Chasing Rainbows

Ade (@OutTales) tells the story of his longing to leave Nigeria and his dramatic attempt to make his dream come true.

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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’.

More

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

Being gay in Nigeria

Earlier this week, the Nigerian Same-Sex Marriage bill had its second reading in the House of Representatives. The bill, if passed, will prohibit marriage or civil union entered into between persons of same-sex.

The proposed legislation also imposes up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine on anyone who “witnesses”, “aids” or “abets” same-sex relationships. The bill carries similar sentences for the establishment of gay clubs, and for any activity seen as supporting gay rights.  The legislation does feel very much a sham, because not only is it currently illegal to engage in ‘homosexual activity’ in Nigeria, it is also a huge cultural taboo. More

Love Me As I Am: gay men reflect on their lives

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