LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON? (A COMING OUT STORY)

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON? (A COMING OUT STORY)

It was on a Saturday night that it happened. At midnight. Two days after I came back from the NYSC orientation camp. My stepmother called me from my room to her room, where my father was, and began asking me odd questions.

“Do you feel like there is anything you are going through you would want to share with us?”

I knew where this was coming from. During my time in school, I increasingly drifted apart from my father and my stepmother, barely coming home for the holidays. I’d noticed that this worried them, especially my stepmother, and now, apparently, she wanted to address the issue.

But as I sat there, the one thing on my mind to say to them, the struggle I wanted to share with them was something I was pretty sure they didn’t expect to hear.

I opened my mouth and said the words that until that moment, I had no idea I wanted to say out loud.

“Yes, there is something I would like to tell you. I feel like a woman sometimes. I like men.”

The room was silent, the silence of stupefaction, and my parents sat there, staring at me like they couldn’t believe what they’d just heard.

Then the questions started coming in earnest, all of them from my stepmother: What are you trying to say? Since when have you felt like this? Have you ever had sex with a man?

As I answered, she was also protesting that this must be a spiritual attack, saying that I needed spiritual attention.

And all through this, my father remained silent. Not saying anything to me.

Now, to understand why I did what I did, I need to make you understand my frame of mind at the time. When I was at the NYSC orientation camp, I suffered through so much discrimination, something I was unused to. I am effeminate, and in the camp, I kept getting asked tauntingly if I was a boy or a girl. Even my roommates one time threatened to beat me up, saying I was gay and too girly for their liking. It was a distressing thing for me to go through, and these hurts were frankly new to me because back in school, I never had to suffer through such.

Then when I came back to Lagos, the night after I returned, I ran into a total stranger who stopped me and began asking me out right out of the blue. And as I stood there, too stunned to respond, he compounded my shock by whipping out his dick right there on the street, asking me if mine was as big as his.

And so, in that room, at that time, upon hearing my stepmother encourage me to talk to them, I simply wanted to unburden myself, to let them in because they had asked. (Also, my aunt who lived in the United States was around, and she is very open-minded. Her presence added to the need I felt to open up.)

In the days that followed my coming out, my stepmother was the only one who seemed riled by what I’d confessed to them. My father seemed unaffected, even cool with it. Telling me he respected my decision to be who I am. My stepmother didn’t seem to share this benevolence. She kept pushing him to get spiritual help for me.

And some days, when I was feeling generous with my understanding, I could get her fear. In those unguarded moments of hers, I could see past her prejudice to the fear lurking in her eyes. My mother left my father – left us – when I was young for whatever reasons I still haven’t been made clear on. A few years later, my father married a new wife – my stepmother. And it wasn’t very long before they started having issues. Then I started seeing my stepmother pen things down on a jotter, a list – a list I spied one day which was basically her marking the dates when she and my father had had sex. The dates marked seemed few and far in between. I got to know about this before I gained admission into the university. Then, one time I came home after I finished my final year project, she broke down to me, crying about how my father doesn’t touch her unless it is when they expect to conceive. That even when they were dating, till they got married, he never once made any move to sleep with her. What she thought was charming and gentlemanly had now turned into a nightmare for her. And she was tired of what was basically a sexless marriage. She’d never said it out loud, at least not to me, but I could imagine she was at least worldly enough to suspect that she’d married a queer man. That my father was himself queer.

My father loves me. This much I know. And it didn’t matter that he himself could be gay, but his initial acceptance of me meant a lot to me.

But like I said – initial.

Days passed and I went back to my service. Then I got home for Christmas to meet only my father at home. My stepmother had traveled to see her family in Kwara State; she was the woman whose Christian family had initially stood against her wedding a Muslim. Those few days alone with my father made us really close. We laughed a lot, told jokes and just generally bonded, even though we never talked about my sexuality.

Then my stepmother returned and brought her animosity back with her. She was back on my father’s case to get spiritual help for me. This time, he buckled. Cleric after Muslim cleric were called to come and pray for me. Traditional practices were involved as well with the killing of chickens, and the time I was forced to drink some dirty liquid concoction.

