A LETTER TO THE LGBT YOUTH

A LETTER TO THE LGBT YOUTH

Dear LGBT Youth,

We who are like you, who have come and gone before you, have so much to say to you. We wish that we had someone who could talk to us and prepare us for the treacherous world we find ourselves. Like the soldier who is thrown into the battle field unarmed, we found ourselves in the world, unprepared for the stones life would hurl at us. But blindly and without guidance, we struggled ashore. We have learnt many lessons that we think we ought to share. Taking a hint from biology, we observe that generations hand over their knowledge, their genes and sometimes their mistakes to their progeny. It is therefore our duty to share with you what we have learnt. Play close attention, think deeply and take these words to heart.

  1. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AS YOU ARE

You have been born into a world that is filled with people who will tell you that you are an abomination and that something is wrong with you. We understand what the weight of their loathing and condemnation feels like because we have been there. For most of us, our secret longing burdened us with guilt and shame for so many years. It was a terrible, crushing burden to bear, especially being so young. We now look back with regret, wishing we had come to self-acceptance earlier. People will think anything and everything they can about you, just because they have mental freedom to espouse any idea they desire. Never forget that you also have this same mental freedom to think whatever you wish. If they have chosen to think that you are ugly, the best response is that you choose to think that you are beautiful. If you think that your sexuality is beautiful, then it is. Instead of guilt and sorrow, you will find pleasure in being who you are. Let your youth be free from guilt and regret, especially concerning something you have not done. You were born this way, born beautiful.

  1. YOU WILL GET HEARTBROKEN

The truth is that there are some among you who will not have their hearts broken because being aromantic, they do not experience romantic attraction. However, the majority of you will experience romantic attraction in various degrees. This means you will fall in love with someone, with the risk of getting your heart crushed. Although it would seem that way, people are not perfect because you love them. That is just the halo effect at work. Every human is intrinsically flawed. When you fall in love, you become blind to flaws. But since your lover is a human being, KNOW the flaw is there and will show up one day. When it does, you would have been prepared for it.

Eventually, you will know what it means to be heartbroken, but that’s okay. You will survive it. It is okay to have your heart broken; it’s just one of those things that happen in life. Besides, you will break some hearts too and it will not mean you are evil. It would just mean you are human, like everyone else.

Know that people will breeze in and out of your life. What matters most is not their coming or leaving, but what they meet when they come and what sort of person they leave behind. Many swear never to love again after one heartbreak. This may mean that their recovery from the hurt was not complete, or perhaps they were not strong enough to handle another, so they close the door on love. Maybe it’s a good thing and maybe it is not. We just want you to make it okay for people to come and leave, unless you want your heart to become a prison of no escape. Everyone should be able to leave any place they no longer find okay. Sometimes you will be the place that someone moves from and sometimes, you will do the moving. Make it okay. Do not let heartbreak stop you from living.

  1. A WORD ABOUT SEX

Regarding sex, we will not tell you what is too much and what is too little. We acknowledge that we are all different, with different libido levels. What is adequate for one may or be inadequate for another. But we will say this, everyone knows everyone in the community. If you go around a lot, you will create for yourself a reputation. If this matters to you, then you have to be controlled about you sexual trysts. But if you don’t care about reputation or what people say, then by all means, have fun. Morals are relative, so we won’t judge.

There is something very important that you must hear. There are a few viruses that are out to get you. The Human Papilloma Virus is quite common in the community. They cause anal warts and other skin lesions that are very difficult to treat. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for this, which is best taken before you start having sex. Find out where it is given and take one. You will be doing yourself a world of good. Same thing goes for Hepatitis B. Get vaccinated.

Then there is also the risk of HIV infection. Condoms will give you about 85% protection against HIV, and this protection will increase if condoms are used properly. Never have sex without a condom. But accidents happen. In spite of your best efforts, some will still have HIV. You can live a long, healthy and happy life with HIV. People all over the world are doing it. The drugs to control the condition have gotten better and safer. And do not discriminate against someone who has HIV. Sex with a person who has HIV, the person who is taking his medication consistently and whom you get down with using a condom, is safer than sex with some random person whose status you don’t know.

On the whole, the more sexual partners you choose to have, the more likely it is that you will have these infections. For this reason, we advise moderation.

