The Battle That’s Already Been Won (Part 2)

The Battle That’s Already Been Won (Part 2)

Previously on THE BATTLE THAT’S ALREADY BEEN WON

*

CDS meeting was a bore as usual and I found myself getting more and restless as I struggled to pay attention to the FRSC official that came to talk to us about professional scholarships and other jargons my mind and soul weren’t at all interested in.

As he talked, I got my phone out and put a call through to Emeka. We firmed up our plan to see in exactly an hour, thirty minutes’ time. I got off the phone, plugged in my earphones and tried not to go crazy with the combination of anticipation and boredom.

And then, I was in a chartered taxi, headed to Emeka’s office.

He had earlier, when we talked, mentioned a landmark spot where I was to wait for him, seeing as there was no way we could converse freely in his office.

When I saw him approach a few minutes after I’d called him to let him know I was where he told me to be at, I smiled inwardly. Nothing is more satisfactory than seeing in real life the exact thing you’ve been ogling in pictures. He even looked better in person.

Then he smiled at me and gestured for us to walk along the kerb where a lineup of trees cast a perfect shade and people moved about their various businesses. I was feeling incredibly grateful to the rainbow gods for what was warming up to me the start of beautiful things to come.

I was grateful too soon.

Because I am genial, I quickly began chattering away to diffuse any tension that might come up between us, courtesy of a first meet (I hate to be uncomfortable).

Now, I do not know what led to what, but then, my Igbo people would say, “Okwu na-ebute okwu.” Before I knew it, we were talking about my love life.

The question he then asked after we had talked a few was, “Do you know why your relationships never last?”

Of course, I know why my relationships never last.

I smiled and replied, “Me.”

Most people would have paused to express surprise that someone was owning to his bullshit before them. Not this guy. He already had an answer to my relationship troubles.

With a dismissive shake of his head, he said, “No. it is because they know there is no future for the LGBT.”

Gba-gam! That silent bell ding-donged in my head. I felt my intestines knot in sudden apprehension and my heart begin to sink as I flailed mentally for what to say.

What was this guy saying? How could this guy say such a thing?

Then I tried to tamp down on my apprehension and wave off the bad feeling I was starting to get about him.

Focus, Delle, my inner voice chastised. This is your future boyfriend we are talking to. Focus.

But this Mister wasn’t finished.

“In a society where you have been brought up by heterosexual parents,” he was saying, “for you to now want to go into a gay relationship and start a family of gay parenting… That’s just impossible. You can’t thrive in this society with that kind of life. You cannot live as well as you’d want. So why bother?”

We were stationary at this point. There was no way I was moving again, not when my legs were as heavy as lead and felt like they would trip any minute. Shock does that to a person.

“Oh, so what then do you do?” I questioned, staring intently at his face, hoping there’d be something there to tell me this was just a practical joke. He didn’t look like he was joking. “Get yourself into a loveless relationship with an unsuspecting woman just so you can thrive in a society that does not care so much for you like you clearly do for it?” I shot at him.

He laughed. It was sarcastic. Full of malice and unmistakable sadness.

His reply was: “Are you implying that I’m being selfish? No. What’s selfish is you considering just yourself and what you want, forgetting that if you have children for a homosexual relationship, they will face a hard life having two dads as parents.”

He leaned towards me dramatically and went on, “I had the normal parents –”

“Normal!?” I cut him off, feeling incensed. “That’s a pretty shabby word to use for a homosexual man who is considered an anomaly for being different.”

“Well I am an anomaly!” he shot back. “That’s the reality. This is a country where the norm” – he put air-quotes on the word – “is heterosexuality! And because of that, I am abnormal!”

My heart had completed its journey to the sunken place as I stared at this man. This was it for me. All I had felt for this man was speedily fizzling out of me faster than air escaping a balloon. He was no longer the smart Emeka I’d hoped to meet, but a man totally fine with the demons ravaging him inside.

I discarded any politeness I’d initially been hampered with as I felt my hackles rise.

“That you would use the standard of a society with warped norms” – I dramatically added my own air quotes to the word – “and draconian precepts is unbelievable. I would suggest you use the word ‘usual’ so we can move on from this.”

“Okay, fine,” he said obligingly, as though he was indulging an errant child. “I grew up with the usual parents of a mother and father and still had it tough in school. Imagine having gay parents. No, you people with such mentality are the selfish ones. I want my kids to be safe. Comfortable.”

I am not ignorant of our society and say one can have kids with a homosexual partner and hope their family will thrive. No, I won’t say that because I know we are not there yet. Plus saying that would only score him points if he is the one to point it out to me. So, I asked, “Is that what a home is to you? Having children? Is having children the ultimate of being in a relationship? If it is, then you can as well have that elsewhere. It must not be in Nigeria.”

