IF I COULD CHOOSE

IF I COULD CHOOSE

What inspired me to write this piece was an interview I watched on YouTube about a week ago where the gay guy who was being interviewed was asked if he was to come to earth in another life and allowed to choose, would he choose to be gay again. He was also asked if he would want a gay son. He said No to both questions, responding that if society was more accepting and he didn’t need to fight for acceptance, it would have been a Yes. His response got me thinking a lot about myself, my childhood days and how much living in a homophobic environment has affected me.

A lot of times, I look in the mirror and I see a totally different, almost unrecognizable person from who I was as a kid. I usually take my time to look and look again, to see if that child is still there somewhere. I know we are all supposed to change from what we looked like or acted like when we were little, but I think my change was a little too drastic.

My name is Tichi; I’m gay and in my early twenties. As a child, I was very boisterous. I was everywhere, I knew everyone and everyone knew me; these included my teachers, church members, adults, children – everyone in my radius knew who I was. I was always in high spirits, always bouncing around the whole place. At church, in school, I was always put in front; the adults and parents wanted to see me in the front. You all know during dance performances, especially cultural dances, when every kid leaves the stage for the best two dancers to have a sort of dance off; I was always one of them, the ones left to have the dance-off. Some kids hated me then, not because of my boisterous nature but because I was everyone’s favourite. Yes, I was not just known, I was loved. I was the jack-of-all-trades kind of child. I did well in my academics as well as in extracurricular activities. I sang. I danced. I acted. I raced. I did poetry. I represented the school at competitions. Now, it wasn’t that I was the best at these things, but my appealing nature brought an extra to performances. I wasn’t the best singer, but if there was just one microphone available, it would be given to me. This was the more reason the other children hated me. But I didn’t care; as long as everyone else loved me, I was okay. I got to find out later that a few fights had ensued between brides-to-be and their family members because the brides wanted me as the little groom in the face of the relatives’ objection and request for a family member for that spot. Parents and teachers always gave me gifts.

But all this love, all the attention was going to bite me in the ass so hard later in life. I reveled in all this so much that I started seeking for more. I wanted people’s approval so much, I went out of my way to get it. And get it I did, most of the time.

And then puberty happened. My star kid period was between 6 to 9 years of age, and sometime around 10 or 11 years old, I started to have these strange feelings. I watched this movie which had a sex scene where the actors – a hot guy and an equally hot girl – were both really naked. My eyes kept hovering around the guy; I wasn’t even looking at girl, even though she was all over the scene. I started to feel things inside me I couldn’t explain at the time. I knew it was wrong, even though I didn’t know what a homosexual was at the time. Or perhaps I knew but did not understand. I sensed, with the intuition a child has of his environment, that what I was feeling was wrong. But it felt so right. This was the first time I felt anything sexual. For days, I pondered on that sex scene and how I felt from watching it. I kept tuning to that channel to see if the movie would be shown again. Soon however, I shrugged off the episode and carried on with my life.

And then, my family moved to Port Harcourt and it was like the spirit of fifty gay angels came upon me. My feelings quadrupled. I wanted to see more scantily-clad men on TV. It was then I started to understand who I was.

Then the remarks started to come. “See you, woman-man”, “Boy-girl”, “Woman wrapper” (Those who used this will have the hottest room in hell), “Why you dey waka like woman?” At first, I didn’t care. Soon however, the disparagement became too much for me to bear. Before I was aware of what was happening, I’d become a bit reclusive, a little less boisterous and vibrant. About two years after the verbal abuse began, I had completely become withdrawn. I had very few friends, and the ones I had, I tried so hard to fit in, to please them so I wouldn’t lose them too. I tried to walk better, to do more boyish things. One saving grace I had was that I actually, genuinely loved badminton and volleyball, and I was one of the best in my school at the sports. I had a few friends at the games that looked forward to playing with me. However, the love for the sport was all we shared: love for the sport.

And then, the time came when I did something terribly homophobic.

