I was your typical born-again teenager. Pious looking. Academic. I didn’t speak to girls if I could help it. I simply loved the Lord!

I went to a Christian secondary school, and in SS1, I was already a follow-up leader—one of those senior students who had to guide new students through their new-found faith. Every other day, I would check up on them during break-time to make sure they were reading their Bibles and praying regularly. I was fond of my follow-up students, especially the boys.

It was not until I was fifteen, in SS3, that the first intimations of my homosexuality began to trickle in: I had begun to have wet dreams, featuring either the boys in my class or the uncle who lived in the flat above us. We did it standing upright, uncle and I, uncle grasping my bony buttocks and grinding his frontals against mine. I’d feel a rush of pleasure and wake up to find slimy liquid on the bedsheet. This displeased me. In real life, there was this guy with whom I had become talkative with and who, one day, looked at me and with a smirk asked if I had an ‘iho’ so that he would fuck me (iho means ‘hole’ in Yoruba). He wasn’t kidding, but it would be a while before I realised that I was being propositioned. The guy wasn’t bad-looking but my oblivious innocence precluded any agency on my part.

However, I began to feel very tender toward the junior boys of my school. As I didn’t fit in with the boys in my class, I befriended the junior boys. I frequented the junior classes, ostensibly to see my follow-up students—which I did—but I was ogling the boys. My heart would beat faster; the sensations were strange and heady. I wanted to be with them, to hold them close and caress them, but I didn’t dare. I was too righteous to indulge these unnatural feelings. My righteous inhibition was reinforced by my natural timidity and naïve simplicity. But I couldn’t stop the feelings. I always found a boy—in school or church— to lust after and my heart would beat faster at the sight of him, a pattern that continued from secondary school to university. Apparently, some junior students were more daring in indulging their homosexuality, for during one of our camp meetings, a JSS 1 friend told me that some the bigger boys in their class were “sleeping on top of each other.” The incidence never reached the school authority.

I attended my fair share of vigils and when the Bishop asked us to write down what God must do for us, I looked around to see that no one was snooping and then scribbled the sentence.

Lord, deliver me from h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y.

I wrote down this last word, trembling, but deciding finally that this was it, the infirmity that ailed me; my besetting sin. No need to over-analyse it or beat up myself about it. I looked around again to make sure that my neighbours are not spying on my list and then I rose to pray.

At other times, when I wrote down my prayer requests, I would desperately wish I was having a bad dream. I thought it must be a cruel joke that I—despite my piety—was admitting to homosexuality. What was God doing to me?

And when God did not deliver me, I accepted my fate and simply suppressed that part of me. I didn’t really struggle with guilt and depression like many religious queer people. In university, I became obsessed with breaking a decades-old academic record. My social life was nonexistent and the few friends I had were just as churchy as I was. I thought parties were for bad boys; rather, I contented myself with secretly lusting after boys. With my inhibitions still fully in place, there was no overpowering urge to proceed any further. I still went to church, prayed etc., but I shunned small Christian youth fellowships where it seemed everyone was trying to get me to preside. During my last session, I stayed in the hostel and looked forward to morning baths where I could steal a peek at a pair of buttocks.

The year of the SSMPA, 2014, found me a Youth Corper in Abuja, still wide-eyed, timid, and twenty-two. I am not drop-dead gorgeous, yet I could have sworn that guys were making the moves on me. But I wasn’t willing to throw away a lifetime of continence. However, as I rounded off my service year, I began to feel intense sexual urges. The feelings I’d been suppressing in the past were threatening to explode. To slake my thirst, I turned to Google and searched ‘sexy black men’ then ‘hot sexy black men’. When a man’s nudes splashed across the phone screen, I felt deep guilt and deleted the page. Only to open it right back.

I eventually became desensitized to male nudity and proceeded to ‘hot naked gay men.’ This was when I first saw pictures of two men having sex. I was scandalized. And intrigued. I began to read gay erotica and was introduced to the gay top/bottom dichotomy—a thing I had never heard of before. From gay erotica, I graduated to watching actual porn, and by this time, I could watch without batting an eyelid as ‘hot naked gay men’ gave way to ‘hot sexy black gay men fucking’.

