When The Closet Door Stands Ajar

When The Closet Door Stands Ajar

My name is Jon Snow, and I know plenty.

Pre-antigay-law, like most other gay folks, I lived in my very comfortable closet with in-built, state-of-the-art, everything-I-needed luxuries, along with enough fuck buddies to keep body and soul in place, and no intrusion whatsoever from the prying eyes of family. Those were the good old days.

Then the antigay law was signed into existence, and suddenly, the issue about homosexuals became a household discourse in most Nigerian families.

I’d always been gay for as far back as I can remember. I had my first gay kiss with the neighbor’s kid at age five. I wasn’t molested, possessed or converted. As children, we didn’t have a name for those stolen intimacies we shared; we simply acted out of pure instincts. And so, it quickly became a huge burden on me when I listened to the castigations of everything I am by my family, these people whom I share blood ties with.

The curious case of Jon Snow began when Yours Truly, the energetic and crazy person my family was used to began to withdraw and remain steadfastly incommunicado whenever the gay subject was broached. I was always the one who talked the loudest and argued the hardest in every argument, and yet, here I was, not having an opinion whenever the ‘Jail The Gays’ topic was brought up. A few offhand remarks from a brother here and a sister there later, and I began to realize that the spotlight was searching me out.

I had to do something. My paranoia kicked into overdrive. I stopped meeting with anyone, potential hookup or previous sex interest, within a thousand miles of my home. I had to stop my male visitors, mostly friends of mine who are gay, from visiting, a decision that cost me some good friendships. That was regrettable, but I had to do what I had to do to maintain the security of my closet.

I thought that was the worst of it. How wrong I was.

I remember when this extended relative of mine (whom I still hate till date) visited. He returned home from France (where he does only God knows what) for his father’s funeral, and decided to stay for dinner that evening. Somehow the conversation swung over to the topic of the “homos”. For someone who had lived abroad for quite some time, I expected a little more sense from him. I was however disappointed when he boisterously agreed with the rest of the diners that gay people are what is wrong with the country, our nation and the world at large. To think that this was a man residing in France, one of the earliest nations to decriminalize same sex relations since 1791 following the French revolution. You would think some of that progressiveness would have rubbed off on him. I quickly lost my appetite that evening.

Fast forward to 2015, and I’m done with medical school, though yet to bag a decent paying job that can get me as far away from home as possible and let distance do the magic. And all this time, I have been tiptoeing about the landmine of keeping my sexuality to myself, while dreaming of the day I’d be self sufficient, utterly independent with nary a fuck to give, so that if I wanted to, I could sashay out of the closet onto a red carpet, lip syncing to Diana Ross’s ‘I’m coming out’, with two middle fingers in the air.

My dream . . . before I realized that the witches from my village were on a mission to bring me out before I’m ready.

First were my siblings, all comfortably older than I am (a few now married with children), tormenting me about never having a girlfriend or showing the slightest interest in girls. Every time they pulled that question up, my knee-jerk reply varied from a deadpan “Let it be…”, to a glum “I am not interested…” or a defiant “I’m still twenty-five for chrissakes!”

Then came the cyber stalking, with those who are active on the social media nosing about my Facebook and Twitter affairs. No problem. I sacrificed my Facebook to them. I kuku wasn’t active on Twitter. But Instagram and BBM – Olorun maje! They want to see the plenty gbagaun on my timeline?! God forbid abomination! I blocked them all!

On one occasion, I caught my sister scrolling through my text messages. I was furious, and for the next several minutes, heatedly tried to educate her on the concept of privacy. And all through, she proved that not all students who come to class assimilate what the teacher is saying. I was however relieved to note that she’d been snooping on my holy phone and not the other hoe-ly one.

The next day, she tried pimping me off to her friend. I humoured her, played along, even though I felt some pity for the poor girl who I couldn’t bring myself to act anyway more than perfunctory toward during the awkward minutes that my sister left us alone to get acquainted. I mean, how do I bring myself to make her understand that like her, I toss my salads only when a nice cucumber is in it?

Then came the open confrontation some days ago.

“Young man, are you sure you’re not gay?” she fired, with hard disdain in her eyes.

