I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan

How dear you were to me

How wonderful was your love for me

Better even than the love of women. – 2nd Samuel 1:26

Many friendships in the Bible inspire. Abraham and Lot, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Barnabas. But none comes closest to LGBT concerns like that of Jonathan and David. It’s the one friendship which seems to suggest that the prince and king-to-be were not just BFFs but also lovers; and if the same God who bitch-slapped Uzzah just for touching His ark didn’t strike Dave and Joe dead for all that kissing (1st Samuel 20:41), then same-sex relationships cannot be wrong.

However, their friendship is also one – in a long line of male friendships world over – whose interpretation as homoerotic stifles the innocence and potential of male-to-male affection.

One of the underhanded ways the world encourages homophobia is by perpetuating the idea that a man showing affection for another man just like that is strange, peculiar, suspicious or uncalled for: They must be doing something together. No two guys hug like that. Are they seriously smiling into each other’s eyes? This kind of thinking narrows the scope of what love means between human beings. Some men are reluctant to express their feelings for another man for fear of being labeled gay. A mentality which can prevent one from forming genuine platonic friendships, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties involved.

Such friendships though, are probably not as commonplace as Hollywood makes them out to be – what with every romantic comedy having a “best friend” character. We will not all be lucky to have that friend we cannot imagine life without. That “twin” who anyone you date thinks is a rival for your heart (but is probably not); and who, likely, knows you better than anyone you’ve ever dated.

Decades before the famous bromances of our time – Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Will Smith and Tom Cruise, Uti Nwachukwu and Alex Ekubo – Hollywood already gave us Cary Grant and Randolph Scott. (I’m a huge fan of old movies, by the way.) Cary Grant, I’d say, was the George Clooney of the 1930s and ’40s: suave, funny, polished, his hair was slickly styled and women swooned under his charm. Stereotypically, I wondered: all this elegance in one man, could he be on our team? Well, it turns out Hollywood is still on that debate. Gay rumours trailed Cary and his best friend Randolph throughout their careers. Both of them, leading men, first met on the set of Hot Saturday and their friendship took off. They eventually shared a beach house in Santa Monica (ahem!) and later, a mansion in Los Angeles (hmm!). Between them, they had 7 failed marriages (lol!); and, according to one article, while other celebrities posed with their spouses on magazine spreads, these two were busy posing together in the pool, in the kitchen, and with books by the fireplace. There was even an incident where they appeared on the set of another movie (My Favourite Wife), and instead of checking into separate suites at their hotel, decided to share one room. Of course they were greeted with the “hian-kilode” look from the cast and crew.

Cary always denied the gay rumours and, apparently, he and Randolph enjoyed them; Randolph once referred to Cary as his “spouse”, and the pictures were a publicity stunt, organised by the duo, for a magazine story. (Side note: The best way to handle a gay rumour is to have a big sense of humour. Never take yourself too seriously. And remember to say something “bizarre” like: “I’d have sex with George Clooney.” *blushing for Channing Tatum*)

Hollywood and Nollywood are truly worlds apart, and I’m not just talking about the gap in the quality of their movies: Cary Grant and Randolph Scott lived together on and off for about 11 years – “longer than most Hollywood marriages” according to Homo History. When Cary died in 1986, at the age of 82, Randolph (88 at the time) was said to have put his face in his hands and cried. Three months later he, too, died.

In the case of Uti and Alex, I guess they couldn’t handle the media heat on them, so they had to settle for separate bedrooms apartments.

Just as we continue to speculate about David and Jonathan, we’ll probably never know if Uti and Alex were “just friends”, as they maintain, or if there was something more – not that they owe anyone any explanation. But one thing we know for sure is: whoever their handlers were in the industry (apparently no one in the league of Olivia Pope) should have put together the kind of publicity spread Cary and Randolph came up with in their time, to keep people guessing, instead of letting them run loose, jumping from one interview to the other and stammering shifty-eyed denials of the gay allegations. *shudders at the memory*.

Anyway, I think I’m gonna have these framed! 🙂 Pictures

Written by Absalom

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  1. Dennis Macauley
    February 12, 04:43 Reply

    Adsalom? I guess PP wanted to say absalom who I am sure wrote this brillant piece.

