Fear. The underlying theme of my coming out story is fear. Fear of being discovered. Fear of being rejected. Fear of being unloved. Fear of hurting the people I love. Fear of facing my fears head-on, and then as a result, the fear of what would happen if I did.

I have always known I was different – gay – as early I can remember. From childhood, I have always been reserved, always playing with my drawing book and crayons (thank God for drawing skills). I remember my folks always asking me to go out and play and I’d sneak to the backyard instead; I was afraid that if I went out, “they” will find out. Nasty things happened as a result of that. Terrible thoughts, insomnia, suicide attempts, a nasty attitude and worst of all, I was afraid of myself. I felt like a mistake. Prayers were not working; the only thing working for me throughout secondary school was depression.

I got diagnosed with bipolar depression, and started taking some anti depression pills. And most times, I’ll OD on them with the hope that it will end my suffering. But well, the universe doesn’t make such things easy. Some people are born gay and they embrace it. The jigsaw puzzle just fits perfectly. It’s a part of them and they are proud of that, no matter what the world or anyone else tells them. That’s the way it should be for everyone! Unfortunately for me, growing up gay meant feeling isolated and alone.

The feeling I remember vividly when growing up was that of fear. Fear of been discovered, which was in between trying on my sisters outfits and lusting after Ayo, my perfect neighbour. Fear of ending my father’s family name seeing as I’m the only son of my father, who himself is the only son of his father. Fear of rejection.

Fast forward six years from all that and there’s a different story to tell. December 2013, most of my family members were in the village for the holidays and that was when it happened. My social life changed drastically in college, loads of partying, ‘loving’ and the likes and I had picked up a few bad habits.

About four days to Christmas, we were all watching an episode of Merlin, and I said it (a few hours before, I’d been smoking clouds, feeling worthless and the thought of suicide was stronger than anything I’d ever felt).

And so, I said it casually, with a poker face: “I am gay.”

It was as if time froze, and it was raining ice cold silence. For the longest time, nobody said anything or moved or even blinked. I didn’t know what to say thereafter. And then, just when I was about to explode, my younger sister shouted, “I knew it!” Everybody turned to look at her, and my most elder sister quickly gave her the Shhh gesture.

The Fuck?! Knew what? Ground, please open up and swallow me now. I just ran outside to my smoking spot and clouded some more.

A couple of days passed, and no one said a word to me. It was like nothing happened. I knew my dad was just waiting for the right time to do what he had in mind to do. And that right time happened after the Christmas shenanigans were over.  He gathered everybody and said the devil was at work in my life. After a rerun of the bylaws in the Holy books and African cultures, he proposed we conduct a fasting and prayer session every Friday until there was “a turnaround” and more shrink sessions. For three months, the prayer and fasting took place.

And then, they just stopped suddenly.

I haven’t seen my parents since then to see the look they’ll give me; they however sound cool over the phone though. My sisters are definitely not giving me the evil looks; if anything they are closer to me now than before, and way freer than they have ever been, and that includes allowing me test their outfits. I am happier today than I have ever been, and gradually I’m beginning to find love in arms that are more comfortable than a girl’s.

Writing this has made me think about the topic of coming out and how there isn’t a right or wrong formula. Everyone’s individual story is different. It’s up to the individual how and when they come out. It has to be their own decision, when and however that will be. All anyone can do is make the decision they believe is best for them. As gay men we tend to value our self-worth in how others see us, which is something that needs to change.

Perhaps the rainbow is proof that you can go through stormy weather and yet come out as something beautiful and colourful.

Written by ScarFace

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  1. Abi
    November 04, 02:41 Reply

    Ooh boy do I know how that feels?

    I should write one. Would you post it, editor?

  2. Rapu'm
    November 04, 03:00 Reply

    “As gay men we tend to value our self-worth in how others see us, which is something that needs to change.”