“Is there something on my forehead that’s giving you the audacity to ask me that?” I shot back. The fight had been bubbling long before we came around to this.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she raged.

“What gave you the impression that I might be gay?”

“I have been having these weird dreams about you lately –”

“For now, let’s just hope it remains in your dreams!”

“So you are saying you are not…”

“I’m saying that what happens in your dreams is the least of my worries.”

“If my own flesh and blood turns out to be such –”

“So those who happen to be gay are not other people’s flesh and blood?” I said, interrupting the venom she was about to spew. “Or are they lesser human beings than you and your own?”

“You need to mind the way you run your mouth with me!”

“You need to watch the fever that has been disturbing your dreams!”

I could see this all for what it was – a ticking time bomb. I could not remain in the house on the heels of such a confrontation with my sister. And so, I made up a smart lie that would take me out of town for a few days. The tension in the air was almost becoming palpable. And the witches that were stirring my pot were garnishing away at the brew.

Even now, I know the members of my family can smell the rat somewhere. It is just a matter of time before the line that connects the dots is drawn. I can hear the closet doors creaking already. I just pray the fates will be kind enough and buy me more time to be well out of reach when those doors are finally forced wide open.

Written by Jon Snow

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  1. Jamie
    October 01, 06:34 Reply

    Be strong Jon. And don’t overeact when they bring such issues up!! The more concerned you look/sound, the more suspicious they’d become. Homosexual or not, noone should be so interested in the other’s sexuality; it’s something I’d find hard to compose myself to do, but it happens to be the best, now you are not self-dependent yet.
    I wish you strength!!!

  2. simba
    October 01, 06:59 Reply

    Luckily u ‘ve graduated from medical school,probably awaiting housejob. Save ur housejob money cus its a lot. That can give u, the escape u need. You may not land such money again until residency. About ur family, pls deal with it. We all have family ish.. ur happiness is solely urs. I pray u get good friends and good job, then u shall realize that ur gay closet door,it’s the least thing to worry about. Career and people dying in ur care would keep u busy… cheers young man..

  3. Mandy
    October 01, 07:05 Reply

    This Jon Snow sure knows a lot. lol
    And that your sister though… having weird dreams ko, having wet dreams ni. She should just say what’s on her mind.

  4. Colossus
    October 01, 07:23 Reply

    “Yesterday I dreamt I was driving a truck, I really don’t know why but I woke up perplexed. Is the Lord trying to tell me something? Am I destined to drive a truck?”

    That was the line I used when someone once told me he had a dream about me and I should pray and fast… Blah blah blah.
    Your sister should learn that a dream is just that, a dream. A lot of people need to learn that.
    Hopefully you’ll be independent soon, it won’t stop them from disturbing you but it would help lessen the frequency.

    • Jon Snow
      October 01, 08:36 Reply

      Collosus are you going to let go of that truck you’re destined to have claim that dream ooo… I have my dream of travelling the world with two and half kids and bae of life

      Good morning sensei **ignores angry Oduanya from Pinky**

  5. Teflondon
    October 01, 08:54 Reply

    If anything, I bet your mum already knows about your sexuality. (They always know don’t they? Mothers) they might be ‘shuush’ about it but they know.
    You sister needs to calm her titties, what’s her own sef. Blood ties is no criteria for unconditional love afterall.

    It’s never easy coming out of the closet, do not be decieved. Becareful who you invite into those closets too, they could open the doors behind your back for your family to gain entrance as my case was.
    Lastly, gaining independence is good and running away to a far far place maybe better but will it really free us totally from family pressures? esp when we used to have close bonds with all or some of them.
    I hate to be pessimistic but the light at the end of the tunnel is Dim for those of us that hold family bond dear.

    • Francis
      October 01, 12:57 Reply

      Family bonds *sighs* that’s one bond I keep working at keeping as loose as possible. Once they know you can’t live without them they start trespassing!

