Dear KD: My Boyfriend Wants Me To Be Less Me

Dear KD: My Boyfriend Wants Me To Be Less Me

I got acquainted with this guy on Facebook during the lockdown period. We got talking and during our conversations, he revealed to me stuff about his life. He’d lost his job and accommodation at the same time, and at the time, was squatting in the mainland. I stay on the Island.

As we talked, he began pleading for me to let him come over to my place to stay while he looks for a new job. I was uneasy about this at first, but I later agreed. Throughout the lockdown period, we talked and I tried to get to know him more.

Then when the lockdown was eased, he moved to my place. After he settled down and we’d started relating, he told me he wanted us to date. I liked him and so, I agreed to his proposal. A week after he moved in, he got a job and things were so good between us.

Now, his family wants to get to know me – you know, the guy who rescued their son during his time of need – and the vibes he is giving me is making me uncomfortable. For the record, I am effeminate and soft spoken. His mother had requested that I call her, and he told me that during the phone call, I should deepen my voice and “act like a nigga”. I was insulted by this and refused. And that’s when our issues started.

For over two weeks now, his mother has been requesting to speak with me, but that phone conversation hasn’t happened because I have refused to agree with what he’s asking. And that has started affecting our relationship. I really love him, but I can’t agree to be fake for even one second of my life. And things are getting very messed up between us.

Dear KD, please, what should I do?

Submitted by Phoenix

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  1. Frederick
    June 16, 06:49 Reply

    Talk to the mother in your own skin! Nothing hurts more than been uncomfortable in your own skin!

    If the mom don’t like you, she should advice her son to go!

  2. Lopez
    June 16, 07:08 Reply

    Send him out of your house and your life, and do it now. This is not going to end well, the writing is clear on the wall. Come to think of this, you think he will let you stay with him and meet his family if you were the one who was that desperate? He’s using you and doesn’t like you the way you are. But here is the thing, someone is going to like you the way you are. Send him packing… NOW

  3. ken
    June 16, 07:49 Reply

    In a perfectly free accepting lgbt world, it would be preposterous to request someone to be anything other than themselves. i mean why would u want someone you love to change what u actually love about them. insane, right?

    But alas we dont leave in that world. we are in a country where lgbt are misunderstood and hated by virtually everybody. And the truth is having to introduce your effeminate friend to your family can be quite terrifying, especially when you are not out of the closet and dont intend to be. if his prents thought their son was saved and befriended by a gay guy, chances are you will be indirectly outing him may not even be safe for either of you and may lead to disastrous consequences. i know its unfair but this is naija, not europe.

    So swallow your pride if u love your guy and do as he says. Both of you can be yourselves in the safety of your home

    • Flexsterous
      June 17, 07:55 Reply

      I couldnot agree with this more as a feminine guy myself, you gave a level-headed response. Life is always black and white, we compromise every now and then, we aren’t always 100% real, like when you tell your tell your mum her very tasteless soup is the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted cause being real can sometimes be hurtful to others. But the only downside is when she wants to meet in person.

  4. Mandy
    June 16, 08:02 Reply

    Please DO. NOT. GIVE. INTO. THIS!!! No matter what anyone says (because I’m already seeing comments asking you to “swallow your pride”, as if this is a matter of pride. This is a matter of self esteem, and the person whose esteem is in question here isn’t you. You are fine). Nigeria is unsafe, yada, yada, yada. That is what people will use to justify you reducing who you are to accommodate this bullshit your boyfriend is asking of you. But guess what, YOU have been doing fine existing as you are. And that’s what is galling about this. This situation is not being asked of you to protect you. It’s been asked of you to accommodate your boyfriend’s insecurity. It’s not about You. It’s about HIM.

    And anything relating to who you are should be about YOU!

    Honey, do not let anyone dictate to you how to exist. This isn’t love. Love doesn’t demand for you to diminish who you are. Love encourages you to flourish. And if he isn’t loving you for you to flourish, then that’s a toxic relationship in the making.