    That, my friend, is the punchline. Recently I was talking to this dude I liked and all I could hear from him was, “I want to be normal, I want to be happy, I want to be with society….” I was too in love to be irked. But in it all, what touched me most in our conversation was when he said, “I don’t want people’s opinion to hurt me.” So, no, I’m not gonna be dating this guy whom I liked so much I was always listening to Lana Del Ray because he “dreams to be straight”, in his own words. Yeah, there are people who haven’t accepted themselves yet. But you, my brother, are strong to have come out to family. I am out to virtulally all my friends. But to family, the idea seems SO scary.

  3. enigmous
    November 04, 03:30 Reply

    “Perhaps the rainbow is proof that you can go through stormy weather and yet come out as something beautiful and colourful”…that, my dear, is the crux of the matter. It came out so beautifully that I couldn’t agree more. Am REALLY scared of coming out, my mother is a leader in charismatic and she will just kill herself, but I give you big hugs for finding the courage. I do wish, hope and pray that one day I will summon enough courage and do the needful.

  4. daniel
    November 04, 04:33 Reply

    “Perhaps the rainbow is proof that you can go
    through stormy weather and yet come out as
    something beautiful and colourful”.

    We have an inspiring memory verse..
    Well, I don’t quite see the need of coming out to my parents, I feel like they already know, I don’t wanna give them a reminder, anyhow it goes, I’ll get there..

    And about this post, I hope some of us don’t go and start coming out when we are not ready, the storyline might not be the same..
    If u r gonna come out to ur parents, u got to do it bcos u r ready and not bcos someone else did it, and pls be prepared for anything..

  5. Dennis Macauley
    November 04, 04:54 Reply

    Oh wow! Very inspiring! Coming out gives you power over the narrative. It get rids of the dark cloud hovering above you! I will come out to my family, i owe them the truth!

  6. Max
    November 04, 05:26 Reply

    Coming out is definitely in my bucket list.. But not anytime soon… Everything needs to be in order for that to happen.. That said, we’ve all experienced those moments of extreme depression and fear of being discovered.. We r so conscious of male to male body contact on the road. Have you noticed that gay guys always have their eyes moving around everywhere wherever they are.. Its born from sheer sense of insecurity inside us;
    * is anyone looking at me?
    *omg do I appear girly?
    *am I swinging my hands/hips?
    *what if they know I am?
    *am I standing right?
    *am I walking right? Etc..
    Really crazy stuff that we normally shouldn’t be bothered about..

    • pinkpanthertb
      November 04, 05:36 Reply

      And that feeling if fear and insecurity was heightened for me when the anti gay law had just been signed. Lawd! I felt like every eye I walk past on the road was on me, suspecting me, preparing to accuse me.
      Twas s nightmarish period, then.

      • Max
        November 04, 05:41 Reply

        Lol.. Felt like that for a few weeks too.. But I knew it was all in my head… So I fought it…

      • chestnut
        November 04, 07:09 Reply

        Wow. Its like ripping off a band-aid,isn’t it? D initial brouhaha…then follows d eternal peace of mind…*sigh*
        Um…so pinky, is Mr. “ScarFace” d guy u said u’re currently seeing now or nah? (Dennis, honey or lemon?)

        • pinkpanthertb
          November 04, 07:18 Reply

          Yes chestnut. There’ll be no need for tea cos dazzal I’m saying. 🙂

      • Dennis Macauley
        November 04, 08:00 Reply

        Oya oo! Make space for me on the tea table!

        *turns on coffee machine*

        Pinky has a man and we want details

        • pinkpanthertb
          November 04, 08:27 Reply

          Yea. Turns out what we want and what we get…not so similar 😀

  7. Kryss S
    November 04, 05:43 Reply

    Hmmn! Am not dreaming of coming out till I die! My family nd d kind of ppl I find myself around r too judgmental, stoic nd highly critical! I would definitely loose my sanity if I do nd suicide wouldnt even b far 4rm d pics! So, I will just continue living in my fabulously decorated closet nd live life as it comes! Lucky you though but we can’t all b as lucky as some ppl r sha.

  8. Ruby
    November 04, 05:49 Reply

    But it might take forever before my family knows. Although my younger sister n cousin know my boo.
    Suffice to say that I’m ok like that.

    • pinkpanthertb
      November 04, 06:05 Reply

      You outed yourself to your sis and cuz or they discovered you by themselves?

