When I take off my vulnerability armor and allow myself to be seen…..

Ade - WakeOne of the many things I love about storytelling is that each time a story is told, something is always discovered or rediscovered by the storyteller. No matter how many times I tell a tale, I am always finding another insight or revelation, which always leaves me feeling like I have never told the story before.

One such tale is an encounter that I recently had with a taxi driver in London. In fact, a few minutes after the encounter, I found myself telling the story in a business meeting, and in the days that followed, I must have told it at least once a day. As I reflected on the story earlier this week, I found that I was still uncovering newer depths to the story; very much like Alice, lost in Wonderland and getting more curious and curious!

I have wanted to write about the story for the past couple of weeks, but I had become so enchanted by the oral telling of the tale and somehow felt that putting it to paper might mean that the story no longer unraveled. But as I found myself going through the OutTales archive over the past few days, I noticed that so many of the stories here all have further levels to what has been written, and if I was to write many of them again now, there will be a different pair of eyes and hand bringing new life to the already told tales… More

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Conforming, in order to be accepted……

…….. well, that’s just too high a price to pay!

Ade FBWhenever I reflect on the relationship that I had with my father, one of the things that I regret was that I never fully showed up in our encounters. I was so busy trying to be the person that I felt he would like me to be that by the time he passed away on 27th January 1995, I was completely out of touch with the person I was.

I recognize now that in my longing for acceptance and love, I had suppressed so many emotional wounds developed from feeling different and not fitting in.

With my father passing, I vowed not to repeat that pattern with my mother, and others who were part of my life. Over the years, this has proved to be ever so challenging and not so easy to implement. Conforming to be accepted had become such a learnt behaviour, that doing something different, like honoring myself sometimes felt unnatural.

The first conversation I had about my sexuality with my mother happened about a year after my father died. It was heated, raw and painful.  I broke contact for a couple of years, as it was too painful to see the hurt in my mother’s eyes. The second conversation with her took place 15 years later and it was just as painful, if not more. Again we broke off contact, during that period she passed away. More

The Fear of Being Authentic

Ade - LagosI have often struggled with the issue of being ‘the authentic me’ when in dialogue with members of my family of origin.

The issue of ‘Is all of me welcome here?’ is always at the back of my mind. Somewhere along my life journey, I came to believe that I had to censor being myself in order to be fully accepted. And somewhere along that journey, that belief became – ‘that’s just the way it is’.

For a long time that approach was satisfactory, however over the past few years, it has been a hard struggle to maintain the facade of it all.  In most cases, I have found that I resort to a default position of putting my head in the sand, hoping that the situation goes away… but sadly, it does not…. And like Bill Murray’s character in ‘Groundhog Day’ I find myself reliving an exhausting and unfulfilling scenario. More

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

“This above all: to thine own self be true”

In late September 2010, I visited Nigeria with the purpose of reconnecting with my mother. It was not a journey that I had planned to take, but I had reached a point of where I knew that if I was truly committed to living an integrated and congruent life, then I would need to come out to my mother all over again.

I had come out to her as gay, 15 years prior and in the years that followed, the subject was never discussed again. I knew she was hoping that I would grow out of it. And on my part, I simply did not want to relive the painful events of the night I had come out to her. More

I Know A Few Things About Waiting

I know a few things about waiting,
you see, for a long time that’s all I did.
Waiting for that tomorrow where I’d be welcomed
and embraced by benevolent witnesses.
Yes, I know a few things about waiting.
Waiting for that storm to pass, for the waves to settle.
Yearning and longing. Dreaming and hoping,
for the life that I had imagined to finally begin. More

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