About Straight People And All The Congratulations They Deserve For Being Accepting

About Straight People And All The Congratulations They Deserve For Being Accepting

So previously on Facebook, the post below was made:

***

Straight friend: Can you not go a day talking without involving your sexuality? Everything isn’t about who you are attracted to.

Okay. I look away. Me, feeling embarrassed, changes the channel to CNN. Anderson Cooper pops up on the screen, looking like the silver fox that he is.

Me: Yassss zaddy ? yasssss ?.

Then I catch my friend’s side eye all over me, looking at me like I am crazy.

Me: sorry. ?

I keep quiet again. CNN gets boring, and he changes the channel to African Magic, and there is RMD in all his glory. That man can fine for Africa. ?

Me: yassss my pussy?. Hooho, my ovaries. Yassss zaddy ?

Friend’s side-eye yet again. I sigh and say sorry.I keep quiet again.At the sharwama spot that evening, the guy making the sharwama is so cute ?

Me: Oh wow. He’s so hot. If only he can serve it to me hot at home.??

This time, no side eye. My friend looks me squarely in the face. ?

Me: What? I said ‘if only’. I didn’t say I wanted to. ?

Him: You can’t help it, can you? ?

Me: No, I can’t. Deal with it. ?

Silence. As we walk home, a car pulls up. A young man steps out, looking dashing as fuck.

Friend: Now, that’s a zaddy!

Me: yasssss???? yassssss bitch ??????

That’s the kind of straight friend most gay men in Nigeria would give anything to have. The one that sticks with you and doesn’t judge you for who you are. The one that sees your crazy and doesn’t run away. In fact, he even brings his own crazy along.

***

Following this update, there ensued a furious discourse on several issues – primarily, the notion that straight people who are prejudiced against gay people, in whatever amounts, be commended whenever they happen to get open-minded, the issue of not feeling secure enough to set your straight friend aright whenever he tries to police you, however subtly or overtly, on your sexuality, and the question of how to handle situations where straight friends, who know you’re gay and seem to have accepted that about you, don’t get it right with you concerning your sexuality.

On the heels of this online debate, here’s what Rapum has to say:

***

I started coming out before I even knew what that phrase meant. Thinking of it, I’ve not been in a closet the way my friends are. If I am in an environment where the power dynamic is levelled (that is, if you are not an older member of my family or the police or a total stranger) I let myself be, so that people often wonder: Wait, you can’t be, it’s a lie. This sense of being totally at ease stems, I know, from the privilege of charm and eloquence (I cringe, this sounds awfully conceited), and yet in the beginning, I always felt enormous gratitude and pride at being ‘accepted’ for who I am. Many of my gay friends consolidated, even encouraged, these feelings of gratitude and pride. “You are so lucky,” some said, looking at me with wonder in their eyes, and I began to feel like the acceptance of me was an achievement.

At a point however, this sense of gratefulness calcified into self-loathing. It feels good to be able to talk to my friends about boys the same way they talk to me about girls – but I can have these conversations with my ‘gurls’. So why did I feel extra joy at having them with my straight friends?

This is my thinking: I expected, subliminally, violence, but each dose of tenderness buoyed me.

My dear friend, Oozy, straight-as-fuck-but-a-gay-rights-Nazi, is stubborn. Sometimes he says things that are silly, such as once saying that “Now that Romeo Oriogun has become an important poet, he would have to diversify his poetry.” (Romeo writes about the gay life). It was an innocent observation free from malice. Or the other time when he said, “Why would a gay man marry a woman? It’s wrong.” I agreed that it is wrong, but he was making judgment as a straight man without the experience of suppression, without having to watch his back all the damn time. I told him this and an argument occurred, brief and heated and accompanied with brooding silence. In that way, we are like lovers. In his words, we are ‘hybrid lovers.’ He has come a long way, he knows, and sometimes he behaves as if he is waiting to be congratulated, but I cannot bring myself to do that.

When my friend, Leonard, suggested (before he knew better) that my gayness was a bit much (I am always on about hot boys), I felt myself shrink and I told him this later, that I felt wronged by what he said, because I have to listen to the other guys and him go on and on about ‘lashing’ girls all the time. He apologized and never repeated it. I wonder what would have happened had I cut him a slack for being, well, ‘a bit open-minded’.

I do not feel the need any more to be grateful or to walk around my straight friends with delicateness. In so doing, I feel our friendships solidify because they get the sense, fully, that they are straight and I am gay and our friendship should not be seen as remarkable. At least that is the way I feel. If it is remarkable, let it be so to people who do not know better.

 

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4 Comments

  1. riddleMe
    August 16, 10:15 Reply

    Please are you in Nigeria, I’d love to have such friends…

  2. Leo
    August 16, 10:53 Reply

    I’m so glad I have the best straight friend ever. It took us a while to get to were we are but I don’t think a few years ago I could have imagined a situation where I would be as comfortable with a straight guy as I am with him. When you find a straight guy who’ll nudge you in public and say “I think that cute guy over there is staring at you, please try not to be a hoe and at least find out his name first” then you know you’ve found a keeper. Love you Val!

  3. Foxydevil
    August 17, 07:39 Reply

    I don’t think anyone should be congratulated for accepting another person’s sexuality…. It isn’t a ground breaking achievement or any thing of impact…. It is normal for humans with clear thinking faculty to reason like one.
    Your pussy and ovaries?
    Oh well ?

  4. khennie
    August 21, 00:47 Reply

    I’ve been praying for a friend like that, no positive result tho

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