FINDING GAY IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

FINDING GAY IN UNEXPECTED PLACES

During a conversation among friends about the unexpected places we’ve discovered LGBT Nigerians, a friend revealed how startled he was to discover, during a survey in Epe, the existence of three gay men living in the rural community. He said, “I could not believe that I’d bought into an idea that queer men don’t exist in the rural areas. Till today, not collecting their numbers is one of my biggest regrets.”

To this, someone else responded: “There are queer folks in all walks of life. We seem to forget that regardless of how we tag being queer and even divide it along class lines, sexual orientation is not exclusive to a sect of people. Just because you’re learned doesn’t make you anymore ‘deserving’ of being gay than the illiterate individuals you come across.”

And from this interaction came actual stories about discovering queer individuals in the places you’d never expect them to emerge from.

 

THE BUS CONDUCTOR KNOWS GRINDR – by Pink Panther

“Shey na Grindr be that?” asked the conductor after I told him that my stop was just up ahead.

I’d been Grindr-ing all the way from where I entered the bus to where I was going. It was a brisk morning and a lot of horny Lagosians appeared to be trying to set up hookups before commencing with their Thursdays. So, I was steady on my phone, very aware that the conductor, whenever he settled down from calling for passengers, had his eyes on my phone.

I looked at him and nodded yes. The driver pulled up and he came down to make way for me to come down.

There was a knowing laugh in his eyes and on his lips as he said, “You be badt guy o.”

Smiling back, I answered, “Thank you.” And was on my way.

Someone once wondered out loud to me about how he often thinks about how the average, low class LGBT Nigerians live. Well, here’s an example. They’re the conductors who know about Grindr, possibly cannot afford the smartphones required to own a profile, and so settle for observing the more privileged ones among them arrange their own hookups.

 

LOVE AT THE SECURITY POST – by Kess

As any Lagosian on a weekday, I’d gotten up early to go to work that morning. It was still dark outside. There had been no light throughout the night in the estate, but as I stepped out that morning, the lights came on in a blazing brightness that lit up the streets.

I walked down the road toward the main gate. Upon getting to the security post, I approached the small room, intending to wake the security man on duty for him to open the gate for me to get through. I saw the door to the room open. Beyond the open door, the lights were on.

I stepped close and what I saw stopped me short in my tracks.

I was staring at the security man and his partner sleeping on the bed, well cuddled. I say “partner” because of the position in which they were sleeping. They were well spooned, the ass of the one in front cradled in the crotch of the one behind, one’s arms crossed over the other, both of them snuggled up like they’d fallen asleep after a very passionate night and couldn’t bear to sleep apart from each other. This was in no way the sleep of two straight men who simply wandered into each other’s arms.

No.

This was the sleep of lovers.

The surprise I felt when I saw them quickly warmed into pleasure, and I found myself grinning. For some reason, I felt delighted at this sight of love. Then my pleasure turned to embarrassment over my intrusion. When they went to sleep, they probably hadn’t thought to turn off the light, because there’d been no light. And now, the lights coming on had afforded me a glimpse into their most vulnerable intimate moment.

I stepped away from the open doorway and pulled the door shut. As I knocked on the door, I was thinking about how to tell the security man to always keep his door locked whenever he had a night guest over. The next estate resident who wonders along this early in the morning may not be as queer or as open-minded as I am.

 

DISCOUNT FOR LOVE – by UC

I am usually very indecisive about a lot of things, but more especially about things I intend to buy. From clothes to shoes and even cereal; I have walked the cereal section of Shoprite for more than 20 minutes, trying to decide which chocolate-flavored cereal I should get. Because of this, I usually go to the market with friends or wait till we all have things to buy, then we go together. That was the case when I and two of my buddies went to CMS in September.

We had just finished buying some shirts when one of them mentioned he had to get a shoe and the rest of us realized we might need shoes too. So, we all walked to a store just opposite one of the major banks lined on Marina Street. I wanted to get a particular pair of brown suede shoes, and they didn’t have that in the store we walked into. So, while my friends were still looking at and trying out the shoes they hoped to purchase, I walked out and into the next store. The brown suede shoes I wanted was in this store, but then, I didn’t like how the shoes looked. So, I walked out and into the third store.

And that was where I saw the pair that caught my eye. I asked for the price and was shocked at how exorbitant it was. The shoes looked good and I wanted them badly, but I couldn’t let that show. As a son raised by a true Nigerian mother, I tried to look unimpressed and bargained a bit. When the store keeper wouldn’t budge, I walked out of the shop, but not before I stopped at the door and threw back a “Oga, shey you no go gree sell for me?”

