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THAT BOY FROM JIGAWA

“The suspects were said to have formed a disciplinary committee to deal with the deceased after they SUSPECTED him to be a homosexual. So on that fateful day, they decided to deal with him where they allegedly took him to the bush and beat him up with sticks.”

The following day, his lifeless body was found.

This is a description of how a boy was killed in Jigawa on SUSPICION of homosexuality. He wasn’t caught in an act. He just acted funny.

You see, every society is best judged by how much they stand up for those who could potentially be oppressed – their women, their children, the poor, people who just want to love themselves consensually and be left alone.

But every day, Nigeria shows reasons why its humanity is in question. Every day we sink deeper and deeper into the abyss.

You don’t know what gay people go through because you’re not gay?

Well, you don’t have to know what they go through to empathize with them.

That gnawing inadequacy that comes with growing up in a society that tells you that you’re not normal.

The days spent brainstorming on what could be done to “change”.

That struggle to find yourself in the world, to accept oneself in a society consistently screaming that you’re flawed, a society consistently telling you that you chose this even as you wonder when the “sexual orientation of choice” form was given to you, or given to anyone for that matter

The five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The eons spent cavorting between stages, certain that the “end” is just around the corner. The long days spent telling yourself that it’s just a phase, the years spent on one’s knees, praying and fasting to a god that never seems to hear to change something that’s only seen as wrong because some men have dedicated their lives to living by the precepts of one book.

Did you know that most Muslim scholars disagree on whether gay people should be stoned to death or thrown off buildings? Well, now you do. Some arrived at a compromise to stone them to death if they’re not dead after being thrown off the building.

The impending danger always lurking in every corner, just because people do not accept you and feel the need to use violence to express that lack of acceptance.

That sadness that lingers in your heart when you’re out with the one you love and have to act like bros because, well, society. Are you staring into his eyes too long? Are you fawning too hard? Does that smile seem like something a guy would give another guy?

The fear the gay man feels knowing that sooner or later, family will bring up the question: “When are you getting married?” It doesn’t matter that it’s not their life. It doesn’t matter that they might have caught you with a man before. Once you marry a woman, you’ll change. They’re sure of it. What nonsense.

Do you know that gay people are more likely to become depressed and even suicidal? And no, they’re not built weaker than you are. It’s just that the stress of carrying society’s bullshit can mess with the mind sometimes. The paranoia that creeps in from always having to “straighten” oneself in public. Congratulations. You’ve created a society dedicated to exhausting the gay man emotionally.

But still we rise.

We’re a country perpetually obsessed with the wrong things and perpetually making progress in the wrong direction.

But all progress is good, right?

No.

The LGBT community is not a danger. It’s not a threat. They’re not saints and they’re not sinners. They’re a bunch of people no different from you, from everywhere and anywhere, who just want to love themselves consensually and are asking to be left the FUCK ALONE!

How hard is that?

Written by Vhagar


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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4 comments

  1. Thank you. I hope he gets justice.

  2. Pauline'Lina' Ife

    But why must the populace take laws into their hands?
    Isn’t it the duty of the government (bodies) not religious to see to these rules?
    Naija! I hail thee!!!

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