FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST (A Coming Out Story)

FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST (A Coming Out Story)

I was born to a polygamous home, the eleventh child of my father, and the only child my mother, the third wife, had for him. The household was as typical as you’d expect a polygamous home to be, with all the backstabbing and scheming; I have especial memories of the terrorists the twin sons of the second wife, Taiwo and Kehinde, were to me. my mother was only able to take the drama until I was 7, before she left to raise me by herself.

However, when I was 15 and about to take my WAEC exams, the situation was so rough that my mother had to reach out to my father. He agreed to take over the financial responsibility of my education, as long as I came to live with him. My mother resisted, and further negotiation came down to me visiting my father’s house and staying over sometimes in exchange for his financial assistance.

I was set to take JAMB exams with Taiwo and Kehinde, who were 5 years older than me. apparently, they’d been trying for years and failing. However, this time, the three of us passed, a development that deepened their mother’s resentment toward me. She was very disgruntled that I passed JAMB with one take, while her sons had had to try a number of times before they could pass.

My father was incredibly pleased with my academic feat and had me enrolled in a Muslim private university. (He is Muslim, but my mother and I are Christian) His second wife objected to her sons going to a public school while I attended private school. So, Taiwo and Kehinde were pulled out from the school they’d already begun attending and sent to the private university where I was.

My father was a man who took pride in education and wouldn’t stop showing me off or bragging about me any chance he got to whoever was within earshot. This displeased his second wife, and her displeasure in turn threatened the relationship I had with my step-brothers. But we managed to be good friends; I was closer to Taiwo than I was to Kehinde.

We graduated from the university the same year and proceeded on to our national service. I was posted to Rivers State, and my step-brothers were posted to Enugu and Niger respectively. This was in 2012.

When I resumed as the orientation camp, the first person whose acquaintance I made was an old friend, Dave. Dave is gay as well, and we’d been involved in the past. The day after we started registration, we were standing together, gisting, when another familiar face approached us. He was Paul, a childhood friend of my step-brothers. He and I were of course not close, but I’d seen him enough times hanging with the twins to know he was a close friend of theirs.

We exchanged pleasantries, during which time he told me he too had been posted to Rivers State for his NYSC and he’d just gotten to camp. When he and Dave greeted each other warmly too, I looked from one to the other and asked, “You two know each other?”

With a smile, Dave said, “Ah, of course. Paul is my personal person. We were running things back in the days.”

Startled, I looked at Paul. He too appeared startled by Dave’s remarks, which we were both supposed to understand meant we now knew something about each other that we didn’t know before.

Dave saw our expressions and said, “Wait, you’ve know each other from childhood and you didn’t know you are from the same church?”

Well, between my irregular presence in my father’s house and the fact that he was friends with my (older) brothers, there was no way we could have known.

Throughout our stay in camp, Paul and I only ever occasionally ran into each other. I had my crowd (story for someday soon), and he had his. We saw each other on the day we were passing out of camp and exchanged information about the places we’d been posted to. He was posted to Ikwerre and me to Etche. He apparently knew Rivers State well because he’d resided here for a bit, and so, he gave me some helpful information about the lay of the land.

It wasn’t until about three months later that we started texting each other. I don’t know who first texted who, but then, we started chatting. From banal talks, we soon graduated to queer-related topics and sex. After a few weeks of chatting, we decided to meet at a place called Igwuruta, from where he took me to town where we spent the day. It was a Saturday, and at the end of the day, we retired to his place where we got down together.

This soon became our thing. A sexual relationship that had no definition. We’d meet regularly during the weekends to have sex, whether at his place or mine. We continued this way till we passed out in 2013. He was getting retained and so would be staying back in Rivers State, whereas I was going back to Lagos. I’d flirted with the idea of staying in Port Harcourt to pursue my Masters at once in Uniport, but my father would have none of that.

Before we parted ways, Paul and I talked; one of the things we talked about was the agreement that my brothers didn’t need to know about our affair. I mean, it went without saying.

After I returned to Lagos, we talked on the phone a couple of times. Then life intervened and we lost touch.

I settled into life after NYSC pretty smoothly. Masters. Job. Accommodation. Car. I was comfortable. I was independent. I had distance from my parents; my mother lives in Lagos as well, but my father had always been based in Ogun State. I visited him sometimes, not as much as he’d have liked. But I couldn’t help it. His braggadocio over me had made me a new enemy – his fourth and last wife. In fact, the twins’ mother had ceased to see me as a threat, and even took to complaining to me, whenever I visited, of the iniquities that the last wife (who was now the Wife) liked to visit upon her. Every time she complained to me, it was all I could do not to point out to her that she’d exhibited the exact same nastiness toward my mother, and then me.

Anyway, because of all that polygamous family drama, I visited my father sparingly.

Now, my social media activity is not entirely closeted. Even though I have my family members in my Facebook friend list, including my father (who’d made me open a Facebook account for him), I wasn’t very restrained in my online expressions about the LGBT. I weighed in on issues, like the Pulse nightclub shooting that happened in 2016. When I purchased a wristband, which had the colours of the rainbow and the lettering “LGBT” etched on it, I put it on, photographed the band on my wrist and posted it online. I did things like this, oftentimes subtle, but always indicative of my pride as a gay man.

Then one night, I got a call. It was my father’s number. My father had never ever called me before. Ever! Seeing his name on the Caller ID made my heart skip. I thought he’d died and some family member was calling to inform me.

But when I answered, it was him. He said he would like to see me the following day. I said OK. I didn’t dwell too much on it.

The next day, after work, I drove to Sango. He was at home. We talked for a bit, during which time he remarked on the fact that I’d dyed my hair wine-red. I lied that I’d dyed my hair because of a modeling gig I had.

