HIS COMING OUT STORY (Edition 8)

HIS COMING OUT STORY (Edition 8)

April 3rd, 2017. I decided to take my sister out to swim. It was her 20th birthday and I’m her big brother. I decided also to introduce her to my best friend and my (then) boyfriend (who’s currently my ex), so I invited them both to the pool. I’d been yearning to come out to my family. So, over time, I’d dropped subtle, deliberate hints. Debated sexuality. Proffered alternative solutions to imprisoning gays. Introducing my sister to the guy I was dating was just another hint I was hoping she would pick up on.

It was all good when she met my bestie, Terrence, who is slightly effeminate, and more so when she met my boyfriend, Dera, who was quite muscly. And something of a Facebook celeb, something I hadn’t considered when I invited him out to hang with us.

We were all at the Lagos State Airport Hotel. I went out (in my briefs) to bring Dera in, and when we got to the pool, the party began. You see, I didn’t realize that there were so many community members there – not until Dera showed up and began commanding all the attention. Long story short, if I was looking for a coming out party, this was it, what with all the guys that swarmed my ex when he showed up.

The outing was soon over and it was time to go home. My sister was happy. Terrence was glad I’d finally introduced him to bae, and Dera and I enjoyed all the PDA we could get away with without getting arrested or lynched.

Then at home, my sister and I were regaling our father with the gist of our pool outing. Then it was late at night, midnight, the time when my family likes to have our periodic family meetings, to evaluate our values, goals and straighten things out.

The topic on the menu that night was my aunt’s wedding in the East, JAMB exams for me and two of my sisters, NOUN prospects, and financial and logistics planning for everything listed. The sister for whose birthday I took out, intended to make what we considered a mistake of taking her exams in the East and we were trying to talk her out of it –

When she suddenly had this brilliant idea of diverting the heat from her to me and my sexuality.

Okay, this wasn’t the first time she’d insinuated or called me out for being gay. But in the past, everyone simply thought she was ragging on me. That night however, my father was done with the drama. He looked at me and asked me plainly, “Armstrong, your sister has been saying this over and again and I want it to stop. Tell us, are you a gay?”

It took me about ten seconds to work the math in my head, to figure out what sort of damage control route to take should things go awry. It was what I wanted, but now that it was suddenly here, I wasn’t sure of the decision Fate had placed in my hands to disrupt my family. And after what felt like an eternity, I answered, “Yes, I am.”

There was silence.

Everyone looked struck speechless with shock.

Then, my two sisters broke out in titters. Their laughter gained volume and momentum as they observed my parents’ stupefied reaction to my response.

Then, my father regained himself and ordered them to their room. Which they did, still laughing.

It was finally just me and my parents. In the discussion that ensued, I drew on all my strength to tell them all about my past as a homosexual man. About how I thought it was an addiction. How I prayed and fasted about it. Visited Redemption Camp. Took on a mentor. They were slightly more compassionate than I’d anticipated, considering that I was stern when they were began suggesting conversion therapy. I told them that whatever it was they wanted to do to take the gay away from me, I’d be willing to participate in, so long as it didn’t endanger my life.

But that this is who I am and I don’t see it changing soon.

And that was it. My father dismissed me and I went to bed. We didn’t talk about it much afterwards. They didn’t try to lecture me and I didn’t start doing any “gay things” I didn’t already use to do.

But I knew it wasn’t over. My mother liked to take her elder brother into her confidence. So, she was bound to tell him about this issue.

She did, not only telling him but some of my older cousins as well. And I was summoned for a more extended family meeting, where they criticised my parents’ raising of their children, criticised their faith, blamed them for me being gay, highlighted all the signs I’d exhibited as a child, bullied me verbally, and persuaded me to desist. A cousin told me of the homosexuals in his school at Nsukka and how they followed big men around to their ultimate demise. It was then I realized how misguided their understanding of sexuality was, but I wasn’t an expert either. I was still learning and coming to terms with my sexuality, so who was I to teach them what I didn’t myself fully understand?

