”It’s only normal for you feel aroused.”

”But not when it’s a guy,” I replied.

”Listen, you’ve always liked girls, you can’t all of a sudden feel attracted to boys,” she countered.

This was the conversation that happened between my mum and I when I tried explaining to her that I might be gay. If only she knew, I thought to myself.

I was 14 at this time, and hadn’t realized what I was doing by telling her what I did. But I remember feeling an extreme need to tell my mum the way I felt towards my male friends, something she failed to grasp, or simply chose to deny. I was born into a religious, extended family; I have a brother and sister, but I have also lived with my uncles and aunties and family friends. Yes, my mum was quite the ‘philanthropist’.

Growing up gay, I had often deemed myself ”inadequate” and the ”disappointment” of the family. I love my mum and was always scared of how heartbroken she would feel if she found out her beloved son was gay. Yet it was a burden I couldn’t bear to keep to myself. Due to my religious upbringing, I had labeled myself the ‘ultimate disappointment’, both to God and to man. Growing up wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences.

As I got older however, a change in views started to occur; I became more and more open with my lifestyle, and much more comfortable with my sexuality. I no longer lived with my mum and didn’t feel the same restraints I felt growing up. My concern of being a disappointment to the church and to God began to quickly vanish, to be replaced with a certain disdain and contempt for the same church that had constantly chastised and persecuted me for something that was beyond my control.

Despite my new found indulgence in and exploration of my new lifestyle, I still felt the urge to let my family know about my sexual orientation. The fear of their reaction was the only stumbling block. My sister and my dad had asked me a few times and I had denied every single time. I’d even overheard my dad voicing his concern about my sexuality to my mum once. But she was adamant that I was like one of my older cousins who started showing interest in females as he grew older. My uncle, once a prisoner in Saudi Arabia had come back telling tales of gay men having sex and their ‘private spots’ in the Prison Cells, something he seemed rather amused about. So I was sure of my sister’s suspicion, my dad’s über-suspicion, my mum’s denial, and my uncle’s amusement at my lifestyle. But about the rest of the family I wasn’t sure what reaction I would get.

Soon enough, I decided it was time to face my fears one after the other, so I started by letting my brother know about some flings I’d had with a friend of his. He showed more disbelief at the fact that a friend of his was actually gay, than he showed at me being gay. He simply shrugged and said, ”I can’t believe Emmanuel is gay.” Surprised, I quickly attributed his indifference to the fact that he was just as godless as I was. Still, encouraged by my brother’s reaction, I braced myself for the real task of coming out to my religious sister.

Thus, one day, while watching a movie with my sister and discussing her boy problems with her, I was prepared for the eventuality that she would pop the question again. And she did just that!

”Tobi,” she said, holding my hands. ”I’m your sister, right?”

”Of course…”

”So, why don’t you just tell me, are you gay?”

”Why do you want to know?” I asked, hedging.

”Just answer, are you gay?”

I expected an overreaction, drama, an influx of questions! And of course, another reminder of how my life ”choice” was a sinful one. I expected yet another boring and tiring narration of the tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. I thought it would be weird, I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life!

But again, I was surprised instead. I got as far as: “Hey, you know I’m gay—” before she interrupted me with a look. For a minute she didn’t say a word, just stared. Finally she grinned wildly,

“Yeah, I know Tobi, I just wanted to confirm…”  And then the dreaded influx of questions started coming. ”So, do you fuck them, or do they fuck you?”, ”How is it like?”, ”When did you start being gay?”, ”Are you the man or the woman?”. Although I was ticked off at some of the questions, I was willing to satisfy her curiosity, as I knew there was no malicious intent behind the questions. After a hear-to-heart discussion, she rested her head on my shoulder, and everything returned to normalcy. It was like nothing happened!

I’m yet to come out to either of my parents, but the reactions I’ve gotten from my siblings have given me hope that things aren’t as dim as I initially thought. Their support and love have encouraged me to continue to live my life proud of the way I am. A gay individual.

Written by Tobi

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  1. Christopher B!
    November 11, 05:11 Reply

    You got guts, and should be thankful for the loving family you’ve got. It seems you are effeminate that’s why they all suspected. I doubt if I can ever come out. I don’t really see the need to anyway. On my own time when the time is right it might happen. But certainly who ever I am going to marry will have to know. I owe her that respect.

    • daniel
      November 11, 06:06 Reply

      I agree with u chris… Coming out to my parents will be the beginning of another world war, my pastor father will eventually take me for deliverance, and my disciplinarian mother will do what she’s known for, DISCIPLINE. My siblings r too small to bother them with my sexuality, so u see, as far as coming out sounds healthy, I’ll pass but the most important thing is whoever I marry must know ahead, I hate drama..

