SUITS AND TIES (Part 5)

SUITS AND TIES (Part 5)

Read previous episodes of Suits And Ties Here1, Here2, Here3 and Here4.

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Hi, I’m JBoy, and yes, I still work in what is probably the most homophobic workplace environment in Nigeria. And with the current LGBT clime dominating the world, the talk at work has been vacillating between incredulity, outrage and just plain viciousness.

And then, there are those moments that far and in between, when talks amongst my colleagues of the gay community borders on hilarious.

One such moment was brought on by a Hollywood actor – Matt Bomer.

The actor has been in the news recently on press junkets for his recently released movie, Magic Mike XXL. But before he stripped and sweated and shimmied his glory on TV, he won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor, for the role he played as Felix Turner in the movie, The Normal Heart, where he was a closeted New York Times reporter who fell in love with out-and-proud Ned Weeks (played by Mark Ruffalo), but had to struggle with his health after contracting AIDS in the early eighties.

Now, Matt Bomer has the dreamiest eyes; even his Magic Mike co-star, Channing Tatum professed to getting lost in his eyes.

So those eyes must have wielded some power over a bunch of my female colleagues, because the afternoon came when he was all they were talking about – on the heels of some of them seeing the movie, The Normal Heart.

“My goodness, that guy is gorgeous,” one exclaimed. “So fine, too fine!”

“And his skin – oh God! I don’t usually like white men, but for Matt Bomer, I can cross the Atlantic.”

“He’s just pretty. That’s just it – a pretty man.”

“He’s my premium quality!”

“But he played a gay role in that film,” the first voice of dissent ventured.

“Ehen? And so?” the one who had claimed the actor as her premium quality instantly went on the offense. “He’s a Hollywood actor, those people can like to act crazy roles. It doesn’t mean anything about their personal lives.”

“Yes, they are usually very dedicated to their craft…”

“Hmm, I’m just saying, he’s too cute,” the dissenter persisted.

At this juncture, I had to interject. I called her name. She turned to me. And I asked, “Are your boyfriend and brothers not cute?”

“Well, of course they are –”

“Then, what are you insinuating?”

Mind you, at this time, I had no idea who Matt Bomer was. Everything I introduced this piece with is knowledge I garnered after what happened this afternoon occurred.

“It’s not like that,” Ms. Dissenter argued.

“What is it like then?” I persisted.

She shrugged, unable to answer me appropriately and unwilling to give ground. She maintained, “I’m still saying, you people should not be surprised if he’s truly gay.”

“Well, Google is our friend,” I said blithely.

And so, one female turned to her computer, effectively drawing the attention of everyone else to her work station. A few keyboard clicks later and Matt Bomer’s profile was rolled out before us.

Sexuality – GAY!

Gba-gam!

The one who claimed him as her premium quality let out a high-pitched scream, the kind of scream that told you her heart was breaking into a million little pieces. Someone had to hurry over to shut the door of our office in other not to cause any unnecessary alarm with our co-workers in the other offices.

“How can he be gay!” she screeched.

Ms. Dissenter was now chuckling very smugly in her seat.

“But look at him again o!” Ms. Premium Quality lamented, gesturing to the computer screen, where Matt Bomer was gazing back dreamily at her us. “Look at him nah! He looks so beautiful! Chai! Could he be the man or the woman in his relationships, which one is he?”

“Let’s find out,” Ms. Computer said.

And we all returned to Google. Ms. Computer navigated to the actor’s Wikipedia page, and clicked on the name, Simon Halls, which was listed against ‘Spouse’. When the picture appeared on the screen, Ms. Premium Quality screeched again.

“Ah! Ah! He’s the woman o! See my life! So I was busy lusting after my fellow woman! Chai!”

“How can you tell?” I asked, very curious.

“See him and his husband nah! Can’t you see!”

So I leaned forward to see. All I could see was an older, taller man standing next to the actor. And it dawned on me that their assessment of Matt Bomer’s sexual role had been deduced from the insignificant detail of him being frailer than his husband. Gender stereotype was obviously playing a heavy hand here.