Oga didn’t agree o.

So, I walked back to my friends. They ended up not buying the shoes they saw, and after checking out other stores, we found ourselves in that Oga’s shop. My friends saw a couple of shoes they liked also and these were pretty expensive too. Of course, my friends, true Nigerian shoppers that they were, went hard into the haggling – I joined them as well, to put in a plea for my own shoe – but this Oga only shaved off a very insignificant amount of money from the price. We were defeated. We had to walk away.

My friends exited the store, and I was about to join them outside, when Oga called me back and said something that made me smile widely.

He said, “Ahuru m gi na’anya otu nwoke si ahu nwanyi anya. Ngwa bia. Amara’m na this shoe ga-adi gi mma. I mara ezigbo mma nwoke already. Take the shoe and compliment it.” (Translated, this means: “I like you the way a man likes a woman. Oya come. I know this shoe will look good on you. You are already really fine for a man. Take the shoe and compliment it.”)

I don’t know if this was just teasing to get me to pay for the shoes or he was being genuine, but I smiled so widely and my insides felt so warm. And for the first time, I paid him some attention. He was not drop-dead gorgeous or dressed in the finest apparel, but he was well put together. I looked at him and admired him the way a woman would admire a well-tailored dress, even when she knows it’s not something she would try on.

He reduced the price reasonably and I paid for it. I went out to meet my friends still haggling in other shops, and when they saw me grinning from ear to ear and holding my new, properly-packed suede brown shoes, they rushed back to Oga’s shop, hoping to get theirs too.

They didn’t. They remerged from the shop crestfallen, while I was busy feeling really good that my Oga didn’t go around giving discounts to everyone.

 

THE EXPERIENCE – by Deviantus

I was coming back from The Experience a few years back. It was almost 3 am, and I was at the back of the bus with my friends. It was this long, luxurious bus, that type that usually ply the Ikorodu route. We were headed to Ikorodu.

The conductor kept glancing at me, enough for me to notice him. He was pretty good looking – tall, dark skinned, built like a football player.

Soon, he began making the rounds for payment of the bus fare. The bus was making a lot of drops along the way, and passengers were alighting and none getting on. At the point when he began making his way to the back of the bus where I was, the bus was almost empty.

When he came to our section, I got out my money and extended it toward him.

Instead of taking the money, he asked me my name.

The moment the question left his mouth, my friends, who’d been chatting among themselves, all stopped talking and fell silent. Their eyes were on him. On me too. Observing.

I told him my name, and he responded, “Fine boy, make I take your number na.”

Flustered but amused, I was like, “Na, I don’t give my number to strangers.”

He responded, “But no be somehow person dey meet person?”

At this, I said, “Eh?” And because I was lost for the words to respond with, I threw my head back and laughed.

Not at him, no. I wasn’t laughing at him. I was laughing at the incredulousness of the situation I had somehow found myself in. Here I was, in a repressed society, being so blatantly flirted with by a man. And in the presence of my friends too. I was laughing because I know if I’d been alone and this happened and I told them about it, they might think I was making stuff up. As it was, they were staring at the exchange with the wide-eyed wonder of people who couldn’t believe that a bus conductor was chyking their friend.

Anyway, I refocused on the conductor, turned up my charm and coyly asked him why he wanted to get to know me.

With absolutely no pretense, he said, “You sabi na. I know say you be soji guy.” (AKA: “I know you know what’s up.”)

At this point, the bus pulled up and he turned away from me to holler for passengers. My friends burst out into giggles and were “displaying”, while I sat there, in silence, marveling at this conductor’s gaydar. What did he know? And how did he know what he knew?

I know say you be soji guy.

I kept replaying what had just happened in my head.

A few minutes later, I was startled to the realisation that I was being watched. I looked up and it was him. Staring intently at me from across the bus. He smiled when our eyes met. And then he winked, before he turned back and carried on with his job.

It was at this time that I took my time to study him. He was indeed handsome. Nothing spectacularly so, but still very handsome. Most of all, he had a self-assuredness about him that was beguiling. His most distinct characteristic, which even after the years I can still recall, was the raw sex appeal he possessed. It was almost like a cloak.

I caught myself staring and stopped. He must have felt my eyes on his ass because he turned again, and this time, he knew exactly where to look. I looked away before he could see the lust in my eyes.

Twenty minutes of uneventfulness passed. I listening to a shuffling of songs through my earpiece. And he carried on with his job.

