In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I asked a great number of KDians for the things they are most thankful for in 2016. I got a lot of feedback, so much feedback that I regret having to cut out most of them. (I apologize immensely to anyone who does not see his feedback featured in the following post).
2016 has been quite a year, a rollercoaster of ups and downs, just steamrolling on from month to month, bringing with it experiences that have shaken us up, amused us, pleasured us, devastated us, and taught us various lessons. Below are instances of all the various ways 2016 has affected the lives of KDians.
1. I am thankful for another kito-free year.
2. I am thankful that I got an opportunity to travel abroad where I learned that prick is not expensive. In the US, going to a bar or a sauna alone is enough to get you good, quality, Negroid, caramel-flavored ass! In Nigeria, before I get one crooked dick, I would have spent 20k at the very least, plus phone that I will have to buy for the fool in the weeks to come. Naija boys always need phone.
3. I’m thankful for the community that Kito Diaries has fostered. There might be disagreements and messy fighting, but just the fact that we gather here, virtually, everyday, makes perfect sense.
4. I’m thankful for Kim Kardashian. God has used her to do great things for me this 2016. Through her, the rest of the world now knows Taylor Swift for the snake that she is. And I couldn’t be happier.
5. I’m thankful for Bobrisky, for showing everyone that you can live in your truth, endure you’re your attitude, and ‘everything’ will be fine. I mean, the dude is living in his truth and he’s become a celebrity just for that! And you know what that tells me? All you need is guts!
6. I am thankful that Pinky came back from his LONG writer’s block spell and after 84 years, brought back Love and Sex in The City. Although e be like say the thing still get K-leg.
7. I’m thankful that I found the closest thing to a relationship for me in the gaybourhood. There’s mutual love, respect, admiration and understanding. Even though he’s an MGM, he gets me in the way no other unmarried gay man ever has. I just hope I don’t fuck it up with my hoe-ly behaviour (public opinion, not mine).
8. I’m thankful that the small screen has continued to serve as my favorite way of expressing myself and most importantly, serving as an escape when life becomes too unbearable; so I’m thankful for TV in 2016. I’m thankful that after waiting for years, Game of Thrones finally gave me everything I wanted. I think back on some of the epicness of Season 6 and I still get chills. I’m grateful for the show, The Night Of, for bringing Riz Ahmed to my attention. Not only is he a massive talent, but I now have the biggest crush on him. I’m thankful for the Graham Norton show for delivering my nightly laughs. I’m thankful that Daniel Radcliffe and Paul Dano delivered the best, stupidest, weirdest and most original film I have seen this year in Swiss Army Man. I am thankful that the universe finally realized how incredible Tatiana Maslany is and gave her an Emmy for it.
I’m thankful for Twitter (yeah, seriously) for allowing me to be the weirdest and most original version of myself without worries. I’m thankful for my friends; I still think you people are crazy for putting up with me.
And most importantly, I’m thankful for Bae; I don’t know how I tricked you into liking me, my sense of humor and my myriad of insecurities, but I am thankful that you do. I hope you’ll always find my corny jokes funny and my weirdness adorable, as much as I adore you.
9. In the year 2016, I’m thankful for Queen Cersei, first of her name, ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Lioness of House Lannister, Queen of the Rhoynar, Andals and the First Men, and the Patron Saint of Dragon Fire! No really, this woman gave me LIFE in the Season 6 of Game of Thrones, and I cannot wait to see what she does in Season 7. I am also thankful for the wine-boarding she dished out to Septa Ulenna. Cersei definitely knows how to do revenge well.
10. What am I thankful for? Two things: My mother. And my Yoruba roots. Without the market-women razzness I have embraced, I wouldn’t be here today.
11. I am thankful for my hot, new boss, who is actually annoying, but his firm perky ass makes me forgive and (almost) forget his trespasses.
12. I’m thankful that the hemorrhoid that came after I tried to bottom a handful of times didn’t lead me to surgery. I’m glad it regressed. I’m also thankful that I turned an almost messy breakup that even debuted in an article here on Kito Diaries into an amazing friendship. I’m glad for my emotional stability. I’m glad for the many things that living the single life has taught me.
13. There’s a quote that says something along the lines of: “We don’t conquer our inner demons. We learn to live with them.” Well, after years of denial and ignorance, I am thankful that this year, I finally came to terms with and started accepting my inner hoe. Don’t judge me; I’m facing my truth. Face yours. 2016 was the year I began giving life to the hoe inside me.
14. I’m thankful for self control, the ability to say no and not feel guilty, especially when it comes to sex. I’m still a bit of a hoe, but it’s not as bad as it was last year. Especially considering the offers I get here. Like the one I got from a guy asking me to come shag him and his mother. When I refused, the idiot offered to pay me. It’s something to be thankful for. Sex was almost running my life. I’d spend almost half my day on hookup sites, and nearly every guy I met became a wank fantasy. 2016 gave me the self control I needed to overcome my wild desires.
