The ongoing journey of my Coming Out and self-acceptance (Part 2)

I reached the age of 17 and was still on ‘outpersonals’. ‘PD’ wrote me one day. He was an English man who lived in France and was 48. We became online friends and for the first time I had an older friend I could talk to. He was a paying member on the site, so we could send each other messages. We clicked as great friends and we wrote each other almost everyday. He lived alone, with his dog in a big house. He told me of his past as a model and an actor. He’d ask me a lot of questions, about school, my family and life in general. I sent him pictures of Nigerian neighborhoods, my family, the markets and other places.

PD knew a lot about Nigeria because he was there in the 70’s at the invitation of his neighbours in London. He sent me lots of pictures too. As our friendship developed, he started to call our house every weekend. He cared a lot about me and often called me his son. He encouraged me to be focused in school. He asked me to stay away from Jason and his friends. PD never had any children of his own, but he was once married. Every time he wrote, he ended his email with “your friend PD”, that meant a lot to me. More

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The ongoing journey of my Coming Out and self-acceptance (Part 1)

Ever since I was a young boy, I have been drawn to those of a similar gender to myself; even though I never knew the word that described my attraction, until I was old enough to watch the Jerry Springer show with my older brother. He had said “funny Homosexuals”; I was 13, maybe 12. That night, I checked the dictionary for a broader meaning of the word and picked up some synonyms – finally, I knew the word that described my feelings and desires.

As a young boy, I remember kissing the boy who sat next to me in class on the lips. My classmates had laughed, but no one told our teacher. I remember watching wrestling with the whole family and being fascinated by the half-naked men. I remember spying on my uncles’ get dressed and on the neighbour in the next house taking off his clothes, when he got back from work.

As I got older, my desires did not go away. I did not have many friends and was considered feminine. I was also overweight. I was called names by the local kids – ‘sister’, ‘football-head’, amongst many others. My eyebrows made my classmates tease me the most; they always made fun of the owlish shape it had. I soon started tweezing them, I have never stopped since, and no one remembers how they originally look. More

What Coming Out means to me

Although I am relatively content with my life and I have come out of the closet to some people, I have equally chosen to not come out of the closet to others.

Coming out of the closet to everyone in my life and to people who know me continues to scare me profoundly.  I can only call this a form of profound fear because I am afraid of the awkwardness it might create for me and I fear the negative consequences of losing the things that I hold dear – this includes my sense of self, the validation and respect of some friends, some colleagues, some relatives and my in-laws – I fear what they would think and how they would react. Do I really want to know what they think about my sexuality? NO! Do they really need to know what my sexuality is? NO!  Do they need to know I am not monogamous sexually? NO! More

Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!

When I was 13, I knew I was gay. I didn’t do anything about it, until I was almost 22 – I spent the summer of that year in Kansas City!

I was afraid to be gay. Growing up in a northern English mill town, I heard the hate towards gay people, and I didn’’t want to be hated. More

Coming out to my Father

I never got to come out to my father. And it was only after his passing that I came to learn that he knew about the elephant in the room, he had simply never asked me and I had simply never told.

The first time I found out that he knew about the elephant in the room, was in the summer of 1989. My mother was visiting London from Nigeria, and one afternoon during a heated telling-off from her, she said ‘so I hear that you are now following men around’.

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The theme for May is ‘Coming Out’

Over the past couple of months, I have found myself caught up in conversations on the issue of ‘coming out’, or coincidentally, simply coming across a variety of articles on the matter.

Opinions have been diverse on whether ‘coming out’ is a necessary step in the journey of every same gender loving person and in some cases, the views have been that it is a western idea which is not always culturally compatible across the globe. There have also been some who have said ‘I don’t hide it. I simply don’t wear it on my shoulder. And if I was asked, I will tell’.

Every same gender loving person has a story to tell around coming out. From, choosing to come out to a parent, a friend, a work colleague or a stranger on a train. Or choosing not to come out when faced with the question from a family member, an old school friend or the cashier behind the till who asks whether the item we placed on the counter was for ‘your girlfriend’. The scenarios are endless. More

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