“What about this?” He brought out his phone and swiped a bit on the screen before turning it to show me.

It was the Facebook post of my LGBT wristband.

“What about it?” I asked.

He said he saw it and asked my step-brothers (the twins) what it meant – the LGBT, that is. When they told him, he’d gotten worried, and that was why he called me over.

I told him the wristband was not an issue. That it was simply me showing solidarity for the LGBT community in the wake of the recent shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

He protested, saying how putting such a thing out there might give people the wrong impression about me. That already, some people were complaining.

“By some people, you mean my brothers, don’t you?” I said, knowing he had to be reacting to whatever Taiwo and Kehinde must have said to him.

He evaded my question and carried on telling me to be careful not to give people the wrong impression.

Then he asked me about my girlfriend. Months ago, when the issue of marriage came up, I made up a girlfriend staying in Akwa Ibom with a busy career. When he asked me about her, suggesting that I should bring her home sometime, I told him she was fine and we would see about a visit sometime in the near future.

And that was that.

The following week, this time, my mother called me to tell me that my father had summoned us (me and her) to the family house. I asked her if he was dying; she said she had no idea. She wasn’t comfortable with the summon, and suggested we go along with one of my step-sisters. (My mother had had five daughters from her marriage before she met my father. That marriage was dissolved because she wasn’t able to have a son.)

So, on the day we were to go to Sango, I drove with my mother and step-sister, who was basically accompanying us to serve as a witness to whatever unpleasantness my mother envisioned my father had in store for us.

When we got to the family house, it was to meet a house teeming with relatives. Uncles and their wives and aunties. We were ushered to the living room upstairs, where the meeting was supposed to convene. Where these relatives had all already taken seats.

Immediately I noticed that I was the only youth in the gathering, I knew. I just knew that my secret was out. I simply didn’t know how.

I also knew that this day was about to mark a turning point in my life. My suddenly racing pulse was confirmation of that. My way of mentally bracing myself for what was to come.

My father started the meeting. He began by bringing up the wristband issue we talked about just a week ago. He produced the photo and showed it to my mother and step-sister, asking if they knew what the letters on the band meant.

They said no.

He told them to google it.

They did. And encountered the answer: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender.

At this, my mother turned to give me a look that seemed to be asking: What on earth is this about?

My father proceeded to ask her, “Now, ask your son what he’s doing with that thing.”

She asked me.

And like I told him before, I answered that I’d posted the photo in solidarity with the American LGBT community that was affected by the Orlando shooting.

But my father was clearly operating on the fuel of new information. He lashed out across my explanation, saying that only gay people wear that wristband, steamrolling on to spout further homophobic trash. He went on and on. Bringing up a recent news report of something that happened in the North, where a teacher raped his male student and was caught.

“That is what your child wants to be doing to other people’s children!” he snarled at my mother.

Throughout his tirade, mostly directed at my mother, she stayed mellow. When she was able to get a word in edgewise, it was to say that she didn’t know what to say.

My relatives started interjecting. One uncle said that it was the way of children of nowadays, that we like to do plenty things. Another said it’s the result of peer pressure, which makes us learn all sorts of nonsense. An aunt directed a scathing attack on my mother, saying it was because my mother wasn’t prayerful enough, and that this was all spiritual.

My father reignited his diatribe when he began asking me why I’d decided to soil the family name. that this could ruin us. That it is an abomination against our religion and culture. Yada, yada, yada.

All through the drama, I’d been sitting quiet, not uttering a single word.

An aunt noticed this and rounded on me, asking what I had to say for myself.

Before I could respond, my father said, “He cannot deny it. Of course, he can’t. Because it was Taiwo who told me himself.”

Upon hearing this, I first felt some hurt lance through my heart. Of the two men, Taiwo was the twin I was closest to. Yes, I was aware that there were some tensions that came from the fact that post-NYSC, I was living on my own, making a life for myself, while they both had moved back into our father’s house to live with al the many other siblings, some of them men who had married and still lived in the compound with their families.

But still, I thought that I had the kind of relationship with Taiwo that guaranteed me the courtesy of him calling me to tell me whatever he knew instead of going off to tattle to our father.

Which brought me to my second reaction. What exactly did Taiwo find out about me? I was confused.

I didn’t have time to dwell on that, because that aunt was saying to my father, “At least, let him talk. Let’s hear what he has to say.”

I got up to my feet and began talking. My tone was cool, my manner controlled, as I talked about how some of the things they’d all been saying was true and some others falsehood. I talked about how yes, I am who I am. Who they’ve said I am.

As I was talking, through my side-eye vision, I could see my step-sister giving me a “what do you think you’re doing” look.

My father interrupted me in a rage. “He’s not even remorseful!” he exploded. “Woman, see the child you raised,” he said, turning once again to my mother. “Just look at! He’s not even remorseful. Look here” – he returned his fury to me – “you better get your act together. Before I decide to do what’s on my mind. Because you people know me. If I dare decide to do what’s on my mind, you won’t like it.”

Everybody in the room promptly began begging him. Some knelt, some prostrated. “Alhaji, e ma binu…” they begged. Even my mother joined in the chorus, everyone pleading with him not to do whatever was on his mind.

I was livid. Why were they begging him? I got even angrier when some of them began asking me to beg. Beg for what?

I turned to my father and made sure I was looking him in the eye as I said, “It is only someone who has offended someone else that will have something to apologise for. Last I checked, I haven’t offended you or anyone else in this room. So, I see no reason for me to beg or apologise.”

At this, my mother burst out in Yoruba, “This child has finished me.”

My father was further enraged and finally issued his ultimatum. “Don’t come back to this house until you are ready to behave yourself and to apologise.”