And through all this, I regarded my father with mounting resentment over his betrayal. All that bonding, and this was what he was permitting to happen to me? It was obvious to me that my stepmother had played an ace card to get him to see things her way, and it most likely had to do with the suspicion of his sexuality. That he was going along with her so as not to appear truly queer – you know, “supporting your son’s queerness must mean you are queer yourself.” (I could imagine her saying to him: “For you to support him, for you to condone this, then you must also be doing it. That is why you don’t touch me at night, why you don’t have sex with me… Like father like son…”) I am not saying she is an evil stepmother. My father’s wife is really a nice woman. But confronting homosexuality tends to bring out the worst in people.

And I resent her for choosing to behave this unwisely: one would think that she finding herself in a sham marriage, where the need to conform and hide who one truly is was what made my father marry her, would make her appreciate me trying to be true to myself. Would make her encourage me to live authentically so I won’t follow in the footsteps of my father.

I am so happy that I am back to Benue, where I am serving. And since I’ve been back here, I have shunned them. Not taking their calls. Not planning to go home. The distance I put between me and my family during my university days because of the burden of my secret is back, this time because of their knowledge of it.

Written by Malik

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41 Comments

  1. Mitch
    March 05, 07:49 Reply

    What a wawu!

    I don’t think your father is gay though. Most probably, he just has a very low libido. Or, he’s probably even asexual.

    Just give them space. You’d need that space for your mental health.

    ✌️✌️

    • Mandy
      March 05, 08:50 Reply

      What are you talking about, you don’t think his father is gay? But then it’s most likely asexual or low libido. And those are better suited alternatives? Seriously, Mitch? His father being gay is not a crime, and I don’t see why you’ll suggest these other possibilities that have equal standing as homosexuality, and still dismiss homosexuality from the equation. His father could be GAY, ASEXUAL, or have a LOW LIBIDO. Don’t take out one simply because you feel uncomfortable with the notion of a gay man fathering a gay son. That happens.

      • Delle
        March 05, 09:09 Reply

        Umm can you like calm down, Mandy. If it’s the Mitch I know, I know FOR A FACT that he would never think to dispute the existence of gay fathers. That was quite the conclusion, old friend.

        I am sure what he meant was to not be so quick to label the man gay as there are other reasons why a man would be disinterested in sex with his partner.

        If you ask me, you do not tag some a homosexual simply because the person isn’t sexually virile. So it seemed like the writer was trying to feel comfortable with that idea. Until cogent reasons are put forward, it isn’t out of sorts for us, the readers, to explore other options.

        • Mandy
          March 05, 09:19 Reply

          The Mitch you know should word his comments to say what you seem to think he’s saying then. He should say that Malik shouldn’t rush to believe his father is gay, instead of saying HE doesn’t think Malik’s father is gay. Those are two vastly different things to say.

      • Higwe
        March 05, 09:14 Reply

        Can this Mandy be more cringe?
        Where did he say those were better alternatives?
        When did Mitch say he was uncomfortable with the notion that a father and son could be gay ?
        I don’t know who you’re hoping to impress in a generally anonymous forum with this BS you keep spilling.
        You’re always quick to jump into people’s comments, misquote them and drop your tiring line of ” wisdom ” just to make yourself look like the better person; which quite frankly you’re not.

        You honestly need to simmer down because you’re getting quite irritating !

        The writer didn’t provide enough details to make us believe his father is gay, someone having an alternate perspective, is not totally out of line.
        And in no way did he (Mitch) state those were comparatively better ; just that they could be options too. SMH

        • Mandy
          March 05, 09:21 Reply

          Oh look, it’s Higwe, the master of drawing unwritten conclusions from what writers have written. 🙄🙄 If it’s not the pot calling the kettle black.
          Nigga, please.

          • Higwe
            March 05, 09:52 Reply

            At least my comments are always almost independent.
            I don’t go constituting a nuisance of myself under people’s comments.

