K’osidim n’obi (Entry 5)

K’osidim n’obi (Entry 5)

So a few months ago (this would be the period immediately after I was outed to mum), I got a call from an aunt of mine. I hadn’t heard from her in two years. We used to chat frequently on Facebook, but we lost contact right after she moved to Lagos.

After the initial exchange of pleasantries, we went straight to catching up, chatting about a variety of stuff from my weight loss to her life in Lagos to the new baby brother my mother had adopted for the family in her old age and how much controversy it had caused in the family. A little more small talk, then there was a small pause before she asked, “Kainene, are you gay?”

Gbagam!!!

That came out of nowhere!

I could have lied smoothly. But I figured what the hell…

“Yes ma,” I answered.

I could almost hear her nod on the other end.

“How did it start?” she asked.

I had to suppress the laughter that bubbled up inside me. This question, whenever it’s posed to me, always amuses me. I launched into a detailed analysis about my sexuality, my struggle with coming to terms with it, blah, blah, blah. I was talking for almost an hour, and she stayed silent, listening, not interrupting.

Then, the call was abruptly disconnected. I felt anxious by that. I found myself wondering whether she ended the call because she found my explanation irritating or if she had exhausted her airtime. I prayed for the later to be the case.

Close to an hour later, I got a buzz from Facebook. She had messaged me. Below are the screenshots that tell the rest of our conversation.Screenshot_2016-11-09-20-10-43Screenshot_2016-11-09-20-12-25Screenshot_2016-11-09-20-12-36Screenshot_2016-11-09-20-12-42Screenshot_2016-11-09-20-13-01

***

I was going through Facebook on a hot afternoon two weeks ago. I had been at a Yudala concert all night long supervising a friend’s performance. I came across a post from a troubled gay friend (let’s call him Ummi); a severely depressing post that ended with RIP, a deep rant about the wickedness of the world, one that seemed random. Not paying too much attention to it, I liked the post, and then carried on with what I was doing. Later in the day, I saw a second post. A photo of Ummi severely battered on a hospital bed. My heart skipped a beat when I read the narrative that followed. It was almost a suicide note.

I was about getting into panic mode, anxious by my cluelessness as to what happened, when Alor called. “Kainene! Ummi was gay-bashed on his way back from the Yudala concert!”

“What!”

“Yes o! Apparently he was at the concert too and he left early. A few guys with a girl offered him a ride after he updated his whereabouts on Facebook, and he got in. The rest is history. They left him by the side of the road thoroughly beaten.”

As Alor spoke, I picked up a nuance in his tone. And I knew he sounded the way he did because his own kito experience years back in school had come alive in his mind upon recounting Ummi’s horror. He hated to talk about it. About that night when he was beaten unconscious, revived, and beaten unconscious again. About how he tried to run and they cut his ankle with a broken bottle. The scar is still there.

For those who think the account of the struggle of LGBT Nigerians are works of fiction, kito cases happen almost every day. I come across them regularly because I live in a place where the LGBT community has refused to be invisible or be silenced. And so, the enemy strikes continuously and surely. Somewhere, if given the chance, there is a homophobe that will fuck you bloody with a broken bottle, an anonymous driver that will hit you and run, the policeman that will extort from you simply for being you.

The race is nowhere near the finish line. Unity is the only weapon we possess.

Written by Kainene

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18 Comments

  1. DI-NAVY
    November 14, 06:25 Reply

    That question *how did it start* cracks me up.
    Some will say “my cousin converted me when I was 4” that’s how it started .lol
    Homosexuality is something to frown at to Some folks not when yours truly is one.
    you just might want to have a rethink .

  2. eli
    November 14, 06:29 Reply

    a world so cruel that many would rather die than be themselves. #wewillnotbesilenced

  3. Khaleesi
    November 14, 07:44 Reply

    Nice piece Kainene, do you mind sharing this community where the LGBT is so bold and brave, i am deeply intrigued and curious about what drives and sustains them to be so daring amidst such harsh homophobia …

    • ambivalentone
      November 14, 07:59 Reply

      My first guess was Mushin axis but seeing as he implied he wasn’t in Lagos, I wouldn’t know anymore

      • Pink Panther
        November 14, 08:13 Reply

        Lol. Mushin though. That place is a low-key dangerous. The reports I hear coming out from there sha. I don’t know the validity of this one, but I heard the area boys there can gang up and rape any suspected gay guy living in those parts.

        • Thobie chord
          November 14, 09:02 Reply

          Please where in mushin?? Won’t mind relocating though. My love for area boys ehn!

  4. ambivalentone
    November 14, 07:56 Reply

    Jesus!!! I thot I had heard everything. At least the finality of death is enjoyed. Which one is ‘beaten unconscious, revived and mutilated’? Stuff of horror movies. *shudders*
    Your mind-on-paper makes me ask even more questions.

  5. Chizzie
    November 14, 10:12 Reply

    So Kainene is a guy? Here I was thinking this was a blog series penned by a lipstick lesbian. Which would explain why I was gradually warming up to it and why the author didn’t come across as angry half of the time.

    So Anene , well written as usual and have I mentioned I love the title of this blog series! Hope your Ibadan counterpart gets a few hints on how not to write a series that is jaded and unimportant

    • Pjay
      November 14, 10:53 Reply

      Were ni Chizzie yi sha. ??? Abeg when will you start your own series? I’ll love to read. Let’s see how long u will last before u become cheesy. Pun intended. BTW, Kainene just started. That might account for the freshness as against “jaded” James.

    • IBK
      November 14, 11:06 Reply

      Well this explains why things suddenly turned dark a few minutes ago. Your bitchcraft is strong o ???
      *collects shade with grace and sashays away*

  6. Pjay
    November 14, 10:49 Reply

    Jesu Kristi!!! I shudder every time I read your stories and retreat one more step back into the closet.

  7. Delle
    November 14, 15:25 Reply

    Kainene you scare me every time with your installments?.

    What kind of area is that? And Alor really saw hell. That Kito experience isn’t a funny one at all. Hope Ummi is fine?

    OAN, Nigerians would always be the unrepentant homophobes until it comes knocking on their doors. *rme*

  8. Chuck
    November 14, 16:08 Reply

    Please if you’re kitoed speak out, let us know the perpetrators so we can punish them and also prevent others from falling into the trap.

    Thank you

  9. iAmNotAPerv
    November 14, 21:14 Reply

    This post goes well with James Blunt. Kaniene, i fear that unity is far from us. The L is fighting with the G, they occasionally gang up to beat the B and the three of them boil with disgust and hatred all directed at the T. I just want a happy place where my rainbow can shine as brightly as it wants. a place where i can spontaneously kiss my lover without fear of being burnt with a tire.
    I take it back, James Blunt makes this depressing. if you are ever in Lagos to see this aunt who is pretty cool, let’s drink some garri together, you can buy the groundnut 😀

  10. z
    November 14, 23:45 Reply

    this is scary! btw ibk’s response is just classy

  11. Jide
    November 15, 08:07 Reply

    I hope Alor is on KD and would one day like to share his kito story.

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