Hi, I’m Brad, only son and last of four children.
I am also gay… or bisexual. I’m not sure which it is because I do find girls attractive. I have had a few sexual experiences with girls but it’s not the same with the guys, of which there’s been pretty much a lot. With guys, I feel a connection, a yearning, a need. With girls, it’s just bland, empty. I guess that means I am gay.
Nonetheless, I have never really been able to picture myself married to a woman (the struggle of most gay Nigerians) and this here lies the problem. I happen to find myself in a family of people who are keen on seeing me married, especially my mum – such a sweet and stressful woman. I am young, precisely twenty-one, and I have already had the “Where is your girlfriend?”, “You should get married soon” conversation three times. That says a lot about my folks.
I remember the first time the marriage talk happened, I was seventeen, if memory serves me correctly. I was going about my normal stuff at home, minding my own business, and then in walked the Mother General and her friend. This rather annoying friend went, “Hmm, Brad ètochago o! When will you bring the wife?”
In my mind, I retorted, “No, I’ll wait for you before I grow up. And keep waiting for that wife, you’ve already reached menopause.”
However, I didn’t respond. But Mother Dearest had it all planned out. She replied, “Yes o, he’ll be getting married once he’s twenty. I’ve already started looking into a good wife for him.” Then she looked over at me and said, “Is that not so?”
And of course, my answer was simple, “No, it is not. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Laughter greeted my cheeky response and soon, everyone moved on and all was well with the world again.
Fast forward to three years later, and I was twenty, now sexually active. (To some folks, I started late. Lol) I was chilling in my room on a good evening and in walked Mother. She strolled over to my bed and took a seat (uninvited, I might add). She started with a really good tale of a young man who got married not so long ago, and whose wife just gave birth to his first child some days ago. Mother has always been a great story teller, and she was pulling out all the stops on this narrative.
It wasn’t long before I realized where this was headed, so I brace myself for the long talk. She went on about the pros of getting married on time and having children early enough so you can grow with them, went on about how useful a wife is in managing a man’s business (a good tactic she used there, because of my working status). And on and on, she went, ending with “We are just waiting for you to finish school next year.”
The entire time, all I could think of was: “Is this woman fucking with me? What in Jehovah’s name gave her the impression I’m interested in getting married, let alone getting married so early?”
The third time the issue came up was just some months ago. I can’t begin to give that gist now; it should suffice to say that both parents came for me this time. They went as far as asking me to show them the picture of my girlfriend. Lol, wildest dreams! I settled that with the ‘I’m focusing on school’ excuse, but that’s soon about to change and I won’t have that excuse anymore.
I hope you guys now understand why I have this problem a little worse than other folks. Plus I’ve had the scandalous gay drama a couple times at home, good times of being interrogated and whipped. I know the pressure and drama is only going to get worse now, but I keep wondering how I’m supposed to spend the rest of my adult life lying to the mother of my children. Can I really survive not being with a guy, sexually and otherwise? If I decide to be a married gay man, how do I spend my life sneaking around with the man I love? Finally, if I am caught (lol), what do I tell my children who I know I would love the most?
I wonder about these questions and many more, like: Is being an MGM an inevitable destination for me? Can I take the subjection to scorn of the gaybourhood and hetero brothers whichever way I swing? What good is it to me if I lose myself for the good of my family?
Written by Brad