SAGBA – “The Struggle”

Bisi Alimi, Human Rights Activist and Ade Adeniji, Founder of OutTales, sit down to talk about being Nigerian and gay, and explore issues covering religion and family acceptance.

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

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for OutTales around the Fire.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to everyone who sat by the fire with us this year. See you in 2013!

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

Dreaming of Tomorrow

My Sexuality - Collage

Yesterday I read yet another story
from the land of my ancestors
talking about how ‘gays
were a Western phenomena
and a cultural taboo’.


Life Lessons

Feels just like yesterday that 2012 began; and how it has flown so fast.

I was going through an old journal earlier today, and came across some musings that I had written over 10 years ago. A relationship had just come to an end, my wounds were still raw. It felt like Life was not unfolding in the many ways that I had anticipated in my imagination. I sought solace in my journal.

As I walked down memory lane earlier today, I felt very different from my younger self who had shared his thoughts on those pages. And at the same time, I felt no different from that younger me.

Time….. guess it does fly by in the twinkle of an eye. I share below one of the musings that I wrote back then [one of the less shaming ones :-)]…… and further below, a picture capturing that whole essence of Now and Then…. More

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