    October 01, 09:04 Reply

    same thing i keep asking God to do for me!… He should just give me few more years to tidy up things… Jon snow, you are you, you have something already, you graduated, just keep been careful its just for some time… U sure know alot

  7. Keredim
    October 01, 09:39 Reply

    Your sister said

    “I have been having these weird dreams about you lately –”

    That sounds like incestual lust to me??

  8. Noel
    October 01, 09:59 Reply

    this was the same thing my friend was complaining to me yesterday. The close marking is too much. Worst part is that this my guy is still a virgin at 20+. The trauma he is going through is much. I can’t even deal. I asked him, when must you stop pleasing your family before u commit suicide? cos for once your life has always being on gauge. Thank God they are sending him out for masters. funnyshot he said if they see him again in 100 years coming they should take.
    OAN: wats happening?are Ghanaian guys better than us? why this trend of going to Ghana for shag cos they are cute, have cakes blah blah?

    • kacee
      October 01, 10:06 Reply

      here we go again cakes cakes cakes. if they see him again hahahahahaha

  9. Chizzie
    October 01, 10:04 Reply

    I’m glad my family isn’t homophobic. My mum and siblings sympathize with the current situation of gays here and we are all against that horrid anti gay law! Plus we all watch Drag Race together with my mum arguably being Rupaul’s biggest fan.

    But every now and then the ‘when-will-we-see-your-girlfriend talk comes up. The last time I was home I had to lie that my flatmate (who is my NYSC bff) was my girlfriend *spits* and when I get back home finally, I’m going to inform them that we had a messy break up and I’m staying off relationships for now.

    • kacee
      October 01, 10:09 Reply

      *frowns at Chizzie* smh, so girls are disgusting? mchewwwww

      • Francis
        October 01, 13:03 Reply

        Lol. He’s spitting at the thought of having a girlfriend….. I think

  10. Max
    October 01, 10:27 Reply

    No matter how long you wait, no matter how long you think you need, it’ll never be enough. There’ll always be an excuse not to come out.
    Siblings like to poke their nose in each other’s biz and the only way to stop that is open confrontation.

  11. Delle
    October 01, 10:44 Reply

    Jon thanks 4 such a well constructed prose. Chizzie…I cnt say m mre perplexed! U mean dere r stilll parents in Nigeria dat aint homophobic? Dis is amazing. Pls whr ws she wen God ws givin me a mother (nt like I regret mine tho, buh hvin an anti-homophobic one wud hv been MIND-BLOWING)? Honey, dere r ways of handling such gay issues wif ur mum, after all, she is such a free-lancer on d issue. D ‘girl’ ish isn’t necessary Chizzie, come out 2 her! Chow
    *walking away*

    • Keredim
      October 01, 10:58 Reply

      Hey, I am sure you made a good point, but do you mind interpreting what you wrote , preferably in long hand?

      Also do you mean “Ciao” as in bye or “Chow” as in food??

      • Delle
        October 03, 14:39 Reply

        You know, up until now I’ve never actually met people who find it tasking understanding things written in their short-forms. Anyway, like u can obviously see, I’m trying my possible best 2 ‘blend’ into d ‘long-hand’ conventional way of writing. I wonder what happened to d ‘quick nd easy’ motto of short-hand.

        P.S: Ciao nd chow…let’s just say I’m not familiar with those words, but I’ve taken correction though. Thanks

  12. PP's bae
    October 01, 11:03 Reply

    i think my mum knows…i can tell she silently hopes its not true…..as for my siblings…they can poke for africa…whenever the girlfriend ish comes up…i just tell em i got school and money issues to tackle and that i want a foreign gf…lol

    • Santa Diaba
      October 01, 12:07 Reply

      Lmaooooo what an interesting name. PP’s bae okwa ya?

      Pinky are you seeing this? ???

  13. Francis
    October 01, 13:08 Reply

    Jon Snow, stay strong and pray financial independence comes your way soonest. It will help ease the burden and don’t go living above your means sha like some doctors wey I know that can borrow for Africa!

