom comes in various shapes and sizes. It means different things to different people and this is a story of how a certain person got theirs….
In 2015 when President Obama and the federal courts declared gay marriage legal in America, I watched it on CNN with my mother sitting beside me. I couldn’t be happy for so many reasons, one was the fact that my mother was sitting beside me and would wonder why or maybe confirm her biggest fear and the another was that in the country I lived in, homosexuality was criminalised just over a year before.
My name is Alex and I am a 26 year old homosexual living in Nigeria.
I was born this way, that’s what I like to say and it had to be true, I had dated people of the opposite gender before, hell even had a whole hoe phase, neither ever seemed to get me off and I never wanted anything more with any of them. When I was younger, much younger, I had my first experience with someone of the same gender, I was a child, it’s believed that we all ‘experiment’, for me however, it was always much more. I always wanted to be the the typical opposite gender whenever we played games, I know, gender roles, but it was what I thought I was best at. I attended a Catholic high school with everyone the same sex, very stereotypical, I know, there, I was basically in love with my bestfriend though I had no idea then and when we stopped being best friends, it entirely broke me. That was my first heartbreak and dare I say, as I told myself then, my last.
I was very much closeted, I mean, you couldn’t walk down the street in Lagos without at least one man telling you about how his pastor told him you were the one or how he had a dream about you, or how a woman was certain you were hers, the weeks didn’t go by without hearing about how a woman had been gangraped in a bid to ‘cure’ her or how a man had been beaten to death cause he was behaving very effeminate. I had to survive, the church I’d attended all my life said I was going to burn in hell if I was with another consenting adult of the same sex, so I remained very much in the closet, telling absolutely no one, hell I didn’t even tell myself.
It took a while for me to accept that I was the way I was. The media probably helped me, having friends who knew I was different in a way they didn’t understand but couldn’t care less about the difference helped as well. In my adult life, my first proper experience with someone of the same gender confirmed all my fears, I was hella gay, not half, not unsure but completely gay. I was lucky not to be in Nigeria during this period, cause boy did I really ‘hoe’. I also got into my first proper emotional relationship and I knew everything was right because of how I felt. It didn’t last too long but we remained friends.
I am currently not in Nigeria, I couldn’t take it. I was fortunate enough to not have my university education in the country, my time spent during holidays was enough to let me know I wouldn’t be able to cope with the outright homophobia and discrimination that were met with no legal ramifications. I got a job in the country I did my university education in and have now successfully gotten my residency.
I still visit, I mean my parents live there, family is there, I’m not out to my parents, I know they know though, they stopped asking about marriage when they came to visit and met my ‘roommate’. I can hold my partner’s hands and even kiss them on the streets and in the club without being sneered at. I am free, I am happy.
This is a fictional tale but culled from different peoples’ lives. I tried to make it genderless as it is the tale of so many people, male and female. It’s interesting that there’s still a country people can’t live in because they would be attacked for loving someone of the same gender. I know it’s a long shot but I long for the day homosexuality is just a sexual identity and not a reason for spending 14 years in prison. I mean Nigeria is a country and not a religious house in the end.
I would love comments on this and I look forward to them.