Oftentimes, I’ve had people wonder out loud to me about how alike me and Declan Odum from my series, Love and Sex in the City, are. They have asked if we are the same persons, if there are variations, if I am he and he is me.

Well, we’re not. Declan is the kind of guy I wish I was. He has better gay experiences than I do. But every now and then, our lives cross with similar experiences and shared conflictions. One of those shared experiences was in the discovery of his sexuality by his younger brother, Fabian.

My younger brother discovered my homosexuality about three years ago. Much like Fabian, he had access to my phone and stumbled on a revealing chat that told him everything he needed to know. He didn’t confront me with his discovery. He simply handed me back my phone when he was finished and soon left the house. He lived in Port Harcourt then, and remained silent on the matter until he returned to PH. Then he called me and lashed out. Unfortunately for him, I was at the beginning of that stage in my life when I was getting restless with my closet, questioning why I wasn’t more open and freer with my sexuality. So when he attacked me on the phone, I didn’t flinch. I didn’t recoil. I didn’t even engage him in a verbal altercation. I stayed silent and aloof while he ranted, shifting gears from trying to guilt me about my ‘obligation’ to the family to educating me on how ‘gay people’ are a cult attempting to steal away my soul. Lol. There was nothing my brother didn’t say to get me to see the error of my ways, and when I chuckled at his antics, he flared afresh and threatened to out me to our parents.

“Do what you want,” I said coolly. What better way to step out of the stifling confines of the closet than for somebody to open the door for you from the outside.

I called his bluff and he retired in cold silence. For a long time, my brother and I didn’t speak to each other, until just before he travelled out of Nigeria. He made his peace with me and in the months that followed as he got more settled abroad, we found our way back to each other.

However, this story of love and acceptance wasn’t the case all round. Those three years ago, I had just relocated to Lagos and was staying with two cousins, both of them female. The apartment was rented by their father who’d retired to the East, and I was there at his behest. Following my brother’s knowledge of my homosexuality, I felt a profound sense of release. Finally, someone knew the true me and the world hadn’t ended with that. So I began to live a little. Before then, I’d discouraged visits from any friends of mine. That changed. I stopped trying to keep up appearances with my cousins and began to have friends over and overnight hookups. My visitors were always males, and I was aware the two girls were getting curious at best and suspicious at worst. But I did not care.

It didn’t take long for them to start acting on their suspicions of my liaisons. There were no confrontations, oh no. They got quietly hostile instead. They began wearing wooden expressions around me. They stopped speaking to me unless when absolutely necessary. The three of us worked and had this arrangement where we contributed every now and then to make purchases for the kitchen. They stopped asking me for my share of the contributions, a cessation that implied that I was no longer welcome to their cooking.

I was neither fazed nor bothered. The only parent I spoke to about the conflicts was my mother, because we are close and these cousins are my paternal relatives. Despite my entreaties for her to keep my tales of woe to herself, she eventually shared with my father the things I’d told her. My father must have in turn passed on his concerns to his cousin, my uncle, who thereafter called his daughters to berate them over their attitude.

The evening after this happened, one of them (who I’ll call Jezebel) stomped into my room, wanting to have a word with me.

“I don’t know what you’re reporting or to whom you’re reporting,” she said, her heavily-mascaraed eyes snapping angrily on her fleshy face, “but just know that if they ever call a meeting for us to discuss what is going on in this house, me, I have some things I will report o.”

The threat was very thinly veiled – and insulting, because it implied that I cared. Did she not know just how much I didn’t care? For heavenssakes, there’d been a night when the guy in my bed had given me such good loving that I’d moaned and gasped with reckless abandon, with the awareness that they were in the next room.

I chuckled sardonically at her and said, “Say whatever the fuck you want.”

She bristled at the cussword. “You cannot be using that kind of language in this house.”

“I will use whatever language I want,” I snapped. “Now please get the fuck out of my room.”

I pointed to the door. She eyed me stonily for a moment, not moving. I took a threatening step forward. She hissed, turned and flounced out.

The heat of their hostility was turned up several notches after that, enough to make me decide it was time to move out. A couple of weeks after this decision, I got a new place, moved out, deleted their contacts and never spoke to them again.