That was all I needed to dismiss myself. I picked up my car key and phone from my sear and looked at my mother and said, “Woman, I’m ready to drive back to Lagos. Are you joining me or do you want to take a bus ride home?”

I didn’t wait for her response. I turned and left the room. I couldn’t believe my father. He was really giving me an ultimatum? Really? he who had last contributed financially to my welfare in 2012 – my transport fare to Rivers State! What did he imagine was going to happen here?

He had just given me the audacity to be done with him.

When I got downstairs, I ran into Taiwo. I was going to simply walk past him, but he said he wanted to talk to me.

“Don’t worry. You’ve already said enough,” I said tersely to him.

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Popsy told me you were the one who started this whole thing. The one who told him about me. I thought we were cool.” I looked accusingly at him.

“No, it’s not like that,” he protested.

“How is it like then?”

“It’s Paul who told me about you,” he said.

I stood there, at first scrambling to fit into this picture the identity of this “Paul”, and then, when I realised who he was talking about, I was surprised.

“Paul? Your friend, Paul?” I asked.

“Yes. He came around some days ago and confessed everything to me. about what he is, and how the two of you were doing it during NYSC. About how he is no longer into it. That he went to a church for prayers and got delivered. How he wants you to come to his church, so that you can be delivered as well.”

As Taiwo rambled on and on, I stood there, trying to process what he was saying. Trying to process the idiocy of a former lover, who I hadn’t spoken to in three years, fancying himself a delivered ex-gay man, and instead of reaching out to me through Facebook (he was on my friend list) or a phone call, he decided to not only unburden his delivered soul to my brother, but to out me as well.

Who the fuck does that!!!

And Taiwo –

I refocused to him. Did he really expect me to exonerate him with this? I snapped at him, “So, Paul told you all this, and instead of you reaching out to me to at least verify the things he said to you, you went straight to blab to Popsy. What do you call that?”

He didn’t have anything to say.

Eventually, my mother, step-sister and I were on our way back to Lagos. It was a two-hour-plus drive because of the construction of the Abule Egba road, and throughout the drive, the three of us never said a word to each other.

The next day though, my mother called me and spoke to me like nothing had happened. I knew she was in denial when she talked about the things she was praying for over my life, mentioning that a wife was one of her prayer points. I didn’t bother to counter her; if this was how she wanted to cope, then that was okay.

As for Paul, when I sought him out on Facebook to lambast him, he replied with: I’m sorry. I didn’t know Taiwo would tell your father. I didn’t mean for this to happen.

Well, I wish you happiness in the life you’ve chosen, I replied before blocking him.

It’s been nearly two years since that fateful meeting in my father’s living room. Two years since I owned my truth to my family. Two years since I interacted with my father or step-brothers. Their mother (the second wife) called me when Taiwo was getting married to invite me. I told her I was going to be busy that day. She called a few months later to tell me that Kehinde was getting married and there was some fabric for me to sew my attire for the nuptials. I told her I was going to be too busy to attend the wedding. She must have gotten the memo because she stopped calling me.

They’ll be fine las-las.

And I’ll be fine.

Actually, I am fine. There is so much fineness that comes from being in plain sight with your truth, even if my outing was made to happen for the love of Christ.

Written by The Preacher

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54 Comments

  1. O_shabby
    April 08, 07:37 Reply

    This is so heart whelming and tough but i hope you find the means of making yourself more comfortable because the issue will rise again about whom you are in your family

    • Leon
      April 10, 07:23 Reply

      ‘all these TB people? We know your type tho, what are you doing on a TB’s blog in the first place? You didn’t go to LIB, BellaNaija and co. You’d be fine las las o, continue.

  2. Higwe
    April 08, 08:11 Reply

    Still goes back to what I keep saying – get independent gay men :that’s the only way you can remotely live your truth in this godforsaken slum we call a country .

    —————————————-

    Writer : find a way to make peace with your family .
    You kept hinting that they were jealous of you because of your ‘success ‘ .

    I only saw a semi underexposed ( typical Nigerian)family that reacted to something the only way they knew how.

    I’m not from a polygamous home ,so I don’t understand how it works .
    But I do understand how adulthood works -CIVILITY plays a key role .

    You don’t need to go all palsy walsy …but having a civil relationship with your family won’t cost you an arm or leg .

    This story is supposed to be about liberation and emancipation, but it ended up sounding like an angry rant sparged with some old fashioned gloating. Which leads me to think you’ve still not found inner peace ..*I stand to be corrected though *😎

    I think your father loves you …he might not have been there for you as much as you wanted , but then look at how things worked out in the end for you.

    I think it’s time you started to let go.

    Be unapologetic ;but considerate .

    If they extend a hand , don’t fold yours .

    The importance of family can never be overemphasized .

    Your father is a dying old man …how long is he gonna stick to his resolve ? Sooner or later , he’s going to accept you …probably , never wholly… but he’d learn to let you be .

    ———————–

    At the end of the day , you’re an adult ,so I take it you know what’s best for you .

    The level of toxicity in your family might have been downplayed or overstated in this write up ( I wouldn’t know ) you’re the one who had the experience …..

    So keep doing what you think is best for you .
    This is just my two cents , you don’t need to take it seriously 😁 no one does anyway .🤣

    • Pink Panther
      April 08, 08:32 Reply

      I have a question for you, Higwe. Have you ever been out to your family? Your parents?

      • Higwe
        April 08, 12:33 Reply

        Objection!
        Relevance ? 😶

        • Pink Panther
          April 08, 16:20 Reply

          The relevance is that you made some sweeping presumptions that I think is only fitting opinion from someone who hasn’t had to be thrust in a space where he confronts his family over his sexuality.

          I see that you have admitted severally to not knowing enough about the writer’s life to have an authority on what you’re saying about his life, but permit me to address some of the presumptions you made.

