Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 8)

Lessons Learned From ‘She Called Me Woman’ (Entry 8)

[Click here for LESSON 7]

LESSON 8

From the chapter, ‘Living A Double Life’, VA had this to say:

“When you find people who are like you and you can relate to them, you think less about the burden of secrecy. You are able to get over that and face the struggle. It’s a great thing.”

 

Several days ago, I made a post on the social media with a picture of Blanca from Pose, where she said the words: “You adjusted my focus and now I see color.”

And I made the post with a caption: “When I hear gay Nigerians say that they have only straight friends who they are not even out to, when they say they do not have any connections to other gay people whatsoever, I wonder why anyone would live life that way. Why anyone would choose to foster friendships with people who not only do not understand your struggle but to who you can’t even be open with regarding that struggle. Why anyone would choose to go through life not having that one person or two who takes away all the grays and brings in the colours.

“Life is hard as an LGBT person living in Nigeria. And interactions/connections that see you as you truly are, that lighten the load with love and understanding are necessary to get through this life.”

[I want to point out that I have said much on this issue of visibility in friendships in Lesson 2]

Of course there were people who disagreed with the post, those who were quick to point out that the gay community is filled with toxic people and that not every gay person is comfortable in gay friendships. That just like there are women who favour friendships with men, there are gay people who favour friendships with straight people, and that that is alright.

I agree. It is alright to have just straight people as friends – but ONLY on the premise that you are out to them. Otherwise that is just not a friendship and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to exist in such a situation. And that was the crux of my message: how imperative it is for LGBT people (ALL people really) to exist in spaces where they can be who they are without question or judgment from that environment.

You cannot overestimate how important it is for one to be seen.

Written by Pink Panther

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3 Comments

  1. Omiete
    July 29, 12:19 Reply

    I totally agree. I didn’t have any gay friends till the university and when I did I was grateful to have found people who are just like me. On the issue of those having only straight friends I won’t even qualify that as friendship because once they find out who you really are Lord only knows

  2. Tristan
    July 30, 01:24 Reply

    The truth is that some of these straight friends might be aware that you are gay but just won’t tell you ‘cos they don’t want to hurt you. There is nothing hidden under the sun. When I came out to one of straight friends ‘cos I couldnt bear the secret crush I had on him anymore, he just laughed and told me he already knew and that it wasn’t a big deal. Another very close straight friend of mine has been making funny impressions that he thinks I’m gay but I’m still taking my time to come out to him.

    Fact is, there is more to friendship than just your sexual orientation. There are still people out there who are attracted to one’s personality no matter their sexual orientation.

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