As life went on and the years passed, another female cousin (who I’ll call Sapphira) opened up a Facebook group that was to be a social media home for all us cousins in my extended family. No parents, no uncles, no aunts, just us youths, ranging from our thirties to our twenties. It was intended to be a place where we traded family gossip and updates on each other’s lives and all that jazz. I’ve always been an aloof member of my extended family, so I was very quiet in the group, contenting myself with liking some posts and comments.

Then a few weeks ago, I was on a radio show, in an interview about dating and relationships, where I expressed my views on marriage and child bearing, speaking of my intentions not to have either of the two. The radio show has a hefty listening public and some presence on the social media. Right then on the show, some listeners called in and texted to either chastise me or determine how my damaged upbringing was the root of my decisions. I laughed off the recriminations that night. The next day, I logged on into Facebook and I wasn’t laughing so much anymore. My opinions on marriage and child bearing had gotten snatched away, twisted out of context and taken on a life of its own. My notifications were getting hounded with mentions on updates here and there, where people were discussing the issue, either passing judgments or expressing approval. Some slid into my inbox with different messages that ranged from advice to chastisement. I tried to clarify my viewpoint with an update, but no one was listening. It didn’t help that the show’s presenter updated the interview on her blog, so the hour-long dialogue was there for anyone who wanted to revisit their outrage.

And all through this furor, I waited with bated breath for my mother to approach me on the issue. She has a social media presence and has often come to me to speak her mind on some of my posts. I waited. She never showed up.

Sapphira however did. She surfaced on one of my posts and commented: “Excuse me o, I just wanted to ask, cuz. Are you gay?”

I didn’t even deign her comment with a response. For someone with private access to me, she chose the wrong place to expect an answer from me. I simply packed her off my friend’s list. She must have stewed on her speculation for quite awhile, because about two weeks later, she came back with her query, this time in the family group.

Her update:Pictures

I resisted the urge to get drawn into the post and quickly forgot about it.

Then a few days ago, someone brought the post back to me. That person was my brother. In the years that passed since he gained knowledge of my sexuality, we never talked about it, not even when we made our peace with each other. I wasn’t going to bring it up, and he clearly didn’t want the topic revisited. So for the longest time, I didn’t know if he had truly accepted me for who I am, or simply hated the sin and not the sinner.

That incertitude was cleared the day he buzzed me:

Brother: I saw that post ‘Sapphira’ posted. I wanted to comment but kept quiet because I was going to be rude to everybody and to her. so I just left it. It’s quite unfortunate how uneducated and judgmental we are back home. But that too shall pass.

Me: I’ve been ignoring her for awhile. She has been looking for a reaction from me, and I’ve learned to simply ignore her.

Brother: I was going to leave the group but I just chilled.

Me: Me too. Have you ever seen me comment on anything? I’ve always entertained the idea that I can leave whenever I want. Both Sapphira and Jezebel won’t get me. I reject!

Brother: They’re just a bunch of idiots that lack knowledge. Since I left Nigeria, I’ve grown in so many different ways. We are so backward there. Just free them. Do your thing. Don’t answer to anyone. You owe nobody any explanation. They no dey follow you talk their waka. So I don’t understand why you should talk your waka with them.

And right there and then, I had never loved my brother more.

So, take that, Declan! Your brother still hates your guts. Mine is now an advocate for the freedom of self-expression.

Written by Pink Panther


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  1. MagDiva
    September 02, 07:16 Reply

    ((((( hugs)))))

    I learnt a long time ago that family are those I choose to be family. Just because we are related by blood doesn’t mean I have to like you or even tolerate you.

    It’s a shame that those who are supposed to be your supporters are the ones reaching to pull you down.

    September 02, 07:27 Reply

    Hmmmm… No words, although you act like you don’t curr, deep down you still do Pinky…

  3. pagxy
    September 02, 07:39 Reply

    Am telling you pinky doesn’t care I fear for you sometimes though ever since the Orlando massacre I have discovered that the lgbt community has a long way to go not only in Nigeria but the whole world pple are just homophobic.

    • Pink Panther
      September 02, 07:45 Reply

      We will get there, whether Nigeria likes it or not. ??