After my service year, I knew I had to confront myself with my sexuality. No longer was I going to live as an asexual and treat my same-sex attraction as a mere guilty pleasure. I also needed to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. I read books and searched the internet for material that could help me. It was in one of my endless Google searches of ‘Nigerian gay men’ that, on the eighth page, I happened upon a story that wasn’t about arrested gay men or the mob-lynching of others. I was piqued by the content, its literary quality, and the debate that ensued in the comments section.

It turned out to be a blog called Kito Diaries. So yes, I am a self-made KDian: I wasn’t introduced to it as I didn’t have any gay friends.

Kito Diaries was my perfect Gay 101 (I didn’t know what ‘kito’ was until early 2018!). Some of the stories left me awash with jealousy and regret for skipping my ‘exploration phase’, and yet others had me thankful for burying my head in my books, for dodging bullets. I look back fondly on my naive days and I wonder how my life might have taken a different course had I been more ‘woke’. I would say that the cumulative evidence from all the stories on KD supports the viewpoint that there is some virtue in coming late into your sexuality. Late, of course, is relative.

My own late blooming has afforded me the privilege to step back and evaluate the details in my textured life as a gay Nigerian man and decide exactly what sort of gay man I want to be. I now know most of what there is to know about homosexuality and the Nigerian LGBT community—intellectually at least. I have always wondered whether I would be homophobic had I been straight. Certainly, not of the clamorous, homophobic twitter-user sort, but perhaps the average Nigerian holier-than-thou type. Or perhaps yet, I wouldn’t be since I’ve never been internally homophobic.

Whatever the case, my homosexuality has taught me to seek out and appreciate difference, to be mindful of and relate to people’s struggles, and to empathize with the pain of the underprivileged and join their ranks.

And for all these, I am grateful.

Written by Patrick

PS: There is a tragic story on Kito Diaries of a bright, Christian student in UNN who committed suicide because his family had found out his sexuality. The story left me bereaved for almost a week as I grieved for a person I never knew but felt a strange kinship with.

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  1. Obi
    January 13, 08:56 Reply

    what a tragedy… I am also an alumni of this school and also heard about this story. this is just what am going through at the moment. Am so confused . how would I face my family? the worse part is that gay men are just too polygamous. I tried hook up twice but was all the same. both of them never cared again immediately we had sex…. this is why I keep asking myself if God was fair enough creating me this way

    • Pink Panther
      January 13, 09:40 Reply

      You have self doubt about your sexuality because you’re unable to find a guy who exclusively wants to date you?

    • bamidele
      January 13, 10:45 Reply

      Well, gay life seems to be like it’s so polygamous worldwide. However, trust me, there are some, albeit, few guys there in Nigeria who can be very monogamous. All you have to do is face your life and get something going on about your career. Stay cool, but hopeful. Be you. and surely, you will come across the rightful one someday, who will be for you only. It is difficult, but it possible. I am undergoing the same experience, but having seen a couple of brothers with functioning relationships, I am quite positive that it can be possible with me too.

    • Freshlaundry007
      January 13, 16:26 Reply

      Perhaps next time lead with the intent for a relationship FIRST as opposed to leading with sex. I personally “make” a guy wait for about two months after we start dating before sex can happen. You will very quickly sieve the wheat from the chaff. Sex is a very revelatory practice i.e it reveals what lies underneath. If the guy didn’t really like you to begin with, after sex, his eyes will be “open” and he will realize that and dip. If you take your time to REALLY know someone BEFORE you lay with them, the sex will only reveal how much you like each other. In this world of instant everything, perhaps try delayed gratification. Most men can’t wait two weeks, let alone two months for sex! We are after all JUST men at the end of the day and you know how we are! Hopefully this helps you find more meaningful relationships. I’m the meantime, soap and your right hand will never leave you!

