GROWING UP GAY IN THE BOARDING SCHOOL

GROWING UP GAY IN THE BOARDING SCHOOL

When I hear stories about boarding schools that severely penalize homosexual acts between students, where there are even students who act as snitches, ratting out to the school authorities those who they know or suspect are same-sexually active, I shake my head in “I’m not understanding”.

Because – damn! – my school was nothing like that. It was as though being sexually active with your fellow boys (I can’t speak for the girls; it was a mixed-sex school, by the way) was part of being in the boarding school. Whether you shagged boys or girls or both boys and girls, nobody seemed to care. Nobody reported and there were no morning-assembly punishments of these “acts”. Heck, there was a gay culture right there in the boys’ hostel, where boys dated boys, and sharing abed with another consistently for several nights meant you two were exclusive.

It wasn’t as though boys who were sleeping together walked about holding hands, but there was an understanding that when a senior boy exempted a junior from a strenuous school activity or if he shielded the junior from the wrath of a prefect, that the protection probably came to be because both senior and junior were having sexual relations, and not just because of the senior’s school-fatherly obligations toward the junior. It wasn’t unheard of that boys on the same class level talked among themselves about which boys were getting it on, in much the same way that students speculated about which boy and girl were doing it in a deserted classroom. I once learned from my boyfriend in SS1 that his classmate wanted to know if I was available for him to move in on me. The gay culture was an open secret – at least, among the boys.

I was in JSS3 and 13 years old when I had my first ever sexual encounter with another student. It was my first kiss, and the boy who gave it to me was my classmate, the class bully, who had kept me in his crosshairs since we were in JSS1. His switch from antagonist to lover lends credence to the rhetoric that homophobic men who speak out the loudest against the LGBT are either closeted gay men or latent homosexuals still battling with their same-sex desires. I was feminine as a junior student, and in my effeminacy, this classmate saw a victim. All that changed in a dark, after-night-prep classroom, when he pulled me close to him, and instead of striking out with his fist, he planted his lips on mine.

That kiss became the start of my sexual journey, an exploration that had me slipping in and out of the beds of senior boys. It was as though my sexual awareness turned to light on me, and by SS1, I was among those boys who SS3s wanted to extend school-fatherly duties to, just so they could have an excuse to hold me close to their bodies at night – because, of course, the scope of my education on sex in secondary school was limited to making out, blow jobs and wanking. (I was in SS2 when I first heard of anal sex, and in Year 1 in the university when I was first penetrated.)

My same-sexual awareness in secondary school came very naturally to me. When I kissed a boy, I kissed him because I liked him, and such intimacy always filled me with a fire that erupted from the core of me. When I fell in love with a boy, my entire world shrank to a pinpoint focus on him, where I only existed to make him happy. I dated a boy from SS1 to SS3, and when he was sent on a suspension for flouting a school rule, I grieved his absence with the same abject desolation that a widowed half of a couple would mourn his deceased other half. Back then in school, I didn’t know any labels. I didn’t know I was homosexual. I just knew that I loved who I loved.

However, for all the covert approval the society that was my secondary school gave homosexuality, the first inkling I had that boys having sexual relations with boys was something heinous was when I was in SS3, and a classmate was implicated in a “scandal”. He was a prefect and right from SS2, he had acquired a notoriety of a senior boy who loved to surround himself with lots of school sons. He was rich, so it wasn’t as though he sought school sons for the financial or servile gratification they could give. He instead provided for these juniors, and when we got into SS3 and he became a prefect, these juniors became the envy of their mates. The thought that he could be gaining sexual gratification from his school sons occurred to me every now and then, but I neither pursued it nor paid any attention to him, primarily because it was none of my business. Besides, even though I wasn’t a shorts-wearing junior student when I began fooling around with SS3s, I didn’t think there was anything alarming about an SS3 boy getting with, say, a JSS3 or JSS2 boy.

Someone however disagreed with me, as the rumour, that gained nasty traction as it made the rounds, began circulating of the exact nature of this senior’s dalliances with all these junior students. There was a veiled accusation of the involvement of sex, and rampant speculation of junior students who were allegedly distressed because they’d felt compelled to sleep with him.

