“You meet someone at a party. You finally talk to that crush or you go online and you start a conversation with this random stranger. The conversation is intriguing. It flows almost naturally and you’re nervous before you even meet them. Their voice is strong, it’s beautiful. Its rhythm lingers in your ears and finds its way into your heart. You can’t wait till the next day so you can talk to them again – hear their laughter, get aroused by their sound. You are with them in person and all you can think about is the taste of their lips and the warmth of their skin. You can’t wait to be alone with them, to share the same breath. They make you laugh, they make you cry and they make you feel everything. They make you find a part of yourself that's better, that's loved, and it is sublime. It is love...”
Hello, I’m Abrams and I am a persistently romantic fool of a homosexual. They say the first stage of recovery is admittance. Well, I do know who I am; the other part is I love it. The feel of a man’s touch and the feeling of a man’s love is more than enough. And I want what I want, we all do. Just the way everything is wired to be what it is. Well, so are we.
I didn’t get to self acceptance easily though; none of us ever do, especially when you’re nurtured to expect that certain things will get you imprisoned, tortured and killed or worse, go to hell where you’ll basically burn for all of eternity. That’s what you’re indoctrinated to believe and so you’d rather pray, rather deny yourself happiness, give yourself up to a higher power for cleansing and deep conditioning before you give into desires that everyone simply despises.
For most of us, in countries where you have laws that could destroy your life forever, where close relatives and friends voice out unspeakable hatred for the person that you are, it is the very definition of torment. Your sexuality feels like you’re trapped in a room where demons coexist with you. These demons wear the faces of your own people, your parents, your sisters, brothers, neighbors and best friends. I have known people who committed suicide, those who have been killed and tortured in unspeakable ways. And all this is because of who they love, because of the sex of (s)he who makes you feel butterflies. I wondered at some point in my life how butterflies can scare anyone. I wondered how love had become a thing to destroy. I wondered how people could never try to understand what they are not familiar with.
I also wonder why we don’t try to either.
I have known people who have their minds webbed in vast ideologies. We tell ourselves it (homosexuality) stops when you get to a certain age. That it affects only your sexual desires and no emotions are involved. That marrying the societally-accepted sex will help take it away or at least dwindle your desires. We invent switches that simply do not exist – maybe they do. I do not claim to understand the human mind. I can only understand my switches and those voices before me, voices of people who have vehemently screamed about the no-existence of a pause or off button.
I sat in the midst of a conversation once and it revolved around the idea that there's any future for Nigerian gay men. I was young and eager to learn the sage philosophy of the experienced. However, the discussion made me quite depressed. There was no hope or optimism. Point blank, five out of six of them agreed that at a certain point, you'd need to accept that all men are scum and that two men in a relationship is just a disaster waiting to happen. Recently, another discussion was held around me and it centered on deal breakers and those in the conversation figured that cheating wasn't a big deal to the “as long as I don't catch him”.
I found myself not agreeing but also not immediately disagreeing. I wouldn't stay in a relationship with a cheater, no! But putting myself in the heels of being truly and honestly in love, maybe I wouldn’t be so quick to walk away. He could confess and beg for my forgiveness, claiming to never do it again. He could be the Batman, gliding noiselessly about his cheating game, but as long as I'm his Robin, we’re good. Because won’t gay men just be gay men, so we take the bullshit.
The truth is we deny ourselves the right to love. We start relationships with little to no hope for a future, either psychologically or on purpose. I sit here writing about the fragile topic of the average Nigerian gay man and I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of people out there with convictions that could put my aforementioned list to a whimper. And it is unnerving to wonder about those of us with no interest in taking the vows of heterosexual unions; I wonder if we'll end up old, alone and unloved with the neighbour’s cat who comes over for treats as our only companion.
After all the unspeakable pain of finally finding comfort in your own skin, after accepting that you are who you are – why do we hide behind the insane belief of “promiscuity is law” and the prejudice of temporariness instead of flourishing in the promise and action of forever?
Some people will spout words like “laws” and “discrimination”, but did that ever stop those who faced equal hate in different circumstances and who persevered? Can change exist if we remain asleep under the burden of bigoted laws, fear and discrimination? Would we ever get to where we want to be if we constantly seek excuses to treat the life of the homosexual as a mere lifestyle? Am I alone with the hope that “change begins with a thought”, and that the moment we start treating ourselves seriously, perhaps maybe the world will treat us seriously?
Hello, my name is Abrams, I’m a persistently romantic fool of a homosexual and this is a gay post.