            Maybe you should try and stick to that, then people like me who can’t stand your hypocritical azz will find it easier to skip your comments.

          • Higwe
            March 05, 10:05 Reply

            ……and equating low libido -a Medical problem and bodily dysfunction – to homosexuality -a whole sexuality –

            has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read!

            People like you are cancerous to the LGBTQ community .

            • Mandy
              March 05, 11:14 Reply

              First of all, I didn’t make that comparison between libido and sexuality. Mitch did. If you weren’t in such a hurry to come for me, you’d see that.

              Secondly, it’s a free world — and blog. I make my own comments and counter others where I disagree. A perfectly human thing to do. If you are not invested in what I do, you could always, I don’t know, unlook?

              And, lol, you really should take your own advice and say what you have to say without marrying yourself to my comment like some sort of leech.

              • Mandy
                March 05, 11:21 Reply

                And by the way, Mitch, contrary to what some detestable characters on here have tried to make this look like, I really didn’t intend my objection to your comment to seem like a fight.
                It’s just your wording… It sounded like you were disputing the possibility that Malik’s father is gay and replacing it with other scenarios. Those other scenarios are just as valid as the probability of homosexuality.

                Dazzal. Peace ✌✌

              • Higwe
                March 05, 12:19 Reply

                That’s a huge lie !
                Mitch never made such comparison, he simply said he didn’t think the man is gay, that he could be suffering from low libido or simply an asexual.
                I may not be so good in English, but that is no comparison.
                It’s simply one disputing a theorized assumption in favour of another theory. You on the other hand equated them of being the same …in your words ” possibilities of equal standing as homosexuality ”

                The mere fact you think someone being unhealthy is of equal standing as homosexuality,tells me all I need to know about you.

                ************
                And don’t overrate yourself… usually I always skip your comments, I merely encountered it today because you replied under Mitch’s and I’ve just about had enough of you constantly intruding, misquoting and casting undue aspersions ; just to feel a little bit better about yourself, in your contrived imaginary paradise.

                • Pink Panther
                  March 05, 13:05 Reply

                  Somebody says “possibilities of equal standing as homosexuality” and you interpret that to mean he is equating sexuality with sexual performance?
                  😂😂😂😂
                  Did you even read the entire comment to understand the context?

                  Oh wait, you did say you may not be so good in English. OK. My bad.

                  • Mandy
                    March 05, 13:12 Reply

                    LMAO. PP, the thing weak me o.

                  • Higwe
                    March 05, 16:57 Reply

                    Do you honestly think you are insulting me by using a weakness, I emphasized myself ?
                    * the knowledge of a foreign language * 😂

                    Listen here mr pink panther or whatever you’re called.
                    English is my third language .
                    I grew up in Equatorial guinea and I only
                    started learning English as a teenager when we moved back to Nigeria.
                    And yes, I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m already this good.

                    When you can read and write three languages fluently, then we can talk.

                    I understood what he wrote perfectly ,maybe he worded it wrongly, but going by the literal meaning of what he wrote, that’s exactly what it came across as.

                    You butting in on an argument that has nothing to do with you and sneak dissing someone commenting in a blog, you’re supposed to be the administrator, only shows how unprofessional and immature you’re.

                    But I would never stoop to your level ,so permit me to end this argument.

                    • Pink Panther
                      March 06, 00:12

                      *Yawn*

                      Of course, blame it on English not being your first language. How predictable. That’s usually what people who refuse to accept their mistakes do.

                    • Higwe
                      March 06, 07:40

                      Professor Wole Soyinka…. I mean professor pink panther, I wonder where your ” Nobel Prize ” is….

                      No wait, never mind 😂

                  • RichieMichie
                    March 05, 20:50 Reply

                    Pp I’m highly disappointed at u for this. You weren’t suppose to boot in, and even taking sides at that

                    • Pink Panther
                      March 06, 00:10

                      All of you people that are being disappointed, FYI, this isn’t the first time I’ve commented by taking sides. And it probably won’t be the last. When I have something to say, I may not see the need to say it often but I’ll say it. It’s just the way it is.

