What Acceptance From A Loved One Should Look Like

What Acceptance From A Loved One Should Look Like

Many a time, as gay Nigerians who are beset with homophobia from family, friends and the society around us, we often settle for whatever scraps we get from those who exhibit any form of tolerance toward us. We rationalize it. We make excuses for it. We say things like, “My sexuality does not define me. So my straight friends do not need to know about me”, or “At least my parents still love me, other African parents throw their children out of the house when they find out that they’re gay.”

Sometimes, these justifications are reasonable, and make sense in the context of those of us who are simply trying to find the silver lining in an otherwise rotten situation. Other times, the justifications are simply a smokescreen that mask the fact that those making them are also struggling with some degree of self-acceptance or the other.

Either way, it all stems from the trauma of being part of an environment, a family, a circle where unconditional love is often not present for us. And if you love yourself enough and truly, you will recognize how short-changed you are by the behaviour of those who are supposed to love you toward you.

Travis Montgomery (played by Jay Hayden in Station 19) certainly knew this when he found himself with a father who didn’t accept him when he came out to him, and now he is an adult, his father is attempting to gaslight him on that experience.

In Season 4 Episode 10 of the show, titled ‘Save Yourself’, both men have a stand-off following Travis’s discovery that his father, Paul, is himself gay too, albeit closeted. It became clear to Travis that his father’s rejection of him stemmed from his own self-loathing.

“Did you know that for most of my life, I thought that it was my fault that you hated me, that I had done something wrong,” Travis lashed out at his father in the scene. “For you to never come to any of my wrestling matches or meet any of my friends, not coming to my wedding and making mom follow suit. I just I couldn’t figure out why you hated me so much.”

“Travis, I could never hate you,” Paul protested.

“I know. I mean I know that now,” Travis replied. “You actually hate yourself. I just wish it didn’t take you so long to figure that out because that night with the soup, I could have used a dad that loved me, who loved himself, but instead, you just walked away.”

When Paul attempted a defense by responding with: “I didn’t know what to say”, Travis went on to give a powerful monologue on what acceptance looks like.

Watch the video below, and share with us what you think.

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