    • Lifetime
      January 15, 06:01 Reply

      Interestingly I was an alumni of that school and knew the guy On”****i pretty well but never knew he was gay till that fateful morning he hung himself at hockey pitch, when the story broke in small circles… We had attended a mini private conference organized by the boys only the Uh****e study center 2 weeks earlier for church to help us draw closer to God.

      I feel a lot of guys in the UNN hostel then were attracted to guys in one form or the other but closeted. There was even a room then ”420″ I believe, where a lot of effeminate guys stayed in at Alvan hostel which was tagged the gay room. Those guys were heroes mehn and I strongly admired their tenacity.

      Had a roommate who tried to be intimate with me when we were alone in the room only to team up with another room mate to try to break my closet door, but they had it coming!

      Your experience is quite similar to mine, just that I lived my fantasies to the fullest thanks to 2go…? albiet very codedly that no one, even my besties knew I was about that life. It will shock you to how many well placed people propositioned me for hook ups, even though I was average looking and cared less about fitness.

      Really miss campus life sha…

      • Delle
        January 15, 10:07 Reply

        More like you miss the sneak-and-do life you lived in school.
        Ndi closet, well done ?

    • Tade
      January 16, 13:11 Reply

      With time you will get a perfect man

  2. Mandy
    January 13, 08:58 Reply

    Please tell me you’ve at least had gay sex, because with this kind of self discipline, you could successfully have a marriage with a woman. Damn!

  3. Houston Scholar
    January 13, 10:42 Reply

    If I alter the name of the author of this piece, then I would be reading about my trajectory and traumatic sojourn. In my case, after my undergraduate program, I traveled to England for further education and I enrolled myself in a corrective and reparative therapy with the hope of “becoming straight”. I attended Bootcamps organized by Christian Evangelicals for “Gay Conversion” even though I am a Muslim. The long nights of insomnia, the fear of family and societal rejection and ostracism, the feeling that I have to always cloak the enigmatic and kinky “cachexia” in the most furtive part of my bone marrow, the famish period of exorcism and asceticism, the goosebumps whenever the word “homosexuality” is mentioned near me, the feeling of hypochondria, and finally the thought of euthanasia. I was on the verge of pushing up the daisies when I came across “Kito Diaries” in 2014 thereafter I commenced the self-healing and voracious reading of academic literature on issues about sexual identity. It’s been a journey since then and although I am yet to figure it all out, I am in a better mental state and I have also come out to myself while at the same time reaching out to other people like me beyond the confine of the virtual space. Thanks, PP for creating this virtual space.

    • Pink Panther
      January 13, 11:58 Reply

      This is just… Wow. Whenever I read about journeys to self acceptance such as this, I feel renewed anger at a society that makes us have to do this to ourselves.

    • Higwe
      January 13, 16:56 Reply

      Someone get a dictionary.. ??

      January 13, 23:48 Reply

      Wow. Such a journey. I wish you well as you attempt to discover the true you. You have come so far. Such an experience. Good luck all the same

    • Fabuluz
      January 16, 05:31 Reply

      So glad to hear this… Hope to overcome the pressure just like you

  4. Houston Scholar
    January 13, 11:05 Reply

    While I was on the verge of pushing up the daisies, I came across the tragic story of Onyebuchi Okonkwo “Ozone’ on Vanguard Newspaper. Although I had no knowledge of his sexuality, the moment I read his final poem, I cried and realized that I needed to develop a surviving mechanism and support system in order to survive the million boulders that come with my sexual identity. For all those striving to survive for being different, you are not alone. Build a support system, establish a good network of friends who share your sexual identity, strive for excellence in your chosen career and use every possible opportunity to humanize the discourse around minority sexual identities and educate the people around you. If you are reading this comment and you are based in Houston, kindly reach out to me. I need a good network of Nigerian friends here.

