SUITS AND TIES (Part 7)

SUITS AND TIES (Part 7)

I didn’t watch the Grammys. In the past month, I have been busy relocating to a new apartment, setting it up, and settling down. So when the music awards show came around on February 15, I did not know. However, I quickly got to know that the Grammys happened when I got a notification from my NY Times app of Taylor Swift’s win. And so, this prompted me to go on Google to search for and study the list of winners and the categories in which they excelled.

This was all I knew about the Grammys. Not a lot, but enough. But my colleagues who seemed to know too much about the awards show ended up wallowing in predictable ignorance.

I was at work the morning following the Grammys. There was the expected gist in my office over the award show. During the course of the conversation, I expressed my happiness for some of the winners, especially Ed Sheeran; I was also pleased there was no Beyoncé noise at this year’s Grammys. I’d hoped Adele would shine, but I soon realized this isn’t her year either.

The Grammys discussion in the office was quite analytical and interesting, and even though I was not actively participating in it (I had a lot of work before me which kept me distracted from the discourse), I had an ear on what was being said and bantered.

And then something was said which shocked me.

A female colleague (let’s call her Rosemary), a woman well-known for her homophobia (which is saying something, considering that my office is a den of homophobes) said, “These award shows sef, they are seemingly losing their significance. Just imagine, even that gay one also picked a Grammy.”

My attention was promptly diverted from my work as I swiveled on my seat to face her.

“Which one are you talking about?” someone asked.

“Ricky Martin,” she answered, spitting out the name like she was pronouncing something nasty.

I was astounded. What was this madam’s own with Ricky Martin bikonu?

She railed on. “Every now and then, you get to see them” – she said the word with disgusted emphasis – “winning awards here and there. It’s disgusting.”

“Are you kidding me?” I finally exploded. I’d heard enough of this woman’s bullshit. “Is he not good enough to take home that award? What has his being gay got to do with the quality of his music? Or is his sexuality supposed to be a curse? Is that what you’re saying? Are you for real?”

I hear homophobic shit every now and then from these people, and just when I think I’m immune to their nonsense, someone ups and says something like Ricky Martin shouldn’t have won a musical award because he’s gay.

“That’s not the point,” she snapped at me. “My point is who could have voted for him to win.”

And I thought her stupidity couldn’t rise any further. In a sneering tone, I replied, “Let’s forget the fact that there are people who are not homophobic like you who may actually appreciate his music. There are gay people for one. They’d vote him out of solidarity, I’m sure. Based on that alone, does it not show that there are plenty gay people in the world.”

“JBoy, abeg leave me alone,” she grunted with a dismissive wave of her hand.

“Rosemary, I’m sorry, but I won’t leave you just yet. You need to learn to either express intelligent opinions or shove it.” She wheeled around to face me with her outrage, but I wasn’t done talking. “Rosemary, if you have a story, if there is a history, a past pinching you concerning gay people, please tell us the story or forever keep your mouth shut on LGBT issues.”

Another female, Missy (the one who once called Chimamanda Adichie a mad woman) interjected, “JBoy, nawa for you o. every time gay people matter come up, you will jump in like a dragon. What is your own sef?”

“Why won’t I jump in? How would you feel if you heard someone said you don’t deserve this job you have because you’re a woman, eh? Look, whatever you don’t appreciate being said about you concerning what you do or what you believe in or who you are, kindly refrain from saying such about others. It’s as simple as that.”

“Please, let me hear word,” she retorted. “Every time you keep acting like an activist –”

“I’m not an activist. But if you see me as such, that’s fine by me. I’m just pointing out that you may have your wicked opinions about gay people. Just don’t choke those of us who are tolerant with it.”

***

In the wake of the Grammys drama, another pot of water boiled over. This time, it was about Manny Pacquiao.

My HOD walked into the general office and unceremoniously began fuming. “These gay and lesbian people will not kill us o.”

Instantly heads turned up and attention sharpened on him.

“These people, they are almost taking over the world. Do you know Manny the boxer?” he asked no one in particular, and without waiting for an answer, he barreled on. “How can someone come out and express his mind about something that everyone is being forced to accept, and a company he’s endorsed with just decided to take away his contract. Just like that!”

Rosemary (*sigh* this girl always sha) in her all-knowing nature said, “Yes o. I read it somewhere on a blog, that they had to take away his endorsement deal, and even forced him to apologize.”

“Who is this they?” Missy asked.

“Nike of course.”

“What! So Nike is gay?” Missy blurted, shock on her face.

Her remark caused an eruption of laughter from me. “Seriously?” I said. “Missy, Nike is gay? You actually asked that?”

“Yes nau. That’s what it means.”

“Madam, it is global best practice not to speak ill of any person’s race, religion or sexual orientation,” I snapped.

“But he only said the truth.”

