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

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“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

The story of my Coming Out

From a young, tender, innocent age, I always knew that I was different in ways that I couldn’t explain to myself, let alone to anybody else – I know it is a cliché or whatever, but trust me when I say some of us, at least those that pay attention to their bodies, know what I am talking about.

We lived in Ondo State (Nigeria) and my father’s cousin, Matthew was staying with us.  He was in High School and hanging around him for comfort and security made things better for me (my oldest sister was always taking advantage and bullying me, till I was taller than her of course!). While I hung around him for those things, he also had this fondness for me and I am not talking about tickling me or taking interest in me learning ABC. His fondness was in terms of me touching his genitals and vice versa. During those times – which didn’t last, because we moved to Akure – I never once thought I was abused for the simple fact that I enjoyed him touching me and since my dad and mum weren’t around as much, this was my toy; sure I had Transformers and all those stuff, but this was human with tender feelings with little abrasive twist to it. More

Pride Lost, Pride Regained

I have fond memories of the London Pride events that I attended in my late 20’s. It was a period where I was coming to terms with being gay, and there was something really comforting about walking in a parade or dancing in a park, with hundreds of other same gender loving people.

A few months ago, feeling a bit nostalgic about how I had experienced those early Pride events, I decided to sign up to be a volunteer at World Pride, which is due to take place in London on Saturday 7th July. I have fond memories of being a volunteer at the ’96 London Pride, and this time with it being World Pride, I felt it was a great opportunity to stand in pride, on a global scale, with many others. More

The (recycled) theme for June is ‘Pride’

The theme for the stories to be shared in June is ‘Pride’. It was a theme covered by OutTales last July, and featured a broad range of stories (which you can check out here).

This morning, one of the headlines in the Huffington Post caught my attention – Pride Parades are they good or bad for the LGBT community and it got me thinking about Pride all over again and reflecting on the fact that the season is about to begin; and whether we like it or not, it is indeed part of ‘gay culture’.

I am sure that in the countries where it is illegal to be gay/lesbian or not culturally acceptable, those who identify as LGBTI would welcome an opportunity to have a day where they can come out and celebrate their sexuality with Pride. And yet, somehow for us living in countries where the law does not prevent us from celebrating our sexuality, Pride can often be seen as a relic from old days or simply another opportunity for escapism from the wounds that we are too ashamed to acknowledge. More

Don’t ask, Don’t tell

I remember bumping into a cousin on my way home, one early evening about eight years ago. I remember it so well because the conversation we had, has always stayed with me.

The encounter had happened many years after my so-called ‘coming out to the world’ phase. That coming out journey had meant that I had come to be comfortable within the gay scene and all that it brought. I had experienced the ups and downs of a long-term relationship, as well as the casual flings that I had hoped would lead somewhere. My close friends and mother knew I was gay and whilst I did not experience the acceptance of everyone I had revealed myself to, I was at a place in my life where I felt really comfortable about how I was – well, that is what I thought, until that encounter one early evening. More

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