THE QUESTION: DO YOU KNOW THAT HOMOPHOBES ARE IGNORANT?

THE QUESTION: DO YOU KNOW THAT HOMOPHOBES ARE IGNORANT?

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. – Winston Churchill

Some assume that every member of the LGBT community is aware that homophobes are an ignorant lot, but I don’t think that is the case. In my opinion, the root cause of the self-loathing that is common among LGBT persons is that deep down, they agree with the homophobes. But really, it should not be surprising that we share the ideas that the majority around us hold, because whether we like it or not, most of our most treasured beliefs are simply stuff we picked up from the environment. In other words, man is more or less a reflection of the time and place of his birth. The picture I want to evoke in your mind is that of a man who picks up things on the streets and stuffs them into his bag, not because they have any value but just because they are available. That is how we mostly are, except maybe when it comes to our sexuality, which is just one aspect of life. And it took a good measure of pain to awaken from the crowd mentality in this one aspect; personal pain because we happened to find ourselves on that end of the spectrum that in this time and place is considered a taboo. This is only true for those who have truly emancipated their minds from society’s belief system on sexuality. If you are one of these, you can safely assume that you are still inflicted by “crowd mentality” in other aspects.

It is a very difficult thing to rouse oneself and gain mental independence from the group in which one is born. This is why I have always thought that being LGBT is not a curse but a blessing, because it forces you to open your mind. Sadly, some have opened their minds enough to accept their own sexuality and have stopped there. They modified their belief system just enough to accommodate their own sexuality and then joined the crowd to stigmatize others e.g. asexual and transgender persons. How selfish! Why don’t you go ahead to question every other thing you have been told, including and even beyond sexuality? But I digress.

I raise all this to show that internalized homophobia is not a surprising but an expected phenomenon. I’m sure that even those among us who no longer hate themselves for being LGBT will admit that it was not always so. They had to fight and claw their way to self-acceptance. Should you then turn around and judge those who are still far behind in their journey to self-acceptance?

The journey to self-acceptance has three phases. It is important to know about it because only then can you determine what phase you are and how much progress you have made.

Being born in a homophobic environment, the first thing that will happen is that you will think the only thought that is available or popular as regards sexuality. They will say you are the scum of the earth and do not deserve to live, and you will believe them. Then you will become miserable, hate yourself and wish you were heterosexual.

The next stage that should happen if you must make progress is that you must take a critical look at your sexuality and weigh carefully the popular opinion on it. It is the result of that analysis that will determine if you will progress to the next stage (of self-acceptance) or not. If you come to realize that nothing is wrong with you and that you are normal, then no longer will you look in the mirror and hate the person that you see. Until you come to that realization, life will be a painful journey. You will have to stop swallowing everything you have been told and then begin to think for yourself. If you have not started thinking for yourself, then your brain is not better than a memory card that stores information without analysis. Put whatever crap you like into a hard drive and it will sit there and look pretty. You can only THINK your way out of sadness, self-loathing and internalized homophobia. Child, receive brain! Format that “memory card”, install a brain and reboot!

There are many facts and lines of argument that have been used to show that sexuality is a spectrum we populate. I do not intend to go into all of that here. I suggest that my readers who need information in this regard should do some Googling on the matter. This is the information age and the one thing you can access freely is INFORMATION. Internet is not just for porn, inugo? Read up about sexuality and free yourself from ignorance and its consequence (internalized homophobia). But for the purpose of this piece, we will examine the concept of normality.

The core LGBT issue is the question of normality. People assume that they know enough to distinguish normal from abnormal. There is a thin line between what I think is abnormal and what is abnormal. It is relatively easy to distinguish normal from abnormal in some domains of medicine. A child born with a hole in the heart that should not be there has an abnormal heart. We can say that and get away with it. We can use the word “abnormal” especially because the heart will not function optimally and so there will be a “lack of ease” distress or “dis-ease”. In other words, medicine uses a functional approach to distinguish the abnormal. If that same child is able to live as healthily as every other child in spite of the hole in its heart, medicine, with a finger in its nose, will say that this hole is a “normal variation”. Don’t laugh oh! That’s how it is. Even in medicine, there are situations where it is hard to define what normal is.