And then we got to the last stop – my stop. And I realised we actually hadn’t paid. As we were getting off the bus, I made to hand him my fare.

Instead, he took my hand and held it. Then he smiled at me and said, “Agric ni mo n gbe. Shey kin fun e ni number mi.” (Translated, this means: “I live in Agric. Should I give you my number?”)

I swallowed hard and smiled. And muttered something along the lines of “Maybe next time I see you.”

He refused my fare, and rather than the 200 naira he was supposed to charge my friends, he took 100 naira each from them, all the while saying they were his “in-laws”.

I walked away from him. Turned one last time and saw him standing by the empty bus, staring after me. I waved. He waved back. I joined my friends and tried to ignore their excited chatter about whether I took his number. at some point, I turned around again. He was still staring and I gave another wave.

Then I called my boyfriend to tell him I was almost home.

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23 Comments

  1. JT
    December 05, 06:08 Reply

    I read this story and all that came to my mind was we are in a world filled with different people and like minds.

    I was at Sabo, Yaba yesterday and I saw this Girl. She is a tomboy and I’m so certain she’s not up to 15 yrs old. She was just living and singing with her mates.

    There is a Gay man and woman in every class of life. The community is actually bigger than we thought but due to societal pressure and religious beliefs, everyone is coded.

    The hook-up scene has made it look small because it’s being recycled. Also, some of these guys at the lower class don’t have access to all the exciting opportunities a middle class or higher class possess. So they are always surprised to find out that there are people like them.

    • flame flame
      December 06, 00:39 Reply

      I had thought the first paragraph was quite cheesy, then I read ‘The Experience’ and it made my day. They all did.

      Thank you.

      PS I want to meet s random gay man on the streets too. How does that (not) happen to me?? 😢

  2. trystham
    December 05, 07:23 Reply

    I dunno why this is surprising. Yet it is always surprising. There is a girl who comes as a casual worker at the farm where I work. She hulks, hunches her back when she walks and tries to deepen her voice. I have heard of another girl who is referred to as her ‘iyawo’ when she is being teased by the other casual workers of her age group. I am yet to properly investigate these claims, but investigate I shall…and this is neither Lagos nor Ibadan, but far away Saki axis

  3. Bee
    December 05, 08:16 Reply

    This is so beautiful, I’m drooling.

  4. KryxxX
    December 05, 09:00 Reply

    First it was shock at his boldness! Ah! Then the “soji guy” part left me like……… Oooohhkkaayy! Then the intense staring and winking had me all flushed and shouting/singing 🎶 Handel’s messiah/hallelujah. Jisos!!!!!!

    Deviantus, your boyfriend just ruined the perfect “How we met” story for your grandkids! 😒 😒 😒 😒 😒 😒 😒

  5. Michael
    December 05, 09:57 Reply

    About two weeks ago, a friend told me how he practically fucked an okada man taking him to school through his trouser. It was so intense that when they got to his campus gate, and he alighted, they both had to start adjusting their trousers.

    • Christian
      December 05, 22:13 Reply

      Please,how could that have possibly happened. Unbelievable,but intriguing 😁😁

  6. Patrick
    December 05, 10:04 Reply

    I felt sad for the bus conductor in the last story. I once got an Okada ride from a very good-looking guy in Ikorodu. Unfortunately, he didn’t chyke me; it was dark anyway 😪😪😪

    It’s true, homosexuality cuts across every type of human group–economic class, social, cultural, and religious. And I’m simply fascinated about how same-sex attraction plays out in these different contexts. How does it feel to be 15, gay, and living in rural Nigeria. How did it feel to be gay in colonial Nigeria, in 1935.

    P.S: For the longest time, I couldn’t decide what I wanted my superpower to be. But now I know. I want a gaydar that works like magic!

  7. Peskyme
    December 05, 12:18 Reply

    This article was simply amazing.. If only this country would allow people to express their feelings openly. We’ll find out gay people are everywhere .and won’t be hiding like preys from the predators..
    It was so bold for the conductor to go after what he wanted .

  8. Simon
    December 05, 18:54 Reply

    Very amazing piece. I remember one situation that happened back in onitsha during my rag day (back in uni).
    I was in full drag and went to upper iweka road (in onitsha) to do my ragging. I openly flirted with a lot of traders and they gave me money while roaring in laughter at my entertainment ( I was really putting Naomi Campbell to shame with my cat walks).

    One trader stood out from the rest. He was a mature man, had sprinkle of grey on his bald head and was thickly built. He sat at his shop entrance smiling at me.