          You keep talking about civility, and I am curious as to where in the writer’s story it was said he wasn’t civil to his family. Civility is basically defined as a formal or perfunctory politeness toward others, and nowhere in the story was he uncivil to his family. Declining a wedding invitation is not being uncivil; what would not be civil is raving and ranting at his stepmother to leave him alone. Which he didn’t do.

          What else did he do would you call an uncivil relationship with his family?

          You talk about a civil relationship with his family, but in fact, what you mean is “with his father”, because from the story, the writer does have a good relationship with his mother. So, everything you said about the “structure of the country we live in” and how weighty the approval of one’s parents are as one pursues his career (even though this is news to me and I have never come across any situation where, as an adult with career prospects, my parents were needed to weigh in) is kind of moot, because he does have a relationship with his mother.

          IF those parental approvals were a factor in his life, I would think his mother’s word would suffice.

          Again, these instances you gave are baffling to me, because it makes me wonder how young working adults who do not have any living parents get by in Nigeria. But OK.

          • Pink Panther
            April 08, 16:21 Reply

            You said: “This story is supposed to be about liberation and emancipation, but it ended up sounding like an angry rant sparged with some old fashioned gloating. Which leads me to think you’ve still not found inner peace…”

            Even though you said you stand to be corrected, I think the original comment was very unfair and unnecessary. How is the story an angry rant? Because he talked about his reactions when his family confronted him in the meeting? Because he talked about how he lashed out at his stepbrother for betraying him? Of course, he was angry. THEN.

            How else would the story be complete if he didn’t narrate how he felt THEN?

            How does his narration of what happened nearly two years ago speak to you about his state of mind NOW?

            How does he talking about the things he felt during a confrontation over his sexuality in 2016 make you question his inner peace in 2019?

            “An angry rant sparged with some old-fashioned gloating”?
            LOL.

            • Pink Panther
              April 08, 16:21 Reply

              Again, you said: “I think it’s time you started to let go. Be unapologetic; but considerate. If they extend a hand, don’t fold yours. The importance of family can never be overemphasized. Your father is a dying old man…”

              First of all, his father is a dying old man? I’m deeply curious as to where in the story you got that from.

              Secondly, everything else before that “dying old man” part is what makes me wonder if you have ever come out to your family, who reacted with hostility. Because anyone who has would not say these things that you have said.

              Anyone who has come out to a hostile family, a family that has made it clear that the only way a relationship can exist between you and them is if YOU CHANGE, would know the insensitivity of saying “it’s time you started to let go, be unapologetic but considerate.”

              What is he supposed to let go exactly? What is he supposed to be considerate over? “If they extend a hand…” – the story isn’t about him and his stepmother. It is about him and his father. And nowhere in the story is it written that his father extended a hand. The last thing his father said to him was for him to not come back until he has decided to change. Where is the olive branch there?

              I know you added at the end of all your comments a disclaimer that ultimately, the writer should decide for himself. But there are just some things you cannot know enough to talk so blithely about until you have walked in those shoes. Coming out to a hostile family is one of them. Until you are able to talk about how YOU felt when YOU came out to a family whose instinct is not to accept you, whose reaction to the knowledge of you being gay is to make it their mission to unravel your self-esteem, then you cannot say for a fact that “the importance of family can never be overemphasized.”

              Trust me.

              The importance of family is overexaggerated. I not only speak from a place of someone who has friends who are surviving the horrors of family. I speak from a personal place too.

          • Higwe
            April 08, 20:52 Reply

            Now to answer your question.

            It doesn’t even matter whether my answer is a Yes or No .

            I love my parents way too much and I love my sexuality just as much .

            god forbid I’ll ever have to pick between the two .

            If in the case that I happen to come out to them and I’m met with hostility ,I’ll always find a way to make it work .

            Trust me , I’m very good at fixing things .
            And I wouldn’t need to lose any part of myself to do it .

            ———————–

            As for the other points you so dutifully emnumerated …I don’t need to explain myself further…I already presented different view points that could nullify my stance ….I see no need to beat this dead horse further.

            ___________

            Dying – on point of death .

            The writer told us at the beginning of his story that he’s the eleventh child of his father .

            Factoring in the Nigerian educational system and some and the brief impediments the writer encountered in his pursuit of education , I’d say he should be
            anywhere from mid twenties to late twenties .

            Now a man whose eleventh child is approaching thirty , even if he started breeding as a teenager will most likely be a septuagenarian or an octogenarian.

            Knowing the life expectancy of men (male ) is between 68 -71 years and life expectancy of Nigerians even lower ……it is not ambiguous to refer to a polygamous man with age related health issues (minor or otherwise ) around that age as – a dying man .

            Unless his father is an extremely lucky man …among the lucky one percenters that live an extraordinarily long life , there is a high likelihood that his father will be dead in a few years or even less.

            ____________
            And last but not the least …

            Not being outlandishly rude doesn’t translate to being civil .

            There are so many things that factor in for something to be considered rude .

            A sharp reply though not accompanied with a deliterious or vile mark can be rude .

            Insensitivity can also be classified as rude .

            The fact he wasn’t screaming down his step mother to stop calling him , doesn’t mean he was civil .

            Walking out of a family gathering comprising of older relations after a heated argument between himself and his father ; is not being civil.

            Proceeding to sever all ties with his family and merely putting up with their calls in a few occasions they manage to reach out to him , is not being civil .

            Having a good relationship with only your birth mother in a family of nearly or over twenty , is not having a good relationship with your family .😐

          • Higwe
            April 08, 22:17 Reply

            Again, these instances you gave are baffling to me, because it makes me wonder how young working adults who do not have any living parents get by in Nigeria. But OK.

            ———————————-

            I guess you missed the part where I said
            ” while this is not always the case …….”