There was this boy in my class; I’ll call him George. George was a QUEEN. He sashayed with reckless abandon. He didn’t care about the ugly comments classmates peppered him with. Sometime during an altercation, he actually snatched his opponent’s crotch, grinding the boy’s penis in his hand until the boy was begging for his mercy. Oh lord! George was fearless. I remember thinking then that maybe he didn’t really understand that the world around us frowned at the image he was portraying. Initially, we’d gravitated toward each other, acquainted ourselves with each other. He was the first and only person like me I knew. The attraction was sort of magnetic, but we never admitted what we felt to each other. He wasn’t steady at school; he had a verbally abusive father, had lived with different relatives, and did poorly at his academics. So our friendship waned with the strain of his baggage and almost died off completely when he had to repeat a class.

So, about the homophobic thing I did. A teacher came into the class one day and found George fiddling with a girl’s hair. The teacher was instantly ticked off and ordered George out to the front of the class and asked him to kneel. He proceeded to flog him while verbally lashing out at him. He was so angry, disproportionately so for an offense of a boy playing with a girl’s hair. (I got to understand why he was so enraged a few years later when I heard that the teacher had a gay brother, and for many years, the two siblings hadn’t had the best relationship).

Anyway, when he was done caning George, the teacher ordered him to shout the words “I AM A BOY” so even the next class would hear him. George yelped the words, a feeble attempt that earned him a lash from the teacher’s cane. With each shaky try, he was whipped by the angry teacher. Finally fed up of trying to get George to shout the words with the desired volume, the teacher turned to instruct the class, asked for a boy to shout the words for George to understand how loud he wanted the words said. A lot of boys hated George, and so many hands shot up, seeking the teacher’s attention. But the teacher wasn’t satisfied with how weak their shouts were.

And then, without being asked, from my seat, I raised my voice and screamed with all my might, “I AM A BOY!” Startled, everyone turned to stare at me for a few moments. It had been one hell of a scream. In that moment, I’d done what I did to save face; I was suffering snide remarks of my own and I wanted to show the boys in my class that I was just like them.

Satisfied with my shout, the teacher eventually released George, who’d been crying bitterly the entire period of his punishment. Then the teacher started to say things like, “Do you know what that kind of behavior can lead to…? Do you know the type of things people like that do…? It leads to this…” And then, he went to the chalkboard and wrote on it the word – S-O-D-O-M-Y.

Then he cleaned it off right after he wrote it and walked out of the classroom like he knew he shouldn’t have exposed our innocent little minds to the existence of the word. However, our young brains were fast and everyone had the spelling memorized before the teacher had finished erasing the word from the board. My classmates however didn’t have any dictionary. I did. I opened my dictionary and the meaning that hit me in the face was like a sting. I quickly slammed the giant book shut with the kind of force that suggested I feared the word would jump right out and eat me up.

Sometimes, when I think back on that day, I regret my actions all over again. I joined hands in throwing stones at someone who was different, even when I knew I was just the same. I can’t say I knew exactly what was going on in George’s mind after the incident, but I know that was when he began to understand who he was. George is now a popular hair stylist/make-up artist and the teacher died a few years after that day. (Way to go, Gay Guardian Angel)

As I carried on with my life, I realized to my dismay that the mannerisms that my peers mocked me with had become reflexive. Knowing that there was nothing I could do about that, I began to withdraw even more from people. I stopped visiting my classmates after school. In fact, I almost never went out. The only things that took me out of the house became church, school and the market. The little boy who wanted to be at the forefront of everything was gone. The child who everyone loved was not appealing anymore. Fortunately, in this dark period of my life, it never crossed my mind to be suicidal. This was fortunate because with the strength of my withdrawal at this time, I’d probably have gone ahead to successfully kill myself. The church kept my sanity during this period. It was the only place I went to where I didn’t have to endure negative comments from the people around me, although I was perceptive enough to know this wasn’t because my fellow parishioners didn’t notice my effeminacy or didn’t think about it, but because they were all too sanctimonious to voice their opinions. No one wanted to be the first to bring it up with me or my parents. No one wanted to be seen as the gossip in church.