“So because I want to have kids, I should travel someplace else?” he said sneeringly.

“When you have good reasons to, yes,” I snapped, hating his sneering expression. Hating him.

“Then what’s the point of telling me to live my truth here?”

“Your truth does not have to include kids. As a matter of fact, you can be a single father if you desire them so much.”

“Man is empty, please,” he spat. “I can’t give myself a standard home. A man can’t give that to me either. Whether here or abroad. But a woman can.”

I scoffed. “A statement borne out of societal conditioning. It’s almost fine to say this if you’re at least bisexual.”

“Oh please! I hate being homosexual!” He screamed this, hitting the words at me in a loud voice.

For a second, I was seized by panic, scattering a look about to know if any of the pedestrians within earshot had heard him.

He didn’t seem to care as he barreled on, “I hate being homosexual! I refuse it. The thousand men you will date will too, you just watch. They won’t last with you because they know or will come to know some day that you can’t give them a future. Even you, one day, you will realize this.”

I was pissed now. “For a sensible man, that’s a crass thing to say. If it’s a home, I can and will have a home with my man. I do not need breasts and a vagina to make a home. Breasts and vagina have never been the reason homes exist. Two people in love is the only viable reason. My goodness!”

“Yeah whatever. You say this because you’re twenty-two. When you start approaching the big three-zero, I hope I’ll be here to say I told you so.”

“Yeah right. Because all the friends I know who have crossed that age think the way you do. Please don’t make me laugh.” I wasn’t even remotely amused.

“I see you’re one of them activists.” He said this with such disdain, you would think activism is about preaching genocide and not a fight to emancipate people like me and him.

I sighed. “I am an advocate for truth and I stand by my words no matter where. I guess that makes me an activist.”

He laughed sourly. “All you activists are sad people that live pathetic lives. You better start living for yourself.”

I recoiled. What the actual fuck?

“You know, to a pretty large extent, you’re the cause of your problems,” I retorted. “Not the law, not the society. You! You who would not even support the people fighting for your liberation. Maybe then, who knows, you can have that home you think is so unachievable here in this country.”

“Firstly, I can’t marry a man.”

At this point I wondered why I was even arguing with this being.

He was still talking. “I just said so. Man is empty. Secondly, no, you won’t liberate shit. You will just end up fighting for a cause that will take beyond the years you have to yourself to achieve. You’ll just die sad and lonely. Maybe you think you have all the time in the world, I’ll tell you now that you do not. Start living for yourself, I say again.”

“Your selfishness is beyond. Your cynicism, overly off-putting. Funny enough, we do not fight for your type. That at least gives me some comfort.”

“Well good. Because I do not want to be fought for. When I was your age –”

“Will you stop with the age thing?” I snapped. “That’s so fourteenth century. Clearly with all your age, you’re not particularly wise.”

It was his turn to recoil. Then he laughed, richly, patronizingly.

“As I was saying,” he carried on, “when I was your age, I didn’t think like you exactly, but I was close. Then I watched all the men I looked up to get married one by one. What do you think happened? Delle, society will swallow you up. Stop being proud of something that won’t yield anything.”

I smiled icily at him. As far as I was concerned, we weren’t friends anymore. This was just some gay beast brought to torment my rainbow soul in this Abuja.

“I’m so sorry you feel this way,” I said, “but you can’t help but be homosexual.”

“I’ll thrive. I hate this Me, but I’ll thrive. You’ll see.”

I was done. In a curt voice, I said, “OK.”

He smiled briefly, and then said, “So, we’ll see later?”

I looked at him with no expression on my face. Just imagine! After all of this?

I liked him – his looks, his diction, his packaging. But his ideals? His beliefs? All that toxic homophobia boiling internally repulsed me.

I shook my head slowly, fighting between my attraction to his physical appearance and disdain for what he represented.

He smiled wanly, and said, “When you see that guy ready to stay with you with all these fantasies in your head, Delle, call me. I’d like to meet him.”

Then he turned and walked away.

Away from me. Away from my life. Away, I hope someday, he’d walk from the realities he’s surrounded himself with.

I stood there for a short while, hands in my khaki pockets, facing the opposite direction, willing my composure back, because inside me was teeming with a potpourri of emotions: pain, sadness, anger and frustration. I stood there until a cab came along and I got in, now positive that this was worst meetup I’d ever encountered.

Gay men like Emeka are a big threat to the LGBT movement in Nigeria.

Men who are well-read, independent, seemingly enlightened. Gay men like him who I imagine were among the legislature the day when the SSMPA was passed into law. Gay men who are so self-loathing, they despise who you represent more than the average straight homophobe.

It saddened me a lot that we weren’t able to get to a point where I could help him see. It really did.

