So my friend discovered that his younger brother is gay and he has not been sure how to react to it. How did he find out? Instagram. I technically got to know about it first, but I stayed cool, seeing as it wasn’t my place to spill. I know his sweet bubbly little brother, and as much as he is somewhat effete, I didn’t initially suspect his sexuality. The two brothers aren’t very close to begin with; I think my friend somehow distances himself from the rest of his family.
On that subject, allow me to digress a little. If you ask a majority of people who know me, who work with me or who maybe live with me, the first thing they’d say about me is that Dennis is very secretive. When I was in the university and my department did this scrapbook thingie, a girl wrote that I know how to be very close friends with someone and yet not be entirely revealing about myself. Now that I am older, I realize what I was subconsciously doing, what I still do. I am basically protecting myself because if people come very close, they’d most likely find out that I am a gay man. I think this ring true for many gay people. We tend to isolate ourselves from family and co-workers, and it looks like we’re a bunch of introverts, until you see us with our girls – sorry, friends. Then you’d see these ‘introverts’ in their element.
Anyway this was especially true for my friend, Ejike.
Now, those of you who use Instagram may be familiar with how that photo-sharing platform can kobalise somebody. When I want to know who is gay and who is not, I simply check your Following; the more green bars i see, the gayer I believe you are. lol.
So I’d found Ejike’s brother’s account on Instagram and saw so many green bars, and knew he was very likely to be gay. However I kept quiet.
Eventually my friend found out the crude way. He was at his friend’s house and this friend was going on and on about this boy he was banging. A picture was produced and voila! Ejike came to me; and for whatever reason I did not know, he was very distraught. It soon became apparent that his brother’s homosexuality really bothered him; it was as if he wished his brother was not gay. I told him that except he thinks deep down that there is something wrong with being gay and that his brother is on the wrong side of the human sexuality spectrum (just like us), then I don’t see what the fuss was about. I wondered if this was internalized homophobia at work.
Anyway, he later asked his brother about his discovery, and his brother admitted the truth. He also said he’d known about Ejike for a long time. After that conversation, they further drifted apart to the point where they barely spoke to each other. I was very worried and whenever I brought up the issue, Ejike would wave it aside.
One day, we were having beers and the issue came up again. This time, he didn’t dismiss it. Instead he opened up about his fears. His parents have only two sons, and he had flirted with the idea of not buckling to pressure and getting married and all; after all, there was still another son who would carry on the family name, and all that jazz. He said that with his knowledge of his brother being gay too, he was beginning to rethink his choices in life and he was wondering how his parents would take it if both of them decided not to marry women. At that point, I saw reason with him. Then he asked me what I would do if my baby brother was gay.
I took some time to consider my answer. I mean, I am the bambino of my family and for the most part, last born kids can be selfish (yes, after years of everybody spoiling you rotten). So I had never considered making a decision with the thought of how it would affect a younger person in mind. However I told him that if I were faced with that situation, I would reach out to my younger brother and tell him all the things I wished my 19 year old self knew. I would teach him how to navigate the gaybourhood, how to assert himself and how not to be defined by the opinions and boxes of others. I would teach him about safe sex and making wise choices, teach him how to find himself and help him through the land mines of relationships and heartbreaks. I would draw him close to myself and try as much as possible to ensure that he avoids some of the mistakes that I made myself.
Ejike, I know you are reading this. I have said this to you before and I say this again; guide him, mold him, mentor him and ensure he grows up to be the kind of (gay) man that we will be proud of.
I heard something about a month ago and I thought I should bring it up here so that you people can help me dissect the matter. I was having drinks with a gang of men; you know how three people go out on a Friday night and everybody starts calling everybody and before 8pm, the table swells to 10 guys with lewd conversations and alcohol fuelled laughter ringing out. Anyways, so we were talking about sex and somehow it got to body counts, and in typical DM fashion I pled the fifth; even though everybody shouted that Nigeria does not have a fifth amendment. But there was no way I was going to talk about how many people I have slept with in this town in public, biko I am private like that.
There was this guy who just moved to Port Harcourt about three months ago, and when he was asked the body count question, he said he had not had sex with anyone in PH. It was weird to me because we live in the same area and I could remember about two occasions when I dropped him off with “a friend” late into the night. So I asked him if he was really serious, and he said well yes, that he had never done anything anal with anyone in this town, so technically he hadn’t had any sex. I asked him if he had shared a bed with someone and all, and he said yes, that they did everything but penetration. So in his opinion, he hadn’t had sex here, giving him a body count of zero in PH.
I was trying to make sense of what he said. I asked him what he meant; so unless someone penetrates him or vice versa, then sex has not happened. He said an emphatic yes. The issue suddenly became a big contention at the table, with everybody arguing on different sides on the issue, each person marshalling their own points. I was very startled. I had always thought that anal sex IS OVERRATED, but now, I was certain it is indeed overrated. I asked the ‘sex without penetration is no sex’ people a question: so supposing they were in an exclusive relationship with someone and this person went on to have everything-minus-anal-sex with someone else, would they consider it cheating? None of them had an answer for me, and I was sure I had nailed them. But some of them were still adamant and I looked on at them in disbelief.
Just so we are clear, if I and you are involved and you so much as kiss another person, YOU ARE DEAD! We are not swingers, biko!
On a final note, any of my friends who comes to drop a bee or lemon emoji on my Instagram or Facebook will receive a slap from me. Dazzal! K