Because we lived in a small society without any labels, there were no such words like “pedophile” thrown about; there was simply the blunt-edged conviction that whatever was going on between the senior boy and his school sons was sexual and wrong. Even then, I wondered if the scandal stemmed from the outrage that a senior boy was doing a junior boy (that’d be hypocritical because it was already a culture among boys), or because there were so many junior boys involved.

Eventually, it passed, all the talk died down. No teachers were involved. No junior students surfaced with accusing fingers. The scandal rose, stained the senior student, and passed on, leaving behind an SS3 boy who had to rid himself of his perpetual company of juniors in order to douse the validity of the rumours. I didn’t envy him what he went through, but even as a bystander, I was for the first time confronted with the nastiness that came with the territory of being homosexual. Even then, without knowing it, I was being made to come face to face with the very real menace of what it meant to go through a kito experience.

We would eventually graduate from secondary school and years would pass, during which time we would all mature into our various lives: some of us stayed gay, some others buried the school sexperiences under the heterosexual gravel of experimentation. Some of us remembered with a fondness, and some others determinedly forgot. There were yet others who, when exposed to the an unforgiving world that judged with labels and prejudice, proceeded to do the complicated dance where they gave in to their homosexual desires at night and denounced their indulgence by day.

The scandalized senior boy from my secondary school belonged to this category. He and I didn’t stay in touch after school, but in the way snatches of information about everybody’s lives made the rounds as the years rolled by, I learned that he carried on sleeping with boys in the university, became victim of some disgrace, denounced his homosexuality, and got married. I also learned of a Facebook group of an Old Boys Association of my secondary school, where the topic of sexual perversion came up, and his name was dragged through the muck. I wasn’t in the group, but the female friend of mine who came running to me for verification of the drama, threw about words like – you know it – “pedophile”. A label that made me flinch as I wondered how grievous it should really be that a 16-year-old boy had sex with a 13- or 12-year-old boy; as I also wondered if this outrage would exist had it been a 13- or 12-year-old girl that the 16-year-old boy had had sex with.

Every now and then, I think about this senior boy, about the choices he had made under the duress of one embattled by personal demons. I think about our lives now as homosexual adults and the stark contrast it poses when juxtaposed with our carefree lives as homosexual teenagers. And I just wonder if we will ever live in a society that knows no judgment or labels when it comes to sexuality, the way it was when I was growing up gay in the boarding school.

Written by Pink Panther

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22 Comments

  1. Bee
    May 28, 06:39 Reply

    Children’s day edition, aye? Lol. Your school was heaven, though. At my former school, it was (and still is) immediate expulsion for any culprit of homosexuality. When the only boy (who raped a junior) was expelled, the management tried so much to hide the story. I mean, the discrimination and rampant use of “no homo” made sure no one was gay. It was same with the girls, but they were less violent with words the way I saw it. I wonder what they’d do if they found out that one of their valedictorians isn’t just on KitoDiaries, but had shagged 2 other boys right under their noses. Ah, my high school memories aren’t far-fetched.

  2. Bendito.
    May 28, 07:05 Reply

    Lol. My secondary school was terrible.
    Homosexuality was a graver crime than theft.

    • Pink Panther
      May 28, 07:20 Reply

      I hear about boarding schools like that and that reality just seems so foreign.

  3. Kris
    May 28, 08:48 Reply

    I went to an all boys school in Lagos and homosexuality was as normal as breathing. The few boys who were effeminate ran the school. Be it getting senior boys to punish ppl u dislike or just simply being showered with gifts in other to gain sexual favours, it was a blast. I don’t think a 16yrs boy sleeping with a 13yrs old in school should b considered a pedophile cus they are all just on a journey experimenting and trying to find out who they are, and trust me a 13yrs old knows what he wants. I have my first anal experience at 13. I and my then boyfriend who was 15 wanted to try it but becus I had never done it before I was smart enough to have sex with a completely different boy first so I don’t end up embarrassing myself with my boyfriend.

