Dear KD: Am I Being Too Paranoid?

Dear KD: Am I Being Too Paranoid?

There is someone I follow on Instagram. We actually follow each other. There’s nothing else to our online acquaintanceship though. We just like each other’s pictures, drop the occasional comment, and randomly DM each other. I even wished him a Happy Birthday once when I saw the birthday post he put up sometime this year.

At some point in our acquaintanceship, I have gotten the strong impression that he is gay. I don’t have a very strong gaydar, but even I can see from his frequent thirst-trap pictures of a well-built body that he is “selling his market”. His interactions on IG too, I’ve noticed, all seem directed more at guys than at girls.

But that’s not the issue. Even with that suspicion of him being queer and with all his body-building attractiveness, I’ve never felt inclined to so much as flirt with him. I am very paranoid about my associations and am very susceptible to getting kitoed, especially since I live in the oft-dreaded Ojo area of Lagos. Nothing makes you more conscious of kito than living in the area well known for harbouring kito people.

Anyway, a few days ago, I was headed to work and was striding along the road to my bus stop, when I walked past him, this Instagram guy. I didn’t know it at the time though; I just knew he looked familiar. It was when he uploaded a picture on Instagram the next day that I made the connection and realised he was the one I walked past the previous day.

I DM-ed him after I saw the post. A simple Hi, that I would later come to regret. Not because he did anything. In fact, as we messaged each other about nearly running into each other that day and he told me his shop was close to the area where I saw him and encouraged me to stop by anytime, he was very warm and inviting. I felt like I was being edged toward a hookup.

And this is when I started regretting messaging him. Because my paranoia kicked in. He is a thuggish-looking guy who apparently stays in Ojo and has a shop that is along the route to my work. I suddenly felt this frantic need to undo everything I’d done. To even block him. To avoid him. To find another route to work, another bus stop. My panic mode went into overdrive as I imagined him suspecting me of being gay and cornering me with his guys one day and beating the shit out of me.

*sigh* I know I need help with my paranoia, and I don’t know if this is one of those moments. Am I overthinking this or should I slow down? Do I even bother with connecting with this guy offline or should I shun him entirely and even block him online? Now that he knows that I commute past his shop to work, the universe has a way of ensuring that we officially run into each other; what should I say or how should I be when this happens?

What do I do?

Submitted by Solo

Next This Gay Culture of “Advising” Effeminate Gay Men To “Tone It Down” Has To Stop!

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  1. Persimmon
    December 26, 07:58 Reply

    Go with your guts. I personally wouldn’t wanna be sexual with someone in such a situation, because if it blows up it will happen in your hood and the stigma will hunt you unless you move elsewhere. However, every scenario is different. I will say go easy, do your research or ask like minded friends in the area about him…

  2. Milton
    December 26, 08:13 Reply

    Solo, while we cannot be too careful about our safety especially as it regards the community in a red flag zone as yours, I honestly feel you are being too paranoid as far as this is concerned.

    Sure, Paranoia keeps us safe, but sometimes, a risk is worth taking.

    I feel you should stop by and say hello. But only after you consider somethings.

    First off you need to ask yourself what your intentions towards this guy are. If it borders on sexual attraction and possible hook up, then you need to thread carefully and let him come on to you. No rush. Let him make all the necessary moves without you making suggestive gestures. (It could be subtle sha).

    If it’s just a platonic friendship thing, then theres no need to fret. Gay men have straight friends and their sexuality is kept confidential from their straight friends. You do not need to open up about your sexually. He could just be another acquaintance or a good friend if you click well enough.

    If he is straight and rugged as you said, and also has a compassionate heart, he could come in handy should you ever get in trouble with some area boys.

  3. Francis
    December 26, 08:41 Reply

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

    If you’re this uncomfortable just follow your gut feeling and do all you’ve listed. I’d literally do the same because paranoia and introvert wahala

    • Pink Panther
      December 26, 08:45 Reply

      LMAO. I was expecting you, Mr. Chairman, Association of Paranoid Gay Men.

      Please have a seat at the high table, sir.

    • Mitch
      December 26, 10:12 Reply

      Uncle Paranoia, e kabo oh

  4. trystham
    December 26, 09:14 Reply

    The common sense that I have tells me to tell you to follow Milton’s advice. After all, saying ‘hi’ is not the same as saying ‘you’re as gay as I am’

    But then again, I remember u r a in a terribly disadvantaged area and for my Sanity’s sake I will just go with Francis. No news is good news abeg

  5. Dayve
    December 27, 19:03 Reply

    Block block block!!! Ojo??? Abeg o

  6. Blue
    January 01, 22:32 Reply

    I think you should avoid physical contact. Your safety matters most than the hook-up. Since your mind ain’t supporting, I guess you should listen to it

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