I didn’t meet an out gay person till I entered the university at 16. Because of this, there was no one to guide me through the dark period of my secondary school. There was no one there to tell me how to handle my identity crisis, to tell me that I wasn’t the only one and that they understood my pain. Having to deal with my private hell alone affected my self-confidence. I began to calculate every move I made, every step I took. I’d always watch my back, second-guess myself a lot. My dreams as a child started to erode and all I could see was a bleak future. My social life suffered. I didn’t acquaint myself with anyone on my volition. I didn’t speak unless spoken to. I kept away from arguments. I couldn’t make friends. I couldn’t start up a conversation with a stranger, something I saw a lot of people around me found easy to do. Even when the other person would initiate a conversation with me, I usually couldn’t keep up. You’d have to really make a persistent effort to get me really comfortable with you for me to carry on a conversation with you.

When I got into the university, I thought to myself that here, everyone would be too busy to notice me. No one would really have the time to make irrelevant negative comments, I consoled myself. But I was wrong. There were just as much mean fellow students in the university as there’d been in the secondary school. Soon however, I got acquainted with the most amazing set of guys ever. I loved them the moment we became friends. They taught me everything I came to know about being gay, from slangs like “kito” and “shele” to heavier stuff like sex and how to use a douche. They made living in school possible. We were a famous clique and we sailed through a lot of bullying, mostly verbal though. I was noticeably feminine, but my roommates in the hostel simply interpreted my mannerisms to be those of an overly pampered kid. They’d call me “ajebutter” or “butty”, and warn me to stay away from my friends because they had a horrible reputation. But for the first time in my life, I had not just someone but people to guide me through the path I didn’t quite understand. There was no way I could stay away from them? They provided a solace I’d never known.

Soon, the verbal attack moved from reasonably mild name calling like “boy-girl” and “woman-man” to “fag”, “homo” and “ass-burster”. This was especially hard on me. Because of the lavish love I received as a child, I’d gotten used to caring so much about what people said about me. And so when my friends told me to shrug off the comments, I pretended to do so. But deep down, I was always worried and bothered. Whatever self confidence I had existed because of my friends; they helped come to terms with the fact that I was an amazing person just as I was.

In spite of this, I was far more affected by al the negativity than I knew at the time. I developed an anxiety disorder. I began to get easily agitated, always thinking that people around me were pointing at, laughing at or talking about me, always missing my steps and bumping into passersby because my mind kept wandering away. Laughter became a horrible thing to hear; hearing people laugh right after I’d walked past them made me feel uneasy because I’d instantly feel like I was the reason for their amusement. I’d feel as though their eyes were boring holes into my back. I began to get startled by the most mundane things, frightened even. I’d think about this and realize how different I’d grown from the child I used to be. I was the child who was in front of every adventure, the one who the less brave kids begged to abandon the perilous mission and run.

Someone once wrote here on Kito Diaries about African gay men living in a predominantly homophobic environment. The title of his opinion piece was Those Things We Do. The writer said most of us have mental illnesses and don’t know it. He wrote:

“…many of us are a little mentally damaged and don’t even know it. Many suffer from violent mood swings, dual personality, boiling internalised anger, to name a few.”

I suffer from mood sings a lot, not violent though; sometimes, I just get angry with no real cause. It often makes me wonder at the strength of the affliction of my mental illness. Some days, I feel like even if I were to become one of the richest persons on earth, with the world at my beck and call, this feeling of being incomplete would still be there. Sometimes, I feel lost. I feel like a big piece of me is missing, a necessary piece. Maybe I’ll see a psychiatrist or psychologist sometime.

Recently though, I have been trying to push through all this turmoil, come out more, mix more with people, do what I want to do at any time I want, be more vocal, be more social, air my views and opinions about issues without fear, try to reconcile myself with the child I once was.