In the wake of this Matt Bomer discovery, the discussion instantly veered off from its original course.

“I can’t just bear the thought of being with a man who is bending for another man!” Ms. Premium Quality declared. (It is noteworthy that she is unmarried)

“Tufiakwa!” Ms. Dissenter concurred. “Me too o!”

“Hian! Nawa o!” Ms. Computer, the married one amongst them, said. “The way things are happening in this world nowadays, I have to say, I won’t be surprised if my husband is gay. The way cute men here and there are turning out to be gay…”

“I’m still heartbroken over Wentworth Miller,” Ms. Premium Quality cut in.

“Exactly!” Ms. Computer said. “See? And my husband is kukuma very cute. I swear, if I find out tomorrow that he is gay, before I react, I’ll first ask him, ‘Honey, please are you the one giving or receiving?’”

The entire office burst out into laughter.

“I’m serious,” she continued. “If he says he’s the one giving, we’ll start going for marriage counseling. If he says he’s the one receiving, I’ll pack out of the marriage, because me, I cannot come and go and start sleeping with my fellow woman. I’m not a lesbian.”

If laughter could kill, I’m sure I would have dropped dead at this moment.

And then, Ms. Dissenter had a story to tell – of a friend of hers (let’s call her Ms. Damsel-In-Distress) who had been severally unlucky in love, and who finally found a young man with a prospering career, who promised to be everything she wanted in a man (let’s call him Prince Charming). They began dating, and soon things got serious. Their families were involved, and introductions were made. Before you know it, the traditional wedding arrangements were underway. The trip to matrimony was all but certain.

And all through this time, Ms. D-I-D’s brother kept pressing his sister with his misgivings about her fiancé. He said he didn’t trust the man, that there was something he sensed that was off about him.

But of course, Ms. D-I-D wouldn’t hear anything of it. She laughingly dismissed her brother’s misgivings as the rancor of a man who was already missing his sister. She teased him that she was getting married, not dying, and that she’d still be around for him.

And so came the day when she decided to drop over at her fiancé’s place unannounced. She wanted to make him dinner and just generally take care of her man. She got to his compound to see his car parked in the driveway, much to her surprise. He must be home early, she thought. She let herself into the house to see two glasses of unfinished wine in the parlour. He must have seen off a guest, she thought.

Then she heard the muffled sounds coming from the bedroom, went in to investigate, and stood right there at the door, stunned beyond speechlessness as she stared at her future husband getting pounded from behind by a white man.

“JISOSKRAIST!” the other women in the office shouted in interruption, some snapping their fingers for emphasis.

“So, she was about to marry a woman like her,” Ms. Premium Quality exclaimed.

Ms. Dissenter wasn’t done.

So, the flabbergasted lady first stood, staring at the sex scene, before shouting, ‘Jesus-Jesus-Jesus-Jesus!!!’

Her shouts shattered the two men apart. But their following reaction was the second blow Ms. D-I-D didn’t expect. The white man got out from the bed and sauntered wordlessly to the adjoining bathroom to wash up. Prince Charming also got up from the bed, reached for a towel to cover his nudity, and then stared point-blank at his fiancée and said, “Now that you’ve seen it, what has happened? Now that you know, what will happen?”

He went on to speak very frankly to the girl, telling her that all this – their marriage plans – had just been about him not being bold enough to confront his family of his sexual orientation. He’d decided to get married to please them. But in the days leading up to that moment, he’d started to get restless and unhappy with his decision. He seemed relieved that she’d caught up.

And then he kicked the ball into her court when he asked, ‘Now that you know, what will you do about us? To marry or not to marry?’

Ms. D-I-D fled from the apartment, carrying the heavy burden of the question miserably along with her. She wept to her family, and lamented her discovery to them. Prince Charming, on his own part, came out to his family (He didn’t exactly have a choice at this point). Advice streamed to Ms. D-I-D from every corner, some encouraging her to go through with the wedding (after all, she wasn’t getting any younger), and some others objecting that she shouldn’t (how could she, knowing what she knew).