“What exactly is the truth? That gay people are worse than animals? What kind of stupid truth is that? He is wrong for saying that.”

“What he said is even mild,” Missy fired back. “Those people are way, way worse than animals, below maggot level sef.”

I had to fight a serious battle with my slipping self-control and just barely succeeded in reining in the sharp retort that was on the tip of my tongue to dish out to her. Instead, I replied with some degree of calm, “Well, you are lucky you are saying this here, here where anything goes. Go and get employed elsewhere where better code of conduct is observed and say these things. And you will find yourself out on the street looking for a new job.”

“Rubbish!” the HOD burst out. He was incensed. “For me, I will never sack any of you for saying such about this sacrilege. And if, as you said, I work somewhere else and get sacked for speaking my mind, my God will still provide. I will never go hungry. Even Manny will never go hungry. To hell with Nike!”

Missy exclaimed, “Oh my God, do I even have any Nike product in my house? I need to destroy it.”

I let out another sneering laugh. Chai! These people!

“JBoy, I am disappointed in you,” the HOD addressed me. “Better comport yourself, because the next time I hear you defend these people like this, it will fetch you a query.”

And yet, you are outraged that Nike sacked Manny Pacquiao for speaking his mind, right? I thought.

The hypocrisy of homophobes! Mscheewww!

Written by JBoy

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27 Comments

  1. DI-NAVY
    February 23, 05:19 Reply

    That’s was the same outrage that crawled up when the owner of Iphone finally came out of the closet and most of my friends almost flung their iphones saying all sorta crap about the man who has done well for himself, I. Can’t even survive a second around homophobes, God forbid. It’s draining, I can’t focus around them cos every little thing, I try to watch my back.
    That’s same thing my good friend. Said about Sam smith after he won grammies for last year, and i’m like “whatever happened to human beings tho” nobody died to make these people judge, just. Cos nike’s gay! Make she throw the Nike accessories come my side! Some people will never be alright with the fact that most queer people are talented and they are doing well for themselves, but the truth is, their suit will be alright last last. Let them keep being ignorant for all I care, sanctimonious mofos.

    • JBoy
      February 23, 12:03 Reply

      Lolz! @ Sanctimonious Mofos…Me like that.

  2. Mandy
    February 23, 05:57 Reply

    Well, when Colossus said we should try to dismantle homophobia one person at a time in 2016, JBoy clearly was listening. Ride on, J. So now oga HOD has threatened you, what’s next?

    • JBoy
      February 23, 12:05 Reply

      I’ve been on a search for a more decent place to work.

      His threat will only help hasten the process.

  3. peaches
    February 23, 07:09 Reply

    Homophobes?, especially cially the male ones, until they tell me d REAL cause of dia itch, there is no helping them. Its not as if they re professional in women matters o. They should rather ask themselves how and why gays re just too talented rather than languish in the kind of hate that destroyed Cain.

  4. Kenny
    February 23, 07:49 Reply

    There comes a time when one can’t just bear stupid things being said by homophobes anymore. I have some pretty ignorant ones as roomies over here and I initially started out by trying to enlighten them, now I just call them out on their stupidity. When they come for me bcos of my stance I give them the ‘glare of death’ that mostly silences them. Funny enough, said people’s ignorance goes beyond LGBT, you should hear some of them talk about pretty mundane things, sometimes I’ll just stare at them with my mouth open and I’ll simply choose to ignore them. #phew, guess I really needed to rant!

    • JBoy
      February 23, 12:07 Reply

      There comes a time…when all you need do is #rant.

      Please, do here…as no one is here to judge you.

  5. Max 2.1
    February 23, 08:27 Reply

    He’ll give you a query for speaking your mind? ???? Thats the only part I saw. I have a thing for threats, I don’t respond well to it.
    Mother Khaleesi, please come and update us on how we’re doing in Nigeria in terms of homophobia ??.

    I work with homophobes too, I witness an act of homophobia at least once everyday, I lash out when I can and sometimes I just don’t feel like indulging, it gets tiring, talking to people who aren’t really willing to learn or to get their head off their ass.

  6. Mitch
    February 23, 08:35 Reply

    Haba Dan Allah! Homophobia in Nigeria is so much on the rise these days that I’m beginning to see the a lot of truth in Khalessi’s pessimism. Just like that, a young friend of mine, when we were discussing the Golden Globes, told me he was angry at Sam Smith’s win. Now I also was mad because that song didn’t deserve to win over a lot of songs in that same category. But his reason for being mad about it was that Sam Smith is gay. I mean, how much more dumb can Nigerian homophobes get?

  7. Francis
    February 23, 08:41 Reply

    Kudos Jboy but I can’t get past that threat. The Nigerian economy is in the toilet and the hustle for work is mega real. Maybe you should waka far whenever oga HOD is involved since he’s the one that has a chance at messing things up for you.