    Here is the last poem of Ozone:

    “I know I’ve always been destined for
    This path that I’ll go.
    The music breathes on me
    A suffocating feeling of helplessness,
    Bring mellow melodies, bind
    clandestine claims
    For I am your straggler, Mother
    Bide to me to that respledent region,
    Clasp me in waltering iridiscence, but,
    let me know
    The variegated rumble from your
    Tamborines drone still, Yours? I
    tread this path
    Solitary. Yet the shores are slippery.
    I can stay till dawn if now is midnight.
    But I cannot know,
    Because they have made my future
    So uncertain.
    Help me,
    Mother Light of Wisdom.”

    • Opal
      January 13, 15:19 Reply

      Hi. Nice note. I’m currently in Canada but plan on visiting Houston in the coming months. We can connect if okay.

    • bamidele
      January 13, 15:56 Reply

      you really made an emotional comment alongside the poem. I am still passing through similar experience and I often feel like am the only one in it. Your message inspires me and I would indeed like to stay in touch if you don’t mind. I don’t know where you’re located but I am currently pursuing my PhD in (Germany) right now. I sometimes visit the UK, US, as well as home in Nigeria. Whichever case, feel free to stay in touch to rub minds together, if you like:
      have a blessed life.

      • Houston Scholar
        January 13, 16:26 Reply

        Hi Opal, I will definitely love to connect. I will send you an email and we can plan to meet whenever you visit Houston. I usually stay away from the Nigerian community in Houston for obvious reasons but we can visit Naija restaurants and have a good tour of the city.

        Hi Bamidele, trust me, you are not alone. This milieu can be dehydrating and sometimes I feel I don’t have enough oxygen in my oxygen tank to keep up with this odyssey but my academics gave me the solace to keep flourishing. I am currently studying for my Ph.D. in Houston after completing my Masters in England. I still visit England for research purposes and Nigeria will always be home for me. I will send you an email and we can definitely stay in touch.

        • bamidele
          January 13, 16:50 Reply

          Thank you, Houston Scholar for your consoling message. Yes indeed. It can be dehydrating. Especially when nobody shares your feelings. I’m glad I’m not alone, and find it co-incidental that we’re both pursuing a PhD. Perhaps we might also talk about individual research, (but not a must, especially if our research directions are different), when you contact. Otherwise, staying in touch would be great! Thank you!!

    • Delle
      January 13, 18:28 Reply

      I can’t be left behind in this connection spree…

      Hi Houston.

      I’m in Nigeria. Frustrated by the economic situations. I love Canada and you’re there…yippee for me.
      I may not be pursuing a PhD like Opal and Bamidele (yet) but surely we can connect and you’ll perhaps help facilitate my relocation to my dream country, no? ?

      If you want us to ‘stay in touch’, PP can help either of us with our emails. Whaddya say??

      • Houston Scholar
        January 13, 20:38 Reply

        Delle! Deep Breath! Where exactly should I start discussing how much I have gained from your quick-witted submissions on this platform? I have not met you but I can decipher that your cerebral capacity and analytical prowess is astounding. You are so real and relatable.

        I live in the US, not Canada. Living abroad has its challenges but there are better opportunities to flourish and excel in one’s chosen career as long as you maintain the motivation and determination. I will advise that you should pay close attention to critical self-development and keep an eagle eye on scholarship opportunities. Most of us would not have traveled abroad without scholarships. There is more prestige here studying with competitive scholarships.

        Keep a close eye on this website

        On that website, you can monitor different opportunities, scholarships, internships, fellowships, etc within your chosen career path. Remember you must bring innovative ideas to the table in order to stand out among your peers. PP can forward my contact to you and we can definitely stay in touch. I will be glad to be of help in my own little way.

        • Peace
          January 14, 14:14 Reply

          Sigh.. this warms my heart. Most days I lie on my bed, and wish that kito diaries was like a country I could migrate to, there’s so much peace here, and just look at how we total strangers connect with one another ! The brotherhood, the love, ohh (*cries*) plus the suffering we still go through. I have a lot of stories to tell, I hope I find the courage one day to tell them. Mbok I have also taken the link too o it’s not only Delle that wants to go to dream country *rolls eyes*. We will be fine, we would be alright. ( This onion bulb is disturbing my eyes). ??

