Let Your Anger Shine

Let Your Anger Shine

My friend, let’s call him Puzzled Straight Man, engaged me on Facebook sometime in 2017, telling me that throwing shades at the fucker who had made homophobic comments was counterproductive. What does it achieve? he asked. On WhatsApp, I told him: It makes me feel good. And then what? he said. You are not challenging his ideas with facts that will change his mind.

First: What the fuck?

Secondly: I am the person who is being emotionally bludgeoned by Daft Commenter’s—that works!—homophobic words, and yet I am supposed to be the reasonable one?

Puzzled Straight Man doesn’t get it. He means well, but he is blinded by privilege and by devilish ideas such as logic and objectivity. After a while chatting with me, he said: You dey vex oh.

You bet your black flat ass, I dey vex! Last year alone, I’d had to deal with the trauma of a kito, had to participate in a hashtag movement to protest the attacks on a queer-identifying poet, had to listen to stories about guys from my alma mater who went to the rooms of suspected gay guys, beating them up and looting them. I had also had to endure series of heterosexual Facebook drama, childish encounters that were eye-roll-worthy, were they not a gross waste of privilege. How dare they have such public dramas when I couldn’t feel safe with my man even with the windows barred and the doors shut?

Toward the end of the year, other gay friends talked about the anger they felt and about the interrogation of that anger even by community members. But anger is a legitimate response to unjust treatment and should never be demonised.

This year, 2018, we should let our anger shine. Let it shine in our criticism of compromise in our community as well as in our intolerance of homophobic bullshit. Let it shine in the choices we make: #ComingOutLoading. Have a date for your coming out party. It could be tomorrow or the next ten, twenty years: But have a plan. MGM is a situation we should treat with compassion and understanding, but we should never accept it as the way out.

There should not be a way out.

Let’s place a sexual embargo on gay men who hate gay culture aka The Discrete Ones aka Empty Headed Numbskulls. In our offices, shops, classrooms, we should be known as The Guy You Don’t Want to Say Anti-Gay Shit Around. The idea is not to be confrontational but to react when pushed because, yes, We. Have. Been. Pushed. To. The. Fucking. Wall.

When my friends were attacked in their rooms, I said to someone: Our community is under attack. This is the bitter truth. It is no longer enough to distribute condoms and epistles on How Not to Get Kitoed—

For fuck’s sake, we are not preys! We must insist on being seen, if not individually, then collectively. Let us cause such a bang, in our fashion and our music and our literature and our offices and churches and neighbourhoods and families, a bang that will tell them: We Are Here, We are Queer and We Are Not Going Anywhere.

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Written by Rapum Kambili

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15 Comments

  1. trystham
    January 01, 07:12 Reply

    I think I am suicidal. I got beads every color of the rainbow 2 days past and have taken to wearing them on T-shirts. I no get time to dey hide again. That shii is EXHAUSTING. See dem beads and know thou that which I represent.

    • Pink Panther
      January 01, 07:31 Reply

      “I no get time to dey hide again. That shii is EXHAUSTING.”

      Never truer words spoken. I truly feel you on this.

  2. Delle
    January 01, 09:05 Reply

    Yasss! Rapum giving me life this unprecedentedly cold morning. A friend of mine said he got a sticker with the words “Equality for all” and pasted it at the entrance door of his Family House. I’m so doing same.

    We aren’t taking no more shit especially now I’m truly convinced I’m quite heterophobic.

    We. Have. Been. Pushed.

  3. Malik
    January 01, 10:14 Reply

    But really there should be an official Gay Agenda (LGBT Agenda if you prefer) this year. Something like the SDGs – definite and time bound, specific for Nigeria. The end goal would be equal rights, the repealing of that inhumane law, and creation of a healthy environment for Nigerians, irrespective of sexuality or gender identities.

  4. Nel
    January 01, 10:27 Reply

    I love you Rapum. we all have to rise.

  5. Maureen
    January 01, 10:54 Reply

    This article is everything! You cannot dictate to the attacked and the oppressed how to react. If you want to preach, take it to the attacker and oppressor. Smh.

  6. YCJ
    January 01, 11:24 Reply

    This is a very Motivating piece.

    Let Our Anger Shine!!

  7. Mel
    January 01, 11:25 Reply

    I have my pride flag from my first Pride Parade hanging off the shelf in my room and its very visible to everyone who visits, if you know, you know! Hiding has now become truly exhausting and sometimes embarrassing even.
    #WeHaveBeenPushed

  8. Thirst
    January 01, 13:14 Reply

    “We ain’t going no Where”

  9. Pankar
    January 02, 18:17 Reply

    What have you done for the community?

    That should be the answer needed. Enough preached.

  10. Dunder
    January 02, 23:29 Reply

    Years ago, I was visiting family and an aunt wondered in disgust at how someone could be gay, saying that even animals don’t “do such”. I responded that homosexuality is recorded in virtually every specie of mammals with homophobia being present in only one. My older cousin immediately rushed in to calm the situation, suggesting that I was just playing devil’s advocate and how I was the civil thing to look at things from the medical aspect. At this point in my life, I was rather troubled- dealing with my sexuality and anxious about it’s consequences as per family, career and even freedom but that evening, I honestly could not be bothered with hiding and hyper pretending so as not to come off as “that way” to someone so proud of knowing nothing at all. I just kept on with my point saying that if anyone has got problems with what another does in bed, make your objections factual and realize that just like the animals that are your new role models, these people who “do such” have every right to what they consent to just as you retain the right to bitch about it.

    I wont cast pearl before swine or offer my private life as fodder for gbeboruns but if anyone is expecting fearful agreement or the silence that permits slander next time you talk about queerness, prepare to be disappointed.

  11. King Mufasa
    January 03, 09:45 Reply

    These are the thoughts that push me to work harder.
    Success is the biggest fuck you.

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