To all the Emekas out there, please find peace within yourself. Self-acceptance is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Written by Delle

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32 Comments

  1. Black Dynasty
    November 01, 06:25 Reply

    I remember the days when coming across men like Emeka made me feel quite bad and occasionally hurt.

    Today i feel genuine pity for them as they don’t know what it feels like to be truly free by owning who you are and being comfortable with in your skin. Unfortunately that level of toxicity is embedded in every facet of their life and sometimes it is a cry for help but most of the time, these men are the most dangerous gay/bi men who will not hesitate to throw you under the bus at the first chance they get in a bid to fit into heterosexual norms.

    The red flags on this one are too many, no matter how fine he is. Dodge this bullet

  2. Barrbody
    November 01, 06:26 Reply

    Hmm.. There are so many homophobes in gay relationships.. It takes a few minutes of interactions to know them.. Many people are in heterosexual relationships so as to avoid criticism and persecution

    • Delle
      November 01, 10:39 Reply

      I do not think there’s any justifiable reason whatsoever for a homosexual to be in a heterosexual relationship. To avoid criticism? Because the partner is not in the know, of course. What does that even mean? 😂

      Persecution? Okay, you’re funny.

  3. Malik
    November 01, 07:22 Reply

    I don’t know. I’m not sure. Emeka is on an extreme but to some level I understand where he’s coming from.

    Time will prove one of you right.

    • Mandy
      November 01, 07:41 Reply

      Yes, he has some points in what he said. But for that kind of truth to come from a soul that hates himself like this… It’s the true tragedy. You can appreciate the realities of being gay in this country and still love yourself the way you are. This guy’s a wrecking ball waiting to happen, and it’s especially sad because the damage he’ll do will most likely affect some poor woman’s life.

      • Delle
        November 01, 10:00 Reply

        Thank you, Mandy. This is my exact fear. That unsuspecting lady (cos I am a hundred percent sure he won’t tell her about himself) that would bear the brunt of his self-loath. He thinks he will thrive? He thinks he will live happily ever after?
        Big laugh.

        He called us sad and pathetic. Very hilarious cos he is about entering a train to a villa filled with those adjectives and even more.

  4. Mandy
    November 01, 07:43 Reply

    I can’t even imagine what it must feel like to hate yourself this much and still feel helpless to the thing you hate about yourself the most. I’d hate to be this guy when he’s alone with his thoughts.

    • Delle
      November 01, 10:08 Reply

      Like! No wonder he’s so cold over chats and on the phone, so reserved.

      He’s eating himself up gradually. Soon there’ll be nothing left just a mobile carcass 🚶

  5. Link
    November 01, 09:37 Reply

    Emeka didnt lie….. Just because his opinion is different from yours dosnt mean he is wrong!
    He just spoke d reality we refuse to tell ourselves everyday!
    But, there is no truth all lie…. It is all about perspective!

    • Delle
      November 02, 09:20 Reply

      With the unnecessary ellipses all over your comment, it’s no wonder you’re bereft of sense.

      You just go on justifying self-hate in the name of (what’s the horrid word you used? ‘Perspective’). I pray you’ll be fine.

      • Kerry
        November 07, 13:40 Reply

        People just have their own opinion and its not out of order for it to differ from yours..don’t come across as bitter or angry when others don’t augur towards yours, it makes you look petty. I mean I don’t know why you will always handle the most minute differences with so much profanity. Ellipses were used properly in that (informal) context

  6. Kenny
    November 01, 10:04 Reply

    I salute you Delle, you even had the strength to wait and listen to all that. I would have excused myself the moment he started spewing his hate.

    • Delle
      November 01, 10:10 Reply

      Kenny, for a second there, I thought I could help him. Then he got annoying, sickening and I couldn’t let him think he was making any sense.

      I’m that defensive of who I am abeg. What nonsense.

    • Francis
      November 04, 00:40 Reply

      😂 😂 😂 My brother I’ve been in a somewhat similar situation and I was too weak to walk out I swear. Like all the energy I had don drain finish 😂😂

  7. Canis VY Majoris
    November 01, 10:11 Reply

    It’s amazing how you people recollect conversations so vividly. I forget people’s names as soon as its mentioned.

    Oh btw…Emeka’s ideology is common knowledge…so why the fuss ?. Also marriage with either sex is highly overrated and not a walk in the park!

    This ended before it began because friendship was never being offered. You both could have been good friends atleast.

    • trystham
      November 01, 15:52 Reply

      Trust me, it would NEVER work. He seems to have his life planned out for him and will not consider a dissenting voice else his life would be all in shambles.
      That said, it is because of people like him, thinking like him in one corner of their minds, will there never be happily perfect gay relationships. Hell, I do not even see that future although I have so much faith that younger guys will make it work some day

    • Delle
      November 01, 22:40 Reply

      @Canis, trust me when I say I can’t be friends with such a person. With all that bottled up? I can’t see through all of that hate and spite and malice towards what I am and above all, what he is and still go on to be friends. Just won’t happen.

