Cursed?

Cursed?

I don’t know what I can really say about myself, but the major question that comes to my mind at the moment is that which plagues me about the essence of my existence.

I oftentimes wonder if I am cursed. I wonder why the principle of law against double or triple jeopardy has not stepped in to rescue me from the dungeon of life.

I am the last child of what is essentially a single mother. My father is wholly irresponsible, even though Mama makes excuses for him, telling me that he’s not. That he simply has too many responsibilities; he had about 22 children and siblings he is supposed to be responsible for. In fact, my conception wasn’t something my parents had planned, considering my mother has five other children of her own from a different man. From day one, my father has only ever existed in my life as a figurehead. Never an active participant in my childcare, support and welfare.

And then, I am gay. My mother had already lost her two older sons, leaving behind daughters and the idea that I am the one who can give her grandchildren. It is an expectation I have struggled to come to terms with, made even more stressful by the fact that my mother has shouldered the responsibility of me all on her own. There is a sense of indebtedness that comes from being fully aware of that. A sense that sent me spiraling, earlier on in my journey of self-discovery, into the pits of internalised homophobia. But for the counsel of some members of the community who I’ve associated myself with, I don’t know how I would have survived those early years of self-loathing.

Because of my background, I created a sort of moral and ethical standard for myself. No indiscriminate hookups. No night parties. I must strictly and squarely face my studies. No unprotected sex. All these in a bid not to fail my mother who had really been my main support throughout my sojourn in life. But every now and then, mostly now, I run into identity crises, with all these questions plaguing me about my very essence as a gay man. I find myself asking questions like: To what end is there to being a homosexual in Nigeria?

Could I ever really marry a fellow man?

What about love, what if I never find someone to love and settle down with?

What about children?

Why have I only ever fallen for guys who can’t love me and not been able to love those who do?

Do people in other sexual communities suffer through all this?

When these questions got to a raging point in my mind, I had to call my gay-father, and he did his best to counsel me. I got better. But considering the fragility of my mind, I know it is only a matter of time before I spiral out of control again.

And then my family, and all the burden of responsibilities that come with them.

Maybe because I felt dedicated to my mother’s happiness, I have had every issue pertaining to my step siblings which I know will affect my mother’s health and psyche cycled over to become my responsibility. Upon recognizing the financial difficulties that have often plagued my mum, I was able to sponsor my own education through my hustle. In fact, at the moment, I have started sourcing for my law school funds, because I do not want to trouble my mother.

However, these last few weeks have not been fine. One of my step-sisters had a caesarean delivery, a surgery which cost a lot of money. Her husband and his family were useless. My mother was the one who guaranteed the payment. After the success of the surgery, there was no money available. Reacting to this, the doctors refused to discharge my sister or remove the stitches from her abdomen. And somehow, all this became my problem, and I had to give up my law school fees to offset some of the hospital bills.

With pressure like this mounting every day I only seek to breathe, I often wonder if I am somehow being punished for who I am. Am I cursed? Is there a providence that has decreed that as long as I am who I am, my lot in life will never be to see the light? I often wonder if perhaps I would catch a break had I been born straight. An absentee father. A belabored mother. Frequently struggling to survive the adversities, all the while contending with the thought that I may never find happiness with who I am, because that would involve telling my mother, and I don’t think I can stand her disappointment in me.

Sometimes, there is a promise, like graduating as the best male student in the faculty of law.

And then, there is the threat, like not having any dime for my law school fees.

I want to breathe but I can’t find air. I want to see but I stumble on my way.

What can I do? What do I do?

Written by Lex

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32 Comments

  1. Mafiaso
    April 13, 07:12 Reply

    Lex you are certainly not cursed, trust me you have come a long way,there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am happy you were able to graduate top of your class, with all the adversities. Most people can’t achieve what you have so far,just realize you are here for a reason.

    Don’t rush love, it just happens,but I will advice you love someone for who they are. Nigeria being a homophobic country, I’ll suggest you don’t come out to your family yet. Concentrate on sourcing money for law school, once you come out tops again, in law school, you are assured of a scholarship abroad. Life over there, as a gay man is much easier. As a Lawyer ,you will have a voice and can be LGBT activist.

    Look inwards and see a brighter future. You are certainly blessed.

  2. Lonz
    April 13, 07:38 Reply

    Dear lex, you are not cursed. All this is part of being an adult.
    Now listen closely,what i will say will sound wicked but it will save you.

    1. Your step sister hospital bills is no your headache. Make it known to everyone now, that anyone who gets pregnant should save up for the birth. If her husband cant afford it then they should not have children.

