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When You’re Gay In Nigeria

A lot of times we believe that we’re quite removed from certain elements of the west. Homosexuality is one of those issues which exist in our society but we are often very quick to handle it with a 10-foot pole. We don’t want to readily believe that it is something that is around us. Cultural and religious restraints go a long way in forming our mindset. However, once in a while we have to stop to think about people who are not so directly removed from homosexuality. The people being victimized. The close friends and family of people with this sexual orientation. All of them who have to live, and deal with the stigma that society has placed on this issue. Here’s a piece that lends some colour to the ordeal of homosexuality.

The writer has this to say about the piece:

“My writing is not gay activism. I write so that people may know that life is hard for these guys already. The best we can do for them is a little tolerance. With the bill and all that has happened thereafter, there’s close to an anarchy in this community and as a nation we have enough demons already that we do not wish to add this the list.”

Read and share your thoughts.


Your whole life is one colossal creationary displacement. You should have been born in Europe or some place in America, not here. Maybe He’d tossed you in Africa hoping you’d land in South Africa, but you look in the sky and it is a green-white-green. Shit! You go to the mirror and a square-in-a-round-hole stares back at you. You’re an anomaly, your very existence is an abomination.

Growing up, you realize you focus on your peers’ bulging crotches while they banter about the new girls they are cutting eyes at, but God forbid you were checking them out. You were just admiring the zipper on their jean, nothing more. Strong as you feel it, you couldn’t be one of those things they call homosexuals, those cursed, perverted, bedamned, anathemised and hell-sure lot. Everyone hates and condemns them, so you couldn’t be a walking taboo, admiring guys’ butts. God just forbid!

For all you have heard about your forbidden feelings no one has been directly. Spotted to be same as you and no one has checked in with you. You conclude you are alone. You carry your ton-weighing sexuality, lips-sealed, a burden breaking your neck that you cannot talk about. It is a live coal that burns in your mouth that you cannot spit out. Sacrilege! Then you journey through a spell-casting novena and make resolutions, but six months later you’re where you started. Gay!

Soon you get your first kiss and you’re relieved your feelings are twined in some other guy. Then you hear of guys who have been kissing guys. Same folks who trade tales of heterosexual conquest? Ah! Really? In the next session you make your own imaginary boast, finally!

The more you think about it the more you feel caged, lonely, with no canvass to paint out emotions you can, like a jarred bottle of Coke. Those like you keep to themselves and before long you take to porn, ignoring the females and ogling every bump of muscle, every fleck of hair on the stallions. That is the picture in your head when you go to the bathroom for water and soap and an addiction builds, slowly. You do more novenas, more self-abasement, but give them up. Soon you realize nothing changes.

And that was just before a whole new world emerged on the social media. You realize you have been stuck in ages past after you had those epiphanic chats on Facebook: two guys commending your looks and asking for your cell phone number. But you cannot – should not! – have guys making gay advances through an account where brothers and sisters and relatives and colleagues are listed and information says ‘Interested in Women’. So you create a phoney Facebook account and name it something silly, something to draw in like-minded guys. You name it ‘Fine Gboy’ and make something provocative a profile picture, a headless picture of your chiseled venter maybe. You block out all suggestive profiles on your main account and request friendship of same through the phoney account where everything guys happen and information says ‘Interested in Men’. And there you select friends like you’re picking Adani rice. No effeminate-looking/acting dude. That’s an abomination within the sacrilege your life already is, like contacting Hepatitis B after a HIV+ diagnosis. No students, too much drama. Just working-class, safe!

On your fake Facebook account, you are introduced to the gay websites. You sign up on both and plunge deeper into the cultic hide-and-seek game being gay in Nigeria is. Soon you are meeting guys located far and near, people like you, men seeking men, and you bless the Lord for the internet. Badoo and BBM come and communication is more spot-on, guys are even closer; only you detest those guys who’ve filled in ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’ as their sexuality on Badoo where they could have left the row blank. This is Nigeria! You want to remind them.

Gradually you hit the big 30 and the question of marriage becomes indivertible. Your friends tell you how they have to work up an erection to fulfill conjugal responsibilities to the ladies they have spoused. You do not envy them. You do not blame them. This is Nigeria! Everyone gets married! Everyone must have a child! And for a fugitive moment, you consider fleeing to Europe. You discard the thought.

