Going beneath our differences by sharing our stories

Ade FBA few weeks ago I was with a friend, when I got out my pen to write something. ‘Oh, you’re left-handed he said’, ‘Yes, I replied’; conscious of the fact that it’s something I hardly think about and to an extent assume everyone knows. Curious, I asked whether he was too and he replied ‘yes’. I mentioned that I had never noticed, we both laughed and the conversation moved on to something else.

In my early childhood, when we moved from London to Nigeria, members of my family tried many futile attempts to get me to use my right hand. It was deemed an abomination to be left-handed and many of them were not having it. When none of their efforts worked, they gave up. These day its a subject far from my thoughts, until I am reminded like I was in that conversation. And on those occasions, when asked I don’t go to that place of fear of rejection, being vulnerable, being uncertain, and no old wounds of friends or family members disowning me for being left-handed are triggered. More

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‘Oh pleaze, we always knew you were gay!’

Somewhere between Winter ’95 and Spring ’96, I decided that I had had enough of living in the closet and felt I needed to embark on the journey of coming out – a process which also led me to being a steward at the ‘96 London Pride.

Following the death of my father the year before, I was determined to show up more fully in my life and coming out felt like the most obvious way of embracing this longing. Prior to his death, coming out was not something that I had thought I’d ever do. I did not personally know anyone of Nigerian origin who was gay, let alone out and in my mind I felt that I’d probably get married to a woman and simply carry on with living what I had considered a ‘normal life’.

At that point in my life, living was more about compliance and fitting in. I did not consider myself someone who had the courage to honor being different.

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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

Reflections on Friendship

When I reflect on the year 2011 to-date, it has been a rather turbulent year for me emotionally, psychologically, morally and financially; but I am glad that it has been this way because it has enabled me to reflect considerably about a wide range of issues; especially about friendships.

Some of my thoughts and opinions have already been articulated in pieces that I have written here on ‘OutTales around the Fire’ and the process of making these contributions, has been quite cathartic for me.

This year I have rekindled friendships and put to bed and consciously let go of a few supposed friendships. Therefore, my reflection in this piece is based on my take on friendships. More

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