  4. Mitch
    May 28, 09:02 Reply

    A same sex boarding school is just an invitation for kids to explore what may or may not be the reality of their sexual lives.
    Besides, most Federal Secondary schools in Nigeria had a very high prevalence of homosexual behaviour among their students, be they day schools or boarding schools.
    I think the same sex behaviour thing is a go-to experience associated with Federal secondary schools in Nigeria but what is more, I think that is the foundation of the homophobia we face in society today.

    If only, at this stage of their lives, kids can be taught that same sex behaviour and expression aren’t wrong, we’d have less homophobia to contend with in society – that is, if it even exists at all.
    Unfortunately, Nigeria is such a mess that same sex expressions are actively repressed, repealed and touted as wrong in schools, churches, families, movies and what have you. We are a mess of a country, I swear.

    • trystham
      May 28, 13:33 Reply

      Most??? U had better be backing the statement of yours with facts. I was pretty oblivious to the workings of homosexuality as a kid back at secondary school. All I know are my experiences, and not all were good. It was a taboo subject. It still is. Although I have told all of them in the group that I am queer inclined and own my shit(Thank you Aunt Perv)

      • Mitch
        May 28, 21:04 Reply

        Sweetheart, I know what I said.

        MOST FEDERAL secondary schools had a very high prevalence of homosexuality.

        Yes.

  5. kingb
    May 28, 09:14 Reply

    This brought back memories. I went to a single sex boarding school. It’s the all boys Federal Government College located opposite TBS. Anyway anything gay was gravely frowned upon even though most of the cutest guys were shagging other guys at night and pretending to be into pussy by the break of dawn. If you as little as act effeminate, the gay stamp would be stamped on your forehead. Wasnt funny at all. My closest friend saw hell. By the way, pinky kissed a guy at 13??? I didn’t even know I was gay at 13.Had my first kiss and sexual encounter with a guy at 17.I raise Beyonce hand for you 😂 😂

    • Bee
      May 28, 15:53 Reply

      You didn’t know at 13? Well, I’ve always been gay, and have always known it. I mean, I didn’t know what being gay meant at 6 but I always felt different. Always; I remember very vividly. I desperately hated boys for the first 10 years of my life. My only male friend was my neighbor and we rarely played.

      The instant I understood sex (and hence, homosexuality), I knew I was gay and of course, tried to fight it for years.

    • Arabian Princess
      May 28, 18:37 Reply

      17 ke? In this same school…mine was at 12. JS2. Was a day student at first sef…becoming a boarding student changed the game…awon powerpuff girls…then the antigay Inquisition started when I was in SS1. A lot of guys were deboarded, some suspended…some never came back..

    • Tyler
      May 29, 17:20 Reply

      I’m sure you’re talking about king’s college. My gardar isn’t that sharp. I currently teach them biology, there are cute guys there o. But their homophobic slur scares the shit out of me. I just mind my business. They also have plenty gay teachers o

  6. Limitless
    May 28, 11:00 Reply

    Wow! My secondary school was different… Sex was not accepted in whatever form it took. But I had my experience with a classmate…..huh! Quite Romantic Young love
    Well, that’s a story for another day

  7. Swan King
    May 28, 11:32 Reply

    I am yet to make up my mind if my secondary school experiences will make it to my memoir or not. I went to a mixed school and homosexuality was neither overlooked or gays persecuted. However, some people targeted some gays and publicly humiliated them. There were suspensions, but no expulsions.
    I was hated and all attempts to out me was unsuccessful simply because I hadn’t a passing interest in junior students. This country is messed up.

  8. IFlourish
    May 28, 15:46 Reply

    I went to a federal government college. And I remember the night when my jnr friends were punished by senior students for being what they called “Homo” -we didn’t know the world gay then- and these jnr students were reported to the school authority and subsequently expelled. I remember mourning their absence.
    Same-sex relationship in my secondary school was heavily frowned on. But some how, I scaled through.