      • zilayefa
        September 02, 09:47 Reply

        osheeeeeeeeeee……madam pinky of life. please do and coman collect title from the sugar stick climbing ladies of Nigeria. Oshelenge baby 1 of happylage. You are sacha strong polzin and i find this very inspiring. Weldone ojire and God bless your good heart. As for Jezebel and her counterparts, dnt worry. I am sitted in front of a mirror with a bowl of water and 7 candles in multiple colours…….i will stop here for now. Sister Delle, please meet me in my Royal Boudoir. we have to decide the punishment for Sapphira and La Jezebel

        • Delle
          September 02, 10:20 Reply

          Hahaha. I think I have the perfect punishment already!

        • Pink Panther
          September 02, 11:50 Reply

          Hahahahahahahaa!!! Zilayefa, you’re such a delight.

  4. Mandy
    September 02, 07:43 Reply

    As long as you’ve got your brother, that’s all that matters. Now you have one recognised ally in your family. Should you decide to willfully sashay out of your closet, you know someone who will speak up for you.
    ????? The force is truly with you.

    PS: Is this quarrel you are having with Declan the reason you have refused to bring him back to us? ???

  5. Alex
    September 02, 08:09 Reply

    Indeed, you answer to no one… I answer to no one… but then, I feel two people that I love so much in my family knows and none has confronted me with such… Well, lastly, I still owe no one an explanation. This is inspiring really. I can’t deal with a woman’s wahala when me gaan is wahala raised to the power of 9. Lol… I love children, yes, but no no no, not a woman’s wahala…. I can’t deal…

    • Delle
      September 02, 10:17 Reply

      You can’t deal with a woman’s wahala or you can’t deal with ‘veejayjay?’

      • wondabuoy
        September 08, 15:28 Reply

        Is it the vjj that makes a man straight?

  6. ambivalentone
    September 02, 08:48 Reply

    Tears pooled in my eyes as I read this. The feeling of being out is so euphoric that you just want to blurt it out on roof tops. While my siblings know of my anti-marriage stance, only my cousin knows I am outrightly gay and we don’t talk about it…perhaps because I don’t want to. I’m not where you are yet, Pinky, but one can’t keep living on this blog, reading the stories and not get the urge to shake off the shackles of the closet and live free.

    That’s not to say when Bobrisky’s arguments come up, I side her. Some people don’t just know the value of good skin until u r faced with a skin condition.

    September 02, 08:52 Reply

    When it comes to cousins and co, I don’t think I give a heck! The only people I would feel hurt if they don’t accept me are my direct siblings… My senior sister has the password to my phone and patterns to my app, if she finds out anything any day and ask me! my answer would be ‘yes’.. if you care to ask, I would answer.
    Pinky nne oma , hapu ndi a! In as much as such times are hard to deal with just weluya nwayo.
    see that thing we saying about people outside the country? they get a better knowledge of been gay there than in Nigeria.

  8. Kainene
    September 02, 09:18 Reply

    hmmm I once heard we can actually love family without liking them…bitch thats wrong…its possible to HATE them….my own na kosaaaa they know they will not confront me…my immediate family is okay with me, all thousand and some odd number of my extended family follow me on every social media I’m on. like I’d always say…its better they suffer the heart attack when their hearts are still young and stand a chance of surviving it….biko live ur life pinky if they prove to be double nuisances as Faye would say….”block DAT bitch!”

  9. Viera
    September 02, 09:18 Reply



    Anytime I tell peeps I won’t get married
    straight people cringe and lament
    gay people say because you’re gay abi
    honestly I don’t believe in marriage….the Kourtney Kadarshian way..just want to have kids and be fine
    I planned my life and told my mum I don’t want to get married she agreed
    I have two children presently I’m about 25 and my partner has a son too
    that being said
    lol I don’t even know if I have cousins or not, I’m not a huge fan of family ties, apart from my mum children sisters(I’m the only male child) my boyfriend nobody else is family I don’t care about one cousin abi one grand uncle I believe in what I see if u didn’t sponsor me through school or give me a dime in my life you don’t have a right to give me a guide on how to live my life

    I think it’s very important@ least one of your family members know about your sexuality because of unforseen circumstances and by family I mean..those people I mentioned earlier not your uncle’s brother’s sisters ex girlfriend

    no punctuation sorry….