  1. THE FEAR OF KITO IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM

You will soon find how dark and terrible this world is. There are people out there who think you are worthless and are ready to spill your blood. That is the truth. Sometimes these people will put up accounts on social media and dating sites just to lure you into the viper’s den. Some fell in and died in the process. Be adventurous, but don’t be a fool. Never meet anyone for the very first time in his house. Never, never, never! Even after chatting with him or her for years, never! No matter how nice or genuine they sound, never! No matter how cute they are or how horny you are, never! Meet in an open place when meeting for the first time, not in their territory. And if you get uncomfortable, and feel something is OFF, you are probably right. Run for your life and never look back. That may just be the difference between being alive or dead.

  1. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES

Making mistakes is part of growing up. We all made mistakes, and unless you are God incarnate, so will you. We want to tell you that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes. To err is human. Do not allow yourself to be too bothered by some of us who berate you when you fall. Sometimes you will be confused and many times, you will fall. We accept all of your failings in advance because we understand that it is through trial and error, followed by both success and failure, that you will find out who you are and what you are about. We know this because that is how we arrived where we are today. We do not mean you should be careless. On the contrary, we advise you to be as careful as you can possibly be. But know that in spite of your best efforts, in spite of your best intentions, sometimes you will fail. And that’s fine. What really matters is not where you fell but if you rise, how you rise and when you rise.

  1. CONCERNING SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS

There are some among you who will not have very serious problems with meeting societal expectations of you. For example, people who attracted to both sexes (yes, those exist) may not have serious issues. But there are those among you who will have extreme distress because of societal expectations regarding sex and marriage. On this matter, we have this to say to you. We dream of an ideal society, where we would not be judged by our sexuality or limited by what the world expects of us. But we are not yet in that world. The ideal thing would be to follow your heart and live on your own terms. If you decide to come out or not get married, know that the consequences will be severe. We will sing about your heroism in songs but only you will bear the burden and pain that results. Therefore the onus is on you to decide which the lesser “evil” is. We urge you to think deep and hard about it and then make up your mind. We will support wholeheartedly, any decision you make, because only you know what you are strong enough to take and no one understands your own situation like you do. We will respect any choice you will make and love you nonetheless.

However, irrespective of your decision, you are not free from the responsibility of investing your time, energy and resources into making this world a better place for unborn LGBT generations. It is your duty, just like it is ours, to make sure that that era of freedom is soon upon us. Do what you can with your life, but you are not free of responsibility for the cause.

  1. LIFE IS MORE THAN JUST YOUR SEXUALITY

Your sexuality is an important part of you, but it is just one part of you. Do not allow yourself to be limited to it or by it. Your sexuality is not a career. Like every other person, you are not exempt from the responsibility to work hard. Be diligent and industrious at everything you do. This is how you build for yourself a future. If you find yourself having to sweep the gutter to survive, sweep it so well and so perfectly that everyone cannot but notice how efficient you are. One day, someone will see your diligence and reward you for it. The world is a large place. There are countries out there where you can live and express your sexuality freely.  This may be the escape you need. But in order to travel out of the country, you need money. Success and wealth is good for everyone, but it is especially good for you.

We have so much to say to you. Perhaps we will write you another letter sometime in the future. Please think about these words. If there is something you don’t understand, look for someone in the community who is much older and wiser. We have many of them. For every question you have, there is an answer.

Love yourself. Work hard. Never give up. You are perfect as you are. Have fun but be careful! We love you, just as you are.

Be happy!

Yours Sincerely

Sensei

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19 Comments

  1. Hema
    April 03, 07:25 Reply

    Thank you Sensei.
    I think the most important angle here is the vaccine for HPV and Hepatitis.
    Guys, please go get vaccinated.

  2. Richard Moore
    April 03, 07:29 Reply

    And that, my darlings, is wisdom.
    Thank you, Sensei.
    XXX

    Am I the first to comment?

  3. Kenny
    April 03, 07:58 Reply

    Sensei ????.

    Unfortunately though, a lot of youths don’t get the message early enough. I didn’t!

  4. Keredim
    April 03, 08:56 Reply

    WORD!!!

    Sound advice, especially the health and societal expectation ones

    Brilliant.??????????

  5. Delle
    April 03, 09:57 Reply

    Letter received. Thank you so much, Sensei. This is like the most heart-lifting article I’ve come across this week. Truly exceptional.

  6. Maliq
    April 03, 10:36 Reply

    You’ve just made my month.
    Thanks a million, Sensei!