  9. Q
    May 28, 17:12 Reply

    My secondary school was mixed boarding school and yes I had analyzing sex at 12 ,at 13 I came out to classmates without realizing hate would be a response till I left it was fighting battles and trying not to be swallowed by shadows ,it was hell makes me scared of coming out ever

  10. Romeoux
    May 28, 17:44 Reply

    I’m still haunted by the memories of the hell I went through during my secondary school days. The homophobia, scandals, secrets, rumours, molestation… It was literally choking. I’m sure I almost died of neurosis + hypertension. Whatever it equals to.

  11. Malik
    May 28, 18:37 Reply

    Secondary school was when I first heard the words gay/fag and maybe upwards of 80% of the users didn’t know for sure what the terminologies meant. Up till SS 2, my well-meaning friends would argue that I wasn’t a fag. “Malik is gay,” they’d say, “but he’s not a fag”. A gay guy was a guy who had feminine mannerisms and didn’t play sports; a fag was a boy who actually “liked” boys. I liked to think that I was neither. It didn’t matter that I had a little sexual stint with a roommate for about a year. It was a mistake – a series of mistakes – and I wasn’t actually gay.

    I went to a mixed, overpriced, Christian school in Ogun State and homosexuality was a very grievous offence, punishable by expulsion. And so was heterosexual sex, or even kissing. A classmate got expelled for mere gay talk. It was that bad. I wish things were different. I wish we had conversations about sexuality and that those poor kids whose lives were ruined by expulsions were actually helped. In retrospect, wtf does a 13 year old really know?

    P.S. If you’re bored, do listen to Calum Scott’s No Matter What on Youtube. Very toushing.

  12. Jide
    May 28, 20:45 Reply

    Funny how I was relating my sexcapades to a friend this morning. I even recall an incident back then when we used to have Miss. Boys hostel competition in our Hostel and the interested contestants would dab powder, rub lip gloss, tie their bedsheets as wrapper and scarves and sashay around the arena. (The empty room used for the event).

    Usually at these competitions, majority of the hostel residents would attend and cheer their favourite contestants. At the end, a winner is announced and then we’d all dance to 9ice’s “Gongo Aso” album; It was the rave back then.

    And then, after these competitions, the contestants would have a flock of guys from the audience courting him, hoping to share his bed for the night and this was usually done in the full glare of the public. It was like the norm back then.

    Those were the good old days sha. I miss my boarding school.

  13. Michael
    May 28, 21:02 Reply

    First week in my new all boys boarding school and two boys were expelled for fucking. Omo, I know i had to shot down. But las las, I opened up to shags in my senior year.

  14. King Oberon
    May 29, 16:32 Reply

    😀 this makes me smile.
    I knew I was attracted to boys and acted on it at age 6 in primary.
    There were no labels.
    Then boarding school happened, I was pretty smutty as a teenager in the hostel, I was also really smart and girls loved me, so outside the hostel I was your average nerd, who turns into a peacock once we are back in the hostel. Had penetrative sex for the first time at age 12, in Jss2. Got outed in Jss3 but I didn’t get hate though, most people didn’t even believe it, this guy was good boy personified. But my outting brought more partners, the douche bag that outted me got fucked by me the same night after apologising and expressing curiosity about how sex worked. High School was fun.

  15. mikkiyfab
    May 30, 09:10 Reply

    My high school experience I would say is a mixture of so much sore and a just the right amount of beautiful… there where cases where I was called out during a night chapel fellowship just because of my close friend who was also effeminate like me(oh I hide mine well) and other instances where a teacher came to class and asked if we where dating and if we were after the stories she would narrate to us( which she did ) if the rumors where true abt us dating we would stop being friends like we claimed to be… one right there in front of her we ran to each other and said at the same time …MA WE ARE SOUL SISTERS AND CAN NEVER EVER BE SEPERATED… omo my days where also beautiful it was as if we ran the school they called us names like power puff girls,lady b aunty pat OMG I was even given a Ghanaian name by a male teacher Ajuwa lol I so miss those days even through I never engaged in sex or romance with my mates or seniors but well my friends had the best time of their life… I think it was due to the fact that I never gave anyone right to control me I was referred to as blossom the heartless bitch
    Oh I wish 4 those days but that didn’t mean I didn’t have those hateful bigot making comments or plotting against me but well my mum did her home work well because she actually washed my head in the river of not giving a fuck

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