The Ultimate Letting Go

I woke up this morning to an email from a cousin informing me that our grandmother had died; his father’s mother, my mother’s mother.

As I stood in my kitchen glued to the words in the email, I remembered the last time I saw my grandmother. It was over 9 years ago, during a visit to Lagos, when I had travelled there to face the ghosts of my past. We had not seen each other in over 15 years, and when I entered the crowded room she was in, she immediately burst into song. Even though she was well into her 80s’, she was fully alive in every way. She was frail and could not walk unassisted, and yet she swayed as she serenaded me with her words; summoning the spirits of our ancestors and thanking them for guiding me back home.


Family and the Longing for Authentic Validation

About 10 or so years ago, a close friend and I had as our catchphrase, ‘I don’t need validation, I am validating Me’. I cannot help but smile as I reflect on our pride as we paraded around singing our theme tune to ourselves and anyone who dared cross our path. Our catchphrase was at some point replaced with a line from the Destiny’s Child song “Independent Woman” – ‘I depend on Me’ (said with raised eyebrow and hand gesture – hmm, actually maybe I just made that up, but you get my drift!). We’d been burnt by so many who crossed our path, from family, friends, lovers to work colleagues and somewhere along the line we had decided to develop thick skin and freeze out anyone whom we felt could potentially hurt us.

What I now know many years later is that having that catchphrase was my attempt to protect myself from the pain of longing for validation, that somehow never came in my youth. And on those rare moments when it did come, never recognising it through my lenses of low self-worth and that feeling of being eternally flawed. More

Emerging from our Family and the Release of our Authentic Self

I was sharing stories with a close friend a few weeks ago. We were both talking about our life journey and the events that have led us to be the people we are today. We shared stories about our families and the paradox of our love for them, combined with our strong desire to walk away from their embrace, when we came to the realisation (and acceptance) that their embrace came with many conditions attached. One condition being that they accepted us only when we played along with their desired perception of ourselves.

They had accepted our false self, during that time in our life when we had denied our true self, by refusing to step forward and stand openly with pride, as same gender loving men. In our conversation, we talked about the various masks we had worn over the years; yearning to be accepted & belong, and at the same time, longing to release our authentic self and live our own life.

As we shared stories, I recollected a verse from the bible in Luke 14:26  where Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be my disciple”. Whilst I do not, at this point in my life, subscribe to an organised religion, I do recognise the wisdom that is contained in the many traditions and world faiths. That was one of the things that drew me to becoming an Interfaith Minister – anyway, I digress and that’s all another story. Back to the verse….. More

Is My House Too Gay?

I love talking about the relationship with my dad. We have gone from rejection to acceptance, ignorance to understanding, fear to boldness; and with the impact of love and growth in self-worth, there is no doubt that each higher level sets new challenges and much more for our relationship.

I am very grateful to my dad and it is with his love that I am able to be most of who I am. He has on numerous times explained to me the concept of pioneering, as he is no stranger to fighting for what is right and necessary, even for the sanctity of Christian education and African theological preservation – there is therefore  inherence on my path, to fight for what is right for me and for many others. I am also conscious that the relationship I have with my father is mired with envy, jealousy and sometimes outright evil from within and external forces of life.

As I open up on new an issue in our relationship, that is both engaging and interesting, you will recognise the extent of my growth with my father, as a gay son. More

We are One in Adodi, We are One in Brotherhood!

I first joined Adodi in 2008, after being encouraged by a brother I met online from DC CHARLES NELSON. He encouraged me to apply for the Scholarship, where 50% of the fees are paid for by Brothers who can afford to pay. He said that if I did and was successful, he would pay the other half, I would only have to pay the flight etc.

I looked into Adodi, thought I would give it a try, and posted off my application; which after Charles’ help was successful – and he kept his word. He held my hand throughout the time, up until the retreat in Ohio in July 2008. We spent time together before & after the retreat, sharing hotels and food etc. It was the first time IN my life that I had witnessed and experienced something so generous and unconditional; on the retreat I met another 90 or so Brothers, who all thought the same. The experience was life-changing, to say the least. I decided there and then to commit to Adodi for the rest of my life and attend the annual retreats, and chant to that effect – being a Buddhist. More

What Family Means to Me

I have very mixed feelings and ambiguous emotions about the term ‘family’; and the importance of family. But I do not believe in the metaphor that that ‘blood is thicker than water’ when it comes to my blood relations and blood family.  For me, I believe the aforementioned adage applies to my nuclear family and those I choose to become ‘family’ in my life. This includes friends and partners.

Family, to me, are the people that care about me ‘no matter what’. It does not need to matter if they are genetically related to me or not, but what matters to me is that they love me and I love them back in return. This to me is family.

I have concluded that my immediate nuclear family i.e. my wife and children mean the ‘world’ to me. One of my four brothers means the world to me – I am related to all these by blood. I have a few friends that mean the world to me and I have had male partners who have meant the world to me; and I still consider these partners and friends as family, despite them not being my blood relations. More

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