Titled We Are Flowers: An Anthology Of Queer Art, the literary effort championed by the 14 team and contributed to by Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike is on the dawn of its publication online.
Below is an excerpt from one of its pieces titled After The Law Was Passed by Pink.
I read about it on Linda Ikeji’s blog. I was at work that day and I spied something about it on my friend’s Blackberry pm, and I just knew the gossip queen, Linda would have the full gist. So I checked her blog and there it was: the signage into law of a new status quo. One that had instantly turned folks like me into potential criminals and jail prospects.
As the day drew to an end, as I monitored the blogosphere and observed the virtual war that raged between the self-righteous majority of heterosexuals and the indignant minority of gay activists, I fell to the clutches of depression. The opinions were flying with rapid-fire intensity across the internet.
The sick bastards, this is what they deserve!
Judge not that you may not be judged…
Go to hell, gays! But first of all, go to jail!
If it is your brother or sister who you discover is gay nko…
This is an abuse of a minority’s human rights!
Jonathan doesn’t realize what he has done!
God help us! God help Nigeria!
Melancholy, dark and heavy, descended on me as the sun set on that day. I started questioning my existence as a human being, as a Nigerian, and as part of God’s creation. My country thinks I’m a criminal. My Christian brethren think I’m a sin. My countrymen think I’m an abomination. What was the point of living, really? It was like my early University days all over again, that period when I struggled to make my peace with my sexuality.
And then I started to withdraw. With the news of rampant gay lynching came trepidation; I started looking over my shoulder, and seeing accusations in every stranger’s eyes that looked at me a little longer than necessary before passing me by. With the news of impromptu police searches of the phones of young male pedestrians came the sense of self preservation; I deleted all the gay porn in my phone, right along with the gorgeous pictures of Tyson Beckford (#sigh I’d always prayed I would one day have sex with that guy) and the sleek, segzy photos of a well-built friend of mine (#grin Now him I have had sex with).
But then, the good thing about self preservation is that it pulled me out of my depression. Because the will to live is birthed only when one has developed the instinct to protect life, to keep life – yours – at all costs.
And then time passed.
And Boko Haram struck.
And public officials mismanaged funds.
And as the outrage of Nigerians was split, life went on.
I gradually regained the courage to get back on the dating sites. After all, I was still looking for love, wasn’t I? And somewhere beyond all the other gay men looking for a quick lay, beyond all the conniving straight men looking to entrap the gays, beyond all the good, the bad and the ugly, there had to be someone whose fuck…sorry, love would be my final bus stop.
So I reactivated my profile, and dived into the dating pool again.
It wasn’t long before he caught my eye. Well, actually, I caught his. He said hello first. And I clicked open his profile pictures and proceeded to check him out, to know if he was worth my time.
Quite good looking. High cheekbones. Full, pouty lips (Gawd! I have a weakness for kissable lips). Plus his sense of humour wasn’t so bad.
And he was married too.
We Are Flowers: An Anthology Of Queer Art will be available for download on January 13 on Brittle Paper, My Mind Snaps and Kito Diaries.