FOREWORD: I would like to apologize for the two-day hiatus recently experienced here on KD by the admin. This was a consequence of an extenuating circumstance, one which has been resolved, and hopefully will not persist.
I was recently chatting with a friend, and he let on to me that he believes he’s gay because he grew up with males. There was a custody battle over him when he was a kid in the States, and the judge ultimately let the decision of who he wanted to live with rest with him. Predictably, he chose his mother. Mother soon went on to marry a widower with three sons of his own. The youngest was a year older than my friend, and was his first sexual encounter some years later. These days, he’s still struggling with his sexual identity, and clings to the belief that his homosexuality is a choice he can put away when he’s good and ready. Whenever such a time is.
At the end of his narration, I asked him, “If you could go back to the time when the judge asked you who you’d like to live with, would you change your decision?”
Bisi Alimi is the first Nigerian to come out publicly, on National Television. The bravest decision ever made by any Nigerian gay person I’ve known. He has been vocal since then about the abuse he suffered following his coming out, criminal acts that led to his relocation abroad. He currently lives the life of a gay Nigerian who is free to express his sexuality and love whomever his heart desires, no hiding, no secrets.
There are countless things we do which we ponder on minutes, hours, months, years after the fact. Decisions taken that seemed right at the time, but which unleashed consequences that don’t seem right. Actions with an aftermath that make you wonder where the silver lining is.
The one where you come out to your family to a subsequent backlash.
The one where you reveal your positive HIV status to a lover, to suffer the death of the relationship.
The one where you react vocally and furiously against antigay crimes, to become shadowed by whispers about your sexuality.
The one where you get married and find yourself struggling to make your spouse happy.
All it takes is a moment to make a decision, willfully or not, to do something that ultimately alters the course of your life.
Whether the proceeds of that decision or singular act are rewarding or punishing, if you had the chance to return to the past and do it over, would you?
So, let’s discuss…about the past, the present and the things we may or may not like to do differently.