    And what is most annoying is that this is just a phone call. A PHONE CALL!!! And he is asking you to reduce yourself. What happens when his family member decides to visit? Is he going to ask you to act like a nigga for all the period that visit happens? Have you even met his friends? Do you two even walk around? Or is your relationship restricted to the indoors?

    This your boyfriend is an asshole for asking this of you. And the only way to combat this is to remember that You were fabulous before you met him and therefore, you should not lose yourself just because you are in a relationship.

  5. Delle
    June 16, 08:13 Reply

    Shey it’s your house he’s staying at? Please throw the morrafaka out on his nonexistent behind and walk on like nothing happened.

    What the actual fuck! Abeg this is 2020,no one has time for this rubbish.

      • Delle
        June 17, 07:10 Reply

        Chill? Who has chills for an inconsiderate bigot? Definitely not me and hell, Phoenix shouldn’t either.

  6. Lopez
    June 16, 08:30 Reply

    Ken, can you please introduce us to this man up 101 class. I can’t believe it people are still telling feminine guys to man up… How do you do that?(man up), how please? I’ve been called a snub, arrogant, full of myself and many more because I don’t want to open my mouth in public and eyes will stare because of the sound of my voice. I’ve rejected tv programme, I’ve rejected a lecturing interview ( which I’m sure I’ll get), I’ve refused meeting crushes and online hookups… You think if I can I wouldn’t change that voice.
    Phoenix, please don’t listen to people like ken. I’m telling you that guy doesn’t deserve a place in your life. This is Nigeria (homophobic) yes, but this is Nigeria (200 million people) so please there’s someone out there for you.
    P.s for the record, I’m fine with who I’m now, I can talk anywhere in front of anybody. If I ever sense any form of hostility because of the sound of my voice, especially from stupid closeted homophobic gay guys, that’s the end of whatever deal we are having.

    • ken
      June 16, 10:57 Reply

      First of all if u arent out to ur own parents u have no right to out someone else. Hes not asking u to meet his parents for marriage nor is he asking u to change whom u are. Except both of them are going to move into phoenix parents basement, i see no reason why yall being overly dramatic and pretending that you live in a perfect world.
      The bf is obviously in love with phoenix the way he is, but that love doesnt translate to his parents. You guys hypocrisy is just ridiculous. Same people that are deeply in the closet hiding from the whole world are the same ones that will be advising u to out your bf. smh. 200million people yes, yet finding one isnt as easy as u claim. And even if it was, outing your bf to his parents isnt a symbol of your undying eternal love for him. When they disown him or call family meeting on his head u wont be there.

      • Pink Panther
        June 16, 11:13 Reply

        Lol. So speaking to someone on the phone with a voice that’s not deep is tantamount to outing someone else?

        ???? This reach is fantastic.

        • ken
          June 16, 12:39 Reply

          No? what then is the reason for asking phoenix to speak and act more manly around his parents???

          For a movie audition?? smh

          • Pink Panther
            June 16, 14:02 Reply

            You are being willfully disingenuous here, Ken. And you’re much too intelligent (at least from some of your comments) to be acting this way. His boyfriend asking him to deepen his voice when talking to his mother ON THE PHONE has nothing to do with the fact that he’ll be outed. I mean, Jeezuz. A soft sounding voice on the phone will out him? Just like that? The mother will hear such a voice and immediately realize that her son is gay? Do you even see how weak your reach is?

            This isn’t about outing and everything to do with the boyfriend’s insecurities surrounding Phoenix’s femininity.

            And if you think that it takes just a soft voice on the phone for the mother to know her son is gay, then the boyfriend clearly isn’t as closeted as he thinks he is.

            • ken
              June 16, 15:14 Reply

              Hear yourself please. What you fail to understand is that the boyfriends request has more to do with how that encounter makes him feel, his fears and insecurities. it doesnt matter whether or not in reality the mother believes him or his friend is gay. Do u get it? Its the boyfriend’s concerns that matter, not the mother, ok?
              You can be caught wearing g-string or dancing on a pole in some homes and no one will bat an eyelid, in other homes u might be burned at the stake. Since you dont know how your bf’s home is like and u claim u really love him, why not save him that unnecessary episode with his parents. i mean its just a phone call that wont last 5mins, tops!