    I’ve never being faced with such raging stupidity and I hope the Lord prevents me from triggering another religious war when such a situation arises ?

  8. Kester
    February 23, 09:50 Reply

    I am surprised that at this point jboy, no one in your office has actually called you gay. It is always amazing when someone who is supposed to be exposed makes such statements like wondering how many Nike products one has to throw away because Nike has gone “gay”. My dear the hate is real, don’t lose your job trying in vain to educate people set in their ignorant ways, there are so many in your office who would love to see you peel and hawk oranges for a living, don’t give them that satisfaction.

    • JBoy
      February 23, 13:04 Reply

      I’m sure most have called Gay in their hearts…but they’ve got no evidence to prosecute or persecute me…; I would be foolish to think they love me, when they hate my kind.

  9. bruno
    February 23, 10:23 Reply

    lol. your office makes mine look like san francisco… kudos to you for standing up to their ignorance though… if i get threatened with a query for speaking my mind, i’ll start looking for a new job… can’t possibly thrive with all that toxicity.

  10. BRYANNNN
    February 23, 15:59 Reply

    Wowww!!!! I must have to commend you JBoy, for ur rare audaciousness, its brave and inspiring…….. I normal recoil in deafening silence whenever gay issues is up, i just remain silent watching as homophobic tongues rise in vehement condemnation…Nigerian homophobes are largely the educated illiterates, they spew trash and when my gay mind tries to process their statements, i get startled as to how clueless they actually are abt gaydom…some starts covering their asses with the blood of jesus!!!…When i quietly take a quick glance at their asses, it will range from one dark, burnt flattened meatpie shaped butt cheeks to an invaginated fair coloured moi-moi……i just get more enraged within…..I have gotten into a gay discussion with a few straights, whom i felt where sensible enough, i cant waste my strength on un-repentant, straight homophobic idiots, who are most of the times, heavily fortified with ignorance and arrogance……..I wish i cudbe more vociferous, i wish i cud be that bold……Then again, my workplace is calm, we rarely gather to have a random chatter, as everyone is either busy with dis patient or d oda….I just feel defending gay stance is a subtle way of coming out, esp. for ppl who are already suspicious…is it just me or general???? thanks once again JBoy

    • JBoy
      February 23, 17:33 Reply

      Most welcome, Dear

  11. Mr. Fingers
    February 23, 16:01 Reply

    Na wa. In this harsh economic climate that millions are out there looking for job u are risking Urs. It took me so many years and I don’t even know how I did it but I ve learnt not to be bothered with anyone’s comments abt homosexuality.

    But seriously if I was the owner of the organisation that u work in I will fire the whole lot of u, including the HOD. Just imagine what u ppl are discussing during official hours. Mischeeeeew.

    • Francis
      February 23, 16:08 Reply

      ??? You harsh oh. Maybe na during their less workload or break time dem dey get the discussion na

      • Mr. Fingers
        February 23, 16:26 Reply

        My guy I no harsh. From the tone of the article it appears arguments like this take place often in their office. They should just work, no one needs to know anyone’s opinion abt anything during official hours.

        And by the way the only time I will defend LGBT rights is when someone I know directly and personally is being castigated. If u like insult Ed Shereen, Sam Smith, etc from now till tomorrow I won’t bother becos nothing any Nigeria says abt them will affect them, it won’t stop them from winning the Grammy or making more money.

        • JBoy
          February 23, 17:36 Reply

          Yes, you’re right here.

  12. Khaleesi
    February 23, 16:44 Reply

    Nice one J-Boy, you are indeed brave!! however, i must burst your bubble! tackling homophobes in Nigeria is like trying to empty a river using a teaspoon, sorry hun, you’ll spend your entire life doing it and make hardly a dent at the end of it all. I think a lot of Nigerians would rather be savagely beaten for an entire week than renounce their homophobia, after all, suffering to safeguard the “principles” of their religion can only be a “good thing” in their opinion … i personally ignore them and leave them to stew in their putrid ignorance while proudly remaining who I am #MakeDemTalk #NaDemGoTire !!

    • JBoy
      February 23, 17:38 Reply

      Thanks Khaleesi, you lie not.

  13. doe
    February 23, 21:32 Reply

    What i just like is that these people who make your workmates angry are talented first…then gay…what I am trying to say is they are your everyday people who achieve things and just happen to like guys too…unlike the lots in the gaybourhood who carry gay matter for their head….

    Focus on being good at whatever you are doing and like the same sex while doing…not that you allow homosexuality lead you …

    I don’t know if I passed my message well…

  14. […] look another colleague had just turned to me. This colleague is Rosemary (You may remember her from Episode 7 where she had an issue with Ricky Martin and his Grammy-winning, homosexual self). She had […]

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