            His mother’s words can suffice ….I never excluded his mother .I only mentioned that most people would prefer a living father to a living mother.
            You can’t tell me you’re unaware of the existing patriarchy and misogyny in the country you live in .😑

    • Kenny
      April 08, 09:45 Reply

      He doesn’t have to be civil to his family. He doesn’t owe his father shit, the man sponsored his education because he was his responsibility. He could have loved him at some point yes but he made his choice when he gave Preacher the ultimatum he did. Let him live with his choice. I’m even surprised he was still picking his step mum’s calls.

      Family is anyone who loves and accepts you unconditionally, it doesn’t have to be blood relatives.

      • Higwe
        April 08, 12:33 Reply

        Uhmmmm

        His father training him in school is his duty and not some favour ….. that’s the reason I never brought it up or said he owed anything to his father .

        I merely asked him to be civil , I didn’t say he should go and kiss his father’s feet .

        I think the international media and its content, has made a lot of us delusional and we always seem to forget- ——-the structure of the country we are unfortunate to live in .

        Some firms won’t approve your employment till they get a signature from your parents (notably your father )

        Some people won’t buy anything you’re selling till they get a surety from your parents (often fathers )

        Even to get your visa approved sometimes requires the statement of account of your parents or guardians.

        While this is not always the case , it should not be considered negligible .
        ******************

        Emotion is beautiful .

        For some split seconds or even minutes , it provides us with that beautiful feeling of ataraxia.

        But on no account , should emotion override intelligence or realisticism.

        Yet again I repeat !

        HE IS AN ADULT WHO I THINK SHOULD KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR HIM .

        SO MY SUGGESTION(that he should find a way to work out things with his father) SHOULD COME UNDER ADVISEMENT AND NOT SOME GUIDE I’M STRUCTURING OUT FOR HIM TO FOLLOW .

        Being civil with people while not necessarily liking or loving them has saved me from so many fucked up situations.

        I merely suggested something that I have tried successfully.

        ____________

        ” Family is anyone that loves and accepts you unconditionally ” this is very misleading ….

        The term FAMILY is very broad and encompassing .

        You’d be surprised how very little love and acceptance have to do with it .

        In Dolores Claiborne : a story penned by the genuis horror writer – Stephen King .

        Vera Donovan and Dolores Claiborne (her housekeeper )have lived together for nearly 50 years .

        They didn’t like or love each other .
        They never missed an opportunity to fight or abuse each other .
        But alas , they considered each other family.
        Infact when Vera died , she willed everything she had to Dolores .

        Dolores would often describe their relationship like two old bats that have perched on the same spot for years.They became used to each other’s snooze and stink without necessarily any of the niceties that should make up an actual family .

        ———-

        So …
        Describing family as “unconditionally loving “is a very porous analogy (knowing it hardly exists )

        So many things can make people a family : duty , obligation , time , faction .

        But this is a discussion for another day though .

        ———————————-

        Writer: do whatever you feel is best for you .

        Your peace of mind should always come first.😑

        • Keredim
          April 08, 13:27 Reply

          I think the international media and its content, has made a lot of us delusional and we always seem to forget- ——-the structure of the country we are unfortunate to live in .

          (H)igwe!!!!!👊🏿👊🏿

    • stimpex
      April 08, 11:10 Reply

      There’s some sense in this comment.
      It’s been nearly 2 years. Perhaps, the frostiness may have thawed a little with some family members.
      Explore it and see. If it works out well, fine. If it doesn’t, too bad.

    • Keredim
      April 08, 13:30 Reply

      Your father is a dying old man …

      Nna, how far? Where did he say that?😳

    • Sim
      April 08, 15:39 Reply

      Totally agree with you. ..u limited ur views to the precinct exposed by the writing. And you made a good judgment of it, IF THEY OFFER AN OLIVE BRANCH, ACCEPT IT.

      • Pink Panther
        April 08, 16:25 Reply

        Of course. IF THEY offer an olive branch, who wouldn’t accept it? What gay man who was outcast by his family after he came out to them would scoff at an olive branch extended by that family? I mean, it goes without saying. Everyone wants the unconditional love and approval of his family, and if that family repents and decides to welcome the prodigal gay son back into the fold, can you think of any reason why such a gay man would turn the offer down?

        But THAT is not the context of the story here. The family (read father) didn’t extend an olive branch. So the point is mute.

        • Sim
          April 08, 18:03 Reply

          The father is not the only member of tht family. Accepting to be friends with those who offered it, should be welcomed. Have u forgotten everyone at the meeting prostrated and pleaded to Alhaji not to do his worst. And the stepmom had tried a of couple times to invite him to family functions-is tht not reaching out? Many problems with us is that we expect to be accepted unconditionally and immediately without allowing others time to learn about our diversity, overcome the shock etc.

          • Mandy
            April 08, 18:22 Reply

            Of course, that is the problem with us. That after spending so much of our lives being victimized, maligned, living in fear, enduring self torture, suffering self doubt… That we would dare expect our families to find out who we are and not outrightly condemn us considering all the years they have spent knowing us and growing up with us.
            Of course, the problem is with us for expecting that much.
            Thank you, Sim, for that illuminating perspective on the failings of out gay people.
            When I come out, I will make sure to give my family all the time they need to “overcome their shock”, however way they choose to do that overcoming.

          • The Preacher
            April 09, 15:35 Reply

            There’s no point attending the event when the main players didn’t invite me. I had to Save myself the embarrassment knowing fully well I’m gon be seeing all the other homophobic ones. One person reaching out amongst over 30 family members is not a favourable and reasonable ratio IMO.