      • Mandy
        June 16, 11:21 Reply

        Someone has to be out to be able to give advice to someone whose self expression is being asked to be diminished?


        If the only qualification to ever give advice on this site is for us to be out, then what are we all ever doing here?

        • ken
          June 16, 12:40 Reply

          No you have to be out before attempting to out someone else. ok?
          More practical, less hypocrisy

          • Mandy
            June 16, 14:09 Reply

            So advising someone to retain his authenticity and not let anyone make him be less than he is is now me outing someone else?


            Why stop there? Why not just encourage us not to advise femme guys to man-up around masc guys or to tell masc guys not to befriend femme guys, because doing so would be us outing the masc guys. Since you want to be unfortunate in your dishonesty. Oloshi.

            • ken
              June 16, 15:17 Reply

              Its a less than 5mins call with his mother, not a lifetime request, ok?
              Less drama biko

            • kingb
              June 16, 17:10 Reply

              Kilode Mandy? Oloshi ke? Lord help us for this our naija ooo

  7. Kenny
    June 16, 08:41 Reply

    Fam! End that relationship now. You’ll be fine without him eventually. Never ever make yourself smaller for anyone. Such an ungrateful entitled twat

  8. Fred
    June 16, 08:56 Reply

    You’ve answered your question.
    My comment sounds like Zen, right?

  9. trystham
    June 16, 09:01 Reply

    Wait sef. When did lockdown start and end that u think u r in love? Unku, u better wake up. You did ur bit for Osumare. Let it end there. He should av thought of that on sleeping over at ur place after the third day. Let the next story be of how u kicked him out within a week of posting this story

    • Haiku
      June 16, 13:27 Reply

      ??????? good!
      I too can’t wait for the kick-out story.Who does what Phoenix’s alleged boyfriend is doing while staying in his house still!

  10. Dee
    June 16, 09:17 Reply

    I know the usual overdramatic crew will tell you to blow things up immediately and as messily as possible, but please take some perspective before you decide what to do. As Ken said, this isn’t an LGBT friendly country. You don’t know his family, what type of people they are or what they’re capable of. Try talking to your partner and find out exactly why he’s uneasy.
    Also, take stock of the relationship in general: has he asked you to do such a thing in a different context, like with him or around his friends? Has he pressured you into doing other things you didn’t want to? Are you arguing significantly about other issues, or is this the only real bone of contention.
    The people asking you to “run for the hills” or “throw him out” don’t know very much about your relationship or situation, and are likely not as rigid in their own personal lives.
    When you speak with him, be calm and direct, let him know you aren’t judging him and just want to understand the situation; if after discussing you still feel uncomfortable, you can tell him you won’t be speaking with his mother. Maybe she can use WhatsApp. Good luck on whatever choice you decide to make.

    • ken
      June 16, 10:59 Reply

      Chai annointing dey your head lol

  11. Lopez
    June 16, 10:47 Reply

    We know enough Dee(umbo), we know he will never be accepted the way he is in that relationship. May be I can forgive the situation if it’s just a shag, but they’re literally living together. If I have to change myself to say hello to your mum on the phone, hunny you ain’t got 1min of my time.

    • Mandy
      June 16, 10:50 Reply

      And let’s not forget that he’s asking him to make this change for a mere phone conversation. Just to talk to his mother on the phone, and dude is already asking him to man-up. When it comes to something bigger than that nko? SMH. I can’t believe niggas are supporting this shit. This is just lowkey femmephobia. But no, we won’t that because love and relationship.

      • ken
        June 16, 12:42 Reply

        Bigger like what? Paying his bride price???

