Thinking About It From The Other Side

Thinking About It From The Other Side

I was with a group of friends the other day and we were talking about what it would mean for our families if we came out of the closet. The premise of the discussion was Mr. Badmus’ glamorous coming out episode.

Our conversation got me thinking – what if the world was the other way round? I mean, put yourself in your parents’ shoes. Imagine you were straight and a bible-believing Christian, happily married and living the perfect society life.

Then out of the blue, one of your beloved two-and-half kids comes out that he is gay. I mean, how do you react to that? What are the implications for you, your immediate family and how you are perceived by society?

The reason I ask these is two reasons. First, I think every gay guy who is considering coming out should fortify himself for humiliation and be well prepared for likely embarrassment. We often daydream that when we come out, our parents will just be like “Oh dear, we have known you were gay from birth. And we still love you.”

Oh no, most likely parents, most especially those in this part of the world are bound to go into denial, fear, anger or resentment and then perhaps finally acceptance. (Though not necessarily in that order)

Secondly, if it took you this long to accept yourself (on average 18 years, depending how old you are now), then be ready to wait that long for your parents to come to terms with your sexuality. Of course, this may not be the case and your parents may be like those in the first scenario (loving and accepting). But that is highly unlikely.

So what’s a guy considering coming out to do in the circumstance? Generally, I don’t feel coming out is absolutely necessary. After all, straight guys don’t bother with it. But if staying in the closet is hurting your life and your relationships (just like me), then you may want to consider it. I mean, what’s the point in living if you don’t feel alive? I think in the end, we have one life and must make the best out of it. If one has to come out, then it is important to weigh the pros and cons, think it through clearly and precisely. If it will destroy your family, then perhaps it’s not worth it.

But not coming out doesn’t necessarily mean living in a closet of lies and deceit. It just means not announcing to the whole world what goes on in your bedroom. And more importantly, not allowing your life to be governed by the expectations of others. My ever-efficient brain has already calculated that I will either be out of the closet or the country within the next 5years. What is left is to plot the scenario of the eventful day and possible challenges along the way. lol

But this is me. What does coming out mean to you?

Written by Ken George

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44 Comments

  1. masonkz
    August 01, 07:30 Reply

    If you must come out of the closet in Nigeria, at least be independent, in every means possible.

    • obatala
      August 01, 08:27 Reply

      yes masonkz. you are always right. #winks

    • ken
      August 01, 09:05 Reply

      Unfortunately, I am not sure its possible to be absolutely independent. No man/woman is an island, and in today’s economy its not easy to do everything on your own without help from family.

      • masonkz
        August 01, 09:25 Reply

        Hence why I said “in every way possible”.

      • Jeova Sanctus Unus
        August 01, 15:03 Reply

        Wizkid is and so are many others. Unless of course you decide to spend what you don’t have.

  2. Sheldon Cooper
    August 01, 07:40 Reply

    I have enforced my closet with a double metal door. Locked with titanium chains and padlocks. Need I say more?

  3. Django
    August 01, 07:49 Reply

    I also feel coming out is absolutely unnecessary for me. I do not want to live by the dictates and expectations of others but I have nothing to loose, family-wise, whether I come out of the closet or not.

    Financial independence is the watchword for me.

    • Posh6666
      August 01, 11:48 Reply

      U are a lady right??please u ladies have it far more easier we aint even on d same level when it comes to such matters.U can peck ur fellow lady in public,touch her breast,sit on her laps hug her tight and nobody will judge infact it turns most men on.But once its two guys d hate cums out

    • Pink Panther
      August 01, 08:31 Reply

      It’s a literary expression of the perfect children.

      • ambivalentone
        August 01, 10:08 Reply

        Oh. Right. Thanks. I’ve never come across it before. If it were someone else who had told me especially the usage in this context, I’d av said the person was being sexist or insulting

    • #Chestnut
      August 01, 08:44 Reply

      I wondered too; I always wonder,whenever I hear that expression, “two and a half kids”.lol

  4. KryxxX
    August 01, 08:35 Reply

    Espeakelekwe!!!!!!!!!!

    Don’t let anoda ear hear you Biko!

    Coming out? In which house kwanu? My house? Not in this life! That death that outsiders might give u with their lynching would come so quickly with the mouth of my family! No be me go use my hand arrange my suicide, they would! Ah! I rather come out to a family friend(I know d perfect person. He is quite open minded nd a pastor too) than to my family! Tufiakwa! Yes oh! It is that bad!

    In the meantime, am redecorating my closet. New swaroviski crystal chandeliers, love sofa, some shine shine here nd there. And d ultimate door from fort Knox or Guantanamo! Ngwaa bye!

    • kacee
      August 01, 11:57 Reply

      nice piece, pls kdians I’m so confused, i see cute guys and i’m like hey, how are u? no feeling involved. I see girls and my eyes goes to their ass n boobs (hey a girl has to feed her eyes o) I love dicks (lol, i love seeing them and my eyes goes south anytime I see any guys, esp the ones who work out, brick layer, meb on suit, chai Dahummm seeing shapes and sizes no be small) to cut the long story short, my sexual appetite is so low with men, but I love dicks…… what i’m even typing sef, i’m confused writing this. *crying* what should i do, i need someone to talk to o. depression loading to 89%

      • Pink Panther
        August 01, 12:00 Reply

        I think perhaps you’re bisexual, kacee, with stronger lesbian leanings.