      • Higwe
        April 08, 23:04 Reply

        Coming from you ,this is a huge honour.
        You don’t know how much I respect and admire you sir.
        I’m blushing 🤗😚

    • Spartacus
      April 09, 10:41 Reply

      I love the way you’re just so surreal. You think of it as life and not as an article. I wish I could get to know you more. ✌

    • Lanre Swagg
      April 09, 13:26 Reply

      I myself have been in the author’s shoes, so i find the comments by “Higwe” ignorant and offensive.
      it is already clear from many of his sentences that he is a world apart and has no experience of the issue.

      he says “i love my parents way too much” and “the importance of family can never be overemphasized” …but nobody in these life and death situations has that luxury of sweeping assumptions and unquestioned sentiments.
      he says “i think your father loves you”….really? since you believe that, then may you have this kind of “love” in your life till you are old and dead.

      It’s one of these moments when i realize we are all gay doesn’t mean we share similar values..it’s like a small country with 300 ethnic groups. It would have been nice to just offer empathy to the writer who has been traumatized, backstabbed, outed and deprived of love, family, social capital and personhood, or just keep quiet and learn from such a rare testimony….about an experience which is still waiting for all of us at some point down the road.

    • Lanre Swagg
      April 09, 13:32 Reply

      Higwe, one word, projection.
      Blinded by your own expectations, and overemphasizing your personal need to hold on to the fantasy of family and approval by father, viz a viz your potential risk of being outcast as a gay child,

      And projecting these felt needs over the personal situation of this writer, an already outed gay child with a different family experience, and whose point you have totally missed.

    • The Preacher
      April 09, 15:30 Reply

      Trust me the toxicity was seriously downplayed,if I had dwelled more on that, the story will no longer be about coming out. Just so you know, I reached out to my Dad a few times mostly his birthday and other notable Islamic holidays but didn’t work out.
      Until you are outed and faced with that option of family or your sanity, trust me you can only ASSUME.

    • Leon
      April 10, 07:40 Reply

      When I read comments like this, I get excited. I can see what family mean to you. I don’t wish to even choose between my family and my sexuality too. But in all sincerity, some of these family members need to be lectured, they are mostly harsh because they can’t fanthom the fact that you find your fellow men sexually attracted. Ignoring them even when you think you are financially independent isn’t the best.

      Let them know the struggle you through, and you have tried to become straight at a point (which I believe most of us have at a point)

      Before y’all come to bash me, my dad knows I’m gay, I told him not to tell my mum cod I feel she can’t handle it yet. For the first one year after my father discovered, he kept malice for that whole year. Befor the incident, I pay for his monthly data, not because he can’t afford it but I just feel I need to give my parents something even tho they need Nothing from me financially.

      After the incident, I didn’t stop the payment, he told me to but I didn’t. Fast forward to 2017, we resolved this drama miraculously and my mother doesn’t still know

      My dad isn’t happy about it but that’s his cross, he’s accepted it and we are cool.

      I don’t know what family is to others tho but when I’m at peace with mine, I feel like I got no problems.

  3. Mandy
    April 08, 08:41 Reply

    That Paul is an irresponsible fucktard. How about you focus on your own “salvation” and leave others alone to seek deliverance if and when they want to. And really? He didn’t mean for what happened to happen? What is he, stupid? What if the writer wasn’t independent, that is how the stupidity and irresponsibility of a born again busybody would just put him in serious jeopardy.

    We should learn to be respectful of people’s struggles in this community. However you move on your lane, respect another person’s right to his own lane. Outing someone without his categorical permission is a big No-No!!! Unless such a person is using his perceived heterosexuality to harm community members, there’s no excuse for outing someone. Whatever your intentions may be.

    I’m glad you’re living your life, Preacher. If maintaining your distance from your father is your way to keep your sanity and pride, by all means, do you. Nigerians like to overemphasize the value of family to the point of someone’s detriment. You know your family and its value in your life. Live your life accordingly.

    • Rainbow Nova
      April 08, 23:48 Reply

      I’m just so glad that the great Pink Panther has absolutely said it all, in fact even more than words. I thank Mandy so much for finishing it up so perfectly.

      Higwe, Sim (and like minds)… I won’t waste words (not after PP’s epic schooling, in fact I need to share this just so my friends can read the comments) but I will say just one thing, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed”, this delusion of a mirage you call an opinion (sly smirk) if not wiped off in oblivion soon and quickly will lead to a very painful future, actually no you’re living it already. I’ll let you ponder that in hopes that you realize the true reality ‘cause it seems presently, you’re much too frightened to grasp it, the inevitable piercing truth will eventually stab you from inside and when the veil falls, you’ll remember my words.

      Good luck gentlemen, I bid you…“wake up”.

  4. Canis VY Majoris
    April 08, 12:30 Reply

    Moral of the story:

    Being independent (physically and financially) is an essential ingredient for ‘coming out’ in Nigeria.

    • Mariposa
      April 10, 00:00 Reply

      In as much as every is still saying the same thing… Different routes but still at a particular junction or car park… Pink Panther is right… Higwe is also right…
      But I feel you guys ain’t reading the Message Higwe is passing across… We’re reading with emotions but the Truth is Family is Everything. There’s this joy that floods ones heart when His Family Accepts Him no matter the kind of open minded friends he or she has cos at the end he or she would still go back to the family when the world shuts them out knowing their Family got them…

      Let’s take time to read those words of Higwe line by Line and you’ll get the message being passed and again, let’s not get carried away with what we see the white people do via TV/Social Media cos they would say or write, forget Family. I’ve got the best people in my life and I call them Family but in reality, they are waiting for just a Call from their Homophobic Father or Mother because they know Friends would never give you what Family would Give…

      Preacher… Don’t stop being the Kind, Loving, Caring, Generous Lad that you are cos of what you Family did… Still reach out to them, you don’t have to call or text them 24/7 but still Reach out anyways…
      Stay Strong…

      • Pink Panther
        April 10, 01:06 Reply

        This “family is everything” message you people keep trotting out is funny. How can you be a Nigerian Gay Man, with a full knowledge of all that’s happening around you, think that family is the same thing for everybody? Just how? Please, stop projecting your reality to everyone else. It’s either naive or insensitive.