      • Ruby
        November 04, 16:58 Reply

        My cuz is also gay buh my sis kinda deduced it herself

  9. Absalom
    November 04, 06:00 Reply

    I know I’ll find the courage someday, ScarFace. For now I take solace in the fact that coming out to my family is inevitable. They may run away from it (I think they suspect the truth) but they can’t do that forever.

    I’m happy for you, man. 🙂

      • Dennis Macauley
        November 04, 12:10 Reply

        Come scar face! You need to come and see me with Veuve Cliquot before you start shagging pink panther!

        No ojukokoro marriage under my watch!


  10. trystham
    November 04, 07:04 Reply

    That went well. So, av u now stopped smoking???

    • ScarFace
      November 04, 10:17 Reply

      Well, coming out is one thing. To quit smoking pot (which I don’t intend to yet) is another

  11. Brian Collins
    November 04, 08:04 Reply

    I feel like my father will fast for another 100days after the one he did early this year. I’m am only child and i know he would be crushed. My mother is a different case entirely. The is a very strong Christian and even though she lives in the UK and is more exposed to gay people, with the say she is hammering ‘don’t have pre-marital sex on my head’ i imagine that if.she.knew the fasting might extend to 1000 days. The bible says it ‘one chased a thousand, two chased ten thousand’

    • pinkpanthertb
      November 04, 08:30 Reply

      Its that only son/first son mentality that constrains most families.

      • Khaleesi
        November 04, 10:14 Reply

        My sista ehn … these cultural values are frequently a giant steel cage in which we lock away reason and Personal liberty

    • Ace
      November 04, 13:35 Reply

      Guess we are on the same team. I am the only child of my parents and barely 22 but has started getting small passing statements about marriage especially now that i have moved to the US. “Will you marry there?” “Don’t marry a white girl ooo” “Make sure she is born again?” Like what the fuck?!!!! I never even do any of the crazy things i get in mind and person dey talk about marriage. And ooo, coming out? Hahahahahaha i wish.

      • pinkpanthertb
        November 04, 15:06 Reply

        Its sad. Really. I feel especially for only sons. The weight of disappointment alone is enough to discourage thoughts of coming out

  12. Paul
    November 04, 09:39 Reply

    Brave story!
    I’d luv to ask, it seems d main reason for coming out is so our family and frends let us be on d marriage issue.
    Is there any room for d married ones to come out either b4 tieing d knot or even afta?
    If marriage is all I tink it should idealy be,shouldn’t our beta halves know watsup?
    Is it beta to let sleeping dogs lie?
    Wat part of their conscience is killed knowing dat dey still crave sometin diff from wat dey hv @ home.
    I’d realy luv Gad,King et al to throw light on this.
    PS.-i knw my question might sound dumb. Abeg mk nobody cuss me.

    • Peak
      November 04, 11:41 Reply

      Its not dumb bro, I’m kind of glad u brought up the topic cos I will be getting the “Talk” in the so so near future. running off is not an option cos my dad is making sure am grounded as much as possible
      Dear pinky, please we really need a post about the whole “marriage situation” for those of us who can’t find away to get around it.
      @king and @Gad we need ur wealth of experience to guide us.

      • king
        November 04, 16:42 Reply

        Dear Peak…..i felt you deeply and am moved…however you asked a vital question that I must answer not only for you but for all who are still living in a NAIJA anti gay environment as we have! Yes I am married but marriage didn’t come easy or even early to me. Thankfully I had very good parents who were very liberal and didn’t hassle me to go marry off someone and my father though I was the first son was very particular about the woman I will bring home coz he knows it’s the woman that owns the home! However am fortunate enuf to have married a woman whom I call my wife. Who knows her place in the house and who knows that a HUSBAND is the HEAD of the home. All I can say is MAKE sure you love your wife if you eventually marry..dote over her like you should and never let her ever think she is missing out on anything outside the HOME!!! She will eventually love and dote over you so much that you guys will become one and you will begin to understand each other, respecting each others space and with time and growing together as one and then the BONUS….let God be God and you give birth to a child or two…..wow!!! All i can say is the sky will just be your starting point and no more the limit!!