The truth is I only just noticed what the darkness of my formative years did to my person; it sort of completely stole me, changed who I was. Now, people see me as that quiet reserved boy in a corner who doesn’t like problems, and this characterization pisses me off. Not that being quiet is a bad thing, but that just isn’t who I am. Yes, it’s the vibe what my actions give off, but when I hear people describe me like that – the quiet boy, that one that doesn’t like wahala – it feels to me like they are talking about someone else. Maybe if I wasn’t the kid everyone loved, maybe if I was just like every other child whose biggest problem was what the next meal would be, maybe if I was a little less boisterous and energetic, I would not have gotten the attention I got that made me seek people’s approval, and this would have made me care less about people’s thoughts and opinions about me. Perhaps I would not have become the unrecognizable person I am today. I’ve been morphed into someone I don’t recognize and it doesn’t feel good at all.

But it happened and I can’t change the past. I had a little struggle when I had to accept my sexuality, and now, there is another struggle I’m facing. Honestly sometimes, I don’t know what I’m struggling for. Should I struggle to accept and improve myself the way I am now? Or should I struggle to reconcile with who I was? Or should I just live life, enjoy each day as it comes? (Can I really do that?) As confusing and chaotic as it sounds, I believe there is hope for me. Being able to finally put it together and accept that something is out of place is a step in the right direction. I hope I’m able to find myself someday…if that’s possible. I’m just glad LGBT issues are being discussed a lot these days so the younger generation will have it easier to deal with; plus it helps that there’s an abundance of internet traffic and social network activity to help their growth.

However, in response to the question that inspired this write up: if I was asked what I’d do if I could choose my sexuality upon reincarnation, I wouldn’t know what to say. Being gay has affected me in many ways, as I have mentioned already. Scratch that. Being gay is awesome, but society’s reaction to it has affected me in many ways. But then, I have been exposed to a lot of things, many things I probably would never have known of if I wasn’t gay. I have become more open minded than I ever thought possible, I hesitate to crucify people, instead choosing to first find out why they are the way they are, to endeavour putting myself in their shoes to feel what they feel, give them an opportunity to defend their choices and decisions. I’ve learnt that I cannot always be right and if anyone can make a good case as to why I should change or adjust my beliefs, I definitely would. The list is endless, so to me, being gay is a gift that keeps on giving. But when you offset this with the trials we have to go through, the falsehood we have to craft around ourselves, it makes me indecisive on the subject of choice for the time you reincarnate.

And if I had a gay child, I’d love him or her and do everything I can to keep him as far away from a hateful environment as possible. I’d steadfastly let him know that he is an amazing person, until it’s the only thing he knows about himself.

But would I want to have a gay child? Definitely not. Why? As much as I’ll love my child, I can’t always be there for him or her. What if I have an impulsive child, one who is not strong enough, who attempts suicide the minute he notices society’s hostility towards him based on his difference? What if I’m not always there to guide him and protect him from all the hate?

One piece of advice to anyone susceptible to contrary opinions: Never let negative comments get to you, to your head. Always try to block off negativity however or whenever it comes, because one negative comment on another negative comment slowly turns into one giant, dirty, immovable heap. Try to forget them as quickly as they come. Forget them and forget who said them. Life is difficult enough to deal with, with the shit we have to carry along, without having to take on the shit others try to impose on us.

Written by Tichifierce (RuPaul’s First Daughter)

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39 Comments

  1. Francis
    August 22, 06:57 Reply

    ??????

    Really beautiful piece ?????. Thanks for sharing

  2. ambivalentone
    August 22, 07:04 Reply

    Nicely captured. I don’t even wish being gay on anyone (except my most hated homophobes of course). Severally, growing up, I had wondered if it was worth having a child grow through all that I experienced. No abeg. It is just too much pain and wahala