      • sensei
        August 01, 13:08 Reply

        Sexual orientation is a rainbow coloured spectrum. That is what it is in NATURE. But we humans like to classify things for convenience and sometimes our creation (classification in this case) becomes our prison.
        Kayce darling, forget for a moment about all the typing and stereotyping that abounds concerning sexuality, forget for a moment every expectation concerning sexuality from friends, family and society. For one moment, lets focus on you.
        Honey, you are what you are! That is the fact. Why must you fit into any classification? I once heard about a flower. It was so beautiful and so different that people travelled from all over the world to look at it. It had petals like rose, the stalk of hibiscus, the scent of lilies in the day and queen of the night at dusk. It’s uniqueness was that it had a bit of everything and yet was not a nothing. It was pretty and exotic.
        Your uniqueness is what gives you an identity. And I accept you just as you are.

        And the flower I speak of is you.

          • Chuck
            August 02, 13:37 Reply

            If you like dicks but don’t like men, consider pre op transexuals. They look like women but still have a dick.

  5. richard
    August 01, 09:40 Reply

    m better if being me in d best way I can…..9ja is no place for us to come out open no matter hw independent u think u re……..but all kudos to Kenny brandmus

  6. Dimkpa
    August 01, 09:53 Reply

    I think a lot of contradictory statements have been made here.
    First, ‘straight guys don’t bother with it’. If so, how did you then know that they are straight? Look around you they scream their sexuality every chance they get. The fact that you can’t understand sexuality is an integral part of an adult’s life baffles me.
    And you also say not coming out means not allowing your life to be governed by the expectation of others. I disagree because it is when you hide in the closet that their expectation reigns over your life. What else would they expect if not the normal heterosexual relationship and marriage if they don’t know you are different. When you hide your love for a same sex partner and sneak about ratther than bring him home, is it not their expectation dictating what you do?
    And on this issue of parents and their reactions, I agree a lot will react badly but that does not make it right. A lot react that way not out of love but anger because their hopes for you have been dashed. In other words their reaction is for their own selfish interest and not for the good of the child. And that is where the problem lies. Parents should love their children regardless of who they are. Their job is to provide a safe place for the children to flourish. But however most of them want their kids to live preprogrammed lives so they can boast to friends and relatives about their awesome kids and unfortunately, being gay is not part of that. Being able to release sperm or carry a child for 9 months doesn’t impact wisdom on how to raise a child. I don’t think we should be excusing ignorance for the sake of considering the feelings of others who have lived their lives as they please and also want you to live yours as they please.

    • Khaleesi
      August 01, 12:05 Reply

      Wow Dimkpa! ***climbs on chair and delivers a thunderous round of applause!*** your brains are indeed deep and keen!

  7. Max
    August 01, 10:03 Reply

    I like this piece

  8. JustJames
    August 01, 10:17 Reply

    I’m out of the closet to some people.. Why? Cause I found out I could not be myself around them the way I’d really like to be. Most have been accepting.. A few others tolerant. I’m not out like I’d love to be but I leave my closet doors open enough to let people that want to see it at least suspect I’m gay.

  9. orchmann
    August 01, 10:32 Reply

    the truth is, parents and siblings always, some how know their son and brother is gay but they never mention it and they like that u have not mentioned it and wish u never will, in this case it is ur telling them that will ignite their homophobic inclination and whatever therein that may follow. this is not because they never knew, it is because they never want to know and its just a normal human response. so the best u can do is “shove ur biz (or whoever’s biz u like shoving up ur ass *winks*) up ur ass n just play along with them, that way u can live ur own life “care freely ” and they can live theirs too. win-win

  10. Khaleesi
    August 01, 12:11 Reply

    Hmmm coming out in one of the most homophobic corners of the earth. Majority of Nigerian families will react with a burning brand of homophobia. You should at the very least expect to be disowned and thrown out of your home, so if you aren’t fairly financially independent, it might not be a good idea – yet.
    I agree with Ken George, at some point the strain and burden of living a fake and untrue life will take its toll on you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. In the end, to come out or not is a very personal decision, no one should/can make it for you. You’ve got to take your peculiar circumstances into consideration and decide if coming out is your best option. But, always remember that Nigeria is but a spot on the map of this large green earth, if this spot ain’t working for you, start to think deeply if how you can change your spot!

  11. Uziel
    August 02, 03:56 Reply

    When was the last time you heard a straight guy declare, “I like girls” as if it’s a confession. Because that’s how coming out in the sense we generally view it seems like to me. Coming out seems to be a concession that you are ‘bad, sinned, abnormal’ and you feel the need to confess your transgression and face approval. Obviously, I don’t believe in all that formal get-up. When you throw bombs like that, shit happens.

    Coming out for me is a long process that is intertwined with living. I don’t have to live a lie long enough to wake up one day and Rock my family with the news, I tell/show them that side of me little by little. Just my straight family movers don’t get to declare their orientation and live life as it comes, I don’t plan to one day wake up and make a formal declaration to anyone that ‘I’m gay.’

    Now, back to the topic proper, like the OP said, we should take the other view seriously. When we understand what this is like for them, then we will start getting it right. Yes, we shouldn’t excuse their natural response to such news, but we really should excuse their upbringing. They have lived in a society that views unstraight people as the big bad wolf for years, you shouldn’t expect them to discard that age old conception in a snap. If you are serious about coming out, you should do it in such a way that they can appreciate the change and still understand that you are the same person you have always been. It’s kinda like evangelism, but by bit, you come to win them over. Shrug.

  12. dyson
    August 02, 16:25 Reply

    I don’t think anyone’s doing it to be derogatory or to take away from what it really means to come out and identify as a different sexuality than what people will think you are,” she said.

  13. king dominic
    August 03, 06:50 Reply

    I have been livin wit my girlfriend in skul for six months now:reason is bcos people around me believe am so striaght with out knowing am a fucking bisexual and a flirter 2 which am trying to stop::if my family notice or think of me as a gay:they will disown and disgrace me:I lock my closet wit key waiting for the right beautiful bisexual girl to marry someday

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