    • Patrick
      January 14, 11:14 Reply

      It was this poem that did me in, that broke the pitcher of tears in my eyes.
      And with my tears came an angry determination to survive, to push back and pull through.
      To not go down his slippery, solitary path.
      We owe this to the memory of him!

      • Houston Scholar
        January 15, 00:14 Reply

        Thank you, Patrick, for penning this heartfelt article. It is astonishing how your post has helped some of us to transit away from the “anonymous virtual connections” and I am particularly elated interacting with other students pursuing higher education in the diaspora as well as in Nigeria on this platform.

        Thanks, PP for providing this needed support system. A day without reading KD is a boring day for me. This is the platform I come to read to know that I am not alone.

  5. Tobee
    January 13, 11:18 Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! This is very close to my own trajectory as well. I hope things continue to work out for you.

  6. Delle
    January 13, 13:28 Reply

    I’ve always liked you Patrick. This just makes it easier.

    You’re alright ?.

  7. Sharry
    January 13, 13:42 Reply

    One thing is for sure, Homosexuality to some of us will always be a struggle of acceptance….yes,some persons might outride this statement, but,we can’t fight with the truth that the Society have us,and as such,We can’t always pretend to be blind to all the hates from all angles.
    I really respect all of us that are struggling with this feelings,we are normal infact extraordinary ??,never cursed,and maybe not as bad and evil as religion and customs whatsoever had made it look like….and i think one gift we should proudly give yourself is “to find and make peace with ourselves”
    K.D…I must confess,you are Awesome✌????
    Take Kisses???????

  8. Kelvin
    January 13, 14:22 Reply

    It saddens me to know how people commits suicide cos of their sexuality and rejection from their parents and loved ones. This puts me in the bridge between the present and future. I’m still a closeted gay son, and I’m afraid to know what my future would be like if perhaps I come out to my family, or they get to know I’m gay. It really a sick world you know, Thanks to pink panther for keeping my sanity and seeing post related to my lifestyle makes me believe I’m never alone.

  9. Canis VY Majoris
    January 13, 14:29 Reply

    In a cruel unaccepting world, Kito Diaries is OUR safe place albeit virtual. Please let’s keep it this way for all our sakes.

    Thanks Patrick, PP & ALL the contributors.

  10. Houston Scholar
    January 13, 16:25 Reply

    Hi Opal, I will definitely love to connect. I will send you an email and we can plan to meet whenever you visit Houston. I usually stay away from the Nigerian community in Houston for obvious reasons but we can visit Naija restaurants and have a good tour of the city.

    Hi Bamidele, trust me, you are not alone. This milieu can be dehydrating and sometimes I feel I don’t have enough oxygen in my oxygen tank to keep up with this odyssey but my academics gave me the solace to keep flourishing. I am currently studying for my Ph.D. in Houston after completing my Masters in England. I still visit England for research purposes and Nigeria will always be home for me. I will send you an email and we can definitely stay in touch.

  11. Bee
    January 13, 22:52 Reply

    Totally unrelated but I think KD needs something like a teenage section. ??

    Fuck it, I want it to be a social network. Wait … that has quite some disadvantages. Ugh.

    • Nefertiti
      January 18, 06:36 Reply

      I couldn’t agree more, but the disadvantages though.

  12. realme
    January 14, 09:48 Reply

    I was never ever ashamed of my sexuality…. religion was the main reason I struggled for a long time ….
    but now, fuck religion …

    p.s I strongly believe Jesus was gay..thank u very much.

  13. CHUCK
    January 14, 13:27 Reply

    Please, Jesus did not have to be gay gor homosexuality to be ok, Christianity does not have to accept homosecuality for homosexuality to be ok.

    Please don’t exchange one delusion for another!

  14. Sapphire
    January 18, 00:50 Reply

    Of course, the society is a major obstacle in our ways, but then, we all would think we would have to fit in to societal expectations, and that’s the major cause of suicide today, well, we just have to be the best we can be, we surely gonna cross all bridges!

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