  3. Lord Naughtiness
    August 22, 07:35 Reply

    Awwwww…. In some ways I can actually relate to this things, I use to also be that kinda kid when I was young and I didn’t even notice the way I walked till a woman on my street started to shout at me, at first I didn’t know y she was shouting and then all the people that came to drink beer at her shop started to join her and thus started the name calling, at then I was just about 10yrs old and I didn’t understand… In skul it was the same but just that I had really nice friends who always thought that it was impossible for me to be gay and our minds were not that opened, the few whose minds were opened would come to me and ask questions like “are u gay” and I remember my friends coming to my aid and saying abeg leave our wife alone and thus started the nickname “our wife”, ” our girlfriend ” in class also there was someone who also neared my name and they added girl to the end of my name to differentiate us, at first I didn’t like the name calling but there was nothing I could do and with it came fame cuz everyone was curious about who it was and so I just accepted it and with time we left sec skul and entered into the university, I tried to work on the way I walked and decided not to draw attention to myself but then I am not that kind of person, but i had to adapt, had to change, I became reserved and quiet…yes in the university there was name calling but I was already use to it and I always had a reply to whatever u said and I also had the coolest most supportive friends although they don’t know but they accepted me like that, I know deep in their hearts they know but they just would never bring it up….I remember wen I was about to graduate my best friend said when his father had seen I was his best friend in 100level he had told him to be mindful of me because I may be gay…I think he was expecting me to reply…I just looked at him and smiled….

    And now to the question…yea I have cried and asked myself y I was different and yes sometimes I wish that I was not gay #truth.. But I think I am happy I am and it has opened my eyes to see the world in another dimension, something I don’t think I would have seen if I was straight… And like the writer wrote, in a world like this i don’t wanna have a gay child… It was hard for me, I don’t want my child to see the same struggle…

  4. Mitch
    August 22, 07:51 Reply

    Wow! So much said, I can’t say more. All I can say is, Live! It’ll surely get better

  5. Mandy
    August 22, 08:06 Reply

    Nawa o. There are people who sha grow up with serious pain. Some things I read here and I find myself thinking how minimal my struggle as a growing boy is compared to theirs.
    Tichifierce, whatever identity you’re more comfortable with is what you should strive for. If being quiet and reserved feels wrong and alien to you, then strive to reconcile with your former boisterous self. But you can’t do that simply by carrying on the way you are now, you know, the way that is letting people think you are quiet and reserved. you have to break out of your shell. Get your groove back. Laugh more. seek people and action more. Reconnect with the kid who was such a draw for attention.
    And above all this, do yourself a favour and try to work out that desire to seek people’s approval. No good can ever come from that.

  6. Klaus
    August 22, 09:09 Reply

    ummmmmmm.deep!!!!!!! i really don’t even bother myself anymore, now i walk in the mall,bank,streets,in fact,anywhere and own my effeminacy, if i know you’re looking, i look back at you eye-ball to eye-ball and give you the “yes,i know why you’re staring, i behave like a girl, what you gon do about it? bitch please” some will still stare, some will remove their face. tho still kinda self conscious, anxious and all that, i did dramatic arts, and most roles are extremely macho, so i just jejely changed my major, cause the talk was getting too much,i even had to talk to my HOD and she was very nice and understanding. Be a Queen, own your effeminacy and see how people will bow!! awesome read!

    • Pjay
      August 23, 00:00 Reply

      But manly men can act feminine roles. Women can act masculine roles. Why can’t feminine (gay) men act masculine roles? It’s just acting after all. Or does it mean feminine men are poor actors? #askingForMypeaceOfMind.

  7. Canis VY Majoris
    August 22, 09:13 Reply

    If given the choice upon reincarnation, I’d definitely not want to be gay in my next life. The magnitude of physical and mental pain we endure/still enduring in this life is unequaled to any other perks of being gay. In fact in my next life I’d prefer to return as an Eagle.

    Good write up. We are who we are meant to be, shaped by fate, society and the choices we make. No need trying to be that child you once were, embrace the adult you’ve become and maybe through this persona that other lives can be touched.

  8. elikem
    August 22, 09:13 Reply

    these are the stories that make me love this online community. that in sharing our vulnerability, we come to see the humanity we all share.

    btw# frank ocean has a new album, so its going to be a good week folks!