    2. Do not set yourself on fire to keep others warm. Helping is good but emptying your account, using money that is already budgeted for your future for a siblings mishap is not allowed. only your mother has that right, not your sister, not her kids.

    3. Keep fighting, keep pestering, nothing is worse than being gay and being poor. A successful career is an insurance, do not allow anyone, anyone let it pass you by.

    All the best.

    • trystham
      April 13, 08:27 Reply

      This is HIS SISTER o. Not some totally random stray cat. Considering he has not even come out to them and gotten the ‘outcast’ treatment, how do you even expect him to be callous and unfeeling? BTW, responsibilities and expectations aren’t underwear you can shrug off at bath times. Geez.

      • Pink Panther
        April 13, 08:41 Reply

        What Lonz said has nothing to do with Lex as a gay guy coming out.
        From what I understand, Lonz is advising the writer to also think of himself and oftentimes place himself first. And I see the point. His sisters have their lives to live. Heck, they’re already living it with husbands and children. This responsibility of hospital bills and the like should not primarily be the writer’s, and certainly not to the point where he foregoes his own future just to help out someone else’s present. His family seems like it is filled with people who are just having children indiscriminately without considering the means to cater to them. If her sister and her husband knew they didn’t have the money for their children, they shouldn’t have babies. Then they get pregnant and the onus of the hospital bills for delivery falls on the young guy pursuing his own future?
        Come on.
        If Lex was bucksed up, had money beside his law school funds, it would be fine for him to contribute. But this?
        The point is: he ought to start putting himself first. It is not selfish. It is not wickedness. It is the way it should be. FOR HIS OWN GOOD. Because at the end of the day, who will he be any good to if he doesn’t excel and come out better than he was yesterday? If he keeps torpedoing his personal pursuits to cater to his family and has nothing left for himself, how much good will he be for anybody?
        Responsibilities and expectations also extend to self.

        • Trystham
          April 13, 14:03 Reply

          While I agree with all you have said, all I’m saying is, because we know the world might turn its back on us the minute it knows we are queer, doesn’t mean we should be preemptive in our hate and subsequent selfishness, expecially if life were involved. I just couldn’t help thinking ‘festering wounds as a result of not removing the stitches.

      • McDuke
        April 13, 08:41 Reply

        I totally agree with Lonz…I know it sounds mean but that is the truth. With all that you’ve said about your struggles, I don’t see why you have to jeopardise your future because your sister married wrong and got pregnant at a bad time. That having been said, focus more on your future and yourself and don’t let your family ruin you…

  3. KingB
    April 13, 08:16 Reply

    Hi Lex,
    I want you to know that you are phenomenal. You’re a successful young man already and you’re gonna go places. YOU ARE NOT CURSED. Your story and mine seem to mirror alike. As a result of my parents knowing of my sexuality, everything changed. My dad seem to be unperturbed but my mom & siblings on the other hand tried making life a living hell for me. I was depressed for a whole year. One morning, I woke up and looked my self in the mirror and told me that these people shouldn’t determine who I become, what I achieve in life nor give me validation. With that strong resolution, I wiped my tears & made a vow never to allow them treat me shit anymore. I promised myself I was gonna love me above any other thing or person. I got a JAMB, wrote the exam and got into Yabatech. Saw my self through school without asking them for a dime. I rounded up my ND this year and I’m already thinking of getting a place of mine by next month.
    There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. You’re lucky you have a mom that even loves you ( maybe because she doesn’t know about your sexuality yet). My own mum never ceased to remind me that I irritate her, I’m beneath every man out there and I don’t look like any of the other three kids she’s got. All I owe her is Massive Success. She hasn’t seen anything yet. She thought I wouldn’t go to school after seconds school but I shamed her by my admission into Yabatech & single handedly footing all the bills. This week I had a major fight with my younger brother, and she gave me an ultimatum to leave the house by June this year. As usual, I’m going to shame her because I’ve got some cash to get an apartment for myself. I can go on and on and on of all my travails at home as a gay man.
    But I don’t ever want you to ever think you’re cursed. I think you still have a modicum of internal homophobia in you and you aren’t proud of who you are still. I remember thinking my reason for staying at home for six years before getting into school is because God was punishing me for being gay and didn’t want Me to be like my peers. But when I accepted me and became born again, I realized these were normal things even straith people faced and had nothing to do with me being gay.
    Also, you were never responsible for your sister’s pregnancy. Why did u use your Law school fees to offset her bills. As a gay man, I’ve learnt that you need to put your self first before any other thing because of tables are turned, they might not reciprocate the level of love and sacrifice you show them. Stay Blessed. This too shall pass and please draw close to God. Its the best thing that has ever happened to me.