  12. Saint J
    June 16, 11:05 Reply

    For the record, the mom is crossing boundary! He rescued her son in time of need. All she should have done was to show appreciation and stay in her lane and it doesn’t have to matter what tone or kind of voice a person has, fact is; it doesn’t make one less a person. And hey, u owe no one perfection, it’s up to Ur man to defend you from his mom that’s if he really love u d way u are. Never change Your true nature because someone think ur not complete. U can only change how u view the world but not who you are. #peace ✌️

  13. Lopez
    June 16, 12:18 Reply

    This is not low-key femmephobia, it’s femmephobia of the highest order. Was the said boyfriend blind when he moved in with the writer and asked him out or it was just an act of desperation? I hate it, and I hate you in particular ken, when you’re talking of ironing things between them. I promised you Pheonix this guy you’re involved is the kind that will deny you in public, he won’t show you the road to his house, he won’t go out with you anywhere in broad day light, he won’t introduce to his friends or his family… If you were not accommodating the ass hole, the only place he’ll have anything to do with you is on a bed in darkness of the night( that’s assuming you’re good in bed). But it’s your life Phoenix, you asked for an advice and the community is giving it but you’re the one to decide.

    • kingB
      June 16, 17:12 Reply

      That’s a possible angle to look at it from as well

  14. Lopez
    June 16, 13:29 Reply

    If I have to come down to the level of idiocy; may Phoenix is out. Happy?
    If I want you to understand; nobody is talking about outing anybody.
    If you believe talking to the mum is tantamount to outing the boyfriend, then you’re worst than the said boyfriend.
    If you choose to be stupid; kontiniyu this argument.

  15. Oba of Benin
    June 16, 15:24 Reply

    ‘I know the usual overdramatic crew will tell you to blow things up immediately and as messily as possible’ ?? Dee you crazily funny sha. You said what I was having in mind. Phoenix this is all about understanding. Follow Dee’s advice

  16. T.T
    June 16, 19:18 Reply

    Going through the comments section makes me laugh so loud..
    The same people who wrote boldly on their Grindr profile ” No girly guys” are here attacking Ken. Hypocrites! Many of you can’t meet an effeminate guy not to talk of dating one.
    My dear poster man up and talk to your mother in-law, your boyfriend love you just the way you are it might not be the same with his Mum.

    • Pink Panther
      June 16, 23:08 Reply

      Who are these people who have “No girly guys” written on their Grindr profiles that are here on this comments section attacking Ken? Do you know any of them specifically? Or are you just making a false point to enable the femmephobia you finally ended your comment with?

    • Ken
      June 17, 08:06 Reply

      Don’t mind the hypocrites

      • Pink Panther
        June 17, 08:12 Reply

        I think you need to revisit your definition of the word “hypocrisy”.

  17. Lopez
    June 16, 21:15 Reply

    You can as well tell him to stop being gay, so the “mother in-law” will accept him. Y’all talk as if being feminine is a choice.

  18. Black Dynasty
    June 16, 21:54 Reply

    ?? @ a number of the comments.

    I will say this, you shouldn’t have to reduce yourself to make anyone else happy. To change your voice and be more masculine before a phone call is the start of a slippery slope. Imagine what will be asked if you are to meet his friends or parents?

    You’ve been kind enough to be supportive to him but ensure you set your boundaries and make sure those boundaries are not violated. If he’s not able to accept you as you are, the relationship is probably not going to last long.

  19. Higwe
    June 16, 22:15 Reply

    I don’t know about your personal relationship with your boyfriend or how he loves you or doesn’t love you …..but one thing is pretty limpid …your relationship is much more parasitic than it’s symbiotic.

    You’ve been the one bending over to accommodate him – Literally and figuratively. ?

    Now ,why changing your voice and acting all manly for a few minutes might not seem like that big of deal , it might just be the first of many times that you’ll have to be what you’re not to keep the relationship afloat .

    How long till a relation or a cousin comes visiting , then you’ll have to hide in your own house or even asked to leave temporarily because he can’t be sited with a feminine guy .

    Let me tell you something…..

    The first time you visit a deity or a native doctor or ezenwanyi , he or she might ask you to kill a fowl .
    A fowl is around 2k , it seems all easy and cheap .
    The next time it will be a goat .
    The next time a ram.
    The next a cow.
    Until eventually it might even end up as a human head ( not in all cases though)

    Basically , I’m trying to tell you that sacrifices get bigger and bigger overtime.
    It usually starts from something basic and simple, till one day you look back and realise that this is now costing you everything.

