RANTINGS OF A RANDOM (Gay) NIGERIAN (Entry 25)

RANTINGS OF A RANDOM (Gay) NIGERIAN (Entry 25)

My friend Khaleesi always says that every Nigerian should live abroad for at least a year to open up their minds and generally reason logically, and I’d always thought he was rambling. But it rang very true for me recently. I was invited to a dinner party recently which was fallout out of an art exhibition I had previously attended. I arrived at the home of the very gracious host and was later introduced to everybody when they arrived. Most of the guests (total number was about 11) were young Nigerians of about my age and they were all well-travelled with foreign education in tow.

We eventually settled down to eat. The dinner conversation flowed together with wine, and somehow the conversation drifted to gay rights (I swear that wasn’t my doing). And I observed something that startled me; I did not hear the “Kill them, burn them” hate speeches typical at Nigerian gatherings when the issue of gay rights is mentioned. Most of the guests were like, “My faith doesn’t approve of homosexuality, but I will never judge anybody for their lifestyle… If it floats your boat, good for you… My endorsement is not needed.” The men even surprised me as they all echoed the same sentiments of “as long as a gay man doesn’t come on to me, we are fine.” Now I of course did not reveal my sexual orientation, but I argued for gay rights and they generally agreed with me that the anti gay law was out of place, but they would still not endorse the lifestyle. Religion was a strong factor as always, but when one of the girls said her bible was against homosexuality, I told her that the same bible was against pre-marital sex so she can only talk about this if she were a virgin. That shut her up.

These people that I had dinner with of course are not an accurate sample of Nigerians, as their travel and study in foreign lands had opened up some of their minds. I realized that at the end of the day, the issue of homophobia comes down to the question, “Do you believe that people are born gay?” And at that dinner table, I understood that most Nigerians believe that people are not born gay. These people have simply had their hate diluted, but deep down they believe that it is still a choice that can be discarded. So I think the answer to homophobia is making people (Nigerians) understand that people are indeed born gay, and that it is not cool to judge someone for something he/she has no control over.

*

Also, while the dinner was going on and we were chatting away, someone said her only issue with gay rights is that people should reserve the right not to get on board, that churches should not be mandated to wed gay couples and people like the baker who declined to make a wedding cake for the lesbian couple should be protected. This brought up another round of argument with the artist (who exhibited earlier in the day) and me being the only ones on the side of gay rights, and eventually there was an argument about what homophobia is. One of the girls said she is not homophobic, that she just doesn’t agree with the lifestyle and that doesn’t make her homophobic.

The issue of the baker who declined the cake-making assignment was also being argued with the general consensus being that she should reserve the right to decide who to serve and whom not to extend services to. At this point, I stepped in and asked them that if the caterer had declined to serve a black couple because they were black, would she still be right? (They all did not realize I just set a trap, and they trouped into it, lol) They all chorused that it would be wrong, so I asked them what the difference is between the two situations, and it was crickets. lol.

I recalled the time Oprah talked about a store attendant in Switzerland who kept nudging her to the cheaper bags and how it became a big issue, and I had all their attention. So I asked them why it would be wrong for the baker to decline to serve a black couple. Doesn’t she reserve the right not to serve them? I asked them why racism is wrong. Can’t a white person be allowed to hate a black person? Shouldn’t they be allowed to reserve that right? At this point, they saw where I was headed and they were mostly quiet while I continued.

I pointed out to them that having reservations about someone solely because of their sexual orientation is homophobia, and if you switch sexual orientation with skin color, it becomes the same thing with racism. Most of the people at the table had lived abroad and had experienced racism at some point, so my message hit home, and eventually someone said she had not really looked at it like that.

Absalom always says we should never pass up an opportunity to educate people about homosexuality; however the audience matters, some people are so close minded that it will be like pouring water on stone. My audience this night however was very logical people and I am very glad that I got my message across.

*

We often talk about stereotypes and how gay men are looked upon as being all about sex and nothing more. I have had straight people who tried to hook me up with other gay men for the simple fact that they are gay too without considering ever if there is any sort of chemistry or attraction between us. Now the hilarious thing is that these stereotypes are also believed by us amongst ourselves and even perpetrated. I remember a dear friend I had back in the university who was everything to me a friend could be, but in the gayborhood back then, nobody believed our story that we were just friends. Everybody believed we had to be shagging… I mean, why else would we be so close? *rme*

Very recently, a friend of mine returned from the US and I threw a party for him. That is what friends do for each other, right? Apparently not! Nearly all the gay men whom I know (some of who attended the party) kept taking me aside to ask when we started dating and I tried to politely clarify to them that we were just friends and not lovers. My simple clarifications did not seem to work, as everybody kept saying we were lovers till it became very annoying, I mean we had to be fucking for us to be very close pals, they believed. Mtchewwww!

I see this everyday; you do a birthday shout-out for someone on Instagram and he is automatically your shag-buddy! Sometimes we need to take several chill pills!

See you guys next week!

DM

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20 Comments

  1. Samsey
    August 05, 07:15 Reply

    I’ve found myself looking forward to your entries the most on KD, that might soon change though with the unfolding drama that Controvert is cooking in the roulette of the damned series.

    All the same you rock and there are always lessons to pick from your post.

    That part about the widely propagated incredulity of having a close gay friend irks me out too. Gay folks be like “you spend the night in each others apartment and you’re not shagging? “. I don’t owe anybody any explanation though, you can keep on forming on the tales you like in your head, na you sabi

  2. kacee
    August 05, 07:19 Reply

    Hehehehehe i’m trying to imagine her facial expression when you mentioned “pre-marital sex”.