  9. Dimkpa
    August 22, 09:51 Reply

    Tichifierce, I think you’re already on your way to reclaim yourself. Rupaul’s first daughter must sha behave like her father afterall ‘Ihe egbe muru aghaghi ibu okuko.’ (The offspring of a kite would naturally feed on chicken)

    That said your portrayal of the things you’ve been through is moving. I find it interesting the various ways we realised our difference and tried to adapt to the world. I was sorry to read about how withdrawn you became. I believe the world around you also lost the sparkle that you would have brought into it.

    My unsolicited advice would be to stop trying to be that bubbly kid. He is gone and has been changed by all you’ve experienced. All those are part of who you are now. The good thing is you have insight into how it affected you and are already on your way to being whole. Once you come to fully acceptance of yourself, I believe you will blossom into an even better person.

    I had to read through your story again to make sure, I noticed no mention of your parents. I say this because the primary approval children want is that of their parents and the way that relationship develops determines their personality and the kind of bonds they form as adults. I may be wrong but it may be worthwhile to ponder on how that could contribute to the way events in your life unfolded.

    When I read stories like yours it makes me angry as I realise more people will yet go through similar stuff at the hands of ignorant society. It annoys me that they judge us without even making any effort to hear our stories or give us a fair hearing like murderers get. What that teacher did was abuse in broad day light and he got away with it. I feel helpless because I can’t change the world for the young ones while also knowing that it is probably too late for some of them.

    As for choosing, I think I would choose to be gay again but I would do things differently. I would be more open about it, learn more about it earlier and not tried to behave like the person I am not. Being gay has opened me up to a better understanding of the world and people through my quest to gain insight into who I am and how I fit into the world. It has given me the opportunity to be different and escape the burden of the traditional ‘marry and have kids’ pattern in which life essentially stops at 30. I have more sympathy for people and I have faced some terrible situations with fortitude that surprised me. I have also met the most amazing people who are just like me. So there are things about me I would change but being gay won’t be one of them. I would change those things to make me a better gay man.

    • TICHIFIERCE
      August 22, 18:17 Reply

      My parents didn’t treat me differently. They never called it out. They didn’t give me any reason to feel different. I was given same amount of attention as my siblings.
      Thanks for your comment. ?

  10. KryxxX
    August 22, 10:01 Reply

    “In spite of this, I was far more affected by al the negativity than I knew at the time. I developed an anxiety disorder. I began to get easily agitated, always thinking that people around me were pointing at, laughing at or talking about me, always missing my steps and bumping into passersby because my mind kept wandering away. Laughter became a horrible thing to hear; hearing people laugh right after I’d walked past them made me feel uneasy because I’d instantly feel like I was the reason for their amusement. I’d feel as though their eyes were boring holes into my back. I began to get startled by the most mundane things, frightened even. I’d think about this and realize how different I’d grown from the child I used to be. I was the child who was in front of every adventure, the one who the less brave kids begged to abandon the perilous mission and run”.

    This!!!!

    That feeling that makes waking up dreadful and sleep the best of bff! And has a strange laughter ever been more mocking behind your back? It would be.

    As for nobody noticing you, you’d be more surprised at how many pot of well cooked soup is been prepared on top your head. Student/ppl with P.I skill greater than Shylock Holmes working overtime not on their books but on your matter. Hatred for being you.

    As for the question, I rather not be different in a place where different looks like a curse. I rather not…………

  11. Macho
    August 22, 10:24 Reply

    I can’t afford to be a gay Nigerian in my next life next life ke, next week sef gay African generally
    but anytime I remember those beautiful times I had wiv my girls I shed tears and say so I woulda missed this beautiful moments if I wasn’t gay