The argument concerning normality is a free for all fight in the behavioural sciences. What is normal behaviour?

There are a few things we must take note of concerning NORMAL in the domain of human behaviour. First, NORMAL IS NOT UNIVERSAL. It is always a function of time and place. You can live in your village all your life and think eating snakes is abnormal, and then go to another village and realise that it is the most cherished delicacy. Pass your mother the salt with your left hand in Nigeria and receive a rain of slaps. But in some countries, do same and your mother honestly will not even notice what hand you used. Please tell me what is normal? So you see, the problem really is that of a mind that is pinned on one spot in the world map; a mind that has not opened itself up to history and geographical variations in culture and the “normal”; an uninformed mind or even a mind that refuses to consider the obvious.  What was abnormal 500 years ago is normal now. I can imagine what would happen if Beyoncé were to walk into the queen’s court in the Elizabethan era wearing a mini-skirt. She would offend their sensibilities so much that I can imagine half the women, who by the way are already struggling to breathe because of their tight corsets, passing out in disgust. Here we are today and it’s not just NORMAL but SEXY.

NORMAL IS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT. In other words, what constitutes normal behaviour in my community is simply what we have agreed is normal and may differ from what is considered normal in your community. We created this standard for ourselves and therefore we can destroy it if we please. And that is precisely what always happens. Please look at the history books. Cultures come and go, along with their definitions of NORMAL. If that is the case, whatever definition a community comes up with is entirely dependent upon the wealth of knowledge of the community in question. The community is a living thing; it garners experience, learns from them and evolves. So if a community is backward in terms of the quality of information it possesses, its definitions of normal and many other things for that matter, will be blighted by ignorance. This tells us a lot about not just Nigeria, but the homophobic world we live in.

NORMAL CANNOT BE DETERMINED ON THE BASIS OF PERSONAL SENTIMENT OR EXPERIENCE. And strangely, this is what we do all the time. You are disgusted by an act. That’s okay. But why should you think it has got anything to do with normality? Normal is neither what your grandmother told you nor what your teacher taught you. What you have been told is normal is what you have been told is normal and NOT what is normal.

After years of contention regarding normality in the field of human behaviour, mental health researchers decided that it’s best to define abnormal by the presence of distress and dysfunction. So let’s apply this to a homosexual relationship. Boy meets boy. Is he happy as a result? Very much so! Is he distressed by it? No, he rather feels fulfilled. Does it affect his functioning in his family, community or occupation? Not at all. So why would this be abnormal? If this person is happy about his sexuality and there is no “dis-ease”, what is the basis of our saying that it is abnormal apart from the fact that we just FEEL it is? That is how homosexuality was kicked out of the classification of mental disorders. In other words, behavioural scientists have been stupid in the past (understandable because they are human) but they have learnt their lessons and moved on. But the whole planet still lags behind in knowledge and wallows still in ignorance.

I have taken the pains to explain all of this to show to you, dear reader, that the human race really is comprised mostly of ignorant people. And don’t get it twisted, hunnay, you are ignorant too. But, in this one regard (sexuality), you happen to know better than the majority. It is therefore tragic that you do not realise that YOU are the smarter one in this whole sexuality brouhaha. You are the more up to date; you are more knowledgeable on the matter. If you are aware that you know better than the others, why then are you letting the opinion of ignorant people to distress you so much?

You are not looking at this antagonism against the LGBT community for what it is. IT IS THE SOUND OF EMPTY VESSELS MAKING THE LOUDEST NOISE. It is the rabble of the brain dead, the conference of the unthinking, and the cacophony of ignoramuses that is making you hate yourself. Think about this. Why should the opinion of the misinformed or uninformed take away your peace? That is the question. And this also happens to be my last question to you. Why should you feel inferior in spite of possessing superior knowledge? Why would you not walk among them with “double shoulder pad” and your head held high since you are the smarter one? Why should you be the one who gets pity for being “abnormal” when THEY should in fact be pitied for being retarded? Why have you allowed yourself to be handcuffed by a deranged opinion? Why has the fantasy of the ignorant stopped you from LIVING? Let the scale fall from your eyes and feel the wings now sprouting on your shoulders.

Live free!