    • Delle
      September 02, 10:13 Reply

      You have kids and a partner? Seriously, KDians need to start telling us some things biko and how they happened!

      • Viera
        September 02, 11:02 Reply

        shebi pink panther likes to write long oyinbo story that dinor concern us
        I have a feeling so many people have deep stories to tell that we all can relate to
        pinky give us that forum
        chronicles of different Nigerian gay men especially kdians let’s read and learn

        • Delle
          September 02, 12:59 Reply

          Umm Viera, he has given us the platform to do that and much more. I don’t think there’s any one that can come up to say PP bounced his mail or something. So why not dust your sleeves and pen something down and send to Let’s see how it doesn’t get a slot here…

  10. simba
    September 02, 09:24 Reply

    Pinky, congratulations dear. you are loved, nothing shall bring me joy when my mother will know how i love boys and crave for boys love…honestly i dont care if she ll accept or disown me but independent and can survive without family..afterall i already have a family that i chose…my gay brothers, yah we raise hell but deep down, we ll kill to protect each other.

  11. Delle
    September 02, 10:11 Reply

    Really PP, the struggle is real. Sometimes, it gets so dark around me, around we gay folks, you just feel like you’d die from asphyxiation. The depression swallows you up and it’s like you have no way to escape. Apparently, not everyone would understand. Not everyone would be accepting. But the most important is being accepting of yourself and having a support system (someone sweet told me that).

    I’m happy your brother accepts and loves you for who you are and what you stand for. At least now it’s certified that he truly understands. There’s really no truer inner peace that comes with knowing that you are accepted by those you call loved ones and that’s why I recently came out to two of my cousins. We got closer even after my revelation.
    I’m still subtly educating my younger siblings on how not to discriminate people so that eventually, when they are grown and happen to discover who I am, what I am, they wouldn’t be spooked.

    On another note, thanks a lot for last night. You are a darling in sparkles!

  12. Canis VY Majoris
    September 02, 11:11 Reply

    Cousins¿¿¿¿¿????, what are those again?

    Well, if PP doesn’t lead the ‘closet disapparation agenda’ who else will?.

    Lead on!. Some will follow.

    • Pink Panther
      September 02, 11:56 Reply

      Hahahahahahahaa!!! All that’s left is for me to gain admission into Hogwarts. Think you can get a word in with whoever’s the headmaster these days?

      • IBK
        September 02, 16:42 Reply

        It’s McGonagall

        The school still has a strict anti-muggle policy.. Sorry hunty.

        • Canis VY Majoris
          September 02, 19:45 Reply

          LOL PP isn’t a muggle. He just missed the mail ‘cos owls are mistaken for Mothers-in-law here.

  13. Brian Collins
    September 02, 11:30 Reply

    Wow, was really close to tears. Declaring you new found love for your brother was everything. I am glad things changed between you and him.

  14. Terra
    September 02, 12:33 Reply

    I have one question. Why is it only the “tenth” that the devil pitched that stuck? What about the first to the ninth?

  15. Klaus
    September 02, 12:51 Reply

    cousin’s? they’re too scared to even talk to me muchless ask if I’m gay. whether i no go hang them, nonsense bunch. my junior brother knows I’m gay tho, he has seen me in many many compromising positions with guys, once he saw me rimming! lol, we don’t talk about it, he doesn’t even act like he’s bothered or anything. he’s also friends with some of my guys!

  16. Delle
    September 02, 13:01 Reply

    PP, seriously though, did you snatch all educational rights? Your cousins’ grammatical syntactics though…ohkay o.

  17. dickson clement
    September 02, 16:01 Reply

    I admire that you have taken strong decisions concerning marriage. Most impressed that you are vocal about it. Its something somepple don’t have a clear decision on

  18. Francis
    September 02, 17:31 Reply

    PP, this your liver na premium grade. Having sex with homophobes down the hall. ???

    Congrats man.

    Let’s hope when I eventually come out I’d still have access to my nephews as I’m trying to like and fit into the role of gay uncle.