    • gad
      November 06, 13:56 Reply

      @Paul,As our face are different so are our opinions on issues and the actions we may take when faced with situations.My opinion is that it’s unnecessary in today’s Nigeria for someone to wake up one morning,call a meeting of concerned family and frnds and declare b4 them”im gay”.however,situations may arise where one is faced with questions on his sexuality.the answer one gives will depend on the situation and the tolerance of the audience.that said,there are people who feel obliged to come out to their loved ones and some who don’t. Each person,s case is unique. What will work for Paul might not work for Peter.Some has opened up to their wives and the marriage got dissolved with their sexuality made “very” public. Some wives knew and still love the man and both still lives together happily. For me the bottom line is giving ones wife the respect she deserves. Giving her emotional and physical satisfaction and knowing where to draw the lines. Above all,when Christ is made the head of a home,happiness and joy won’t be lacking at all.

  13. Khaleesi
    November 04, 10:24 Reply

    I sometimes toy with the idea of coming out, but it’s scary as shit. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the courage to come out, but i do realise that even if i don’t come out, there’s still a big possibility that I’ll be outed not by whats happening in my life, but by whats NOT happening in my life i.e the absence of a permanent woman in my life … Chi m zoba m (God help me)

    • Dennis Macauley
      November 04, 12:13 Reply

      Like I often say, they always know! They are just holding their breaths and hoping it will go away!

      Coming out is something I must do! I need to be free!

      What’s the worst case scenario? I’d be disowned? Duhhhh! Who loose?

  14. Peak
    November 04, 11:26 Reply

    I can totally relate!
    Been drowning in depression since after secondary school cos I couldn’t find release and be free with myself. Coming out is a luxury that I can’t afford. At least not while my dad is still alive. So I will stick to being depressed, bipolar, being perceived as dark, twisted and bitter. I Guess happy ever after isn’t meant for everyone. I salute ur courage man, just wish my story could end like urs, but I doubt that.
    *lets just say if you are raised by a man who can be as cold and ruthless as the devil himself, then you will be doing urself a favour by being the best actor you can be
    Thanks for sharing, saying that am moved by this story is an understatement

    • Chuck
      November 04, 12:05 Reply

      Peak, why don’t you sever yourself from your dad if he makes you depressed? Get a job in a different city, cut yourself off, and your happiness will improve.

      • Peak
        November 04, 14:01 Reply

        Guy some things are easier said than done. Traveling and dropping off the grid was the initial plan, and one day u wake up and u are faced with all these 1st son responsibilities. Moving go hard oooo and moving to another state won’t solve anything. My schooling down to my service year all happened in lagos

    • pinkpanthertb
      November 04, 15:00 Reply

      Wow. Peak. I’m speechless. That was a lot you revealed there.

      • Peak
        November 04, 16:00 Reply

        Lol! Pinky if you ve been paying attention to my comment, u would ve noticed when I admitted that I ve the “ogbanje” issue when khaleesi brought it up. Happiness is a weird concept to me, the few moments that I found it, I ve questioned it and in the process ruined it cos I was too busy with my emotional walls. One day I would make out time to share my journey *God spare and keep us until then

    • Khaleesi
      November 04, 15:13 Reply

      @Peak, honey you have only one life to live and u sure as hell deserve some happiness! Don’t let yourself be swallowed up in someone else’s dreams and ambitions at the expense of your emotional and mental wellbeing. I know we are all conditioned to be family oriented, but if your situation is as bad as it sounds, then i think you should start making serious enquiries about disappearing from this choking, homophobic country. Your sanity may depend on it! **hugs***

      • pinkpanthertb
        November 04, 15:21 Reply

        You don’t even have to go as far ad another country, Peak. Determine to lengthen the distance between you and your folks. You can’t let the terror your father wields be the reason you’re living a life you don’t want to live. When he passes on and you start to flounder in unhappiness, resentment for the man will be right there in your mind as well.

  15. king
    November 04, 16:02 Reply

    Wow I also had the hots for my neighbour’s son and am d first son of my father!! Wow! Was i touched!