  8. Yazz Soltana
    November 01, 11:59 Reply

    Ok this was more epic than the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees..
    I just hope Emeka’s doesn’t have a violent bone in him
    He can wake up one-day and go on a sporadic shooting
    That type of internal frustration isn’t good..

    • Delle
      November 01, 22:42 Reply

      Lol. The Emeka I saw won’t do the shooting, he’ll rather sponsor it 😂😂😂

  9. Sworld
    November 01, 15:05 Reply

    sighs!
    I felt lost in emotions as I read this.
    “i watched all the man i looked up to got married one by one” isn’t that TRUE!.

    LGBT had failed him and his heart is hardened.
    N he had made up his mind.

    Emeka felt like James Bond has he walked out of you with some bubbles knowing he had fed you a discussion with proof to wander with!

    But he had forgotten that he could only found an inner PEACE by accepting who he Truly his!

    I am sure you aren’t the first person he is doing this to. You You You n me is next cos he is out there in our midst laughing n waiting patiently on who is next on his list to shred n ripped off naked of all the hopes you built with years of Trauma accepting who we Truly are!.

  10. SWORLD
    November 01, 15:10 Reply

    it wasn’t me you met by the way delle.
    chat me up pls if we a friend Truly!.
    I will love to meet you again!.
    lol

  11. Richiemichie
    November 01, 18:31 Reply

    Delle you’ve got patience.
    Funny, even before I reached acceptance, I didn’t loathe myself half this much.

    Btw, one prick gone, another go soon follow😁 Delle how market 🏃🏃🏃

    • Delle
      November 01, 22:47 Reply

      Lol. Lemme just stay and be waiting for you then. Seeing as you’re praying for me to not get a man, you must have interest then. No?😏

  12. J
    November 01, 20:19 Reply

    I thought this was suppose to be a date? Why bring all these issues on the first date? Like you should get to know each other very well first? Interest, hobbies, likes and dislikes etc? Then step by step get to know what he has been through and if possible why he thinks the way he does? Reason with him, be considerate and if possible try to correct or enlighten him? We can not build a strong relationship in a day, try to know someone very well if you like them… Don’t let go of people easily without knowing them well. I believe that you can’t change a person, but you can have a great influence on them.

    • Delle
      November 01, 22:50 Reply

      Firstly, you cannot influence someone that has made up his mind to follow a different route WHEN HE KNOWS THE TRUTH.

      He isn’t ignorant. He knows these things but has just decided not to accept it. You can’t help him.

      And if you did read the post, I mentioned how I didn’t expect the conversation. It just happened and he seemed particularly interested.

      All of a sudden, there was no taciturn Emeka. He was not reserved anymore.

      He had this conversation coming. He let it out. I can’t look beyond the words and want to ‘get to know him better’.

      To what end? Better now than later.

      • J
        November 01, 22:55 Reply

        He doesn’t like you may be. Anyone that likes you won’t drive you away with such harshness. Can we call him a prick? He could be a bottom, so get over him 😂

        • Delle
          November 02, 09:22 Reply

          I’m just wondering how we veered into the ‘role lane’. Just so you know, presumptuous one, I do not play bottom.

          And no, it’s not about him liking me or not (I mean, how did that even come about if you indeed followed this post?) but Emeka was a bomb about to detonate. I just happened to be the spark.

          *shrugs out*

  13. J
    November 01, 21:02 Reply

    So I’m bottom and a feminine one, I’m not ashamed of that. I used to be angry for being rejected by so many gay guys, I thought it was because I am feminine and to them it’s embarrassing and it could lead to them being exposed… But then I realized that just like me, these straight acting gays crave for masculinity not femininity and they could be more bottom than I am. So now I know and I don’t take it seriously. If any gay guy frowns at me, I would say oh there goes another bottom who’s trying so hard to conform. Recently I met a guy, he has almost all the qualities I want from a partner, he calls me, he replies my messages and he we flow very well… But the thing is that just like me, he’s a bottom. I have been trying to figure out how things will turn out between us. I’ve been trying to withdraw just because of his sex role forgetting all the other good qualities he has. I think of myself as selfish and undeserving of these fellow because of sex and I know that sex alone can not make me happy. Get to know people very well and if possible keep your beliefs and opinions aside, try to reason with them and think about the other good qualities they have. If you try everything possible and they are still hopeless, then get your peace and leave.

    • Francis
      November 04, 00:48 Reply

      Some people are just too toxic to stick around for especially when you know how far you’ve come on your own journey to acceptance and how much work you’re still putting in. They’ll only drag you down with them.

      They should be left alone to deal with their issues biko. Gay themed movies, YouTube and Google dey there to epp them along

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