In 2014, at the age of 17, I was first outed to my family.

I was in high school then, and quite active on Twitter. Back then, both my older sister and I used Blackberry Torch. We often mistook each other’s phones for the other person’s. My sister was also active on twitter.

One Saturday, I was out of data, but because I had a date with a guy at the mall, I had to log into my account using her phone to be able to get the guy’s number from my DM.

I was going to leave for the mall by 2, and I was preparing, choosing an outfit and all that jazz, when my sister stalked into the room, looking angry and handed her phone to me, asking me to explain what “this nonsense” was. Instantly, I remembered that I hadn’t logged out of my account after I was done with her phone; a part of me hadn’t even remembered that I was using her phone, considering how very similar our phones were. And so, my Twitter account, DMs and all, had been left open for her to peruse and deduce that her little brother wasn’t who she’d always thought him to be. My heart dropped and I was stammering an explanation. My guilt was so obvious, and my sister didn’t even bother to hear what I had to say. She was mad and slapped me. (Before then, she’d never hit me before.) Then she called our mother and told her what she’d learned. My mom asked her to give me the phone and she instructed me to not leave the house, that I was grounded. In the evening, the entire family was home, and I was beaten and scolded, and remanded to a strict religious regimen that was guaranteed to get rid of the gay in me.

I played my part well. I became careful with my shenanigans, all the while projecting an image of a son who had repented from homosexuality. I’d like to believe that I was able to fool my family into thinking I’d “changed”.

Then came 2018. And my closet was threatened again.

I had a close friend who I’m going to call Segun. Segun has an older brother, Ola. Ola is gay and out to his family. Segun is straight. Even though Segun is the brother who is my friend, I often relate more with Ola, not just because we’re both gay, but because we have a lot of things in common and we are in the same professional field. In fact, considering all that would eventually happen, I’ve had to wonder why he wasn’t the brother who was my friend, especially considering that all Segun and I did was mostly chill together and not talk much.

Segun owed 4 grand to Glo and so, he used to my phone to subscribe for data whenever he needed to be online. Other times, I would share my data with him.

Then came the Friday when he subscribed for a weekend plan on my phone. But he wasn’t able to use the data on that day because I was busy and I had a function that was going to be an all-night event. I got home by 5 am on Saturday morning and went straight to bed. Segun dropped in by 7 and woke me up because he needed to use my phone. The initial plan was for him to ping off my hotspot, but we soon discovered that you can’t share weekend data plans. So of course, he had to use my phone. My battery life was at 20% and I told him he could use my phone till the battery was at 10%. There was no light.

When next I asked for my phone, it was to see the battery life at 9%. I was a bit upset, because it showed that he was willing to disregard what I’d told him and use my phone till the battery died. He said he could take my phone to his house where he would use it while charging it using their generator. I refused. He became vexed and left my house in a huff.

I went about my day that Saturday, but I came home early, and I called him to come over and make use of my phone. It was his data after all. He ignored me and didn’t show up. On Sunday morning, I came home from grocery shopping to meet him at my place. I left my phone with him and went about my chores in the house. When I got back to my room, it was to see Ola there as well. I was pleased to see him and we both stepped out into the balcony to gist. There were lots to talk about, including the fact that I was currently working where he used to work.

It would seem as though this camaraderie between Ola and I angered Segun, because after his brother left, he spat his annoyance at me. He complained about how he always felt left out whenever Ola and I were together, and then snidely added that the two of us were playing with 14 years imprisonment, implying that my friendship with Ola was something more than platonic. I was annoyed by this and snapped at him that whatever Ola and I had was none of his business.

Soon after, because of how things had soured between us, Segun left my house in pretty much the same mood as he did the day before. Meanwhile, I called Ola to let him know the things his brother had said, and Ola was very displeased. He said he would handle it. He must have brought up the incident with Segun, because according to him, Segun got defensive and began lying on me, saying that I’d been arrested before for being gay, and that I’d once made sexual advances on him, which he turned down. Segun is a vindictive and mean-spirited person, and when Ola gave me this feedback, I wasn’t very surprised. He had done this exact same thing, lying on me, sometime ago, when we had a big fight. I’d confronted him then with what I learned he was saying about me and he protested that he was merely using it to cover up, that he didn’t mean anything by it. It’s not like I was out to Segun. I wasn’t. But I am slightly effeminate, and he had made his own deductions about my sexuality based on that and on the easy camaraderie between me and his openly gay brother.

Hearing Ola repeat these same lies to me may not have surprised me, but it pissed me off. Ola also mentioned that in the heat of the moment, Segun had blurted out something about how it was high time my parents know that I am a homo. Ola seemed to think Segun was just posturing, but I knew different. I knew just how spiteful the guy I called friend was. And I knew if he dwelled on the thought a lot longer, he may actually follow through and attempt to out me to my family.