  16. R.A
    November 04, 17:08 Reply

    Going through everyone’s comment and what I can make out of it is “The best way/time to come out is when you are independent” and I will do that when I get to that stage. Till den….*continues forwarding CV from closet*

    Beautiful Story by the way.

  17. iduke
    November 04, 17:17 Reply

    Quick q. Is the absence of more siblings or the fact that one is an only child a tendency for one to come our queer. I’m an only child out of circumstance, plus my ex was an only child. I have step siblings but dude am I bothered by the climbing number of only sons/ first son who r queer. That said king I so admire u. U remind me of one of my frnds with benefits, he’s married like that and real adorable and he dots on his wife even when he’s with me. Men I hope I can do that, cos marriage, family and kids surely on my bucket list.

    • king
      November 04, 17:53 Reply

      Thanx so much my lovely iduke…however before I forget i can never take the whole credit as to where am at right now in life…it won’t be a full and true story if I didn’t add that Christ (yes that annoying name to some again!) didn’t help me out with his words…i dare not say it was by MY power and might oh no….i wouldn’t do you guys justice if I left out the fact that i was and still am SO HIGH on the piping of HIS OPIUM that I found and keep finding strength to BE who I am and ofcoz am sure without HIM eh…let’s just say I wouldn’t have known the way!!! phew….there!!!

  18. Mr Kassy
    November 04, 22:16 Reply

    …,What a bold step guy,although such is never an easy task.I also went through a lot trying to discover my true self.I guess today I am happier having found out that I was truely born this way;gay*exhales deeply#

  19. enKayced
    November 04, 22:29 Reply

    Wow! Scarface congrats o!
    It isn’t easy doing what you just did.
    As for me, my only sister and my only brother both know I’m bisexual.
    And every once in a while, my sister gets to meet my man. Even though she never directly asks me, she simply knows I get first class treatment from him and she even asks for favours that get promptly fulfilled.
    Thankfully, because I work, I get to send my bro stuff from time to time and that ensures he keeps his mouth shut!
    You should know that I’m the last-born in a family of 3 siblings by the way!
    My sister’s husband also knows, partly because my sister told him about her discovery and partly because I disvirgined him 6 years before he met and married my sister… Small world!
    But as for Dad and Mum, I don’t know if they have their doubts but I’m the apple of their eyes, the one who doesn’t usually do as they say but they still love dearly. I am not telling them jack, though I’ve made up my mind that I would marry late, like as if that would help matters.
    ION Dear Dennis Macaulay, do you perchance know anybody who knows anybody who knows anybody that knows any of the soldiers in NYSC Camp Iselle-Uku in Delta state?
    And Mr Scarface, please ride aunty Pinky with care, seeing as her butt implants are still fresh. Pray, do NUT rain on her parade!

    • s_sensei
      November 05, 14:45 Reply

      Shit! You disvirgined your sister’s husband? OMG this shit is rich!!! Hahaha

  20. Andrevn
    November 05, 02:31 Reply

    As much as my parents are so charismatic and not in any way accepting my sexuality,the little hints i’ve drop now should cushion the effect…….walk away if i must from everything family(done and can still do it)……….but bros sha you had to get stoned first no wahala…..

  21. Andrevn
    November 05, 03:59 Reply

    oh! pinkytig please tell me you got my mails this early mornining and those Illuvmua sent you……thanks for all yu worth!

    • pinkpanthertb
      November 05, 04:01 Reply

      I did. 🙂 Thanks for the submissions. i’ll look into them later today

  22. chudiebere
    November 06, 23:09 Reply

    Perhaps the rainbow is proof that you can go through stormy weather and yet come out as something beautiful and colourful… I love this piece…

  23. Ba
    November 08, 19:26 Reply

    Well actually i would’nt mind coming out to only my supposed straight friends but i don’t trusth there judgement and there reaction to the knowledge of my sexuality. Am pretty sure it won’t turn out well and good for me as the rejection and criticisms will b too much for me to bear,which could eventually lead to suicide,then imagine if my family and most especially my mum knowing about my sexuality mehn that will be catastrophic. Meaning zero coming out for me

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