  5. bamidele
    April 08, 12:34 Reply

    What a touching story. Quite non-sexual. Well, apparently this people, like most of our people are quite ignorant about homosexuality. I am happy that you’re successful so that you’d have no reason to look up to anyone for assistance. Thank you for making my day with such a touching story.

  6. Sworld
    April 08, 13:51 Reply

    Above all, I’m just glad you are doing so fine!.
    May God continue to enlarge your coast and blesses you beyond your endeavours.

    I pray someday the whole world will get to understand that ones sexuality is not a SIN n not a call for Family meetings or deliverance.

    For all the born again confused sexuality?, May what suit them descend on them all.

    As for our parents?, Lets call them often, pray for them, send them gifts as often we could, let them know we are doing so fine, no need to worry about you.
    thank you.

  7. Sim
    April 08, 16:16 Reply

    Ogbeni Preacher, acceptance is both ways. You have to accept them and likewise them accepting you. Non is perfect bro #Period

    • Pink Panther
      April 08, 16:28 Reply

      I’m sorry, Sim, but what sort of bunkum are you even saying? I mean, seriously. Did you reason your comment before you typed them? Acceptance is both ways? What is he expected to accept? And from who? The load of insensitivity in your comment is startling, considering how much better I know you can do.

      • Sim
        April 08, 17:55 Reply

        Pinky, it’s my opinion.

        His step mother had called him to attend family functions, I see it as a step towards acceptance. How can he change his family altitude or educate anyone by avoiding them? I stand by my opinion, acceptance is both ways, accept the olive branch when offered.

        • The Preacher
          April 09, 15:43 Reply

          No one knows my family more than I do, there’s nothing to be accepting of from them. The condemnation and humiliation already received is enough. There’s no need for more.
          I decided to tell the story not cos of the family but cos of the PAULS in the community. Unfortunately a friend recently suffered the same fate. I’m sure when he’s ready he’ll tell his too.

          • Mariposa
            April 10, 00:25 Reply

            Preacher… No one is disputing that Fact but what were you expecting when they found out you’re gay… That they’ll kiss you on the Face and say We Love You still…

            You’re in a Country where the Norms and Tradition is Man and Woman… If your Father hears you raped a Girl and you were put in jail but you ain’t gay no more😀😀😀… He would rush to bail you out… Most of our Parents grew up with that mindset that It is Man and Woman and not the other way round… Some are open minded others are not even the most educated ones…

            If your family acted that way especially your Dad it shouldn’t be a Surprise to you… Its expected to be now its your Duty to reform their mindset it might take years but don’t allow this Condemnation and Humiliation make you shut them out… You’re not selling yourself to them but at the same time you’re not changing who you are…

            Ndi Pauls inside this Community. Continue to cause Havoc in this Community ohhhh… We’re here trying to make like better and save ourselves from Set up guys and we have you Pauls making life worse for the same people who you call Family. Biko I wonder which is worse… *SET UP OR PAULS* cos Ike’agwu gwo’m… Why are people just evil… They cause damage and later say Sorry…

            Pink Panther… I think you should take out time and write on how to identify PAULS and also educate some on how to handle situation when such things arise…

  8. Peace
    April 08, 21:47 Reply

    The wisdom I’m gaining from reading these comments. Good lord!

  9. Black Dynasty
    April 09, 10:16 Reply

    See ehn, until you’ve had to come out to Nigerian parents… your ideals are basically just that, and not reality. If you’ve not been put in that position, willingly or unwillingly….. biko 🤐. You don’t have the relevant experience to criticize someone else coping the best way they can.

    I frankly applaud your courage to stand your ground @ the preacher and to face family head on no matter what. I really am happy you chose your sanity and peace of mind over family pressure and a life of misery.

    To come out especially not on your own terms is beyond terrifying and frankly, I would have done the same as you.

    Wishing you best of luck @ the preacher.

    • The Preacher
      April 09, 15:38 Reply

      Thanks a lot. Wasn’t easy though but like someone posted earlier, being independent has a lot of advantage.

      • Black Dynasty
        April 10, 13:01 Reply

        I know what you mean. I came out to both my parents earlier this year and I know just how hard that was, even though it was on my own terms. I can only imagine how much harder yours would have been.

        And yup, definitely agree @ being independent. They can’t cripple your life with financial and eviction threats. It definitely added to my choice to come out.

  10. Dimkpa
    April 09, 16:04 Reply

    I applaud you Preacher for your courage. You faced a crowd like that and came out with your head held high. I stan!

    As for the naysayers, those that see the negative in every story, don’t pay them any mind. I have been on this blog long enough to see various incarnations come and go. They think they’re smart but don’t realise that their need to say hurtful things comes from the pain they carry around.

    Family is over exaggerated like Pinky said. It is family that have thrown countless gay people out on the streets to suffer. It is family that has driven many LGBT youth to commit suicide all over the world. It is family that choose religion and the approval of strangers over their same sex relatives. Yet somehow we are supposed to bow to them. If they decide that their blood is not thicker than water, then f*&k them, is what I’d say.

    • Higwe
      April 09, 18:00 Reply

      Only in this case his family is not any of that……

      His father loves him and constantly brags about his intellectual prowess.

      He had a good relationship with one of his twin half sibling.

      His step mother that used to be vile to him is seen making amends to rebuild their relationship.

      How does this liken to all the situations you listed ?