                    • Higwe
                      March 06, 07:44

                      Cool story bro 👏

                    • Wonda Buoy
                      March 06, 12:06

                      +1 jare. You are free to take sides. Don’t mind anybody saying otherwise.

                • Mandy
                  March 05, 13:11 Reply

                  “The mere fact you think someone being unhealthy is of equal standing as homosexuality,tells me all I need to know about you.”

                  This 👆👆 is so far from what I was so obviously saying, you couldn’t possibly find your way to my point even if you used a map. Do yourself a favour (or not). Reread my comment, you just might get how far-off you are.

                  And sorry to break it to you, but disagreeing with someone is not casting undue aspersions to feel better about oneself. Even if that’s what you do.

                  • Higwe
                    March 05, 17:10 Reply

                    You’re not really bright, are you?

                    You admitted you made the comparison but tried to pass it off like Mitch was the first person that brought it up.

                    Now your saviour Pink panther swoops in to give you an escape plan and you’re trying to make the best of it 😂.

                    Nah mr Mandy you can’t fool me.
                    No matter how you wish to spin the narrative and change the cause of what started the argument in the first place ,your heart certainly knows the truth and what you meant.

                    Do you know what I love most about all these – the fact Mitch didn’t even glorify you with a reply.
                    Everyone has finally seen you for the fraud you are and no one takes your input seriously…. it does hurt now, doesn’t it?

                    Especially for someone who lives off * the clout *of being the most thoughtful user in KD. 🤣🤣🤣

                    Now, if you will excuse me, I just came back from work and I need to rest.
                    👋

                    • Mandy
                      March 06, 00:20

                      😂😂😂😂😂
                      You’re really pathetic, Higwe. Really very pathetic. You keep speaking like you’re a blog mouthpiece, but all you’re doing is performing stupidity. I’m glad Mitch didn’t respond, perhaps he didn’t see the need to, perhaps he’s not been online. But ultimately this was between me and him.
                      You’re just a noisemaker who doesn’t even have an understanding of what he’s here arguing for.
                      Like I said, it’s a free world. I’ll keep commenting what I want to comment wherever I want. I know how much that pains you, but try not to have a coronary on my account.

                      Kisses. 😘

      • Delle
        March 05, 13:50 Reply

        @PP…

        It’s always best to steer clear when two people are going at it with each other (especially when there’s good reason for this to be), that to come and take sides like you just clearly did. Not cool.

        • Stan
          March 05, 14:45 Reply

          Aye…. u took the words off my mouth. very unprofessional. if u must comment why nt come in on a neutral ground rather than take sides.

        • Pink Panther
          March 06, 00:06 Reply

          For someone who’s known my activity on here for 4 years, this your chastisement is funny, Delle. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken a side, and it won’t be the last. When I happen to take a side you approve of, I don’t see you complaining. But oh well.

    • Uzor
      March 08, 08:43 Reply

      Human beings and imposing unnecessarily high bars for people. Why shouldn’t PP get to comment and side with people he feels are correct? He put in so much to create a safe community for us to share opinions but then he can’t participate fully cause well, as the owner of the blog, you shouldn’t say your mind so it doesn’t seem like you’re taking sides, absolute bs! You people should kuku start a protest that presidents are always meant to remain neutral and shouldn’t vote for themselves or their party candidates

  2. Tinto
    March 05, 08:30 Reply

    Your Father never told you he was queer; what confirmation or proof do you have then that he is?

    Just an inclination???

    • Pink Panther
      March 06, 03:04 Reply

      He didn’t exactly say his father is queer. He was mostly conjecturing.

  3. Mandy
    March 05, 08:55 Reply

    Malik, you’re truly brave. To determine to come out to your parents, just like that, when you had nothing at stake, is very admirable.
    But the worst part is over. Do yourself a favour and be strong. Do not ever give them false hope or reason to believe they have succeeded in “curing” you. You’re out of the closet, they’re going to try to push you back in, don’t let them. Keep making sure that they know your truth is your truth. Eventually they’ll get tired and deal with it. There’s only so much clerics and traditionalists that they can call to do their bidding.