  19. Baraj
    September 02, 22:51 Reply

    People mostly don’t react well to things they don’t comprehend, things against their self belief, things against their doctrine. Everyone has a right to voice their own opinion about their stand on homosexuality. They don’t need to be schooled about what they like or what they hate, as it is all suggestive. Funny how gay people quickly feel they are rejected by family members simply because of a sheer standout of individual opinion. Alright, fine. You want them to accept something they stand against, something against their culture, they should accept homosexuality because you hv come out to them, and if they dont u start name calling, feeling rejected and all sort of bullshits. Who told u that u can actually school them of their own opinions and decisions. I will end here by saying an opinion is an opinion.

    • Dimkpa
      September 03, 04:22 Reply

      Everyone does have a right to voice their opinion about homosexuality just like we gay people have a right to voice our opinion about homophobia and bigotry.

      It is sad how you reduce this to ‘opinions and feelings’. I bet Akin and all of those who have been kitoed, lynched and thrown off the roof of buildings wished it was just an opinion their attackers had. I bet the young man who committed suicide in Nsukka was only confronted by the feelings and not rejection of his family. I bet a lot of the youth thrown out of their homes in countries, where children have a voice to speak their minds, would have wished it was just an opinion their parents or guardians had. I guess the antigay law in Nigeria stifling the lives of gay people was just an opinion. I imagine the 50 people killed in Orlando would prefer the shooter only used his mouth against them.

      It is disheartening how some of us fail to understand that this issue is about lives and happiness. Homophobia kills, it is serious business and we should understand that. It is not just an opinion, it is a weapon that destroys lives.

      I see something wrong with any family member who rejects their sibling or relation, disregards all the memories, shared experiences and all they have known about their relation because he is gay. If hatred for homosexuality is greater than love for your family then something is not right with that love. We are designed to live in families and strive for acceptance especially that of our family. It hurts and causes psychological problems when they value ideologies over us. Even the Bible says “How can you say you love God who you have not seen but you don’t love your brother who you can see?” Yet that is what people do everyday in the name of religion, loving religion note than their relatives.

      And as for culture, homosexuality was as much a part of African culture before the white man came. It is a sad commentary on Africans that we followed the western world and disregarded our own customs and now they have changed we hang on to the errors they thought. I recently learnt that the king of Buganda in Uganda, that is so homophobic now, had a harem of young men before the white men came.

      People need to be schooled, that’s what life is about. It is said you should keep learning till you die and it is for us to teach that lesson on homosexuality because it is our lives we are fighting for. How would the civil rights movement have achieved their aim if they sat back and said “an opinion is an opinion” with regard to the issue of racism?

      You may be comfortable making excuses for homophobia but every day I read comments on this blog, I am reassured that many more of us are not. I would advise you to join the train, you will be much happier. Trust me.

    • Mandy
      September 03, 04:54 Reply

      You fool yourself if you think homophobia is just an opinion. An opinion is that thing that when said and its contrary to another, you can dust off the hurt and carry on. Homophobia is NOT like that! homophobia kills! Homophobia is wrong! Homophobia should NOT be condoned! Any human sentiment that seeks to belittle nother human, cause another human distress, take away lives and hope for living – is WRONG! The nerve of you to come here and attempt to lecture us on how homophobia is just a mere opinion. If its such an opinion to you, why don’t you go on and come out to a legion of gay haters, you know, express your gayness as an opinion and see how well that ‘argument’ will work out. Rubbish!

      • Pink Panther
        September 03, 04:56 Reply

        It’s sad really, very sad when even gay people try to make excuses for homophobia.

    • Peak
      September 03, 05:42 Reply

      “People mostly don’t react well to things they don’t comprehend, things against their self belief, things against their doctrine” .

      @Baraj, the Key word in ur opening sentence is COMPREHEND! If someone lives in ignorance of his surroundings because they are far too invested and wrapped up in their wealth of “self knowledge”, the greatest gift you can give such a person is an EDUCATION. If I am to work with ur comment, “Schooling” then becomes the appropriate word of choice.

      Even The bible says my people perish out of lack of knowledge.
      Hate and rejection is a disease that is responsible for identity crises in young people, cripples self esteem, causes eating disorder, rendered so many people mentally unstabled, and other related mental illnesses and ultimately claimed more lives than I can begin to enumerate and this doesn’t just apply to gay people, but the entire population. Imagine not being recognised by ur society and having to live in fear, secrecy and endless maze of lies. If these factors are not enough to educate people how damaging their ignorance is, then I don’t know what is.