    I walked up to him and began flirting with him while asking for money. He strode into his shop and I followed the next thing that happened shocked me. MR trader grabbed a hand Full of my ass and with a rich baritone cooed – “odi uto?” Which meant ” is it sweet in igbo”.

    My heart literally stopped. It was when he said – “nhhmm??” (Urging for a response).

    That I replied -very sweet daddy”.

    Because it was a fabric and clothing shop, he had materials and dresses hanging at the entrance of his shop so we where sort of hidden from the public eye.

    I reached for his penis and dude was hard as crazy. He was also fucking big

    “You can take it?” He asked me with strong igbo accent and I nodded.

    He told me he didn’t have money cos he hadn’t sold anything for the day.

    Asked me where I will be in two hours and I told him i maybe on my way to port Harcourt by then.

    He urged me not to go and asked me if i had regular clothes and I said “yes”. He called a little boy from another shop and asked him to take me to a restaurant.

    He told me he will join me there shortly and I left with the boy.

    At that time, i was a certified ho and i knew this man wasn’t a set up. He was horny and so I was.

    Eventually he joined me in the restaurant, we ate, i changed to my regular clothes, we took bike to his house, he fucked the living day light off my head and gave me 7k.

    There where no mobile phones at that time so there was no way of exchanging numbers.

    All he told me was to make sure I make out time and visit him as soon as i can

    Missed that big fat cock.

    • Patrick
      December 06, 19:11 Reply

      They’d probably beat you up and strip you naked if you try that today.

  9. Eric
    December 05, 20:44 Reply

    All these stories are so cute. This goes to further proof that gay people are in all walks of life and is not a function of how good or how bad you are as a person unlike what all these homophobes think. When your sexuality is discovered to not be straight, many people be like “…….n he looks so innocent o” or “he has joined bad gang in school” lol. I don’t even want to get started with that alleged “gay initiation party” some of our wasted policemen told us about…. lol.

  10. BRYAN PETERS
    December 05, 22:05 Reply

    These write ups are so beautiful and heart warming too.

  11. J
    December 05, 22:39 Reply

    😂😂😂 we are many ooo, both sane and insane.

    I was once groped in a bus by a mechanic, I was seated close to him and no one was looking at us… At first I thought he was a madman, but then I realized he was a mechanic when he dropped at a workshop along the road. He was even giving me signal to come and meet him. I felt violated and amused at the same time, I mean such guts? A total stranger touching me inappropriately? I couldn’t scream, what would I tell people knowing fully well I will implicate myself?

    And oh my nipples have been squeezed severally by some random guys in the market… Mine is a case of sexual harassment, I could sue for damages 😂

    They got away with me, I just hope they don’t touch a crazy person in the future.

  12. Eddie
    December 05, 23:35 Reply

    Eyaaa… The story about” the experience ” though…would have been nice to keep him as a friend, you know.

  13. tboi
    December 05, 23:59 Reply

    Hmmmm….. You Mean All This Happened Nigeria, (Lagos) ….SMH

    my Experience was Just Being Groped By the ASS By a total stranger while buying something from a shop… It was in the Night, I was so surprised, I Looked Back, Oga Was Smiling at me, As he was Walking away ….I Also just felt Amused & Violated At the same time..

    Then The Daily One I Get from Some of my Coursemates, Maybe My THICK Ass Is The Problem, Always Hugging & Fondling me From Behind…Telling me, Your Wife Is Going To Enjoy You ooo In The Future

  14. Mash
    December 06, 06:20 Reply

    I have had someone pay for my lunch while I was on internship years back at surulere, and the dude was good looking and I was young and he older and I remember the vendor telling me someone paid for my food and I was looking lost and confused and I actually see the guy around, and was hoping he’d come talk to me or something or I was even bold enough to thank him but either of us never did and while we saw we just stare at each other and moved on! But I was young, if I had made the move then we probably would have been married by now 😂

  15. Edd
    December 07, 04:16 Reply

    The experience guy should have gotten a number at least na! Not nice…

  16. Sasha
    December 08, 14:41 Reply

    When I was young I used to have this okadaman that is always taking me to school, When he drops Me, he will just be pressing my nipples and be laughing.

    I met my first boyfriend in the library in my first year in university. It was just a thing of gaydar.

  17. Cedar
    December 08, 16:05 Reply

    This is soooo beautiful, my my. This brings to mind the sweet and sad thoughts I always have when I see teens who are gay. I always feel this pity that they would grow to meet the hate and disgust we receive from the wider community, like if I had the power, I would save them the heartache and pain. But we are here already, ain’t going nowhere!

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