I am a homosexual. If there’s another life, I will still be as homosexual as I am in this life.

I’m not just sexually attracted to men; I’m psychologically and emotionally attracted to men. I have felt bad every time I have had to say during my activism, “One doesn’t have to be a child to support children’s rights.” That shy denial has prevailed as my greatest criticism of myself.

I have always been this way from as far back as I can remember and no one influenced me. Being a gay child growing up in Nigeria is the hardest experience one could ever encounter. I was born and raised in this hate. My heart and voice go out to every person going through this never-ending hiding.

However, I surrendered my resistance to this part of myself while I was a missionary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It happened that one December evening, I was interviewing a brother that was to be baptized into the church by the missionaries in my district. I was a district leader. One of the traditional interview questions was if the candidate had been involved in abortion or homosexual activity. When this brother admitted his homosexual indulgence, I paused. Then I went on to tell him that he had to speak to a higher authority, which is the Mission President, before we can proceed with the baptism.

And then, I was taken aback by the way his countenance fell and his shoulders dropped as he asked, “Does that mean I can’t be baptized?”

In the silence that followed, I felt rage and stripped of my personal dignity as a human being. Why was the same thing that is celebrated now an offense as long as people born like me are involved? I bolstered myself long enough to say to him with some note of defiance, “You don’t need to be baptized. Just don’t do it.”

“Ah brother, why?” he protested. “The missionaries said salvation is for everyone.”

“You will be better off without that salvation,” I said. “Only you can save yourself. Shun this baptism. It is merely an initiation into an alien institution, but your homosexuality is you. It is not wise to enter any door that compels you to strip yourself of yourself as a ticket. No one belongs where they’re not themselves. As a member, you must be a heterosexual by all means, which is bad for you, because nothing good should ever be imposed.”

That was one of my best moments, and that fellow and I went on to become friends. We are still friends and he is happy today being himself, though in someplace that’s not Nigeria.

That evening, my missionary work was over for me, but for my mother, I had to stay until I received the certificate that would determine that I was honorably discharged. Sometimes freedom comes in bits; I wouldn’t do that for my mother now. Because the holes in everything I preached had always stood out boldly to me. From childhood, I never truly believed in any religious faith. My eloquence in praying and preaching was merely an oratory talent.

But from that evening, when I called myself a homosexual for the first time, it became hard to find a place in that environment. See, until you accept yourself, you will never demand a place, because even in yourself, the real You has no place.

I had to go through the remaining processes of the missionary work, but I stopped preaching and praying. The rest of my two-year work was spent in service to people to meet their physical and emotional needs. Where I would have preached or prayed, I bought meds and paid fees with my subsistence from the church and personal savings. This marked the beginning of my humanist journey.

My family, close friends and some colleagues know very well of my sexual orientation, and some of them still expect me to hide it in order to protect their dignity. To save face. But today, I acquired another bit of freedom. I’m not sure I want to save anyone’s face anymore.

I am a homosexual. If anyone, whether friend, family or colleague is not completely accepting of Me, then the person would have to disown himself from me. I am not ashamed to be Me. If you’re ashamed of me, that shame is yours not mine, and so, I will not comply to your shame, not here in America and not anywhere in the world. I defeated shame!

To my fellow Nigerian gay men in diaspora, how do you live with yourself when you accommodate the shame of who you are in the very place you have no need to be ashamed? I see LGBT Nigerians flaunt their gayness in America while suggesting to their Nigerian audience on social media that they’re not gay, by posting pictures pinned on suggestive captions with females. A bunch of them even have wives in Nigeria.

Of what use is your sojourn into the Land of the Free if you are still going to carry your self-loathing around with you? If you are still going to carry on living a lie?

I will not be part of the band that resists themselves.

I am a homosexual. And the future I see for myself is one filled with everything that reinforces this truth about me. If the day ever comes for me to walk down the aisle, I will do so in my white, feather-chest suit, in the arms of a loving man who I will call my husband.

Written by Felix Kalu

Previous Kito Alert: The Police Are Actively Working With Gay Men To Entrap Their Friends

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  1. Ebuka
    September 24, 08:50 Reply

    I am really glad that you learnt to accept yourself and to see your sexuality as valid as the next person’s sexuality, congratulations.

  2. GM Dixon
    September 24, 10:37 Reply

    The ancestors rejoice because you have chosen to consciously walk in and evolve into your truth. Welcome to the family.

  3. Someone's Someone
    September 24, 12:28 Reply

    Can we have the like or love response option?

    This is a beautiful piece of writing. This was me in 2009 when I had to deal with living free or keep hiding my sexuality from everyone else. I chose to live for me. Thank you for sharing Felix.

  4. Mitch
    September 24, 14:27 Reply

    Just one word, Felix.

  5. iFlourish Mmirinma
    September 24, 16:46 Reply

    This message spoke to me in a way I didn’t imagine. I am happy for you for summoning the courage to find yourself.

  6. trystham
    September 25, 03:31 Reply

    ???That moment of painful clarity brought on by empathy. That shii breaks bondages mehn

    You’re still going to hell though.???

  7. zino
    September 25, 05:32 Reply

    Your comment..my first time commenting here and I say congratulations!

    • Gaia
      September 29, 08:01 Reply

      Zino? The same Zino??

  8. Boniface
    September 25, 06:54 Reply

    Your comment..this was me back in 2014 thank God I’ve set myself free, I’m proud to say I’m a homosexual haters should drop in the casket

  9. Gerrard
    September 25, 11:15 Reply

    I am very proud one ryt now I love men body I love everything about men I am HOMOSEXUAL

  10. Peace
    September 26, 11:52 Reply

    Bịa nna did I hear you were looking for dị (husband)? I cook ofe nsala well, I bake too. When are you coming to see my parents already.
    Anyway, I admire you a lot, I admire your courage most of all. Some of us still struggle with the realization that this is us. Some of us may never accept, some of us might continue to live in denial forever. Sometimes I question myself. But one thing I know is that I’m on that journey to fully discovering myself. Accepting that I’m a homosexual is just but one step. Thank you for your kind words, thank you for the encouragement. Jisie Ike Nna.

    P. S I’m learning how to make Nkwobi too (winks and runs away)

    • Pink Panther
      September 26, 17:20 Reply

      ??????? Someone is starching and ironing his husband material.

  11. zino
    September 29, 14:03 Reply

    Your comment..@Gaia which other zino do you know?

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