    The road to hell is forever paved with good intentions dear .

    Nip it in the bud right now , before this tumour gets malignant.

    Take a stand or kick him to the curb.

    • Malik
      June 18, 12:16 Reply

      Don’t always listen to Higwe.

      But, Phoenix, you see this his comment, listen to it well.

      The problem is not the fowl. How much is 2k? How hard is it to change your voice for 5 mins? The problem is the goat that you will buy next, or the human head you will have to bring afterwards.

      May god grant you understanding and strength.

  20. Mariposa
    June 17, 11:13 Reply

    @Ken… You have an amazing point… This is Nigeria not Europe…
    @Black Dynasty… Also made an interesting Point and I agree with Him… Let’s assume you pretend on the phone just for 5mins or less… Then His Parents request to see you… Then you’ll have to pretend again to make Him Happy and before you know it you’ll begin to resent yourself… It’s one things hating yourself and the Society hating you and you finally decide to Stand up and not care what anyone says… Then someone who says He loves You would come into your life to make you relive that Horror of unacceptance.
    Your Boyfriend is just Insecured.

  21. Obiora
    June 17, 14:29 Reply

    Reading some of the comments here saying “kick him to the curb” because you’re housing him makes me so happy that I don’t have to rely on anyone financially. Everyone has their struggles, if you have counted the cost and you feel you can’t put up with the sacrifice, then move on. At least have a decent conversation before kicking him..Please don’t follow this crowd o.

  22. Malik
    June 18, 12:23 Reply

    The guy may be a good guy o. But you just met, inside this lockdown. There’s so much you don’t know and this is the stage of the relationship when you must pay attention to subtle cues. His IH, femmephobia, or whatever it is, is not yours to fix. You are not his Lord and Saviour..

    The people saying “kick him out” don’t know him, but they have met him in different other ways. Don’t let someone take you back to a time where you loathed yourself. Guard your space and set boundary lines.

  23. Francis
    June 18, 23:30 Reply

    Hmmmmm, must you be the one to talk to her on the phone? Why can’t he get someone else to call her in the bass tone he wants ???. Mschew.

    Next thing you’re learning how to masc that walk to protect his closet. Odiegwu

  24. Santy
    June 20, 15:51 Reply

    He knew who you were before you guys started dating.
    Darling it’s better if you let this nigga out of your house and your life now.

    Your sanity and peace of mind comes first.

  25. flame
    June 20, 23:14 Reply

    Dear Phoenix,

    You had a right to feel offended by what he was asking. If you don’t want to get into all that with his family, let him know. He should be able to manage them. You both need to be clear about certain things. The fact that asking you to ‘put a bass in your voice’ is offensive is a good place to start.
    I try to hold myself to a standard as gay man. Tolerance, appreciating differences etc. This one time a (straight) friend of mine asked me to help a senior (who was a popular effeminate) in school keep some of his stuff in my house off campus. It took some thought bc, I am on the DL and having him around would definitely raise questions. But then I asked myself tough questions. Am I really going to refuse someone help they need simply bc they are effeminate? A gay man like me. Help I would very easily offer another without much thought. I took the bold step to agree. Turned out he already found an alternative. Point here is, there is who we are to the world, then there is who we are to ourselves. Whether you are effeminate or not, Out or on the DL, I believe it is possible to mature in your (acceptance of your ) sexuality. I believe everyone deserves to mature at their own pace. But for someone you’re dating, you need to be on the same level on certain issues!

  26. Gaia
    June 21, 09:16 Reply

    You really don’t have to speak with his Mom tho.

    It’s better to avoid his family totally than to start adjusting to societal norms just to make them feel ok.


  27. Alexxparish
    July 02, 13:59 Reply

    It not as if it a bad idea,if he want peace sure I will give him peace in the name of I don’t care if I have too act accordingly too what you want but let be clear if thy act you about me y am acting effeminate let it be clear too then you ask me too date you and you my boyfriend ??case close? If thy want too go thy way let then go there way after all you did what others can’t do for someone at this point of time

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