It has always lived in his eyes, dancing in the shadows and avoiding the light, afraid of being discovered.

Yet I already knew it was there.

But he didn’t know I knew.

It sometimes escaped in between his words, galloping out in his sighs and laughter, then promptly disappearing, like a vampire afraid of sunlight.

The sunlight of truth.

This friend of mine.

Recently we sat together to watch a movie, at the Toronto International Film Festival.

I would not say which film here since I watched three films with three different friends. I would not say which one because I care about my friend and would not want to undress him in public.

But this friend is delicately created, a sensitive soul sailing lonely through a judgmental world.

Yesterday he was so moved by the movie we watched that he turned to me with tears streaming down his face and asked me, “Jude, do you have a secret so dark and so deep that it feels like there is hot coal burning in your chest? A secret you want to share, but fear holds you hostage. A secret that follows you like your shadow and accuses you daily like the devil…”

And I shook my head.

He looked at me for a moment which felt like an eternity, as the film credits rolled and people walked out of the theatre.

Then he whispered, “I have a secret.”

“I know.”

He hesitated. “How do you know?”

“I have always felt it.”

“Oh no. I thought you… didn’t… couldn’t have… imagined… I… felt like that… about you?”

“Remember what I told you about me? That I don’t know how I can hear the unspoken thoughts of people, sense their moods and feel their heart desires without them even sharing it with me?”

He slowly nodded before he whispered, “I truly didn’t believe you.”

I smiled.

He continued. There was trepidation coating his words. “Do you feel the same way about me?”

“I love you too, but not like the way you love me.”

And I could hear his breath catch in his throat, and his lips began to tremble.

“I am so sorry, I shouldn’t feel this way about you, but I can’t help myself. I know you would stop being friends with me and…”

His words were mumbled, and I stopped him. “No, I would never feel wronged because I was loved. To be loved is an honour and to love back is gift. I love you too – as a true friend. Can’t you see that I have always been here even though I knew how you felt? There is no shame in feeling what you feel…”

“But you are a guy and I am a guy, my loving you and you not even being like me would definitely change things between us.”

“We are humans first and foremost. And love is a language that understands, not sex, race, religion or anything else. I see you as a human like me before anything else that seeks to differentiate us. And I want to thank you for loving me and assure you that even though I cannot reciprocate it as you want it, I will always be here as a friend. I promise you that. I would always be your friend.”

“Even though you know I am what I am.”

“I have always known. All those girlfriends you tried to hide behind never fooled me.”

He fell silent and his chest heaved. His shoulders fell. His head sank lower slowly.

And I reached over and hugged him. I could feel his body slack against mine. Like a corpse bereft of hope. And my heart was filled with a terrible sadness.

“Please don’t give up hope. The one who would love you like you deserve to be loved is already in search of you. He will find you. Just keep on believing.”

And he cried, with the muffled howls of the hopelessly bereft.

So I hugged him tighter, and silently, I sent out a prayer to the universe on his behalf.

And when we left the theatre later on, there was light in his eyes. And his smile was painted with hope.

He knows he still has a friend in me, and believes, as I believe, that the guy for him is slowly zeroing in.

Brother, I know you would read this, thank you for giving me permission to share this.


Always remember, through the changing tides of this unpredictable world, that…

There is no shame in love.

Written by Jude Idada

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  1. Ayo
    September 28, 06:58 Reply

    A good way to start the day, thanks for sharing this, positive vibes only

  2. Simba
    September 28, 09:13 Reply

    We have an ally yeahhh.. Thank, for being supportive and understanding to our plight. Lucky is ur friend. God bless

  3. Malik
    September 28, 09:23 Reply

    Cheers to beautiful people and fantastic storytellers.

    • Mandy
      September 28, 09:55 Reply

      Hehehee. It’s a bitch.

  4. Mandy
    September 28, 09:58 Reply

    Jude Idada not-so-subtly putting the word out there that he ain’t gay. So all your thirst admirers of his, note this: he’ll hug you but he ain’t gonna kiss you. ??

    Nice to know one more person with humanity exists.

  5. Delle
    September 28, 12:43 Reply

    When I first saw this post these were my sentiments, “You can’t be that great a person and expect me not to fall in love with you. You expect I don’t fight for it too. I will. And it’s more painful that you don’t have an issue with me feeling like that towards you. Fuck you! Fuck you for being almost perfect. Fuck you for giving me all the reasons to be subdued. Fuck you for being straight! And fuck courtesy. Fuck the right things.

    How can I let go of such a person? Even if it takes me cross-dressing, I’m going to try. Oh God knows I will. And I won’t stop until a better person comes my way.”

  6. Tdawg
    October 04, 17:48 Reply

    Wow. Great share. Real friendship is hard to find… and you’ve proven to be a real friend. I hope your friend appreciates you.
    Some of us are out here looking for someone like you to open up to and just be real with.
    At TIFF, there was this popular Nigerian actor hitting on me and I wouldn’t give in not because I didn’t want to, but because it looked like a “hide-an-seek” game I wasn’t ready to play.

    Cheers, Jude.

  7. pablo
    October 22, 11:03 Reply

    So Jude isn’t gay after all.. Cool.
    At times I wonder, if I were straight, would I be accommodative of lgbt ppl?

    • Pink Panther
      October 22, 11:58 Reply

      Good question. You wanna explore that in a writeup for us? 🙂

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