      • pinkpanthertb
        November 11, 06:11 Reply

        When you say whoever you marry must know ahead, are you talking about full disclosure of your sexuality to your future missis?

      • daniel
        November 11, 07:13 Reply

        Yes pinky.. Missis must be aware..
        A community sista might be a nice idea..

        • pinkpanthertb
          November 11, 07:16 Reply

          That’s only when you have a hope of it working. Becos I thought u actually imagined a straight woman hearing that her future husband is gay and will still intend to marry him

    • king
      November 11, 07:08 Reply

      & by owing her that respect,do u plan on continuing ur trysts with guys?

      • daniel
        November 11, 07:16 Reply

        Well, that’s a difficult one King, but we’ll discuss it before marriage.. But I’ll love to stop doing guys at 40, the feelings will still linger but I hope to control it. I hope.

      • king
        November 11, 07:23 Reply

        Daniel,sorry to burst ur bubble bit what u are asking for ‘ll be damn difficult. And homosexuality is not sth u turn on & off

      • daniel
        November 11, 07:29 Reply

        U don’t choose who u love but u can choose who u sleep with Pinky and King, I never said I’ll turn of my gayness, I can decide to only do my wife when I’m married.

        I wonder y u guys run away from talks of marriage when 70% of u will still get married.

      • Khaleesi
        November 11, 09:56 Reply

        I don’t know sha, but i always find this ‘I’ll stop doing guys @ xyz years old’ pretty strange … well goodluck with that… hope it works for you…

  2. Rapu'm
    November 11, 06:15 Reply

    I wish you luck, Tobi. We need more people like you, brave and true. What we need is to be seen (by loved ones: friends and family), not a nationwide revolution, and it won’t be long and attitude towards will change. And you are doing your bit. You’re invaluable. Stay happy, bro!

  3. enigmous
    November 11, 06:27 Reply

    Awwwww…lovely siblings you’ve got. I think that sometimes we create our biggest fears ourselves only to see it is not as bad as it seems. Will I come out? We shall see.

  4. PrudeBloke
    November 11, 06:37 Reply

    Tobi I’m sure things will eventually turn out right after your parents know although there might be problems at first… As for me,I certainly know what I want and when I’m ready I will tell them .. My mum is the religious kinda woman though amazing which makes it hard to do knowing that she would be heartbroken as she was some years back when a case came up about my sexuality,then my dad will get angry,I’m sure but I’m sure he’s the one that can come to terms later that’s if mum allows him (lol) .. My immediate brother knows and he never mentions it,he’s just so nonchalant about it and the last brother I have is just like my mum,they are both anti-gay,homophobic … All I am trying to say is,I will tell them if the need arises,and I really wouldn’t love a lie by marrying a woman and also cheat on a lady with a guy as most married men do here in Nigeria .. And as for Christopher and Daniel, I wonder which sane straight woman will acknowledge the fact that her husband sleeps with men and still stay put.. Mmm that woman must be a robot .. Lol …#justsaying …. Id rather tell the truth and live with a clear conscience than to live a lie,disrespect a lady and please my family and the society at my own detriment .. #shikena

    • king
      November 11, 07:07 Reply

      Bia PrudeBloke,is that shade by any means meant for me?

      • daniel
        November 11, 07:23 Reply

        Lmao!!!! King pls take 3tabs of chill pill.

        PrudeBloke, communication is important, u can discuss it, a sane straight woman can marry a gay man, but terms and conditions must apply..

      • PrudeBloke
        November 11, 08:02 Reply

        King,I am not throwing any shade biko .. I shed light instead … King I don’t think a gay guy marrying a straight Woman will yield anything fruitful …#myOpinion and …. Daniel, like I said a woman that agrees to that is a robot .. Lol ….. You can read this post – goodmenproject.com/featured-content/im-gay-man-married-a-straight-women-try/ You will see what I’m talking about

      • king
        November 11, 08:26 Reply

        Um Pinky this is really getting seriously uncomfy that I would have to share my “title ” with someone! I think it’s very impersonating and patronizing…!

        • pinkpanthertb
          November 11, 09:16 Reply

          Oh the real king is back?
          I have told the guy to switch his pseudonym, even told him how. And even though he has acknowledged it, he still won’t heed to it.

    • lluvmua
      November 11, 09:34 Reply

      U just finished describing my famiy!