  4. Tobee
    April 13, 08:31 Reply

    Hi Lex,

    It is both sad and heartwarming to read your piece. Sad to read that you feel that sexuality can be a reason that unfortunate things are happening to you. And that there are unfortunate things in the first place, but life is life – we can’t have good things happening all the time.

    It is good to hear that despite the difficulties, there is something good working out – your academics. And just as Mafiaso points out, your academic performance can be your ticket to making things different for yourself.

    My suggestions: re your sexuality. Bad things are NOT happening to you because of your sexuality. Sometimes they just happen. Being gay is part of who you are, and just like your skin colour, it just happens to be. You didn’t choose it and can’t and shouldn’t be punished for it.

    About your school, what level are you in? Do you still have time to apply for scholarships?

  5. trystham
    April 13, 08:35 Reply

    I just think you are strong. I’m reading this and telling myself I am not certain I can survive half of what you have gone/going through. And much as I hate quoting scripture, and terribly inadequate as it is to comfort you, there is no temptation/trial you are currently facing that you can’t handle. Hang in there.

    • Mafiaso
      April 13, 12:40 Reply

      Lex has graduated top of his class in the University and planning on going to the Nigeria Law School.

  6. O_shabby
    April 13, 08:36 Reply

    Am honestly speechless but i have to say this never hurt yourself for someone happiness your happiness is your own priority please and stay strong God bless you LEX

  7. Rainbow Nova
    April 13, 09:07 Reply

    I just wanted to start quoting everyone’s comments here ’cause really it’s so wonderful how we are able to see things from different perspectives and meet at a comforting safe place.

    Yes you are cursed…with self love, happiness, zeal and perseverance. You are cursed to be so strong and so resilient, so selfless and forgiving. You’re so bloody cursed that you sacrifice your inner peace for a family might (will probably) desert/reject you in a heartbeat, your future for the utter stupidity of entitled heterosexuality and heteronormativity.

    I agree that you should have helped them but you don’t even know how to help yourself yet. No doubt you know why you’re doing all you do but I don’t think you know “what exactly is going on around you”. You need to have a “out-of-this-world or body” moment and see things from a very different perspective, you’re not being a hero by killing yourself and your dreams, you’re being a coward that wants to hold on to mirage-y fantasies (forgive me for being so curt) but I must be because life as a Nigerian gay man isn’t one to live in delusion and self inflicted pain.
    Prepare yourself daily as though you’re battling your worst fears and insecurities ’cause you are and it’s inevitable.

    You, cursed? I’ve never seen a more blessed person in my entire life, you have no idea how much power and strength you possess i.e. until you push yourself to the limits of your tolerance and self control, you’re imploding now but soon you explode and then the entire world will see what I see, a champion already taking his victory.
    This isn’t over Lex (I assume the full name is Alexander), it’s only begun. One day this story will change, you’ll be known as “Lex the Conqueror” (I’m not kidding).

    Whether in Nigeria or someplace (much better), you’ll be successful not because of the environment but because what you have on your inside can transform and unfold positive change on the outside. Bon chance mon ami, hold on still as paradise isn’t a destination, it’s a state of mind.

  8. Keredim
    April 13, 10:27 Reply

    Nope…

    There might be a “curse” involved but I don’t think it’s because you are gay!

    I know being gay in Nigeria is difficult, but your sexual orientation and what you are going through in life with regards your finances and family responsibility, are mutually exclusive.

    The family issues you have listed affect young straight men & women too.

    From what I have read, you as a person sound sensitive, generous, selfless and have a sense of responsibility. Maybe because of the expectations your mum has placed on you due to her circumstances. It’s only natural.

    However what I can say to you is, to continue to fund those admirable qualities you need to take a step back, make a sacrifice and be selfish – next time don’t give away your Law School fees.

    Making that sacrifice will be beneficial to all your family when you qualify from law school and if your brother-in-law wearing a condom is part of the sacrifice, so be it.

    His sperm, his problem.

    Also make a note of family members who help you along the way.

    Regarding love, don’t sweat it… It will find you at some point, especially when you are not looking.

    As for the other issues about children etc…. Forget those for now. You will cross that bridge when you get there with a law degree in your hand.