      It’s pink panther’s opinion that family is overrated
      And it is my opinion that family is important…it is a free world and everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

      Someone might say Chinuea Achebe is a better writer than Chimamanda Adichie because he wrote about patriotism and culture , another person might think Chimamanda is the better writer because she writes about patriarchy in the society.

      These are people’s opinions and you can always agree to disagree.

      Throwing shades is childish !

      No one here is deliberately trying to hurt the writer .
      Everyone here is looking out for him the best way they know how .

      Different views ; same intention.

      Who are you to look down on other people’s opinions just because it is different from yours ?

      What makes yours or pink Panther’s opinion superior ?

      —————————-

      Every adult carries hurt around and you’re no exception yourself.
      Adulthood comes with a lot of disappointments ; heartbreaks , stalled or unrealized dreams .
      So every adult carries hurt around , do not partion it only to the ‘ naysayers’

      _________

      No one has succeeded in this life by thinking he’s a fool .
      To some degree you have to feel smart to be smart .

      __________________

      This is not a battle of comments.
      No one here is gaining anything by leaving the best comment (unless some people are , I wouldn’t know that ) .

      No one here is vying for an EMMY .

      ____

      The first story I submitted here was when I broke up with a man I was really starting develop feelings for because I had an STD scare ….

      Many people castigated me , some people told me I did the right thing ,at the end of the day I took it all in and made a conspicuous decision.

      Different views are helpful.

      What if at the end of the day his family accepts him and he gets to live as a gay man surrounded by the love of his family.

      Will you cover your head in shame after advising him to ‘Fuck them ‘

      Then which opinion will you see as negative then ….you – who advised him to fuck them or the people that advised him to try and reach out if they’re showing willingness.

      Live and let others live please .Life is not that serious.

      The way some of you are talking ,you’d think we pointed a gun to his head and asked him to run back to his family .

      And you wonder why a despicable man like Donald Trump will likely win his second tenure.
      Because the whole world is fucking tired of ‘Liberals ‘

      People who claim they want to offer equity and liberty but will try to suppress you whenever you point out that the emperor could actually be dancing naked.

      It’s like we all are expected to be fucking robots …
      Nod at the same thing
      Say the same things
      And the world will be dandy and beautiful.

      Mtcheeeeeew .

      • trystham
        April 09, 20:35 Reply

        I wanted to read all the tripe u had written but stopped at “father continually bragged about his intellectual prowess”. You either do not care or do not know that EVERY good quality that u have cultivated and known for over the years, become insignificant the minute you are tagged ‘gay’. All the praises you have earned become curses. Wake up to the Nigerian Gay’s reality

  11. Leon
    April 10, 07:51 Reply

    The preacher, thanks for sharing, very thoughtful of you. No one knows your family better, and I’m not advocating that you go back to them. Lessons have been learnt from the Judas (Paul).

    I’m glad you even still picked your step mother’s call when she called you. Sometimes when people make attempts to hurt us, it turn out to work in our favour. Don’t block your step brother (Taiwo) completely. If he make an attempt to reach you, accept him, be at peace with him. You don’t have to go back to being close tho and make he acknowledges that he messed up big time and he should apologize.

    Thanks for sharing once again.

  12. Deadly Darius
    April 10, 09:27 Reply

    Preacher Man, I’m so sorry about what you had to go through and what is still happening. And I’m glad you have found peace.

    As for some of the comments, I would like to say I’m surprised but I’m not…..just disappointed. There is a place for empathy and then there are times when you should be restrained if all you have in condemnation. Someone who has never confronted this issue is on a pulpit lecturing about ’emotions’ and ‘intelligence’. Making one assumption after another about someone else’s family and reality. All the while downplaying and hinting the poster is lying about his situation. Kai. Na wah oh.

    Family is important and will be to most people. But there are always exceptions. There are families who have done despicable things to their sons simply because of who they are….and those guys are supposed to swallow it all? Leaving aside the diatribes about ‘liberals’ and Trump…let me just say that when you are making a focused comment (eg family will be there when friends can’t help) kindly INDIVIDUALIZE it. Your experiences are not the template for everyone.

  13. Francis
    April 10, 14:14 Reply

    @The Preacher: all I can say is I wish you well and I’m super glad life is moving on just fine for you.

    Do and I repeat DO WHATEVER THE FUCK you have to do to maintain your sanity. All man can keep their opinions for when they are actually thrown into this kain messy situation 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗

  14. Rex
    April 10, 22:15 Reply

    Words cant ever describe the feeling, Some comments are reeking of ignorance i swear, i feel like slapping some commenters so hard they come back to default setting, No one can think of imagining the resentment the bile, the hate and the eminent danger you feel when you are outted to your family, all the rubbish of “Family is everything will disappear”, Most Nigerian parents just wish they keep hearing goodnews only about their children. they can’t even stand the news of a carryover not to talk of an outting.
    I DARE Y’ALL SAYING FAMILY IS EVERYTHING TO COME OUT TO THEIR FAMILY, THEN YOU’LL SEE THAT FAMILY ISNT EVERYTHING LASS LASS

  15. Kay
    April 11, 02:46 Reply

    Pretty interesting write up. I’d imagine these coming out/outting stories would be much worse.

    Always find it funny when we ask people to change who they are, like it’s a switch you just flip. And getting the extended family involved is a nice touch, like numbers matter (rolling eyes).

    Yes, you can force a child to write and do other stuff with their right hand, but that doesn’t stop them from being lefties. I assume it same for sexuality.

    I wish the writer the very best and thank kitodiaries for the opportunity to learn about these happenings

  16. J
    April 26, 21:01 Reply

    This is so painful. I wish the world was more accepting and open-minded.

    To be gay is not easy. We are strong people, we are fighters.

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