    As for your dad, if he really is gay, leave him to his demons. But reserve the right to one day talk to him frankly about this.

  4. Delle
    March 05, 09:00 Reply

    Deep.

    You know, whether your father is gay or not isn’t what really matters. That you feel betrayed by him is justified (but then again, when you familiarise yourself with the threads of matrimony, you just may cut him some slack. Sometimes we do things, acquiesce to doing them not because we want to, but to uphold peace and sanity). That said, your own sanity matters and the distance you’re giving them might be whats’s best for everyone. They’ll come around. Eventually.

    Keep being you. Keep living. They’ll catch up.

    [I do not want to delve into how evil it is for a partner to deny the other sex. If you know you do not like sex – this is me shying away from the idea that the man might be gay – then stay on your own! Or get a married to another human plywood. Sheesh!]

  5. Jay
    March 05, 10:33 Reply

    I’m happy for you for letting it out. Be at peace with yourself and they will come around. As for your dad, do your findings!

  6. Eddie
    March 05, 16:07 Reply

    He could be asexual or he may have a low sex drive or he’s just not into your stepmom(marriage of convenience I.e he needed a mother for his child)….and he could be gay… Who cares?
    It’s your sanity we’re talking about… Give ’em some space and aim at accomplishing your goals and dreams.
    As for the haters, they’ll always be around so you gotta learn to love yourself.
    Be careful of those hateful people too

  7. ken george
    March 05, 16:46 Reply

    Whether or not your dad is gay is irrelevant. Dont let that disturb you

    Also, now that you are practically out, i encourage you not to give up and go back into the closet. You need to sit down with your parents and explain what it means to be gay. Let them know how difficult it is for you to be who u are and to trust them with the truth. Let them know that you didnt choose to be this way. And pls be patient with them. Consider how long it takes for one to accept himself let alone accept someone else. Bcos in the end, family is all we got

  8. Malik
    March 05, 21:58 Reply

    Nice story, Malik; who is not me, but also Malik.

    • Malik
      March 05, 22:02 Reply

      By nice, I mean your story was well articulated and relatable. I do hope you find space in your home to be fully yourself. Give your step mother and father time, and talk to them. Peace, bro.

  9. Sleek Creamy
    March 05, 22:35 Reply

    I would probably say for your dad not to be touching your stepmother, it could be that he is missing your mum so dearly ,
    Beside maybe he got married to her just because he needed someone to do the domestics and taking care of him, too bad for her..
    And then again, i also feel that your dad is not Gay but instead maybe he has a better understanding about it, so that made him not to have react to any of ur stepmother suggestions….

    • J
      March 08, 07:20 Reply

      LOL story! Men? Misses who? Ah, most men think with their dicks honey, don’t be deceived.

  10. J
    March 08, 07:31 Reply

    I’m sorry you went through all that shit at the orientation camp. I will advise you to be very strict with ignorant people, don’t laugh with them unnecessarily.

    Coming out is one of the best thing that can happen to a gay person. You’re brave, take care of yourself and avoid anyone or anything that will make you feel bad about your nature or how you carry yourself. I’m effeminate too with a very tiny voice, I get ridiculed and misunderstood most times but I don’t care, I know myself! If anyone tries to come close to me to understand my nature, I can open up to them easily, but if they’re trying to make me feel bad or take advantage of me, I’ll kick them out to maintain my mental health.

  11. Uziel
    March 09, 09:15 Reply

    Hello, Malik.

    Whilst the way your parents went about the aftermath of your coming out is inadequate, I honestly don’t think it’s enough to cut them off.

    Based your story, they haven’t taken to treating you differently, or abusing you since they found out about your sexuality. The whole church thing is probably a natural conclusion reached for your concern.

    Your father seems like the kind of person that respects choices so I imagine that if you had firmly told them that you don’t want to see anymore clerics, he would understand and respect that.

    I think you should try to talk some more about how the way everybody has been reacting to your coming out to learn how they feel, too. This will help them understand what you want from them and this point, too.

    My unsolicited two cowries, though…

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