    May God continue to bless your hustle

    🚶🏾‍♂️🚶🏾‍♂️🚶🏾‍♂️🚶🏾‍♂️

  9. Houston Scholar
    April 13, 10:56 Reply

    Hi Lex,

    Thank you for sharing your story. Trust me, you are not alone. We all go through a similar breathtaking ordeal in life and our life trajectories are quite analogous. But guess what? We are SURVIVORS!!! You are a SURVIVOR, Lex. Just like you, my academic progress has been the only solace that kept me moving while I try so hard to manage the chaos in other facets of my life. You need to explore the brilliance in you and start bookmarking opportunities you can apply for to further your career. I can’t tell you how much winning national and overseas scholarships right from my secondary school to the Ph.D. program has helped me and my family (excluding my absentee father who birthed more than 100 children) to survive poverty.

    In case you have not explored this website (https://www.opportunitiesforafricans.com), please kindly visit the website and bookmark opportunities that can help you further your career. I can share my scholarship application experience with you both in the UK where I studied for my Masters and in the US where I am currently studying for my Ph.D.

    For your Law school fees, Pink Panther kindly connect me with Lex and I should be able to provide my little support towards the total cost. My WhatsApp has crashed but you can share my US number with him.

    I want you to take a deep sigh, Lex. You will be fine.

    • Taul
      April 14, 09:08 Reply

      Hello, HS. Could I get your mail account? I’d like to discuss more on the scholarship prospects and experience you mentioned. Of course this is if you’re comfortable with it, thanks.

  10. bamidele
    April 13, 12:53 Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story, Lex.
    I believe you’re a bit relieved by now with the wonderful ideas and support. Let me just add a little.
    First you’re not cursed for being gay, since straight people may have the same challenge as well. About having children, you don’t even have to sleep with women to have children nowadays–and I am talking a bit from Western perspective. But get on with your career first of all.
    Secondly, Let me warn you to be careful about how you carry family burdens. Such burdens are usually endless, trust me. Remember that as a gay person, many of your people can abandon you any point in time. Aslo, you should realize that one of the major problems of Nigerians is trying to do things because others are doing it, not because they are ready. Otherwise, your brother in-law shouldn’t have started a family yet .
    Let me tell you a short story. I am the first of six children with irresponsible father as well. I started taking care of my siblings and family since I was 12, doing menial jobs like selling fruits, firewood, gari, etc., to feed my family. Growing up, I used to prefer sending money to siblings(which they mostly waste) instead of feeding myself. I did without many things, just to be able to help family. Then suddenly I had some challenge. Did you know that even my immediate brother refused to even call to say ‘how are you’ not to talk of condoling me? This is the same person who could call me any time for financial help to buy the latest shoes or cloth, and I would do it thinking he was my brother; and even when I couldn’t afford I would borrow. Long story. Most members of my family abandoned me. They even stopped talking to me. Since January 2019 things have started getting better, and suddenly they started coming back. But then I have not only learnt my lessons, but I now have strong principles: And that is how things will continue to be.
    I am not saying such will happen to you. But, brother, there is no crime in thinking about yourself first; as many have already suggested on this platform. Look, and evolve from, within.
    All the best!

  11. Chizzie
    April 13, 13:23 Reply

    What I find really interesting is that you come from a family where theres just so much children, more than either one of your parents can take care of, yet you also see the need ( howbeit reluctantly) to have your own children, so your mum can have grandchildren?

    You’re not cursed and neither is your problem unique, it boils down to our compulsive need to breed irresponsibly in this country and the mandate we place on having children and getting married. The idea of not having children seems completely out of the question for many Nigerians and we wonder why we have the highest population of extremely poor ppl? Forgetting that we live in a country with no state welfare, social benefits, one where children do not have access to student loans, yet we still have this incessant desire to breed.

    First things first, you don’t owe ur mother children. Free your mind from this mandate that u must have children, realise its fine not to have any at all and the same applies to marriage. Sort out yourself first and foremost, put your career, goals and ambitions first, every other person is secondary. In the event that you decide to have children, do so when u are comfortable, and realise that the more children u have, the lower ur standard of living. Wish someone had had this talk to ur father and the many parents who pop children with no contingency plans in place .

  12. Zoar
    April 13, 14:45 Reply

    This is my very first time commenting here.
    Lex just know that you’re not alone in this feeling and always be comforted by the fact that you’ll always make it. Just keep striving harder.

    I and Lex seem to have thesame history and experience.

    I am the only son of my single mum with 3 other girl siblings who have decided to just be reproducing children out of wedlock and also making babies for non deserving men as beautiful as my sisters are.