  7. A-non
    April 03, 12:41 Reply

    When you were young and told that you are skinny, walk like a girl and not attractive, it’s difficult to accept the flirtatious looks of ladies and believe when you are told later in life that you are good looking. You always want to look for a reason to justify their ‘lie’ because it’s difficult to accept what is different from what you have come to believe and accept as your truth.

    When excelling academically was your option as being noticed in secondary school, it’s difficult to accept that people will will not only judge you based on your achievements.

    When you drive yourself so hard at work to the extent that you attend management meetings alongside your boss, it’s difficult to want to slow down because if they look closer, there might not be so much about this guy.

    When you lost people who truly loved you as a youngster, it’s difficult to let go of abusive relationships because you feel their ain’t much chance at love out there.

    When you have been serially abused as a child, it’s difficult to accept that the person trying to be friendly doesn’t have an ulterior motive.

    When you ought to relax and enjoy the beauty of quiet and silence you can’t because you are afraid of what it might bring.

    • Greg
      April 03, 17:34 Reply

      sigh… this touched me. especially that constant need to want to prove to others, thankful I’ve made peace with that and realized people you’re trying to impress don’t even care cos they have their own issues

  8. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    April 03, 14:16 Reply

    I want to add to this.

    Please be patient about sex. Do not be in a rush. There is no rush. Don’t be ashamed of being a virgin. Take your time and have sex on your own terms. Have sex with someone who cares enough to make sure you are enjoying it as well. Have sex with someone who isn’t just looking to fill their void (no pun intended). Sex is pleasurable and beautiful.

    Don’t cheapen yourself by selling your body. It may be trendy, and you may envy your friend’s nice phone and shoes, but as my mother always says, a good name is better than gold. You don’t want to be the guy anyone can have as long as he lines your pockets. If you want things, work hard for them. Get as many degrees as you can get. Broaden your prospects by learning marketable skills. Spread your network like wildfire. Believe me, there are many successful gay men in Nigeria who are willing to help you without first tasting you if you can show you are a hard worker. Seek them out and ask for a connection rather than an iPhone.

    Lastly, if any man ever hits you once, let it be the first and last time. Do not ever let anyone abuse you in the name of love. Even if it’s restructured to look like you are fighting each other physically, it is not worth it. If he ever says something that makes you doubt yourself, run. If he ever says something that make you feel less than or bad about yourself, run.

    Don’t ever go after someone else’s boyfriend. Most especially, don’t EVER steal your friend’s boyfriend. Even if he looks like the love child of Idris Elba and Matthew Noszka, no man is worth ruining your friendship. Remember, the way you get him is the way you will lose him.

  9. goldd1st
    April 03, 14:54 Reply

    Dis is beautiful…but we all must start within ourselves…thank u sensei,thank u mark n thank u pp…av a lovely week ahead….n again thank u francis n d ranting random gay series…u guys r d best

  10. Khaleesi
    April 03, 16:10 Reply

    Beautiful, altruistic and loving piece. This message shall ring authentic and true even 50yrs from now like an indelible engraving cast in stone …
    May i add; embrace yourself totally, dont waste valuable time trying to conform and fit in, if you’re different, you’ll know – own it and be the most authentic version of yourself that there can ever be! Those who dislike or disapprove of you are not that important, don’t let their narrow-minded opinions stop you from exploring your true self.

    Be very careful but never lose your sense of adventure, in future most of your regrets will be the things you didn’t do rather than the things that you did do!

  11. Francis
    April 03, 21:49 Reply

    *sighs* When a post is so goooooooood but you can’t share it ???.

    Many thanks for this and to Marc and A-non for their contributions. ???

  12. Wiffey
    April 04, 07:28 Reply

    Spoken Like a true Sensei

    We all owe it to the younger generation to help mentor and lead them, I’ll admit my life would have been completely messed up if I hadn’t met a seasoned queen at the verge of my exploration who taught me every trick and gave me every instruction like a detailed manual.

    So also I’ve taken out time to also mentor younger Queens to help them make the right decision and even those who make mistakes that made them positive to HIV I ensure they have absolute health care.

  13. prince
    April 04, 13:29 Reply

    Thanks for the letter. For the HPV vaccine,can a person already infected still take it,can it still help clear the warts and where can one access the vaccine?Thanks.

  14. Trey
    April 04, 23:03 Reply

    Many thanks Sensei. Kiss kiss*

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