But pick it right up when one morning you wake up and on the TV heard the debate on the senate floor. Not long after, your sanctimonious senators comminate everything gay and slam a 14-year legislative seal on it. With that an era of doom commences for you and your kind. Heterosexuals invade your cabalistic social media luring your brothers and experimenting all sorts of evil on them. They are brutalized, robbed, humiliated on streets and workplaces, but they take it in good stride, a lesser evil than the 14-year imprisonment against which they cannot make a fuss and their antipathetic assailants quote for justification. You hear of those stoned in the North, and of who are forcefully exorcised. Quickly, you deactivate your profile and are wary of even trusted acquaintances. You get irritable at the lie you see you have to live forever. Nigeria – all 923,769 sq km of it – becomes a pesky claustrophobic space, it closes in on you. Now you hate even the air here and wish wings to carry you across the Atlantic. You make up your mind to leave, anywhere but here. You decide Europe. Or maybe America.

Written by Chinagorom Martin

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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  1. All people are equal: black, white, male, female, straight, gay, bright, dim, left-handed, right-handed, rich, poor. All have a right to be here and to be treated equally. My heart goes out to the persecuted through no fault of their own.

  2. Well, as well laid out as this may seem, i choose to reserve my comment for this piece is not conclusive and has not considered who we are, what we stand for and the rights of all………and in the quest of rights, to think about it, no one is clear-cut right. I may be a human right activist, but there is a limit to what should be and what is right. I totally don’t agree with the objective thinking laid out above.

  3. No one is born gay. Those who say they are, where not born so. This is a pure habit just like masturbation. Will you say those that masturbate where born with it. Being gay is a pure habit that sometimes start in a young age through pairs. It can stop and can be stopped if the one affected wishes to stop it. No one is born to be a smoker, lesbian, drunk, thief e.t.c. These are pure habits that can be conquered. Soddom and Ghormorah where punished because of sins like Gay and the Nation is trying to save Her neck of this sin. When the people of Soddom and Ghormorah where warned to stopped this immoral acts, they refused to listen and tried to justify there actions and God destroyed that nation and till date they exist no longer. If you are gay, you can fight hard not to be again. I know its not easy but you can do it. Mail or call us and we will help you. 08038453818, jesusmaryapostolate@gmail.com

  4. This is one intelligent, factual and down to earth write up.
    Apart from the fact that to a large extent it mirrors my personal journey, I know count several guys who have narrated their stories who follow along the line of this write up.

    What saddens me is the rigid, stereotypical way in which our Nigerian culture and religion forces and pressurizes men to get married early, have kids immediately and even remain in a marriage that is not working.

    What annoys me is the Himalayan hypocrisy that has plagued many levels of our society.
    Whether it is the closet gay priest thundering judgmental sermons at gays, or the sly bisexual politicians ranting anti-gay laws in the media. Our hypocrisy in Nigeria is almost annoying.

  5. Whether or not out hypocrisy in Nigeria is high to the zenith of the sky or not, we have said no to Gay-ism and for the first time, I am applauding my country. Let us forget about the biblical story of one country that once existed, facts or no facts……it’s not normal to be gay, let’s not close our eyes to some truth. yes they should have the right to life and so on and so forth because they are human beings and there are human rights and those rights affects us all as human, but somethings are just not normal. If u want to do it keep it personal, but don’t advocate for space to corrupt the minds of our young and the innocent who, would grow up to think it’s ok by what they see.

    • Yes, Nigeria is really making giant strides in the part of salvation. That’s why our laws persecute grown men who do as they wish in the privacy of their homes, but allows old men to defile young girls in the name of religion. Aren’t we just a beautifully well-grounded nation?

  6. First thing I would say is, this was well written. Next is the main reason I am commenting on this post. Being gay is not normal and until you admit that you need help, then you can keep hiding. But please do not try to corrupt the mind of young ones out there or disgust the rest of us by trying to make us think you are normal.
    You are not normal. And it is a good thing they passed that law.

  7. I love you. Total expression of the sequential stages of my life as a boy-lover. You got that porn part

  8. So,being gay is not normal & you base this on a book that allowed whites enslave your ancestors, steal your lands & plunder your resources. And before you throw the B word at me, remember that that religion is foreign & goes against some of our African values.

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