    Aside from that I keep saying this please y’all consider it very well
    There are children looking up to us most of these stories of depression and horror are always born out of a reckless sexual life there’s more to being gay to sex abeg
    16 year olds read this blog and we make sex with random people look cool to them can we inspire them please? am not being sanctimonious but hey guys….
    someone once asked me if I’ll like
    to be a woman in my next life I just smiled and said I’m done with that stage of my life. I threw away my skinny jeans brightly coloured wears years back because I discovered being gay and being transsexual are two different things look inside of your self are you a woman in a man’s skin or you’re just that bottom dude who has lost control of his manliness
    At a particular age I think being bitchy should be laid to rest unless u are transsexual
    On a lighter note there are some sisters that u just gonna love love thier carriage and everything even straight peeps would want to touch
    if I had a gay feminine child I’ll support him and mould him into w beautiful chap while I don’t overdo anything

    • Delle
      August 22, 12:02 Reply

      What’s this? You feel you’ve left the homophobia in your life but all I see are words typed by a homophobia-stricken, confidently ignorant gay man.
      It’s sad you aren’t even aware of your problem. From your off-putting, ridiculous pseudonym to your annoying words…smh.
      Goan deal with yourself. You’ve got loads to handle.

    • Mitch
      August 22, 13:54 Reply

      This pile of tripe called a comment just gave me a migraine!

      Brotherly, go get your head examined. We’ve got a good shrink in the house. Sensei!

      • Francis
        August 22, 13:59 Reply

        I think we’re better off pointing out the errors in his comment than blasting the entire comment. He might learn from that…….or not. ??

    • Truth
      August 22, 23:46 Reply

      WTF did I just read?? *confused face*

  12. Ringlana
    August 22, 10:49 Reply

    Wonderful and long Write up,Have be . Saying it and will keep on repeating it “I pray that none of my family should be Gay,but happy” The environment ,it not worth it.Linda ikeji will make things worse off.

  13. FOOFOO
    August 22, 11:12 Reply

    This is deep and definitely one of the most impulsive pieces I read on KD… Trust me the next generation will have it far more easier than us. People are becoming more exposed to homosexuality, the conversation is mounting and the society is becoming less religious. Even America once went through this phase. Be strong Richie, the best is yet to come ?

  14. Delle
    August 22, 11:51 Reply

    A riveting piece this was. At the end, I saw ‘Rupaul’s first daughter’ and was like, huh?
    Honey, you have got to own it! Own it like your drag mama is! The world isn’t a fair one. We all have gone through horrid things but bending to their dictates is what you should fight. Your life is just a mirror of mine. The one at the fore of all activities, extracurricular and academic. The effeminate one. People talked, I became used to being mocked but it didn’t deter me.
    Nothing is worth making you a shadow of yourself. Be it as it may, just live. Keep smiling and take out the positivity in your predicament and sew an apparel with it.

    On another note, I’d want to have a gay child. I clamor for a gay child. I need to nurture a being into knowing how fabulous it is to be gay. How it isn’t all about scorn, bitterness and anger. How being gay doesn’t equate being an outcast or an inferior. Yes, I’d want a gay child.
    Gay children for all of us!

    • Pink Panther
      August 22, 15:07 Reply

      Hehehehee. I can imagine a great population of KDians going Tufiakwa to that last line.

      • michael
        August 22, 16:01 Reply

        Every day I pray to have a gay child.

      • Delle
        August 22, 18:47 Reply

        Lol. Wetin consain me? I aff pray finish

  15. bryannnn
    August 22, 12:55 Reply

    I wouldn’t want to be gay in my next life, that’s a fact. We’ve all had our fair share on homophobic vitriolic remarks rained at us at some points in our lives, that’s the vissicitudes we have to live with, as gay men trapped in a hetero-normative environment. These days, i do not only invest on regrets of being a gay man, i also try to applaud myself too. I sincerely know i wouldn’t be as focused and success driven as i am, if not a gay guy.
    It has also made me a rational being, i do not judge based on one-sided information. I have grown to be weary of stereotyping and being too judgemental.

    In any issue of discuss, i always find myself aligning and speaking up for the oppressed, this i do cause I’ve known discrimination.

    I leave us all with this message, as a struggling Nigerian gay man, all you need is keep striving for independence. Seek ye success, make your own money. Be the best at woteva endeavour you find yourself, definitely, those wagging tongues will make a powerful switch, you will watch them start saying nice things about you. Shut their straight mouths up with your unparalleled success. That’s what we owe them.