15. I am thankful for love. Love found me this year and I believe it’s about to take me places. Love made me more cautious and considerate of people, and it instilled in me a discipline I needed to stay faithful to my partner.
16. I’m thankful for all the international organisations funding key populations, mostly the MSM community, in the fight against HIV. I’m also thankful that PrEP is now available in Nigeria, and that anal cancer screening for MSM is now being done in Nigeria.
17. I am thankful for life, love, moments I thought were love, friendships, and unreplied messages. I’m thankful for all the amazing albums that were released this year from greats like Beyoncé, Solange, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Drake and Kanye. Music helped with my surviving this year which had almost all the saddest events imaginable. I’m thankful for family and friends. I’m thankful for cartoons like Family Guy, Ricky and Morty, and South Park, and for books and the amazing writers that authored them. I’m thankful for the great sex I had and the not-so-great sex that makes me cringe whenever I remember them. Finally, I’m thankful for a platform like Kito Diaries, a place where I can be myself.
18. I am grateful for Kito Diaries. I don’t comment often, but I’m grateful for everyone’s contributions to the blog, because even if no one knows it, some posts here help me overcome life’s hurdles. I am grateful to the universe for bringing Bae my way. His presence in my life has changed my view of different things in a very positive way. He has made me meet new friends, experience new things and made me feel very loved. I’m also thankful for fantasies, for the men who make my fantasies exist. Men who are tall, muscular, bearded and dark-skinned. Men like Lynxxx and Billy Brown, who plays the character Nate in How To Get Away With Murder; I just want to lick every inch of these two sometimes.
19. 2016 can be said to be my year of psychological transformation. I developed personally, and met with a lot of great people in the LGBT world, which helped my journey. I’m thankful for how in this year, I was able to discover things in me that I didn’t know existed or maybe did but was too chicken to dig deep for.
I found myself this year. I’d always had warped opinions of certain issues, mostly one-sided or borne from personal experiences while I was growing up. But this year, my life had slowly turned into something like a newly purchased diary upon which new experiences are being recorded without fear of what I think or what people would say. With every passing day, I feel stronger, better, renewed. More vocal than I ever was.
20. I got a letter from one of the students I taught during my youth service three years ago. The letter arrived with a N50 stamp, all the way from Enugu, handwritten, in three pages of foolscap paper and sealed in a white envelope. It was a very special experience. The letter is the first handwritten letter I’ve ever gotten, and just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes – the words, their sincerity, the thought behind the letter, everything. It brought back memories, and so I’m thankful for the gift of love, the ability to open my heart to teenagers and influence them and have that influence mean a lot to them.
21. I’m thankful for the support I’ve been getting from my siblings since I came out to them, and for the confidence that coming out has given me. So far, I’ve walked the streets and shopping malls here in Lagos while holding hands with my boyfriend, and I’m still alive and no one has hurt me.
22. I’m thankful that I finally got to make out with my longtime crush. I’ve known him for four years and in that time, nothing intimate has ever happened to us. And then, sometime this year, he came to Lagos, called me up and invited me over to his hotel. Lying next to him was like the best gift in the world. I’ve never being one for mushy stuff, but I felt so much joy throughout the week we were together.
23. Of all the things I’ve experienced in the year 2016, the one I am most grateful for is how I fought the battle of my status. I religiously followed my meds with much zeal for close to two years, never missing a dosage. And with the moral support of a few close friends and family, my viral load was successfully suppressed. It’s been a long, tough journey. I battled depression. Accessing drugs was tough. And there were crazy side-effects to the medication. But I made it through. Now my health is very much stable and the viral level is well suppressed.
24. What I’m most thankful for this 2016 is the gay couple, Johnnell Lyric Terrell and Tyrone Wells. They’re lovers who constantly celebrate their lives together on Instagram. Through them, I am slowly but surely believing that gay love is possible. They have also been very incredible wanking devices.
25. I’m thankful for Ozumba, the mentally-ill vagrant who often abides close to my house. He brought the LGBT struggle into sharper focus for me. He is the reason I will never give up on whatever I can do to change tomorrow for the Nigerian LGBT community, to ensure a time will come when no one will ever have to suffer like he suffered anymore.
26. I’m grateful for the KDian and my friend, Lothario, for exposing a recluse like myself to the wonderful world of Nigerian gay men that have sense. I’m also grateful to KDians for sharing their relationship dynamics, fears, likes and what-have-you. Their stories have helped me understand that we all can’t thread the same path as we find ourselves in unique situations. You choose your path and hope it brings you the happiness or whatever it is you seek while being conscious of the fact that whatever the outcome of your journey, it’s all on you! In other words, Kito Diaries has reinforced the need to “Live and Let Live”.
27. I am thankful for every misfortune I have suffered this year, from estrangements and loss of employment to bad hookups and unfinished ventures. Every bit of these disappointments have given me a better appreciation of life and the people who matter most to me.