However, like I did when they tried hard to convince and intimidate me into returning to the Catholic church after I left a few years back, I maintained my cool. I told them what I told my parents about anything to get me to change, as long as it wasn’t something that would endanger my life. I wanted to see them try. I had on afro then, and someone suggested cutting my hair as a remedy. LOL! So of course, I got a complete shave.

In the end, we didn’t follow through with any conversion treatment plan, but I dug the haircut.

And all is (un)well that ends well. The years have passed, and some things have changed while others have stayed the same. My immediate family has stayed tolerant since then, even though they worry about my safety but trust me enough to be a responsible adult.

Dera and I broke up.

Terrence and I are no longer close; with my journey to self-acceptance came the sharp disparity in where we were as gay men. I was working to vanquish my inner demons and he was comfortable stewing in his.

And I’ve forever been in a complicated relationship status till the foreseeable future.

That’s it, I guess. Thanks for letting me share.

Written by Jay Armstrong

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30 Comments

  1. Fred
    April 19, 07:10 Reply

    Came out without scratches and scrapes?
    You’re one tough brother.

    I see better days ahead for you.

  2. littlepuppy🐶
    April 19, 07:47 Reply

    it’s better than most coming out story.

    can i add you on Facebook?😜

  3. trystham
    April 19, 07:57 Reply

    Wait! Terrence, the slightly effeminate gay guy was stewing in his familiarity with his inner demons while u were battling yours? I see

    • Mandy
      April 19, 09:40 Reply

      You sound like you know the back story. 🍵

    • Jay Armstrong
      April 19, 10:19 Reply

      Trystham dear, I understand the ambiguity in that paragraph.

      Anyways, Bestie and I are no longer as close; he’s that kinda gay that refutes the tb tag but embodies what it means to be. (For further info, read http://kitodiaries.com/the-problematic-nature-of-tb/ ). He still wishes to get married to a lady eventually and put this game behind him….

      • Higwe
        April 19, 12:39 Reply

        So Jay …..
        Assuming I came to you as a young , flummoxed gay guy still coming to terms with my sexuality ….

        And the only experience I’ve had thus far …..are random guys who chat me up and identify as TB …

        And I came to you , as a more experienced gay man ….so you can give me a perfect clarity of what the TB stuff is all about .

        That is the article you’d refer to me ? 🤨

        • Delle
          April 19, 13:41 Reply

          Only if you’re one who’s open to learning, has a good brain for comprehension and miles away from high-handedness, sure!

          But I see how the article won’t help YOU.

          🙂

          • Higwe
            April 19, 21:09 Reply

            I’ve been a member of KD since 2017 .

            A good portion of my stay here , I spent merely observing.

            You see I’m quite fascinated with people …..

            And it is especially intriguing when everyone is an anonymous ….it puts your imagination to work…..

            You never quite piqued my interest , but you were everywhere for quite sometime and it would have been impossible not to notice you.

            And what I did notice during that evanescent period I paid mind to you …….is that you reek of inferiority complex and you have a very malignant case of low self esteem.

            Yes , you might be nice (many people are )
            Yes , you might actually be a decent human.

            But there is just some absurdities in your comments that make it limpidly obvious ,that you’re trying too hard to make an impression.

            You remind of a clown in a circus play … donning out his tricks, but everyone (cept for the kids of course ) knows they’re not real .

            You’ve made kitodiaries your bailiwick …where you get to be everything reality denied you ….and that’s cool *I mean that’s the beauty of the internet*

            But you know what’s not cool ?

            Always thinking your opinion is a fact -Yes , your opinion might represent that of the majority -I always see people commend you ,so you must be doing something right -but there are always the minorities …..I know they exist because I’ve been one of them for the majority of my stay in kitodiaries …. sitting on the sidelines and asking the important question – what if ?
            Trying to find another route that could have lead to an action .