Eventually, the couple parted ways, Ms. Dissenter concluded. There was no marriage.

And the women in my office were still talking about men, women, relationships, homosexuality and Matt Bomer by the time lunch break was over and it was time to get back down to work.

Through it all, I took home one lesson however: The tolerance of LGBT in Nigeria is near, no matter what anyone professes. The issue of discovering a gay hubby came up and these women didn’t react in disgust to the notion of the man’s homosexuality. No. What they were recoiling from was how the role he plays would affect their decision to remain partnered with him.

That is how tolerance happens. It won’t come in one fell swoop, one gigantic beach wave to sweep every countryman off from their homophobia. It will come in stages, mostly because the society is made very conscious, at every turn, of the LGBT issue. TV programs are showing it. Laws are being passed for it. People are talking about it. With time, the horror that unfamiliarity made the LGBT seem will wear off, and then there’d be nothing left to do but to accept that which you cannot avert.

Tolerance is not here, but it’s near.

Written by JBoy

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38 Comments

  1. Raj
    July 30, 06:21 Reply

    True .. Improved tolerance has been noticed amongst the literate and civilised minds. However it is actually very slow. Factors that make our journey of tolerance seem like a coal powered train ride are;

    Amongst the elderly who actually make up larger percentage of caregivers and guardians ,there is litlle open mindedness as well as liylle accedd to international media and internet. These could educate them on acceptance but they are not probe to using these medias as well not even open minded enough to try seeing that they passes closer ties to vulture and religion.

    The above reasons now influences the young in remaining the homophobic closets and keep making matters not look as good as it should.

    In general,Africans are not open minded and curious enough yo educate themselves on the aspect of live and let live. Progress is made with younger generations though..

    • Max
      July 30, 08:18 Reply

      From my observation, females are more tolerant to homosexuality than men. Females can be open to have a discussion about it, but the boys won’t have it.

  2. Francis
    July 30, 06:23 Reply

    This Ms. Computer is something else. Lmao. But really JBoy no be lie you talk sha. If person don begin scrutinize her husband like this e mean say people don dey dey very very aware of what’s up.

    • Mandy
      July 30, 06:43 Reply

      Ms. Premium quality can like to hog fine fine men them. lol

    • JBoy
      July 30, 09:27 Reply

      My Dear, I was in awe shock when she spoke about her husband. I’ve never laughed at their gist like I did that day.

  3. Raj
    July 30, 06:23 Reply

    Sorry for my typos.. Editing can be quite difficult. Would be sorted out soon…

  4. Ruby
    July 30, 07:01 Reply

    Its a Slow and Steady Journey but we’ll get there Eventually

  5. Dubem
    July 30, 07:08 Reply

    LMAO this episode of Suits & Ties is hilarious. Jboy I’ve sotay missed you and your office’s antigay shenanigans.

    • JBoy
      July 30, 09:28 Reply

      Dude, LOL!, I’m prayerful this menstrual flow will be regular..

  6. #Chestnut
    July 30, 07:09 Reply

    I aint even gonna lie,I’ve totally forgotten what “Suits and Ties” is about; in fact I thought I remembered JustJames as being the writer(yea,it’s been that long,lol)…but this entry sweet me die! (Datt “Damsel-in-Distress”s brother hand no just clean at all; he himself haff not confess finish…)

  7. JBoy
    July 30, 07:23 Reply

    Thanks People…will be more frequent, going forward.

  8. Max
    July 30, 08:14 Reply

    People who like taking it in are hated everywhere… Even in the gaybourhood.
    Weaker sex
    Frail etc…
    Thats just rubbish.
    And it all comes from the thought that women are weaker and a man who’s taking a D is worse than a woman.