Live and let live!

Aluta continua!

Written by Senseig-stay1

 

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  1. ken
    November 04, 05:15 Reply

    Ok lemme confess, I didnt read everything. But as I schemed through, I think this write up really hit the spot! Even in the lgbt world, we have hypocrites and bigots. People who have struggled to accept themselves but completely closed their minds to others. Its a shame really….that hate will come out of a gay person!

  2. Mandy
    November 04, 06:06 Reply

    And the final questions asked by sensei resonated in all the right places. This post is a resounding finish to an amazing series. Thank you, sensei, for all your education.
    And for KDians, let us try to be less replicas of the ignorant homophobes out there and more who we really are, open-minded and knowledgeable of the beauty of who we are.

    Live free! Live and let live!

  3. Dennis Macaulay
    November 04, 07:33 Reply

    ** Standing Ovation**

    Brilliant! Simply Brillant!

    I have said it countless times that being gay has made me a better person, I now put everything into perspective and try to see other stories rather than taking just the single story. It has made me very accepting of difference because whenever I want to express negative sentiments over something I don’t understand that voice reminds me “but you want them to accept you, yet you won’t accept this”, and I back down and think about it again.

    Put your mind to work, get as much information as you can, go beyond fantasizing about killing people you do not know, and who don’t give a damm about you. Use your brain, because the way to defeat stupidity and ignorance is by knowledge and information.

    Thankyou Sensei again! Imela

    • pete
      November 04, 08:29 Reply

      “Put your mind to work, get as much information as you can, go beyond fantasizing about killing people you do not know, and who don’t give a damm about you. ”

      This seems directed to a particular person.

      • posh6666
        November 04, 09:30 Reply

        Hmmm mr Pete dont start drama this morning oh lol.Btw Dennis whatsup with ur own weekly article now?been a while its one of my favourites

    • Mandy
      November 04, 11:50 Reply

      ‘…being gay has made me a better person, I now put everything into perspective and try to see other stories rather than taking just the single story. It has made me very accepting of difference because whenever I want to express negative sentiments over something I don’t understand that voice reminds me “but you want them to accept you, yet you won’t accept this”, and I back down and think about it again.’

      DM, are you sure about all this? Really sure? Like really really sure you don’t pounce in judgment using single stories? Are you sure?

  4. pete
    November 04, 08:27 Reply

    “Put your mind to work, get as much information as you can, go beyond fantasizing about killing people you do not know, and who don’t give a damm about you. ”

    This seems directed to a particular person.

  5. Dimkpa
    November 04, 08:39 Reply

    Thanks so much for this brilliant post. It was a joy to read especially the part why homosexuality was removed from the list of mental disorders. Unfortunately it is the other camp that is now in distress over it, homophobia should probably make it to the list.

    OAN

    Bikonu ndi KD, gbaanu mbo guo ihe edemede obula tupu unu ekwuo ihe gbasara ya.
    Ihe ozo, o bu gini kpatara na o buru na ihe edemede agbasaghi mmekorita nwoke na nwoke, o naghi adi anyi ka o kwesiri nneba anya?

    • Keredim
      November 04, 11:52 Reply

      @Dimkpa, you raised a couple of valid points however in the wrong language. In the spirit of inclusivity and for the benefit of the Non-Biafran readership, allow me to translate:

      “Please people of KD, endeavour to read what is put up before you open your mouth to talk.”

      “And another thing, why is it that if the writeup isn’t about gay sex, we don’t want to look properly into what it’s saying”

      No problem ?

  6. ikhines
    November 04, 08:45 Reply

    Mehn this article reminds me of reading terms and condition. I just had to skip through. Too lenghty. This sensei be feeling like moral prefect here though. One of these days I will find time and read your articles.

