In conversation with Davis Mac-Iyalla about being Gay, Christian and Nigerian

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you” Maya Angelou

1507985_285679694934031_6880274239554176875_nOutTales: Davis congratulations on your recently published book. You chose as its title “Fiyabo“, which I understand in your native Nigerian language means ‘Survivor’. What made you decide to go with that title?
Davis Mac-Iyalla: I choose that title as a reminder that no matter the persecutions LGBTI Nigerians are facing, we will not give up hope. We are a survivors who will achieve victory in the end.

OutTales: During your time in Nigeria you went through periods of imprisonment, torture, violent attack, and a string of death threats. What stopped you from taking the path that many other same gender loving people have taken, which is to get married to the opposite sex and thereby conform to the expectations of family?
Davis Mac-Iyalla: Those who take those paths do it for social and family acceptability. The reason that people do that does not matter to me, but for me I will never live a lie. Being gay is in my nature, I will never try to pretend to be something that I am not. More

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Aside

What happens when Religion and Culture collide with Sexuality

Earlier this year, I came across a story on a number of online gay sites, the piece was titled ‘Jesus was gay!’ I remember scanning it and not thinking too much about it. A few days later, I noticed a similar piece in ‘The Guardian‘.

I remember feeling that the piece was well written and thought-provoking. For me, it was not a case of ‘was it true or not’. Afterall, the beliefs I held about the ‘God of my childhood’ have long evolved into ‘All is God’ and ‘We are All One’…. and whilst I love a good story, I am more captivated by essence – i.e. what was the essence of the teachings of Jesus (and/or any other spiritual teacher). Curious to see what people thought of it, I decided to post the article on Facebook, with a status update of ‘Food for thought’. More

Wrestling with Shadows, whilst Searching for God (Part 2)

In July 2004, I was ordained as an Interfaith Minister and Spiritual Counsellor. As mentioned in Part 1, up until that point, I had spent what felt like a lifetime on a variety of paths, searching for that ‘thing’ or ‘someone’ that I had felt would make me feel whole again. In my imagination, life was always better elsewhere, if I could only just get there. In 2002, my search had led me down the Spiritual Path. In my naivety, I had been expecting this path to be different – at the end of this journey, I thought, I will finally find what I had been looking for all along.

The two years’ at the Seminary was everything that I expected it to be and much more. It was the first time that I had really delved fully into my life story, with a view to understand myself more. It was the first time that I had explored the various faith and religious traditions, with a view to understand the essence behind their day-to-day interpretations. It was the first time that I had really dived into the pain that I had carried, as a result of feeling shame for being same gender loving. More

Just a thought: An Ode to My Religion

If Faith is believing in something greater than one’s self; something that calls you to a higher purpose; that explains the mysteries you can never unravel on your own; something you can attach yourself to and in so doing become more than just one person on this lonesome earth, then I have Faith.

If Religion is devotion to this higher purpose and submission to its will; trusting the object of your faith to see you through those tough days when your hands fail you and your mind is cast to the floor, then I have a Religion.

If Fellowship is weaving your heart with others into a giant thread of common faith and unconditional love; resting your worries on the shoulders of brothers who accept them with grace and pass it on as needed; finding comfort in togetherness and healing by helping others get through those lonely nights, then I have a Fellowship. More

The Head and the Heart of It

One Man, One God, One Lifelong Question

This entry was initially made on August 18 2006 in my blog. It was the beginning of my attempt to answer one question, that I have answered in so many different ways over the years.

What is God? 

********On God. This thought started out after Jummah today **********

I believe in God. I believe he created human beings and all other things. I believe he is watching over us and keeping track of our actions. I believe in the Quran, I believe it is the word of God and I agree with most of what it says except for a very small part.

God is everything, has always been everything. So when Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden, God was the serpent and he made them defy him in order to justify unleashing all this suffering on all of mankind to placate his sadistic nature. Then he defined free will as a way of perpetuating the deception through time. You pray to him and thank him for his mercies, but he is not merciful. More

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