            If you were not beclouded by the stench of your lies and insecurities , you’d know that there are people that will always have a different perspective of things ….and nope, they’re not doing it to for attention , they’re doing it because that’s how they genuinely feel .An authentic person can relate but then ……..

            You know what’s not cool? …. Thinking being catty makes you fearsome …..

            You’re obviously a feminine guy ….and that is pretty cool.

            I have a lot of feminine gay friends and they’re very sweet , level- headed , talented and very intelligent .

            I can imagine what growing up was for you ….you probably grew up to people undermining your capabilities, feminizing you and making you feel inadequate .

            And you’ve adopted this belligerent, querulous persona as your defence mechanism …..I’ve seen you consistently shut people down (on kitodiaries ), people you can’t even step up to in real life : Doctors , Lawyers , Family men ….

            But then the internet and a mostly anonymous blog is a safe haven for people like you to display their gauche personalities.

            You know what’s not cool ? …… Overrating your intellectual capabilities .

            Your hackneyed comeback is always trying to imply that whomever you’re having a tussle with is not intelligent or as informed as you are …..which consistently leaves me flummoxed …. because I keep asking myself ” what exactly does this dude know ?”

            Yes , you have an encyclopedia for bottoming …
            You have a manual for gay etiquette ….
            You’re quite a sesquipedalian….

            But be stripped of the gay element (which seems to be becoming the cynosure of your existence ) what else do you have ?

            What groundbreaking feat have you achieved Mr Delle that makes you think you’re credible enough to look vilipendly on others or call their intellgence to question ?

            Tell me MR Delle , have you ever not lived a protected life ……have you had to rely on your whims , capricious instincts and ability to think on your feet – to survive ?

            What avant- garde trend have you started and succeeded ?

            You’re a nobody ….
            An underachiever ,whose only claim to fame is- a fading popularity in an anonymous blog.

            If your much touted ” intelligence ” can’t fetch you more than that …..then it’s about time you sat your flat ass down and come to terms with the fact ,that you’re not as intelligent as you think you are .

            __________________

            At the end of the day , I blame myself for heeding to my emotions and not my head and actually glorifying you with a reply .
            But be rest assured , I don’t make a mistake twice …..

            ———————–

            As for that elitist piece of trashy article you wrote ……Keredim have already given you a befitting reply .
            There is nothing I could say that could possibly top that 🤣🤣

            Au revoir …
            Peace. 🙏 😘

            • trystham
              April 19, 21:21 Reply

              FINALLY. Kumbaya is on holiday. Missed this shii

            • Audrey
              April 19, 23:49 Reply

              Hi Higwe, this probably might not mean a thing to you but You and Mr Delle up there happen to be one of my favourite people on this platform and I’ve always said to myself “I need people like this in my circle”…..But I’ve come to realize that you both have each other by the throat which I don’t find cool in anyway.

              Firstly I was thinking(Might be wrong though) one of the aims of having a platform like this is/was to show support to each other and at least unwind knowing that outside the harsh realities of the homophobia that we battle each day in our society that we have each other but I think I was wrong.Secondly this platform isn’t a place for power or intellectual tussle as we are all beautiful in our own way,We have our various strengths and as humans we are sure ridden with flaws but as a person I think I’d rather be with a Person knows my flaws Yet applauds my strengths and pushes me to be a better person than someone who is seriously in a battle of outdoing whatever feat it is I think I’ve achieved for myself.

              That said, I beg you both with whatsoever you both hold most sacred(And even those who have decided to be in the business of taking sides whatsoever on a faceless blog) to please shealth your sword and let love lead.Lets all Live and let live bikonu

              • Mariposa
                April 20, 12:28 Reply

                So True… I applaud you @Audrey.