    Save, save, save against when shit really hits the ceiling

  14. Andrevn
    October 01, 13:08 Reply

    When my big sis confronted me
    “Andrevn, You are gay?”
    “Oh, that?. Are you just noticing?” I said
    *One hour later* We’ve had a heart felt discourse. She was teary-eyed all through while I smiled and laughed all through with the very ambience of a newly betroth virgin. We hugged each other and promised to talk more about it – Me helping her understand my world.
    Now that’s one person less, seven more to go

    So my dear Jonie, Family already do know about our sexuality. They would confront you only in a bid to assuage their worst fears or rather in this scenario confirm it.
    So worry less bro, Family already knows.

    PS: Pls do leave The _Sensei ALONE Ok. Unless you so love the burning heat of fire. No drag, Just a FACT!

    • Jon Snow
      October 01, 15:15 Reply

      awwwww thanks shuga ???
      As for the later part of your comment, ? ? ? I’m quite sure you didn’t mean that. Cos come on! An acid bath wouldn’t look good on you, or does it???

  15. iamcoy
    October 01, 14:26 Reply

    Those interesting dreams they always have..
    You have yourself a lifeline Jon, u have got an education, so seek independence and things will fall into place. Coming out or not should be your narrative because only you understand the intricate dynamics.

  16. Ruby
    October 01, 15:27 Reply

    Oh Hunnay!!!
    I had a similar situation courtesy Мy annoying and Nosy paternal uncle *whom I detest* but thankfully, Мy maternal Aunt n HERO *who did a lot of damage control* were able to die the matter before it really got out of hand.
    Now I’ve learnt to live for mee and stay away from any relative that could possibly spew any nonsense from their mouths.
    Just be strong Jon, you’ll pull through eventually.

  17. michael
    October 01, 15:53 Reply

    I have this potential in law who is on my case ooo. I’ve decided to stay away as far as possible from him.

  18. KingBey
    October 01, 17:14 Reply

    The only close relative that have confronted me openly twice was my Dad. He asked me directly “Are you gay?” And I replied with a firm NO. And brought home my girlfriend next day. I’m sure the high frequency of guys that was visiting me then caused that confrontation so I had to stop bringing anyone home. As for Mumsy, I’m dead sure she knows but she’s not really bothered about it. She’s only bothered about my becoming successful in life and not ending up poor. My three elder brothers don’t care.

  19. Sinnex
    October 01, 21:23 Reply

    I am know for a fact that my sisters know. They always ask me. In fact I don’t watch any movie with gay characters in them with them because they always look at me when they show them.

    I used a guy’s pix as my dp on WhatsApp for some days, my younger sister asked me if that was my boyfriend, I asked her why she said ‘the guy is soooo cute’.

    Another of my younger sister exclaimed while watching Glee some years ago that she wishes she had a gay brother so they would be doing gay things together.

    My in-law asked me if I was gay some years ago and I asked him why he was asking me, he said ‘my friend asked because he only sees you with only guys and no girl’.

    For years a female neighbor called me ‘Victor’, if you watch ‘The Gardner’s Daughter’ on AIT then you will know what I am talking about. She is presently dating a fashion designer who I think or wish is gay so that I would gloat.

    The truth is that I have no problem with coming out. It is not going to affect me, as long as my immediate family is concerned. The question is, am I strong enough? I love where I work and unfortunately I work for the government and it is our duty to defend every policy of government.

    As for being independent, I guess I have gotten to that stage since I am the one that they meet when they have any financial challenges. The only reason why I have not come out is because I have not met anyone that is worth it. If I come out today and decide to get married to a girl tomorrow, what will people say?

    I think being independent is not the only factor that determines or influences coming out, there are other things to consider before doing that. Your family is the last thing to worry about, except you just want to come out to your family.

  20. Dennis Macaulay
    October 02, 07:21 Reply

    Love your family but set clear boundaries and eventually people will stay out of your business!

    This is my current situation!

  21. Marc Francis of Chelsea
    October 21, 22:15 Reply

    I’ve been reading the Kito Stories so I think I have a better comprehension of what they entail. I have three separate ones (been quite the fool lol). How do I submit?

  22. Ame
    May 10, 17:33 Reply

    It’s really really sad the way we live in fear all through our lives. I mean who would choose to be GAY if given the option to be reborn? certainly not me. Almighty God guide our path we beg of you. (Amen)

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