PRIDE OF THE ANGRY GAY NIGERIAN

PRIDE OF THE ANGRY GAY NIGERIAN

It is the month of Pride and I am angry.

I am angry for the gay Nigerian.

I am angry for our Pride.

I am angry at the injustices we have suffered and are still suffering. Angry for not being able to publicly show the man I love just how much I love him, not being able to hold hands and be expressive with my affection anywhere beyond the four walls of our bedroom. Angry that fear is our default setting when it comes to the expression of our love. Sometime last year, I met up with a friend of mine and we were later joined by his boyfriend. On our way to Iyana Ipaja, we boarded a bus and settled in the back. My friend and his boyfriend promptly proceeded to get all cuddly and cute in that small tight corner of the bus, apparently without a care in the world. And I watched the eyes that were watching them, and they were hard and cold and unfriendly, so much so that I wanted to tell my friend and his boyfriend to act more “normal”. I wanted to dim their expression of their love because I was afraid for them. And after that day, I was angry at a system that made me feel that way, that made me think of blood and beating and cries of pain when two men simply wanted to love and laugh and enjoy the life they were sharing together.

I am angry that the heterosexual narrative is for us to shut up about our relationships and our stories and our experiences, for us to stop shoving our thing down their throats – and yet, they won’t stop with their workplace banter about the women they’ve shagged and their Facebook updates about their relationship woes and the pressure they encourage for everyone to toe the line of marriage to the opposite sex. They say I’m disgusting because I love a man, and yet they are the wife beaters and the divorcees and the cheating spouses and the wives who pass off their pregnancies from adulterous affairs as belonging to their husbands, and the men who want to leer at and wank to two girls getting it on. I am disgusting for wanting to live my love for a man and they are righteous for all the disgusting things they do.

I am angry because these same people have the prerogative to make me conform to their ways.

I am angry that I’m not able to tell them (just like they tell me about their relationships) that I just met the most gorgeous boy and this guy is slowly stealing my heart away, and that I dream of a future with him, but I know in the back of my mind that dreaming of this future is like grasping at straws as long as I’m in this country.

I am angry that we are in the Pride Month and I can’t celebrate it the way I really want to. Nigeria is slowly turning me into a bitter person. New everyday comes a report of how a gay person in Nigeria was killed, lynched, beaten, disgraced, dispossessed of his property and livelihood – simply because he dared to be with and love another like himself. I think about all this and I wonder how I can possibly to happy. Today that I write this, I have been shaking, visibly trembling all morning, and my roommates think I’m coming down with a fever. They are right. I am possessed with a fever. A fever of anger at all the ways Nigeria’s heterosexuality makes my life as a homosexual difficult and a struggle.

I am angry because my country has made it hard for me to express myself freely without fear which leads me to these fits of anger (like the one I’m having now) and bouts of depression.

I am angry.

But I am hopeful for me, for us. Because hope is the only thing that helps make sense all the tragedy my community has suffered under the prejudice of Nigeria. All the deaths and suicides and injustices, all the victimization and brutalities we have endured based simply on our identities as gay people – Hope is the one thing that makes it all have some semblance of perspective.

We are in the month of LGBT Pride. We should celebrate. We should be hopeful. And we should not forget that there is yet so much we have to do to get to where we should be able to celebrate our Pride with fear and shadows.

Happy Pride Month, everyone!

Written by Duke

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4 Comments

  1. Mandy
    June 09, 06:37 Reply

    So word on the street is that the first Naija pride event that was held this week was turned into an exclusive event… Only for the special special LGBT people. Because they’re the Nigerians that need to celebrate pride.

    Lol. Talk about something else to be angry about.

    • Johnny
      June 09, 06:53 Reply

      The caucus thing is in our lifestyle as gay people. No be today.

    • Dunder
      June 09, 14:16 Reply

      Maybe that was due to security concerns?

  2. ROCK
    June 11, 06:43 Reply

    When and where was the price held,??

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