FROM FATHER, WITH LOVE

FROM FATHER, WITH LOVE

Son,

The day you tell you, with all that uncertainty and fear filling your eyes, that you are gay will be the day this letter will be yours to read.

The world is hard. The world for the gay person living in Nigeria is especially hard. Thus, as I write this to you, I will try to capture some of my experiences and distill them into these pages, and hopefully, they’ll be a guide, something I wish someone did for me.

I do honestly hope the world will have become more tolerant in your time. But even as I express this hope, I must also acknowledge the fact that the change, if it eventually shows up, will be slow. So, in these series of letters, I’ll try to prepare you for a few of the categories of the people that dot the rainbow landscape.

I would like to begin first with the ‘enemies’ of your own household.

First, there are those who will tell you that there is no love in the community. That romance is dead. They will try to tell you that no gay man can maintain a romantic relationship with another man, either because – as they say – it is impossible, given the clime we are in. Or because the gay man lacks the ability to stick to one man, another presumption that we aid in no little way. Do not believe them. There is enough love in the world to go round, and love is love regardless of sexual orientation. Always keep the faith. You may be part of the minority who still think dinners and roses are part of the equation, but do not despair, because there will be others like you – believers. Even though, at this moment, I’ve not had the privilege of having that kind of beautiful experience, I’ve seen it work for others. I’ve had firsthand experience of guys who are head-over-heels for each other, and it is not fiction. There is no greater evidence against such fallacy as people who are living, breathing testimonials.

There are those who will want just a part of you, the part down south of your body. They won’t want to kiss you or do too much of anything that might beckon on more intimacy than they’re comfortable with. They just want to get in or get on, get off and then get out. God forbid they be seen with you in public! When you come to the hotel, you are supposed to come up to them through the back stairwell. No calling from the reception.

Son, realize first of all that you are a whole human. You are not a fraction. Your humanity is not diminished because of your sexuality. You are deserving of love, attention, and most of all, of respect. You deserve to woo and be wooed. The nice things of the love this world has to give should be yours, and you are worthy of a man who is proud of you. If he doesn’t want all of you, let him go.

Never settle.

Other ‘enemies’ of the community are those men who are pedophiles through and through. These are the gay men who make it seem like there is truth to the falsehood that all gay men are pedophiles. These guys are scum. They hide behind the fact that the age of consent for gay men isn’t properly delineated, and the fact that gay guys seem to attain sexual awareness faster, and the secrecy that goes with being gay, to prey on children.

The truth is, there are no rules. You can love tall or short or dark or fair guys, or guys and girls, or just girls. But you cannot – should not – want to have sexual relations with children. It doesn’t make you adventurous. It makes you a pervert and a child molester. Do not excuse those who do this. Do not condone the act. Resist them vehemently. Help protect the children around you. For it is our collective responsibility, both the old and the young.

Let me say this again. You are a healthy, amazing, complete human being. You are not an aberration. You are compassionate, kind, you are full of love. It is not unfortunate you were born this way. Express no regrets, live no regrets.

My dear child, even if it looks overwhelmingly true that there are those who seem to be against you, you just know that you have a lot of others who are on your side. I am.

Love,

Dad.

Written by Jo

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5 Comments

  1. Lopez
    February 25, 07:37 Reply

    Thumbs up! hope it keeps flowing.

  2. Eddie
    February 25, 07:45 Reply

    I wish my Dad could be that accepting… Nice article, Jo

  3. Mandy
    February 25, 08:00 Reply

    I always say this: Gay people will make the best candidates/parents to bring up children who will be a lot less homophobic in the world. They know their own pain, and will be duty bound to make their children less inclined to inflict such pain on the environment around them.

  4. Malik
    February 28, 11:26 Reply

    Speaking of father-son conversations, if you haven’t, you should watch call me be by your name.

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