                I wonder where Pink Panther is… This is the time for him to settle these guys. Ask them what the issue is…

                People are reading this, people wanna be guided but how can that happen when the Same Community wants to devour themselves… Reasons like this gives useless idiotic TBs the liver abi kidney to set up their fellow Community. This platform has really helped me alot and I believe others can testify but with the way things are going right now… It could take a Bad Turn.

            • KingBey
              April 20, 06:07 Reply

              Oh dear lord! Higwe, can I marry you for this comment? You’ve simply said it all. Some insignificant people hiding behind social media and online platforms to act all sleek and cool. When in reality, they are actually nobodys. People you won’t even look at twice on the street. 😂😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

            • Miles
              April 20, 06:46 Reply

              Higwe😂😂😂…. You did that!! You totally disfigured a certain group of people that feel they own KD.

            • Delle
              April 20, 09:57 Reply

              Ah! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

              You must have gone through a lot of pain. At the end of the day, you do not know the person who’s Delle.
              I, this person behind the Delle, attack comments not PEOPLE. I question people’s (written) thoughts because that’s the reason, has to be, the thoughts were written (to be read and criticized). We really do not do well with criticism and that’s okay, I do not do so well myself.

              But you see, all you wrote up there is quite shabby and almost shameful but ‘Higwe’ to me is only a pseudonym, a presence on KD. There probably is more to you and that doesn’t matter to me. You do not see me come after your person, your achievements (if any), your persona because I DO NOT KNOW YOU. Except you’ve taken the pain to know who I am beyond KD, I can comfortably say you do not know me as well. You think I do not have issues? You think I’m Buhari’s P.A?🤣

              Thank God I’ve never extolled myself in any entry. I’m not the one who is all about how ripped he is and all that vanity.

              People will react to this (amazingly sad) comment of yours with either awe, disappointment, admiration but at the end (except for those who know beyond here), you only came at Delle so why should the person, the real body behind the moniker, be perturbed by an epistle borne from hurt and sensitivity? I hope you get how this was quite a waste of time.

              Let me tell you what would have been productive:

              Attack my comments. Attack my line of thoughts. Make me see how my input is wrong. You can keep wanting to see the other side of things (and in truth, that’s an okay thing. We shouldn’t always be for one thing but even that doesn’t mean people won’t find your opinions about something questionable and trust me, I am one of such persons. Unapologetic about this as well 🙂), ), we’ll be here.

              At the end, I hope you’re alright Higwe.

      • Colossus
        April 19, 22:19 Reply

        Oh c’mon, we can’t keep referencing that write up as mantra. Didn’t we agree its elitist?

        • trystham
          April 20, 10:57 Reply

          Nope. We did not. It is still correct reference material in the better identification of people battling their sexualities long term and people who have come to terms with whom they are.

  4. Mandy
    April 19, 09:42 Reply

    This is one of the easiest coming out stories I’ve ever read here. Kudos to your family. And kudos to you for owning your truth.
    Next, introduce them to your next serious boyfriend 😀

    • Jay Armstrong
      April 19, 10:13 Reply

      Or so it would seem. I’ve been summoned home for the Easter hols, most likely to be evaluated because of a post I made recently confronting the idea of the SSMPA.

      🙂🤞

      • Mandy
        April 19, 11:08 Reply

        Do let us know how that goes.

  5. Omiete
    April 19, 11:21 Reply

    This was a nice read. I am glad you are okay and weren’t hurt. Coming out can never be easy and the journey to self acceptance is a long and personal one.

  6. bamidele
    April 19, 11:47 Reply

    You’ve got a great family there. Even though they might not be comfortable with with the idea of gayness, they seem to love, value, and accept you the way you are. and this is what matters.

  7. BRYAN PETERS
    April 19, 15:54 Reply

    What a nice story. This is the type of thing some of us hope to have

  8. Colossus
    April 19, 22:16 Reply

    Impressive and kudos to your immediate family, they are tolerant than most.

  9. kristo
    April 20, 18:16 Reply

    Armstrong can I know you?___________

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