  3. JustJames
    August 05, 07:31 Reply

    I remember when my brother was telling me I should quit being gay cause it’s wrong in the bible. I calmly reminded him that he had been shagging but wasn’t married yet,that he should come up with a better less hypocritical argument. He said he knows his shagging a girl is sin but it’s a more acceptable sin by society’s standards. He didn’t say anything after that.

    And I have a best friend who when I tell people he’s my best friend they ask how often we shag. Hellooo!! I said best friend not fuck buddy. I’ve never had sex with the guy and he’s not in my to-do list. Most people refuse to believe.. Their own cuppa tea.

    But I think it’s the same with straight guys, no? Once you befriend that girl your aim must be to get her into bed or turn her into a gf. They won’t want to listen that y’all just friends cause it’s not possible for a guy and girl to be friends without some sexual chemistry unless the guy is gay.. Right?

    • Pink Panther
      August 05, 08:10 Reply

      A more acceptable sin by society’s standards. Of course. Because it’s society that’ll sit in judgment when the trumpets blow 🙂

      • Absalom
        August 05, 09:04 Reply

        That trumpet being “blown”, though. Lucky Angel! 🙂

  4. Mirage
    August 05, 08:40 Reply

    Homophobia is everywhere it doesn’t have to do with being well travelled or educated, have a couple of friends outside the country who have suffered homophobic acts at one point or the other. Being a homophobe or not has to do with what you choose to see, whether you see a person based on his/her sexual preference or whether you look inwards. And thanks to the person who suggested “prayers for bobby” on this thread, saw the movie and I must say I got so much out of it.

    • Tiercel de Claron
      August 05, 10:43 Reply

      Was about to point out the lie in that too @Mirage.
      I have friends who don’t even know where our border with Benin lies,yet they are very open-minded

  5. Lothario
    August 05, 09:42 Reply

    Lmao……. I had a feeling the birthday shout out/instagram thing would make it in this week.

    As for the connoisseurs of premarital sex judging people…. I’ve learned to just stare at them with an arched eyebrow. Trust me, they know when they’re pushing it.

  6. ambivalentone
    August 05, 09:59 Reply

    *cough cough* I bet their stories change when they are around uncouth ppl. The truth is cornering homophobes one-on-one and their stories about not wanting to kill the faggot is so flowered you begin to imagine if their hate was something you dreamed up. They WILL kill if they find support…even the hoes…no offence to the ladies at ur party. I mean no be here we see where guy hit on lesbian and he became friend and protector? Oga tibe. The homophobia, good education or not, is real

  7. Khaleesi
    August 05, 10:41 Reply

    Thanks Dennis, this was as always, a great piece! and yes, i restate my assertion that every Nigerian ought to live abroad for a bit, it helps you see life from a different perspective. You get to realise that there is a different world out there where things are done and seen differently, you gain the boldness and audacity to challenge and question some of your most cherished ideals – in the end you emerge as a more rounded, more open minded individual …
    And yes, I dont know why, but these days, a the topic of gay rights/homosexuality very easily comes up. Get into any gathering for about 2 hours and you’re bound to hear some reference to gays … hmmm okk
    Dennis, your intellectual prowess keeps giving me multiple brain orgasms!! I love how you used logic to show them how flawed their reasoning is and yes, it worked because they are for the most part open – minded. If you were dealing with a bunch of typical Nigerians, your logic would have been like making faces in the dark – their minds are just too narrowed down that not even an iota of reason can penetrate; throw in the fact that they clutch tightly onto their religious opium pipes and you’ll understand why homophobia will still be alive and kicking strong even 200 years from now – except something radical changes!
    I find it amazing that a lot of gays find it hard to believe that 2 gay guys can be friends and cling closer than brothers with no sex involved … i guess its the same way lots of people find it hard to believe that a guy and a babe can be strictly platonic, it happens – loads of times!

  8. Vhar.
    August 05, 11:58 Reply

    He said: “Two girls kissing is gross.”
    I said: “Re-evaluate your orientation. It’s common knowledge that straight guys dig it.

    The concept that really gets the goat of the gay-hater, the idea that really spins their melon and sickens their stomachs is that most terrible and terrifying of all human notions, love.
    That one can love another of the same gender, that is what the homophobe really cannot stand. Love in all eight tones and all five semitones of the world’s full octave.
    Love as Agape, Eros and Philos; love as infatuation, obsession and lust; love as torture, euphoria, ecstasy and oblivion; love as need, passion and desire.

    Don’t talk to me about religion. Write me an essay about love. The whole world goes on and on about love. Poets spend their lives writing about it. Everyone thinks it’s the most wonderful thing. But, when you mention two guys in love, they forget all that and freak out.

    If being gay is a choice, so what? People choose to be assholes and yet they get married, give birth to assholistic children. Hence a continuous assholistic cycle.

    It’s pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It’s like disapproving of rain!

  9. richard
    August 05, 15:25 Reply

    nice piece, looking to get friends free frm drama in 9ja

  10. sensei
    August 05, 20:51 Reply

    Nice entry. Thanks for handling those guyz on our behalf. Lol

  11. Queen mother
    August 06, 09:36 Reply

    Vhar, please I invite you to come kiss me in my dream, it’s not a bad omen after all. You just hit points in my medula, without hurting my noodles. Bae, mwah! ^3.

    Dennis, the part about the bible and premarial-sex though. you shouldn’t have ironically told her she was a hoe. lol. yeah. them girls that think us psychos actually are hoes, who are depressed for the number of dicks they get to forfeit for the boujaina. (Their bad).

    Khaleesi, Hello.

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