  7. Teflondon
    November 04, 08:57 Reply

    *trying really hard not to join the the chorus of praise from.. you guessed right. ass kissers!!* or how do you explain how someone would call an article they didn’t read thoroughly, spot on! what if there were flaws in the parts you skipped.
    however; I have to admit that sensei delivers every other week. He never fails to impress. I will like to point out though that I disagree with your arguments on Normalcy. your arguments are too one sided, Most of what you explained are from the view point of a Gay Man (which is expected) but I’ll like you to be as nuetral as possible to further strengthen your arguments. The way you think is admirable but still flawed as you tend to think from the point view of a Gay man. When sensitive issues like this are raised, it is important to view things from all perspective I.e from a gay mans point of view and from a str8 persons point of view then leave your readers with the choice to discern the info and act accordingly. if I am to argue with you right now, I would say that it’s understandable (normal) for a str8 person to think Gay sex is abnormal. I don’t agree with that line of reasoning but I understand why a straight person will think that. All I am trying to say is, in your arguments leave room for or give details of other people’s perspective to issues raised then leave your readers to talk it out and decide for themselves.

    Could everything I just said now be blabs? Possibly. But it doesn’t take rocket science to understand were I am trying to go with this.

    Once again, applauds Mr Sensei For another everyother weekly dose of impactful teaching. Can we make this weekly? Scrap the other one.. Maybe? Lol of cause I know the answer to that.

    • Hodge
      November 04, 09:49 Reply

      Dont say that. He viewed it medically okay?
      The child with a hole in the heart is there to buttress the point.

      He needed to pick on something people view as abnormal. Straight is not viewed as abnormal. There is no argument at all in that. The fact that it is normal for straight people to view gay people as abnormal is still a function of time and space.

      I already said that bisexuality was honoured in Greece back then. Those spartans could have derived joy in sexually subduing men and women.. It makes them feel a lot like god.

      So that your argument still is a seedling sprouting lazily.

    • lonz
      November 04, 23:03 Reply

      The fact that you say you are trying so hard to not join the ass Kissers means you are not judging the argument based on its merit.
      In cases of oppression the aim is to liberate. You should not pay importance to how the oppressor saw the matter. E.g when slavery was abolished blacks did not care how whites felt. Or when blacks could vote etc. Or who cares that we should kill twins as is our culture in Nigeria, who looks at it from their point of view.

      When someone is wrong we aim to jolt them. We don’t need to know their point of view in depth. They are wrong. That’s it.

  8. Hodge
    November 04, 09:32 Reply

    Alright. Sensei its a really good job. I enjoyed every bit of it. Well, i think the plague we suffer as Africans is that of finding it difficult to read articles with more than two paragraphs.

    If you had summarised this in just 3 paragraphs, a lot of suitable info and amazing humour would have been lost. So, I didn’t mind reading it all to the last part.
    Very captivating.

    Normalcy is a function of time and space. Yes. You right. Paedophilic tendencies were completely normal in our culture until recent times. We are begining to combat it. The northerners still are affecred by such inclinations, whereas the rest of the western world find it repulsive.

    I once read an article that had made mention of bisexuality as being a more masculine virility back in ancient greece and rome.
    You would be regarded as a real man if you could subdue men and women at the same time. That was why the Centurion whom the Bible said, loved his servant, is being suspected of having same-sex feeling, especially in Anglican doctrine.

    I also think the reason most of us arent completely accepting gay life is the fact that our different religions are bearing down on us in all angle.
    When they tell you homosexual sin cries makee God want to take vengence, you keep wondering how it is that he left the whole problem of wickedness to concentrate and maiming lives of gay people.

    Some have become atheists and others agnostics. It helps them maintain their view of normal variations.
    Some religions have been trying to readress some parts of their doctrines, and accommodate certain orientations that have been considered natural.

    It will still take a long while before a society that sees sexual orientations as normal variations will emerge.

    The catholic church, judaism and Muslim community might have been extinct then, or more forgiving. Right now Pentecostal churches are accepting these orientations.

    Nice one bro

  9. Chizzie
    November 04, 09:56 Reply

    Didn’t read all of this cause it was too long.

    But anyways, what is your definition of a self loathing LGBT person? Would you say I am self loathing because I do not completely embrace trans people or trans issues and hope to not have trans children? Or because I would not want my kids to be exposed to explicit gay content on TV? Does that make me self loathing? Or maybe just a gay man who’s proud of his sexuality but with a different set of ideologies?

    I am gay because I am sexually attracted to the same sex, and thats where it stops. It doesn’t alter the principles Ive set for myself , or the ideology I stand on and was raised on, and would most likely raise my kids on too .