    They’ll grow mentally. But it’ll take time. Feminism and homosexuality has a very close relationship, some might not see it, but it’s there.

  9. ambivalentone
    July 30, 08:50 Reply

    All I saw when the advice for continuing with the sham marriage is the desperation some Nigerian women are suffering. They are tolerant alright, but that appelation ‘Mrs’ that they MUST wear…chai!!! Nigerian societal dictates have killed whatever happiness sumbori desires sha.

    • R.A
      August 01, 07:33 Reply

      I came out to a very close female friend of mine early this year, because I noticed she had a thing for me and was probably misreading my teasing and harmless flirting. Her response: “Is that your only problem? We would work on it together” Whenever I remember that line I’m still shocked. But I’m not having any of that. I know its just the age and pressure on her side that’s really talking, or not. Whichever one it is, I still do not want neither am I interested in finding out.

  10. Mitch
    July 30, 08:50 Reply

    ROTFLMAO! This Jboy will not kill somborri!

    But you’re kinda right. Tolerance is slowly coming into Nigeria. I’m forced to eat my previous words on the matter. One day we will be accepted. However, the one thing I don’t know is how soon it will be.

  11. kacee
    July 30, 09:14 Reply

    Ms. Computer is so funny. “Tolerance is not here, but it’s near”.
    Jboy u’re so right its so near, at least my mum can watch a gay/lesbian scene and not hiss a lot about it (lol), thank God for the American Movies/movie series all have Lgbt scenes in them, Nigerians are about to be blown away.

    • JBoy
      July 30, 09:52 Reply

      *smiles*

      Can’t wait for the blowing to happen…

    • KryxxX
      July 30, 10:17 Reply

      Your mum can do what? U dont say! D tongue lashing mine would give u would have u longing for d soothing arms of Prophet T.b Joshua! Music videos naa war self!

  12. Khaleesi
    July 30, 09:26 Reply

    Nice Piece JBoy! I however dont quite agree about the level of acceptance, i’d rather say that there is now a growing awareness amongst Nigerians that gays indeed do exist in Nigeria, this is a long jump from the situation a few years ago where everyone assumed that there were no gays in Nigeria. As for tolerance and acceptance, hmmm … even 200yrs from now, the intense revulsion and hatred towards gays will still be alive and kicking as strongly as ever! The vice like grip of cherry picked culture and religion are still extremely strong …

    • JBoy
      July 30, 09:51 Reply

      It’ll be one day at a time…

      • Khaleesi
        July 30, 10:26 Reply

        My dear, i dont know where you go or whom you go with, but all i see around me is the thick pungent choking fumes of a deep dark sinister brand of homophobic hate. Waiting to erupt into a fury of orgiastic bloodletting, you can guess who’se blood will be let abi?

        • Pink Panther
          July 30, 11:10 Reply

          The way you talk makes it seem like the homophobia is a physical malevolent presence, like a visible thick fog just hovering all around you. Lol. Na so e bad reach?

    • Tiercel de Claron
      July 30, 11:48 Reply

      Urm……the sky look quite strong where I stand,Mr.Little.It’s not falling and I’m sure it won’t fall.Things are changing,tolerance near tho not yet here.
      Though the ground is still slippery,the sun is taking a peek out from behind the clouds.We all need to feel and believe this.

    • Keredim
      July 30, 12:19 Reply

      Khaleesi, just out of interest, what part of Nigeria do u live in?

  13. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    July 30, 16:50 Reply

    Ahhh those names gave me life … After a hectic day.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel.

  14. Kaytee
    July 30, 23:11 Reply

    Jboy… u just made my day… marry me

    • JBoy
      July 30, 23:16 Reply

      Awwww!

      Thanks ShugAa…Pinky, please assist him with my details.

      *thinking aloud*
      Una see as Baba dey take ansa prayer…*singing*…dey say ma market no go sell, Na Godwin ooO.

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    July 31, 21:10 Reply

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  17. Employee Conflict
    July 31, 22:32 Reply

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