In early 2017, I was coming home from school. There was this barbershop at the end of my street. Some guys were sitting in front of it, loudly discussing women or football; I don’t really remember, though they were loud. I however remember it was rubbish they were discussing.

As I walked past them, they quieted down. Now that I think about it, I think one of them was my brother’s friend. I’m not a very friendly person, so there are many of my brother’s friends who I’ve met in his company but don’t talk to, not even hello, hi.

They see it as “He’s a snob.”

I see it as “I really have absolutely no fucking reason to exchange awkward greetings with you. Better we just don’t bother.”

So this group of young men in front of the barbershop quieted, and I began to get anxious because I could hear them whispering and I knew they were looking at me. You know that feeling when you know all eyes are on you, judging you, that feeling of inadequacy that jumps from within you, out of nowhere.

I became so self-conscious.

However, I couldn’t have been prepared for what happened next.

They started catcalling me, calling out words like, “Heiss. Baby! Asa! Omalicha!”

They were laughing too.

I felt humiliated, so humiliated I wished I would disappear. I could hear their derisive laughter behind me. It completely blindsided me, and I had no idea how to respond, how to collect myself, how to maintain my composure.

Then, my inner person said to me: BITCH WALK!

And it took a lot of guts, but I did.

If this had happened five years ago, I would have given an abashed smile and scurried away.

But I’ve grown so much since secondary school.

I began to walk like I was on Drag Race, sashaying for the grand prize. I even waved at them over my shoulder as I sashayed like my life depended on it, as though they were cheering for me.

It wasn’t that their mockery did not get to me. It was just that I was telling myself:

You must not be ashamed!

You must not be ashamed!

You must not be ashamed!

You must be proud!

You must be fucking proud!

When they realized their plan of humiliation had backfired, they started insulting me. “Mumu! Onukwu! Anumanu!”

I was smiling to myself, and waving and doing my best runway walk (and believe me when I tell you, I can be a “that gurl” on the runway), till I got out of earshot, till I walked into my compound.

I’d like to say a Thank You” to Ru Paul’s Drag Race for preparing me.

Just imagine underemployed homophobic idiots that spend their waking hours in bet9ja, trying to shame me by treating me the way they treat women.

I simply reminded myself that I am fabulous, and then I was like: BITCH, HELL TO THE FUCKING NO!

And that, my friends, is one of the events that come to my mind when I think of Pride.

Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

Happy fucking Pride!

Written by Kayode

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  1. Mandy
    June 27, 18:22 Reply

    I. Love. This.
    We are here. We are fab. We are going nowhere. And we’ll show you with a good Drag Race sashay.

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