    Just because I like to get fucked by my fellow man, doesn’t mean I have to think the way we all expect people like me to think. No way

    You have to properly identify what it is to be a self loathing member of the LGBT and in a concise way that is striaght to the point, not all these stories

  10. Delle
    November 04, 10:04 Reply

    I think I knew what you were trying to pin-point so I didn’t read all #confession.
    Maybe you should try shortening inspirational articles like this, drama may be lengthy (but it’s drama…ENTERTAINING!). Inspirational write-ups on the other hand are just that, inspiring.
    Kudos shaa for making out time 2 write ‘all’ of that. Xoxo

  11. Max
    November 04, 11:48 Reply

    “Internet is not just for porn, inugo? Read up about sexuality and free yourself from ignorance and its consequence (internalized homophobia). ” ????.
    ???
    Beautiful piece, beautiful.

  12. Dickson Clement
    November 04, 12:45 Reply

    No matter how open my mind is or how comfortable av become with myself, there is this one question that keeps coming ‘If you have a chance to choose hetero or homo, which will it be? The answer is always the same, never changed and I don’t see it changing!

  13. Khalssei
    November 04, 13:46 Reply

    Wow! Sensei has done it again!! I was blowing kisses as i read each paragraph!! Homophobes in this part of the world are largely homophobic and deeply ignorant because most of their knowledge of gays comes churches relying on a millenia-old book, as long as they remain so attached to that book, homophobia will continue to thrive and purr like a well fed and pampered feline.
    In addition to the reasons you gave, a lot of gays are also depressed because though they have accepted themselves, in a society largely populated by homophobes, they will never be accepted and since we as humans are conditioned to draw validation from social contacts with our immediate environment, we tend to fall into a depressed state when we are unable to obtain this validation.
    Your three phases to self acceptance as a gay man is spot on!!
    I have also repeatedly asked, “what is normal”? Nature intended for a woman to have one child at a time, yet every now and then women pop out 2, 3, 4 even 5 children in one go, nature intended for humans to be right-handed, yet every now and then, we have individuals who show a strong preference for using their left hands in their daily functions, examples abound of the diversity of nature!! thats what nature is, its diverse and comes in all shades and colors and not merely in black and white!!

    Thanks Sensei ..

  14. Andrevn
    November 04, 16:46 Reply

    Growing up I’ve always questioned the constants by normalcy and abnormality are measured.

    The world all over, testaments of nature abound that shows it’s resounding ability to churn out variations of things without warning from the melanistic leopard to the Australian aqua-dwelling egg laying platypus to Hibiscus hybrids to genetic mutations in Chimeras.

    The truth therefore just as Adol Sensei opined is that ‘Normalcy is ONLY a function of time and space’; insert mine

    Thanks for this rousing piece Adol. Pained tho that this is your last entry on this series. I’ve always watched this space.

    OAN: I’ve always loved the humorous analogies and amazing parallels that you interweave into and lace each and every one of your writes with.

  15. sensei
    November 04, 17:21 Reply

    For all those who loved the series, thank you. Thank you for all the criticism, both constructive and baseless. Sorry about the length of some entries. This last one was probably the longest. I threw caution to the wind because it was the last. And perhaps the issue is serious enough to merit a long article? Serious enough to merit setting aside 10 minutes of your 24hrs? But different strokes for different folks. *shrugs*. And for anyone who were bothered by the series, you can now rest, child. I torture you no more. It is over.

    *hops on cloud and floats away*

  16. Andrevn
    November 04, 17:58 Reply

    Hahaha…
    Negodu, just negodu!.
    Adol, ever heard that clouds can have mechanical and technical faults nd crash? *Levitates into the clouds*

  17. Sheldon Cooper
    November 04, 20:28 Reply

    Believe me, I really tried not to laugh at the “hole in the heart.” maybe I wouldn’t have if you haven’t said it.

    Yes, it was too long. I had to return to it this evening, ’cause I couldn’t finish it in the morning.

    I won’t deny the fact that it’s a beautiful piece. It reminded me of my personal journey to self acceptance.
    Thank you for taking out time to pen this down. I hope it inspires someone out there.
    How I wish I could share this on my facebook wall.

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