Let's talk about mentoring.
First let me tell you a story. A long story. My story.
There are these twin brothers I met about a year ago on Facebook.
First I noticed that I’d been chatting with a particular 'person' who seemed to have two separate Facebook accounts. So, I confronted him, and he revealed that he had a twin brother who was also chatting with me. He said that the two of them were in love with me and would like to date me. It was hard to believe because I had never seen twins so identical that they wrote the same way.
Then the day came when I was somewhat depressed and lonely. I needed someone to talk to. I needed someone to really make me laugh. All my friends seemed busy. No one was available. I guess none of them knew the extent to which my dark emotions had gone.
And so, I decided to finally meet these twin brothers, who at this point had become really close Facebook friends. I’d come to like them too. I didn't really know what to talk about but I knew I wanted to talk, just talk.
Unfortunately – or fortunately – only one of them could visit. We got talking.
I really needed to know what their attraction for me was about. I wanted to know why both of them “fell in love” with me and why they would be comfortable dating the same man. That led me to asking the twin that visited very personal questions. I got to realise that they are just twenty years old. The only sons of a poor widow. He told me his twin was undergoing apprenticeship under his master who deals on cosmetics, while he himself sold stockings in the evenings under a popular pedestrian bridge in Abuja. For accommodation, he was squatting with a fellow young man who sold other stuff under the same bridge.
The more we talked, the more his revelations amazed me. I couldn't believe this young man was so naive that he had never seen a lubricant, never heard of one, and that all he knew to use for sex were Pears Baby Oil, body cream – and saliva! He didn’t know anything about douching. He’d never gone for a HIV test.
For his lack of enlightenment, I almost cried.
When I asked him whether he enjoyed sex with condom, he said, “With condoms, it's painful. Without condoms, it's sweet.” He also believed that gays are mentally not okay. He believed that he and his brother are cursed with the curse of homosexuality.
At his juncture, during our discussion, I knew I had work to do. I knew destiny had brought these boys my way for me to help them. I began to imagine how many men who’d taken advantage of this boy, of his brother; how many persons that must have had sex with them without proper lubrication and condoms. What if he already had HIV? What if he’d had STDs in the past? How did he take care of himself?
Questions, questions… Questions that filled me with a small death. My body felt numb. This boy was not dumb but he was naïve. He was good looking and desperately needed knowledge.
And now, to you, fellow enlightened gay man, I have this to ask: Do you know that young man, yes, that one you call dirty? That one you and your 'classy' friends say is “such a drama queen”? That one you call disrespectful?
Maybe all he needs is simple mentoring, some advice. Maybe all he needs is a guide, someone to direct him and care for him.
Our campaign and activism for freedom and equality can never be complete without healthy and well-oriented upcoming generations to enjoy what we are fighting for and carry them on.
We must care for them.
We must be the love we preach!
Written by Cheejiokey