I had to head his threat off. First, I went to my parents, the same parents who I’d managed to convince that I was delivered from being gay, and I told them about the things Segun was saying about me, about how he was telling lies simply because we’d had a fight and he couldn’t bear being in the wrong. I didn’t tell them Segun may come to report to them; I didn’t want them to suspect that this was damage control in anticipation. My parents appeared to believe me and warned me to cut off from any such friend who would make up such lies about me. So, I called Segun and essentially told him that our friendship was over, that he should stay far, far away from me. He told me likewise, adding that I should also stay away from his brother.

On the following Monday, I came home from work around past 10, to meet Segun in our living room with my mother. I’d actually walked in on their conversation. Segun, with the ugly expression of a wounded animal, had just finished telling my mother that I am gay. And my mother had responded that she was already aware of the things he was saying, and that he should wait till I return from work. And so, I was home, and I was brought up to speed on what had just happened. Feeling both enraged and disappointed that I hadn’t been wrong about him, I lashed out a confrontation at him, daring him to repeat his lies to my face. Whether he was shocked by the fact that I’d preempted him by telling my parents what he thought I would never do, or he was just typically a coward who only has mouth to lie behind someone’s back, I don’t know, because he couldn’t talk back at me.

Eventually, he got up and left. Hopefully, never to return.

But what he did resurrected some of the suspicion in my family about me. My family once again began asking questions. It’d been four years since my last outing incident, and I wasn’t ready to own my truth. Yes, I was in a mental space to be that bold, but my physical circumstances prevailed and I maintained the lie that I wasn’t gay. That all this had been a misunderstanding between my former friend and I.

Eventually, when the questions stopped, I believed I’d once again put it all to rest. But a couple of days later, my mother called me into her room to say things to me that made me realise I was fooling no one. Certainly not her.

“Whatever you are doing that I won’t be proud of, my son, please stop it,” she said to me. “I know you’re still doing this thing and I want you to stop. And while you’re keeping it a secret, do not let your friends know, so they don’t act like Segun tomorrow and use your secret against you.”

She went on and on, talking about how I need to change how I dress, how I should dress more masculine and act more like a man, and then she finished with how, no matter what, she would always want the best in life for me.

I stepped out of that discussion, having said very little, feeling very sad and uncertain about my life.

Written by Sammy

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  1. Sim
    December 30, 07:04 Reply

    Hello Sammy, ur strong and smart. Ur a winner, one day at a time. I think u got ur Mum’s smart brains lol. Keep doing you, just stay healthy and happy.

  2. Francis
    December 30, 08:04 Reply

    How do people keep certain “friends” around and in their business?

  3. Realme
    December 30, 08:05 Reply

    Most Straight people are stupid..thank u very much am done here.

    And godsake keep ur social life in one place…jezz

  4. Carlos
    December 30, 08:32 Reply

    Just encountered one recently.
    I met him here in aba through my aunt’s family.
    We got talking.. Never came out to him.
    Dude just concluded in his mind I was gay.

    Next thing he did was to tell my aunt I was gay.
    My aunt rebuked him. Yet he persisted.

    Na so family meeting set o
    They first had a bedroom meeting and decided to ask me when next I visit and with a resolution to call my parents and tell them.

    I denied I was. Not because of the tension but, I think coming out is my decision to make and to whom I want to be out to.
    I’m out to a few friends. Some of which are straight.

    Just last week again.. My aunt asked again.
    I’m trying to be conservative. If you’ve met me you’ll know I am.
    But some sorry bitches won’t just be.
    The statement that kinda hurt me but I tried to supress was “I don’t want anyone to infect my kids with such”

    Like how does being gay translate to being a pedophile?

    I didn’t give her a reply this time around.

  5. Black Dynasty
    December 30, 08:44 Reply

    Sorry you’re going through the outing with your fam, but people like Segun, I don’t give a second chance once they show their true colours. “When someone shows who they are, believe them the first time”, is a saying i truly apply to life.
    Also, don’t feel the pressure to be out or feel the need to explain yourself because you aren’t ready yet. Do it only when it’s comfortable and safe enough for you, if ever.

  6. Jinchuriki
    December 30, 14:12 Reply

    People like Segun are venomous. They’ll attack you till you’re dead and still sill not be satisfied. You neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to cut off such a person the first instance they do something off. Don’t ever waste time with the likes of Segun.

    You need to understand thst there’s no salvation for such a person and he can’t ever change, i had to learn that at 13.

  7. Ace
    December 30, 14:43 Reply

    “Go up close to your friend, but do not go over to him! We should also respect the enemy in our friend.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

    “All (my) friends are future enemies” – Ice Bear, We Bare Bears.

  8. Jay Armstrong
    December 30, 17:05 Reply

    Àkóbá adaba Ọlọ́run májárí…. Quick thinking with the damage control. Stories like this makes me weak.

  9. Canis VY Majoris
    December 30, 17:40 Reply

    Well now you know the things and people to leave behind in 2018.

    Never trust anyone with your secret unless their secret is of equal weighting to yours.

    Always know theirs to share yours; The ultimate rule of Two.

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