      Would you tell a mother who shows up at school to complain about the mental issues his/her ward or child is suffering as a result of being bullied, to suck it up and keep quiet because …after all the bully is only airing his OPINION and has right to his self believes?

      Would you consider an employer or anyone at all, telling ur mother or sister that they are incompetent or worthless on the grounds that they of the female gender?…I mean its his SELF BELIEVE and OPINION.

      Would you ve considered it laudible if our ancestors who had pushed for Nigerianisation and subsequently the independence of the Nigerian state, had sat back and not demanded for autonomy? Afterall, the colonial masters were of the OPINION that we aren’t fit to rule or head anything.

      Would you love to exist in an era where slavery is still a lucrative business? I am sure that there are some white people out there who are STILL of the OPINION that you are worth nothing more than an intelligent animal this is supposed to be owned and used.

      I am sure u get my where I am going with this OPINION talk. If people don’t know, comprehed0nd, understand etc. The appropriate response is to SCHOOL them. Add everything Dimpka said, and you begin to understand that, gay people aren’t asking for too much but a chance to breathe. To fill their lungs with air without fear of having their lungs punctured because of someone’s SELF BELIEF and DOCTRINS. Gay people are humans. Flesh and blood like you. When did it become ok to deny them the one thing that you didn’t give in the first place?…LIFE!

      As for Homosexuality not being part of our culture, I am sure ur religion, whatever you are wearing, ur accommodation and whatever aided u in leaving ur above comment have a lot to say about that.

      • R.A
        September 03, 07:12 Reply

        And that was how Peak handed someone a Bsc Cert. Thanks for schooling

  20. posh666
    September 03, 10:52 Reply

    Honestly we that find ourselves born into this lifestyle really need to toughen up and learn to let things and people go easily be it family member,blood brother or sis so long as they dont treat you right..learn to let go of people easily aND keep it moving.Life is too short!

  21. KingBey
    September 05, 02:47 Reply

    This is why I touch family issues with a long stick. Best avoided. Only one Cousin knows my sexual orientation and he’s cool with it. I told him during a casual chat and he responded with a “Lol….I have always known” The rest are younger anyways so them no get mind to question me. As for my brothers, it’s strictly a Don’t Ask Don’t Tell thing. I suspect my immediate elder brother knows as he has made some sarcastic remarks in the past which I ignored. Lol. I always do that. Ignore or act very cool. The others no send. My Mum I believe knows as she keeps advising me to stay off “umu nwoke” whatever that means. Then funny enough, she keeps asking about one guy who’s my namesake. Saying that she really likes that one and doesn’t want me to loose his contact. Well, calm down mom, he’s been replaced with a perfect version and I’m sure you will love Bae. Lol. Mom is fine as long as I’m able to take care of myself and MARRY ! That is the war. *sigh* The other day, she said she doesn’t care any longer if I marry a White or Muslim girl….and quoted how Mrs Obi’s son came back from Indonesia with an Asian woman. I just hope she doesn’t blackmail me into a marriage I will later get to regret because I want to please her.

  22. Lord Naughtiness
    September 14, 01:14 Reply

    There is nothing more fulfilling than acceptance…. I just can’t stop tearing up…. This remind me of the book walking with shadows, when the guys brother told him he loved him….??????????

    • posh666
      September 14, 08:21 Reply

      Pls do you have the E copy of the walking with shadows?

  23. Tariq
    May 15, 20:11 Reply

    I hardly really relate nor have close ties with my cousins n their parents n so, no worries on that end…

    I simply fear that I may never be able to come out to my family… (Mother n sibs),..they r all educated n religious lol…

    I am super close with my sister who has been abroad for almost ten years n is super exposed.. Buh hell no!

    Her stay abroad did not relieve her of her religiousness… U need to hear her talk about her white boss n his incessant PDA with his boyfriend…

    Lol..u can feel her homophobia/hatred of d community from her words n descriptions..

    So no….I owe nobody a coming out

    I always wanted to get married n see how it goes…

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