I’m a 27 year old gay man (whew, even typing it out feels very liberating) in Nigeria, and my story mirrors that of countless queer people.
At ten, I kissed a boy and this was a moment of reckoning in which I was able to ascertain my sexuality. I, like many others, grappled and struggled with it because I understood the implication of this, but in due time I came to accept it. I so accepted it that I almost came out to my family but, well, family can sometimes be the biggest detriment to your truest sense of self.
“I’d rather I had never had a son than a gay one.” Those words coming out of my mother’s mouth still haunt me to this very day.
My first romantic relationship didn’t pan out well due to us having trauma we had both not resolved, leading to a very unhealthy dynamic. Then came my friends assimilating by marrying women, which just left me hollow because I knew my day of reckoning was beckoning and I’d have to answer the dreaded question, “where is your wife?”.
I did plan on my 25th birthday that at my 40th birthday I’d take the power away from them by taking my own life, but am I really reclaiming my power or deluding myself? I remind myself I’m not the only one struggling: there are children being trafficked into sex slavery, trans women who get killed and so many people navigating life with so much fear. Maybe this is my way of coping.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, whether I will choose to come out, assimilate into heteronormativity or reach a place of committing suicide. One thing is sure though: none of the options is an easy path to tread and I’m gonna struggle either way. So say a prayer for me.
To find out how you can share your story with the Quietly Queer Collective, please send an email to forcolourfulgirls(at)gmail(dot)com.
Share this post with your circle or someone specific by clicking any of the social icons below (consider using the #QuietlyQueer hashtag on Twitter & Facebook). Also, each author has the link to their publication, so feel free to leave a loving word for them in the comment section.