    But wait 30s and 40s? I aint gonna lie i havent heard of thses men before now ****accepts lastma vest****, had to do a google search.

    I have been guilty of making conclusions based on male affection in the past; back then i never believed men could hold hands or hug tightly without sexual undertones. There was this “couple” in my uni; they were everywhere together. They wore “asoebi” often, cooked their meals together and all. It was eerie how close they were and tongues started wagging naturally. Eventually i made a move on one of them and I fell flat on my face as he was as straight as a nepa pole. He handled it well and just declined with no fuss, we are good friends till today and he still teases me about that incident.

    We have taught men not to “emasculate” themselves by being affectionate, we teach them to be strong and all. So when we see men who show affection to each other, we often conclude easily that it has sexual undertones.

    Having said that, I have a different view about Uti and Alex’s relationship biko.

    • Pete
      February 12, 06:35 Reply

      DM,biko share with us. OAN,thank you very much,i received some rare books I have been searching for thanks to your contact. I owe you one

    • Mercury
      February 12, 09:27 Reply

      Of course you do, Akwuna nwoke ke ibu. So give us d tea on Alex and Uti. By d way Cary Grant was totally hot back in d day.

    • Heiress
      February 12, 12:52 Reply

      Great write up Absalom. In Hollywood things like this can be controlled and the celebs can use it to their own advantage ( Olivia Pope the fearless mother). In naija on the other hand I don’t think the handlers have reached that level of sofistication of Olivia Pope. Heck then Uti and Alex did not have a PR. We can’t even compare but I don’t want to go into details lol…… Control what you want people to know :-)!!

  2. shuga chocolata
    February 12, 06:49 Reply

    Absalom I totally understand, once had this bff, people talked but I kept looking only for me to find out one was gay and the other straight. But they kept their friendship since birth.

    I once envied them

  3. Tony Odekunle-Brown
    February 12, 06:55 Reply

    Awwww. I love this post. I feel the way girls can be extra huggy and touchy with their bestf riends is the same way guys can be “unconventionally” close to their best friends. For example, I always hold my best friend by his arm and he doesn’t have a problem with it. He is practically the straightest guy I know and will pray for anyone who comes out to him but when we are having long conversations, I always hold his arm.

    It is very possible for straight people to be really close friends. I guess we haven’t truly evolved as a people to understand that not everyone that is close is gay.

    On Uti and Alex though *clears throat*… No comments

    • Gad
      February 12, 09:19 Reply

      Well,such friendships existed in the days of my father and I also have such friends. Its the guys of today who jumps to nasty conclusions when they see two guys together. The friendship of David and Jonathan still exists amongs us.

  4. Silvery Cat
    February 12, 07:16 Reply

    I love bromance. I’m currently in…*mentally counting*…7 bromances. The gay rumour has trailed me for so long that it’s become a part of my personality. I guess being a professional kinda sets me a world apart from homophobes, they can hate me but I’m almost untouchable.
    Back to the talk of bromances, I’ve gone to cinema, to the pool, to brunch with guys, almost always guys. Never with the same guy but they are in my close circle of friends. Sleepovers, Roadtrips…we’ve done it all. And though I’m dainty and effeminate and all, my bromances are not romantic except for the pet names I like to give everyone. Pinkie I’m thinking about doing an article on that for U.

    • Dennis Macaulay
      February 12, 07:53 Reply

      Silvery cat I can totally relate. One busy body waitress at Beer Barn has used style to tell me that I have a lot of fine friends ooo dat “you always come here with”.

      That day I was a very good mood so I let it slide and just told her that her job is to serve drinks and not keep tabs on her clientele

      • Brian Collins
        February 13, 21:43 Reply

        Dennis, hi there. Lemme just say i am looking forward to going to Beer Barn with a certain someone.

  5. #TeamKizito
    February 12, 07:46 Reply

    Hmm; Dennis is now our Chimamanda?

    Lol, Absie bae, I get you.

    Q: Guy, you be gay?
    A: Hahaha! Na your papa I dey sleep with.