  16. Deola
    August 22, 13:03 Reply

    This is so bloody brilliant.
    Start to finish. Felt real and so relatable.
    Thanks for sharing, Tichifierce.
    I smiled when I saw the “Rupaul’s first daughter” part.

  17. TICHIFIERCE
    August 22, 18:34 Reply

    Thanks for the encouraging comments guys.
    ???. It gives me peace to see everything getting better. We have kito diaries now. A few years back, who would have thought that was possible. Someday soon, we’ll have something bigger. The dog days are getting over. The unicorns are coming.

  18. Justme
    August 22, 19:50 Reply

    I’m proud of you man and I’m glad you’ve come through such pain so well and confident. However I don’t think being gay makes us all more ‘open minded’, ‘less judgmental’, ‘more sympathetic’ or better dressers for that matter. We are not that different from the rest of society and I’ve encountered many a gay jerk out there too. To me being gay is just like being left handed and I can’t imagine being anything else.

    • TICHIFIERCE
      August 22, 21:02 Reply

      We all know there are still gay people who are jerks. What I really meant was the discrimination we face from being gay. Seeing discrimination first hand made some of us understand what it felt like hence we think twice before we judge. I don’t think I would bothered trying to understand people’s choices if I didn’t experience discrimination. It’s not about being gay but the discriminatory part of being gay.

    • TICHIFIERCE
      August 22, 21:12 Reply

      Have*
      Let’s say being a “dalit” under the Indian caste system. Some of them are definitely more sympathetic because of the discrimination they have faced.

  19. kritzmoritz
    August 23, 04:08 Reply

    Every day, you walk by this mirror
    Every day, you find you walk without as much as a gaze
    It is not that you are blind; you just choose not to see
    Your story does not need a telling mirror
    For you can spot your scars without aid
    And you can find the fracture in your soul

    And so, you choose to stand
    In self loathe, in misery and in doubt
    It is a graceless spot that you stand
    Where darkness hovers to bury that
    Which the world must not see
    Which the world must never see

    Nobody understands the journey you have made
    Perhaps, Nobody ever will

  20. posh666
    August 23, 16:32 Reply

    This piece took me right back to my childhood,practically every aspect of it.Being socially active,always happy,always participating in school stuffs and life was good!

    Well until I got to primary 4 or so when I fought twice with some stupid boys and hence forth they created a nickname for me in hausa “the one that fights like a girl” and from that moment life was never the same again.

    People began to notice my difference from other boys,i was growing up as such my behaviours couldn’t be excused again as a little boy who was just having fun…

    That was when I stopped participating in the inter-house sports,drama,literary aND debating club aND went into a world of my own which my dad never understood till he died cos he was always proud seeing me perform during the inter house competitions…

    For some I became known as a snub,some it was pride,some just saw me as a weirdo..Henceforth no one was allowed to get close enough to hurt me and when you keep on insisting to be my friend I just keep wondering why???Gosh so much self esteem issues back then…

    All in all these experience made me become who I am today.I have toned down on wearing overly skinny pants,excessive hand bangles,shinny lip gloss,frying my hair,and more caution in flinging the hands…These re the things I can control …For those other things I can’t control I honestly dont give a hoot what anybody says or thinks my self esteem is now 101 and nobody can ever make me feel low about myself ever again!

    Tho the occasional depression comes and goes mostly from just imagining how life would have been if I was straight or born overseas…*Hugs* to you mother Ru’s 1st daughter and i’m directing my positive energy towards you.By his grace it will all get better just take it one day at a time…#BabySteps#

  21. Eddie
    August 24, 20:42 Reply

    reminds me of my own experience growing up…my dad couldnt stand me…still cant…i was never liked by anyone…now im damaged goods…but i wouldnt mind being gay in my next life cos hopefully the world would be a better place then

    • Pink Panther
      August 25, 04:53 Reply

      ??
      Do you have anyone at all in your life who’s helping you recover from your damage?

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