      • PrudeBloke
        November 11, 11:01 Reply

        Well Iluvmua that’s life .. People tend to be similar in certain issues

  5. simba
    November 11, 07:01 Reply

    Oh Tobi,i would have popped champagne for u.. congratulaions ur so damm strong, now ur living a true life, free from bandages…Congratulations once more

  6. Kryss S
    November 11, 08:27 Reply

    *squints closely into screen* Are you for real?! In naija, obodo oyibo or where biko? Looking so much like a well scripted Hollywood movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Lucky you shaa! My coming out would either be on my deathbed when am 100 or @ d other side *withdraws to d holies of holies of my closet nd hangs d “no disturb” sign*.

    • Dubem
      November 11, 09:35 Reply

      Someone shares his story of coming out, and you talk about it being fake? Just becos it doesnt read as difficult as how yours would be if you came out. *smh* Some people need a lesson in tactful communication.

    • king
      November 11, 13:17 Reply

      Haha haha oh Kryss you r just precious!!

  7. trystham
    November 11, 08:30 Reply

    If your mom or dad.thinks alongside with our generation,…that’s not to say we have sensible ppl in our own generation tho,…go ahead and tell it. Thats y I luv my siblings, sometimes. I dunno where they got ppl like Fabian, Declan’s bruva o.

  8. king leonidas
    November 11, 09:41 Reply

    Oh wow. Awesome Tobi. I remember when i came out to my sis when i was like 15, almst d same way u did, during a movie i made a comment abt how id havepreferred if the lead character was someoneme who looked better in greek armor and she just looked at me and said “youre into guys arent you” it wasnt a question more of a statement. Same annoying questions abt whos on top and if id hooked up wit anyone she knew. Shes d only one in my family ive come out to and im certainly in no rush to add anyone else to dat list.

  9. Khaleesi
    November 11, 09:51 Reply

    I used to find it hard to believe that thr r any open – minded families in Nigeria, but these days there’s so much evidence to the contrary. Homophobia can only begin its richly deserved death in Nigeria when more homophobes realise that they actually have loved ones who are gay. To a large extent ita true that as long as gays remain invisible and in their shadowy closets, then the ignorance and fear that feeds homophobia will continue to thrive …

    • king
      November 11, 13:11 Reply

      Too true Khaleesi very true!

  10. Brian Collins
    November 11, 10:11 Reply

    When are we gonna get the scary coming out story? The one i’d read and get shivers. The last two have been so sweetly encouraging #sadistic like that.

    • PrudeBloke
      November 11, 11:04 Reply

      Brian Collins .. Maybe you should come out of the closet yourself,so your story will turn out to be the exact story you are itching to hear… You know .. The story that gives me shivers and makes me sweat and kill any thought of coming out …

  11. Andrevn
    November 11, 11:45 Reply

    ok this actually was nice and i regard yur siblings as open minded!!!.:………………i so believe non of yu here would want to say a word if yu were in my shoes not after spend just a single Morning Devotion session with my family…….but that doesn’t stop me from living my life and so i thrive for excellence ……..#please pray with me o!.Baby cousin(girl) is missing.

    • king
      November 11, 13:15 Reply

      Ah God no Andrevin pls no! Oh I declare Lord that she be found in Jesus name!! Amen.

  12. king
    November 11, 14:07 Reply

    Sometimes when you read and participate in this blog it makes you feel at home and sort of removes the “reality” of the situation on the outside so one just wishes that the outside would just be like inside here or at least give the kind of feeling one gets by participating in this blog (well besides.the aproko Crap that sometimes occurs). So when one reads of coming out hmmm it sounds easy and doable but on the outside ha!!! Reality isn’t so kind! So let’s just be careful and gauge every atmosphere as it serves biko!!!

    • Paul
      November 11, 17:00 Reply

      And I laffd @ “d aproko crap”
      KD actualy feels like home
      In my daily activities I play all I read here in my head and imagine wat comments pple wuld hv to say to d many tins I c and perceive.
      Or dat point wen u meet some1 new and u r wondering wat KD story it culd end in.
      Welldone pinky

  13. Chizzie
    November 11, 17:20 Reply

    Glad to be back from my self-imposed sabbatical. Did I miss anything? *looks around & spots Pinky* Aunty Pinky,i promise to be a good girl this time around

    • Lothario
      November 11, 21:41 Reply

      Hmmm….you’re back! Glad you promise to be good…. Let’s see how long that lasts. How’s Ekiti? I hear you’re turning heads in camp.

  14. iamcoy
    November 11, 19:09 Reply

    Lol… chizzie In d building

  15. Ba
    November 13, 06:54 Reply

    Well i can only come out to my mum when mayb there’s a world war Z scenario in naija at that time her mind will only be on the zombies alone and not on me.heheheh

    • the doubting thomas
      January 08, 05:36 Reply

      Nice one tobi youkve got good siblings, we need more tolerant People that can be warmly receptive to gays, Another heterosexual for sexual equity

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