    I am an Engineer. I had to finish my University education amidst the financial hurdles to make my mum proud as my sisters have refused to use the educational opportunities my mum threw at them. One got pregnant for an unknown man when we all thought she should be rounding up her Marketing Degree at UNN. Till now she hasn’t gone back to complete her studies.

    I used to also feel like Lex or rather I still feel like him because everything I tend to do to become really independent always has me facing some crazy challenges. All the companies I’ve worked always have a way of making me unfulfilled. I left my previous construction firm in PH because of unpaid salaries of upto 6months to come work in yet another company in the West, who is still owing us for almost 3months now. My building project has remained uncompleted since I started and every effort to bring it to final completion, as it’s already 80% completed, has suffered strange setbacks. Anything I try doing,I face challenges that sometimes I sit back and wonder if it’s God giving me signs that I’ve been a very bad boy by been gay which isn’t my own making but after several depressing thoughts. I usually have ways to bounce back to living life to my fullest.

    I’m not yet out to my mum and I don’t think I’ll ever have the nerve to do that even though I am thinking she might even have clues about my sexuality. I’ve decided not to meddle in the affairs of my irresponsible sisters for my own sanity. I just pray to God for more financial stability so I can take care of my mum the way I want to and also make her more proud of me.

    Life as a gay man in Nigeria is really challenging.

    But ok mustn’t stop living because situations are been difficult. We all need to stay strong.

    It’s well.

  13. No
    April 13, 14:46 Reply

    I think we need an LGBTFund for moments like this.. thinking…

  14. Sworld
    April 13, 16:00 Reply

    Your sexuality isn’t a sin neither it’s the reason for your adversities. Learn to accept n love yourself because it changes who you attract.

    The struggles you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow, just keep moving, meet people, have strong faith and never loose gaze of your goals because your Future self will be so proud of you. “Nothing good comes easy, the path to uncommon success is never smooth but scary”

  15. Lex
    April 13, 17:17 Reply

    I am really glad I shared my story on this platform. The feedbacks have been awesome and burden-relieving. This is a family. Thanks you all for your words of encouragement and advice. They are all noted.

  16. Sim
    April 13, 21:42 Reply

    Hi, pls what’s the update on the other bro that was thrown out of his family and moved to Ebonyi state. I was told he declined many kind gestures for personal reasons, but does anyone have an eye on him. Also lex, when the time to register for law school-pls update and be specific with deadlines. Thanks and God Bless.

  17. Lex
    April 13, 21:53 Reply

    Thanks Sim,
    Actually Law School resumes on the 24th of this month and the deadline for the payment of fees should ordinarily be before the induction of new aspirants which is May 3.
    I have started sourcing for funds through some friends though

    • Sim
      April 14, 03:34 Reply

      You welcome.
      You may want to tell us how much it is to register for your program. How much in percent you have now, and maybe thru pinky drop some account details. I am sure lotta people wanna help.

      • Lex
        April 15, 07:41 Reply

        The basic school fees is 297 thousand naira. The total anticipated cost is 350 thousand naira. I have currently got 100 thousand naira from a philanthropist I wrote to which means I am sourcing for approximately 250 thousand.

        Thank you all for the great words and supports. You are really amazing.

  18. nonny
    April 13, 22:28 Reply

    can we raise funds for this guy? he’s amazing

  19. Francis
    April 14, 14:25 Reply

    Most have said it already; it’s about time you get selfish and think about yourself for once. You can’t be carrying everyone’s burden.

    I hope you see the light at the end of the tunnel soonest.

  20. Q
    April 15, 00:08 Reply

    This is it,this is what a community was meant for. A place where we can stand for each other, a place where our combined strengths has made us so formidable. I long for a day when we would all walk in the sun without having to play hide and seek. You all are amazing

  21. Zed
    April 15, 19:37 Reply

    This is actually my first time commenting. I couldn’t hold back bcoz the story hit me so hard. I see myself in the writer’s position, only but in a worse situation. Lex who you are is not a sin. I mean, you are hurting no one, your sexuality brings no misery to anyone. So bro let go that wrong perception of yourself and begin to focus on making money, this is the only way you can make your mum proud and give her the good life that she deserves.

  22. Mash
    April 17, 05:19 Reply

    Hi Lex,
    Can you get your account details through pinky let’s try and get you some funds so you can register for law school.

    • Pink Panther
      April 17, 06:11 Reply

      Could I forward your email address to him, Mash, so he can correspond directly with you?

  23. Mash
    April 18, 06:16 Reply

    Thanks! He reached out.

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