  6. Colossus
    February 12, 08:28 Reply

    (I’m a huge fan of old movies, by the way.)”

    I saw that and I already knew who wrote this piece.

    Well written piece, you did your research well

  7. Deola
    February 12, 08:42 Reply

    Oh yeah…men aren’t supposed to show any sort of emotion or closeness towards each other. Thats why when a guy sees a good looking and attractive guy, he cant just say ‘wow that guy is handsome’ nope he has to say ‘ that guy is handsome #nohomo’

  8. simba
    February 12, 10:14 Reply

    I think my bestie knows abt my sexual preference.. we lie on each other, send romantic sms, share hotel rooms.. call each other at odd hrs… even my bf knows him..

  9. Chizzie
    February 12, 11:17 Reply

    and the relavance / premise of this post is…?

    • simba
      February 12, 11:31 Reply

      Me expressing myself…its free and allowed lol

  10. Khaleesi
    February 12, 11:52 Reply

    ……should have put together the kind of publicity spread Cary and Randolph came up with in their time, to keep people guessing, instead of letting them run loose, jumping from one interview to the other and stammering shifty-eyed denials of the gay allegations. *shudders at the memory …..
    Lmao!! Absalom you’re so evil in an on-point sorta way!!! This had me rolling in the floor …
    My heart still breaks with pity over the Uti-Alex gay debacle, those guys were thoroughly raked over hot coals and then dragged through the streets of ignominy… am surprised their careers were resilient enough to withstand such major blows – kudos to them!

    • pinkpanthertb
      February 12, 11:59 Reply

      They are good looking and Nigerian girls hope they’ll snag one of them.. One of the probable reasons their careers held.

  11. Lord II
    February 12, 17:35 Reply

    Ok I admit I did a quick look at that bible verse you put up there absalom and I saw it too….well hope you know it was a holy kiss that God says we should give each other in 2nd cor 13:12 and in Romans and Thessalonians….

    True what you said too about dousing rumours and for Alex Ekubo and Uti Nwachukwu hmmm…one day sha am sure they will read KD if they are not by now i.e. and then….

  12. A-non
    February 12, 19:07 Reply

    ‎I have been blessed to enjoy this kind of friendship.

    ‎First was in university – we were everywhere together save for classes. Our parents knew each other but never met, we spent Christmas together at each other’s villages. I feel bad sometimes about it because I denied him the opportunity of having a girl friend as we finished university with him as a virgin. No lady understood our friendship. 

    ‎Interestingly, he knew about my sexuality and saved me twice from suicide attempts but stood by me through it all.‎

    ‎After university, distance did it’s thing as I returned Lagos and he to Eastern Nigeria.

    ‎Currently, I also have found that level of friendship as well. He is straight, married but loves me to the moon and back.‎

    ‎We spent Christmas together since he could not join his family to travel abroad thanks to his boss that refused to sign off his vacation. All his siblings, parents and in-laws on his and his wife’s side know me too.

    He confessed to me earlier this year that he is glad his wife doesn’t doubt him because it seems he currently splits his time between his wife and I! We have been on the phone twice today already!

    Yes, love can exist between two guys…modern day David and Jonathan is still possible.  ‎

  13. Oluwadamilare Okoro
    February 12, 20:56 Reply

    … PR is just too important in the entertainment world… I feel Nigeria just started figuring that out.

    As for Uti n Alex… me I wanna know for sure oo. they look too cute together! 😀

  14. Brian Collins
    February 13, 21:54 Reply

    I shocked myself a few days ago. I came out of my room and was not wearing my slippers properly, so i was walking on my heels. Then a neighbour called me and asked why i was cat walking and said she had another question to ask.
    Her: “erm… i was just wondering, are you gay?”
    Me: “why would you ask me that?”
    Her: “well….you kinda act gay”
    Me: “are you a girl? cos you act like a girl”.
    It just seemed like the kind of thing Dennis would say, were he in a good mood.

    • pinkpanthertb
      February 13, 21:57 Reply

      ‘are you a girl? cos you act like a girl’ LMAO! Good one.

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